Applying Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Support Teamwork

Emotional intelligence thrives in an environment of teamwork and cooperation. Such an environment benefits you, your teammates, and your entire organization. You will encourage a team spirit and improve the morale of your coworkers if you:

  • Harmonize with your coworkers
  • Inspire passion

Harmonize with Your Coworkers

A team goes from healthy debate to open war when disagreement is allowed to degenerate into personal attack. When people treat each other like enemies, their enthusiasm for teamwork declines. A work team becomes harmonious when debate is carried out without bad feelings. Members of successful teams discuss different options without becoming enemies.

To achieve harmony, everyone must act out of a shared concern for the organization and its goals rather than for his or her narrow self-interest, and everyone must feel that the group decision-making process is fair and open. For suggestions on useful guidelines for harmonizing group interaction, consult the Team communication guidelines. You can discuss these guidelines at your next team meeting to determine which your team follows now, and which you may wish to apply in the future.

Team Communication Guidelines

This checklist may be used to provide guidance for communication in your team, or it may serve as a springboard for developing your own team communication guidelines. Discuss these points with your team and determine which you would like to use and what additional guidelines would be helpful to you.

  • Listen to one another respectfully.
  • Use a democratic process that enables everyone to speak.
  • Take advantage of the skills and talents each person brings to the team.
  • Express your own opinions and points of view.
  • Encourage others to express different opinions and viewpoints.
  • Raise the “tough” issues so they can be discussed.
  • Avoid interrupting each other.
  • Be as careful about how you say it as you are about what you say.
  • Stay focused on goals—avoid personal attacks.
  • Use constructive rather than destructive criticism.

Inspire passion

The best workers are enthusiastic, excited, energetic, and fascinated by their work most of the time. To raise the level of passion among your coworkers, help others see the importance of their work. Value their contributions. Help them see how their efforts help you and others. Give them detailed positive feedback on their accomplishments, and convey to them any complimentary remarks on their work made by customers or coworkers.


As you promote organizational self-awareness and build a team spirit with those around you, you will not only work with greater emotional intelligence yourself, but you will also benefit from the more emotionally intelligent work of those around you.

To make your organization a smarter—and nicer—place to work, remember the tips discussed.