Three signs of an emotionally intelligent organization

It is no surprise in the current modern business world that many organizations are fixated on the term: Emotional Intelligence (EQ). But firstly let's clarify the definition, because there appear to be quite a few differing views: EQ is the ability to understand and reflect on your own emotions and how they affect the people around you. By being able to regulate your own emotions you can manage them to achieve positive results.

But what does it look like?

Our team here at MultiRater Surveys have spent many years conducting leadership and organizational surveys across different industries and countries. What we have found, in terms of the physical display of Emotional Intelligence, are three observable behaviours that underpin high Emotional Intelligence.

Three Behaviours to Look Out For:


Department heads & team members accurately identify emotional expressions

To get an initial grasp of this organizational behaviour, this question comes to mind: Does the team adjust their behaviours during various interactions based on others' emotional expression?

Let's assume that it's a Friday, and the departments had a great week, everyone is kicking back and having a chat about their weekend plans all are in high spirits. One of the team members, however, is visibly overwhelmed, and is not actively participating in the conversations. Do the other team members then:

A. Continue their high-spirited conversations and finish off the workweek

B. Notice that their team member is not engaged and appears overwhelmed and acts by asking how they are and whether they require any support


Colleagues can detect the authenticity of speech

We don't often say the things we mean and, at other times, we don't really mean the things we say. For instance, Jane from payroll is taking the week off and wants to delegate her responsibilities to someone else for the period, let's say John. However, John is currently extremely busy with his own tasks, but because John is a people-pleaser, he agrees, bear in mind he would really like NOT to take on Jane's responsibilities. Here's the crux, does Jane:

A. Accept John's forced yes without hesitation

B. Recognize John's true intentions and follow up to make sure that he can handle the workload & offer to delegate it to others?


Managers recognize events that trigger unwanted emotions & takes steps to avoid them

Let's face it, employee wellbeing hasn't exactly been optimal as of late, especially due to the lasting negative impacts of the pandemic. There are many causes for this within the workplace: intense workload, unhealthy relationships, unresolved conflict, the list goes on and on. While it is ideal to confront and resolve all issues that affect employee wellbeing in a timely manner, the immediate step is to first identify them. More importantly, to recognize WHEN, and WHERE, it occurs. A good manager will recognize situations that lead to stress and take steps to avoid them before it escalates.

Let's assume that James - the manager of a team of accountants' inappropriately lashed out during a meeting which led to everyone experiencing negative emotions. Moving forward:

A. It's become a common occurrence that team has gotten used to

B. James has apologised and it hasn't happened since


Take Home

If we were to survey organizations for the three behaviours listed throughout the article, and Option A came back as the dominant response, then it is a clear indication of an organization with low emotional intelligence. While it might be that some members within the organization possess high emotional intelligence, a truly emotionally intelligent organization involves the collective effort of all of it's members. 

We hope that the three behaviours have provided a glimpse into the foundations of emotionally intelligent organization. These are the behaviours you should expect to see, and experience. If you think your organization's level of emotional intelligence is not optimal, contact for a consultation on how we can help.