The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

By Aisling O’Toole

Ever wondered why some of your professional peers seem to sail through work, impressing colleagues and leaders alike and leaving you questioning your own ability?

It may be less about your talent and more about your emotional intelligence (EI).

EI refers to your ability to manage your own emotions within the workplace, but more importantly to understand those of others and tailor your responses accordingly.

Research shows that high levels of emotional intelligence is more important for business success than cognitive ability, with those who possess high levels of EI more likely to thrive during times of stress, motivate teams and colleagues and build better relationships.

From a beauty industry point of view, EI becomes even more important when you consider how integral customer relationships are to the success of the business: Studies show that if you can connect with a customer or client in an emotional way they will be 86% more likely to think of your brand the next time they require a service.

Additional research has found that leaders who possess a high level of empathy have been found to outperform their counterparts by over 40% in crucial elements of team management including employee engagement, decision-making and coaching.

Five components developed by American psychologist Daniel Goleman make up emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Here’s how you can work on each of these to boost your own EI.


The bedrock of emotional intelligence, self-awareness requires you to look outside yourself and see how your actions impact others.

Practical testing is a great way to put this into practice. How do your colleagues react if you greet them warmly each morning versus ignoring them? And what changes in your routine initiate the more positive greeting? See how your behaviour impacts others and make changes accordingly.


If you find yourself making decisions in the heat of the moment or providing feedback to co-workers that is situation-based rather than holistic, it may be because you need to work on your self-regulation.

Working on this aspect of yourself and taking time to step back before you make a decision will have a positive impact on both your professional and personal life.


A huge part of emotional intelligence involves self-motivation and finding the willpower to keep going when there’s no clear motivation for you to continue.

If you struggle to stay motivated during slower periods then setting personal goals is a way to combat this, as is sharing those goals with colleagues and celebrating all the wins – no matter how small they feel.


If you don’t put yourself in the shoes of others then you’ll constantly struggle with emotional intelligence.

Feeling empathy towards colleagues and customers alike will enable you to make decisions that are solutions-focussed rather than results-driven and will make a huge difference to your overall capabilities.

Social skills

Keeping your eyes and ears open will help you build a network that will benefit your career and keep you abreast of industry news, as well as exciting opportunities with other companies.

Ready to elevate your career to the next level? The Professional Beauty job board is full of opportunities across all sectors of the industry with leading beauty companies across all specialities and experience levels.

Australian companies including Australian Skin Clinics, Aesop, HairHouse and Myer promote opportunities on the job board, as do global brands including Sephora and The Body Shop.

Browse the Professional Beauty Job Board to find your dream role.

This article was produced in partnership with Jobbio.

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