Improving Employee Performance Through Emotional Intelligence

September 25, 2017


Whether you’re the CEO of a large enterprise or a small-to-medium enterprise, your employees are the heart of your company. They are the people who communicate with your clients, demonstrate the value of your business, and create a positive workplace culture.


However, for a professional environment to be welcoming to both clients and staff, employees must demonstrate an understanding of their own emotions and the emotions of others. This is a concept commonly referred to as Emotional Intelligence, or EI. Individuals with high EI are those who show empathy, are optimistic, and can effectively manage their emotions; particularly in the midst of stressful situations.


As a business owner or leader, how can you best harness the power of emotional intelligence to create a positive working environment and improve the performance of your employees?


Focus On Your Own Emotional Intelligence

When you understand your own personal emotional skills, you can better understand the emotional skills of others. As the owner of a business or the leader of a team, employees look to you for guidance, and to learn from your experiences. High EI can help you solve problems, manage communication effectively, and motivate your employees to perform better; and in turn, experience higher job satisfaction.


There are many signs that you’re demonstrating levels of high emotional intelligence as a leader. For example:

  • You handle criticism well,

  • You’re a good listener,

  • You’re open-minded,

  • You are flexible, and

  • You tell the truth.


In order for your employees to improve their performance through greater emotional awareness, it’s imperative that you are in touch with your own emotions.


Learn to Manage and Inspire Employees with EI

Managing emotions doesn’t simply mean keeping them to yourself during stressful situations, as this can only lead to an increase in stress for yourself and those around you. Once you set this precedent, it’s quite easy for your employees to follow suit.


As demonstrated in this graphic by Daniel Goleman, when you’re in touch with the recognition and regulation of your own emotions, you can better manage the external relationships in your life, including within the workplace.




Managing and inspiring better EI by your employees can be a direct or indirect process. The following steps allow you to increase your own emotional intelligence, while demonstrating positive and EI-aligned actions for your employees:


  • Communicate frequently and openly,

  • Respond to stressful situations in a calm and direct manner,

  • Spend quality time listening to your employees,

  • Take criticism and suggestions well, and

  • Acknowledge your employees on a regular basis.


Teach Effective Communication

There’s nothing more critical for a high-performing workplace than effective communication. Whether your employee is sharing important information with a customer or attempting to solve a problem with a coworker, misunderstanding is the basis of most failed conversations. If your employee has a hard time articulating their needs or frustrations, tensions can rise and confusion can grow.


As a leader, you can inspire better communication by drawing on emotional intelligence, and by helping those employees who might have a hard time communicating, due to confusion or a lack of understanding. Good communication stems from a sense of alignment and purpose, so use your own emotional skills to share constructive criticism and positive strategies to help them exceed their own expectations to propel your company forward.


By having a solid understanding of your own EI as a business leaders, you can inspire and teach your employees to improve their own performance by harnessing their emotional skills. Our team at COACHING iNSIGHTS wants to help you and your team grow your business together. For more information about EI, contact us today.


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