Emotional Intelligence & Your Organisation

27 Jul 2021 | News

How can organisations use EQ to improve their performance?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand our own emotions as well as the emotions of others and how these emotions drive our behaviour, the behaviour of others and then using this knowledge when interacting with people.  How can we use this to enable us to perform at our peak? In life and business, performance management is essential – in business, it helps align teams, resources and systems to meet strategic objectives. Organisations that get performance management right, become formidable competitive machines. Much of GE’s successful transformation under former CEO Jack Welch, was attributed to his ability to get the company’s 250,000 or so employees “pulling in the same direction”—and pulling to the best of their individual abilities. As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success.” There are three types of performers in the workplace – the underperformer, the average performer, and the high performer. How can high levels of emotional intelligence help when engaging with people of varying performance levels?

The Under Performer & EQ

These are people who fail to perform the duties of their role – or who fail to perform to the level that is required of them. They don’t comply with work policies and procedures and their behaviour can negatively impact others in the workplace. Addressing the issue head-on is key to resolving underperformance, and so feedback must be constructive to aid team members’ development. Use your levels of emotional intelligence to pre-empt the possible reactions when addressing underperformance with a team member. Could there be a personal situation impeding their ability to work to their maximum? Maybe this person is in the wrong position, and while letting them go is difficult, it might just be what they are looking for you to do. It is important to emotionally distance yourself from pre-empting the actions of underperformance. Situational leadership is also important when addressing underperformance. Take the maturity level of your team member into consideration. Don’t be afraid to be assertive and lead the charge, maybe this assertiveness is just what the team member needs to give them the push they need.

The Average Performer & EQ

Next, we have the average performer, these people generally do what is expected of them in the workplace and see that as sufficient. They tend not to exceed their employer’s expectations. Employees have different expectations and aspirations in the workplace. A lot of organisational leaders believe that what they value, is the same as what their team values, but this is not always the case. Some people value titles and money, but others value time off with their family more! Nobody goes to work planning to be average, but some people have other priorities. It’s important that managers have conversations on a regular basis, to communicate goals and find expectations of team members. It’s important not to just assume a team member has reached their capacity. You need to find out what your team member values and so high levels of emotional intelligence will help with these conversations. Be patient with your team members, change won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Don’t be afraid to vocalise your belief in their ability and the bright future that awaits them.

The High Performer & EQ

High performers stand out from average performers in any organisation. They consistently exceed expectations and are management’s go-to people for difficult projects because they have a track record of getting the job done and getting it done well. They are goal setters, crave feedback, seek opportunities to learn and develop, are achievement-oriented and as a result, tend to be workaholics. Here comes the challenge – how do you retain high performers and encourage their further development? Firstly, it’s important not to feel threatened by their performance, they are key to your organisation’s success. Instead, support and encourage them to pursue the paths they wish to follow. Ensure you are taking the correct steps to keep your high performers happy, productive and motivated – but it is also important to accept that they will eventually want to move on. Don’t limit their development opportunities in a bid to get them to stay.

Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

Emotionally Intelligent leaders are more emotionally expressive in positive situations and are better at giving controlled and constructive feedback in negative situations. Skilled leaders use emotional intelligence to gain an understanding of why people are acting or reacting in a particular way to a situation, and they can modify their style and approach to suit the given situation. However, leaders who lack emotional intelligence aren’t able to see past their own emotions, their own needs and their own beliefs, and this impacts how they manage their team’s performance.


If you are interested in finding out more about Emotional Intelligence and how you can use this to improve your organisation and human performance, take a look at our Online Leadership Development Programme.