Emotions in the workplace: Not everyone needs to be intelligent – Part 1

Emotional-Intelligence-Part1-smallWhen I started soft-skills training, it was generally accepted that one should leave emotions at the door.

Emotions convey meaning.  At present, it’s generally accepted that leaders should recognize and express emotions to facilitate performance. The shrewd use of emotions is considered a higher order leadership competence. A leader should be thoughtful in helping others decipher its meaning and to understand their ambition and concerns.

Yet, I’d like to focus in on an interesting area of research involving group emotional intelligence.

My read of the research would suggest that not everyone needs to possess superior emotional intelligence. What matters most is each person’s contribution (some may need to contribute more than others) and explicit attention to the  collective norms, values, and behaviors.

Some studies by Feyerherm & Rice (2002) suggest that group emotional intelligence is associated with performance. It is assumed that the association is mediated by its effects on collaboration (Sy & Cote´, 2004), conflict resolution, and the ability of a team to regulate their emotions in order to persevere through difficulty  (Huy, 1999).


Feyerherm, A. E., & Rice, C. L. (2002). Emotional intelligence and team performance: The good, the bad and the ugly. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 10(4), 343–362.

Huy, Q. N. (1999). Emotional capability, emotional intelligence, and radical change. Academy of Management Review, 24(2), 325–345.

Sy, T., & Coˆ te´, S. (2004). Emotional intelligence: A key ability to succeed in the matrix organization. Journal of Management Development, 23(5), 437–455.