CWTI Trainings

Emotional Intelligence graphic
Emotional Intelligence


Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Graphic of working people and one person highlighted


We discussed the importance of emotional intelligence for personal success earlier in this lesson.  Emotional intelligence also influences workplace success.  On its own, emotional intelligence is not a strong predictor of job performance (Cherniss, 2000).  However, emotional intelligence provides the foundation for competencies linked to job performance. 

Research has identified aspects of emotional intelligence that influence success in a variety of jobs.  For example, a study by Schulman (1995) found that new sales personnel with high levels of optimism sold 37% more than their pessimistic colleagues.  Optimistic people tend to attribute setbacks to temporary and external factors, while more pessimistic people tend to believe failures are linked to internal and permanent causes.  This world-view affects how people manage emotions and also has an impact on their goal achievement - both of which are markers of emotional intelligence. 

Other factors of emotional intelligence linked to success on the job include (Cherniss, 2000):

Each of these abilities are linked to key competencies in the field of social work, particularly child welfare casework.  The ability to perceive, identify and manage emotion is at the core of success in social work.  In the next section, we discuss the key competencies in public sector work.


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