WorkMinded Podcast: High EQ - Emotional Intelligence

WorkMinded Podcast: High EQ - Emotional Intelligence

Hey everyone, and welcome to WorkMinded. Thanks for joining us for this session on Emotional Intelligence!

Go ahead and take some time to settle in. Find a space where you can feel safe, comfortable, and free from distractions for the next 10 minutes. While you get situated and create a little distance from the rest of your day, I’ll tell you a little bit about the organizational science behind today’s topic of Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence, aka EI and measured as EQ, is a major buzzword in business literature these days. Just about every publication has articles devoted to the concept, its usefulness and applications for your career, and a checklist for how to develop EI in the workplace. It’s almost like the latest Cosmo quiz for the working world – Is Your EQ High or Low? Improve your EQ with our quiz! Find your EQ spot!!

The term is so common that many of us feel we already have a strong understanding of what EI means, without actually being aware of everything the idea encompasses. There are literally hundreds of definitions of emotional intelligence floating around out there. Think for a moment about what EI means to you. In some ways, it’s a very intuitive idea. But in other ways, it’s actually pretty difficult to define, and map out, and measure. While we could start with a dictionary, definitions often shift according to context and intended outcomes. Google “emotional intelligence definitions” to see what I mean.

To me, EI is simply the link between our feelings and our actions. We can choose to disregard this link (for example, snapping at a colleague without caring to understand why), or we can choose to become aware of it to take actions that are more in alignment with our intentions (for example, understanding that experiencing stress makes you prone to lash out so you can take measures to protect your colleagues from these outbursts). Developing an awareness of this link is what makes EI work in favor of your intentions and goals.

Many different models of EI appear in business and organizational literature, including both theoretical, academic approaches and more practical, commercial approaches. Most commonly, EI is grouped into three models based on traits, competencies, or abilities1. This approach is most prevalent in organizational literature, and also helpful to frame out some of the different dimensions that comprise EI. It is definitely not a one-trick concept.

There are also many different issues involved in discussing measurement for EI2. To name a few, organizational science explores whether the measurements used to assess EI truly measure what they are intended to measure3. Also, can the findings on EI in a specific context apply reliably to a wider setting4? Perhaps most important is whether measured factors related to EI actually serve as predictable indicators about the connection between emotional intelligence and workplace applications5.

It is this predictive aspect that gets at the heart of how EI research can support our work goals, answering questions like – where can emotional intelligence have the greatest impact on work life? What organizational objectives can EI truly help support? EI is already empirically connected to improvements in areas such as leadership effectiveness6 and team performance7 (among others). And you might have your own ideas about how EI can enhance your workminded-ness. As research develops to back up the anecdotal evidence found in business literature and in our own workplace experiences, having a solid foundation in EI will become increasingly important for organizational and career success.

To build this foundation, the first step is simply being aware of your own emotions, and that’s where we’ll focus our mindfulness today. In a world full of articles that list out 20 (or sometimes even more!) steps to increasing EI, it can be difficult to choose just one piece to put into practice. EI checklists will come and go, but awareness of your feelings will always be key to leveraging them in support of your true intentions and work goals.

You can find show notes for this episode on our website at, and of course we would love to hear your feedback. So let’s get started with today’s mindfulness session!

3, 4: Cote, S. (2014). Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 1. Retrieved from

5. Jeffrey Jordan, Peter & Ashkanasy, Neal & Ascough, Kaylene. (2012). Emotional Intelligence in Organizational Behavior and Industrial-Organizational Psychology. The Science of Emotional Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns. 10. Retrieved from

6. Srivastava K. (2013). Emotional intelligence and organizational effectiveness. Industrial psychiatry journal, 22(2), 97–99. Retrieved from

7. Emotional Intelligence and Its Importance in the Workplace (n.d.) Retrived from