The importance of emotional intelligence in professional decisions and relationships


The concept of intelligence has been historically debated. What does it mean to be intelligent? Why do we consider some people more intelligent than others? These questions have a difficult solution, but one of the most accepted is that there is not a single type of intelligence but rather multiple intelligences that are used in different areas of our lives.

Howard Gardner’s theory of emotional intelligence establishes up to eight types of intelligence. The author describes visio-spatial, naturistic, logical-mathematical, existential, bodily-kinesthetic, linguistic-verbal, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. Within this list, intrapersonal and interpersonal are directly linked to emotions.

Decision making with emotional intelligence

Understanding what happens to us and managing our emotions is one of the main challenges we face on a daily basis. Many times we find it difficult to understand how we feel, and this affects our health ; Self-perception is subjective and therefore unique to each person. We are often much harder and more demanding on ourselves than on other people. Intrapersonal intelligence is responsible for managing our emotions internally.

On the contrary, interpersonal intelligence is that which allows us to know others, interact with the people around us and improve our ability to relate and communicate. Dimensions such as empathy, patience or leadership are linked to emotional intelligence in decision making.

At first glance we can already deduce that the ability to manage our emotions and know those of others can be key to achieving success in any area of ​​life. And the workplace is no exception.

Skills for work

The skills sought when recruiting people for the labor market have evolved greatly in recent years . One of the current trends focuses on soft skills , those that are innate, related to personality and closely linked to emotional intelligence.

We talk again about empathy, communication, change management, patience, leadership. They are very important skills for personal relationships and more complicated to acquire.

Hard skills, on the other hand, are learned: using a certain computer program, obtaining a university degree or knowing how to use a specific tool.

Managers and experts in human resources and talent management have come to understand that it is better to recruit people capable of making decisions with emotional intelligence than experts in using one tool or another. Changing a person’s patience or empathy remains a challenge, while learning how to use an Excel sheet is much more accessible.

More important the more responsibility you have

Emotional intelligence and its impact on decision making is beginning to be considered a key element in recruitment. Especially in positions of leadership and responsibility, these types of variables are beginning to be valued more and more .

But decision making based on emotional intelligence is not only relevant in personnel selection: both in the performance of tasks and in the professional career it has great weight.

Our ability to adopt roles, take on tasks and lead within an organization is directly related to our ability to relate. Therefore, controlling our impulses and recognizing the emotions of others is key in any job. We must keep in mind that organizations are social entities and, as such, they have their norms, customs and relationship styles. Knowing how to adapt to that social environment will allow us to succeed or grow within that environment.

Identify negative situations

Emotional intelligence in decision making can allow us to access a job and grow within that profession. But it should also give us the ability to identify negative situations within the work environment. Succeeding at work also means being able to detect where we should not be, recognizing those threats that do not allow us to make the decision to make a change.

Leaving a job is always something very complex, but our ability to identify frustration, manage stress and analyze the possibilities (and negative aspects) that our work situation offers us is essential to be able to move forward. A person with emotional intelligence is able to distinguish the negative from the positive and make conscious decisions.

The keys to emotional intelligence

There are several aspects that we can take into account to be fully aware:

  1. Be able to identify our emotions. Recognize what is happening to us, what our feelings are. Know what type of situations affect us or what is causing us stress or frustration.
  2. Likewise, we must be aware of those situations that are capable of resetting our mental energy. Just as our body must rest after exertion, our mind follows the same process. Intense emotional situations such as prolonged stress deplete our resources. We must look for spaces, people or activities that can give us peace of mind, if possible that keep us away from negative thoughts.
  3. Learn to meditate. Although it may sound strange, we don’t spend time with ourselves. New technologies have stolen our boredom and thinking time . The ability to make decisions with emotional intelligence can be developed, but to do so we must spend time with ourselves, analyzing what happens to us, why and how we can improve what we do every day.
  4. Actively seek to improve self-esteem and avoid excessive self-criticism. We can write down our feelings, motivate ourselves, practice relaxation techniques , recognize our behaviors, etc.

In short, emotional intelligence in decision making is something we can be aware of. We must recognize our feelings to be able to manage, understand and guide them in a positive way. Controlling our emotions is critical to our success at work and in life. Just as an athlete controls his body to be able to succeed in a sport, we must control our mind to succeed in our lives.

Author Bio: Ivan Fernandez Suarez is a Professor in the master’s degree in Occupational Risk Prevention. PRL Consultant for Muprespa Fraternity. TR3S-i research group, Liquid Work and Emerging Risks in the Information Society at UNIR – Universidad Internacional de La Rioja