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The Human Side of HR: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters

Today’s HR pros deal with a lot more than just benefits and hiring. The role of the human resource manager is always evolving as companies develop new ways to support employees, customers, and partners. HR professionals need an arsenal of skills to handle all that responsibility. Thankfully, research has revealed how we can make the human side of HR even better by focusing on emotional intelligence. Read on for an introduction to this topic and why it’s so important for today’s HR leaders.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and use emotions to your advantage in all aspects of life. It’s not simply about understanding your feelings, but also reading others’ emotions and responding appropriately.

People who are high in emotional intelligence are also known as empaths because they can get inside other people’s heads and feelings. Emotional intelligence is about managing feelings, not repressing them.

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So, a person with high emotional intelligence can recognize when they’re feeling stressed, frustrated, or bored. They’ll know why they’re feeling this way, and they’ll be able to manage those emotions constructively.

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Why Is Emotional Intelligence So Important for HR?

HR’s job is to bring out people’s best side. To do this, you must be able to recognise people’s emotions and understand how they’re affecting their work. That’s where emotional intelligence comes in.

You can’t respond to your people’s emotions unless you understand what they’re feeling. You’ll also need to recognize and manage your own emotions, so you don’t project your feelings onto your employees.

Fortunately, emotional intelligence can help with both of these things. If you’re able to recognise and manage your emotions, you’ll be less likely to let them affect your interactions with others. And if you can recognize your employees’ feelings, you’ll be better equipped to support them.

Ways to Develop Your Employees’ Emotional Intelligence

The best way to develop emotional intelligence is by practicing awareness. If you become more aware of your own emotions and those of others, it will be easier to respond to them helpfully. Here are a few ways to develop your emotional intelligence:

  1. Observe how others respond to situations:
                                                                                   Notice how your colleagues, customers, and partners react to different situations. Are they more likely to remain calm or become upset?
  2. Practice self-awareness:
                                                  As you go through your day, ask yourself how you’re feeling. Are you feeling stressed or happy? Becoming aware of your emotions is the first step toward constructively managing them.
  3. Speak to others with empathy:
                                                            When you’re communicating with people, try to get inside their heads. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how they’d respond to what you’re saying.
  4. Set aside time for reflection:
                                                        At the end of each day, take a few minutes to reflect on your emotions and the emotions of others. What was the best part of your day? What was the worst? What can you do to improve things tomorrow?

3 Tips for Developing Your Emotional Intelligence

If you want to become a better HR leader, you’ll need to sharpen your emotional intelligence skills. Here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Practice mindfulness:
                                            If you want to become more aware of your own emotions, you need to be mindful. If you’re constantly rushing around, it’s hard to pay attention to your feelings. So, take a few minutes each day to slow down and tune into what’s going on inside you.
  2. Get to know your team:
                                                If you’re going to help your employees find the best way forward, you need to know them well. This includes knowing what makes them tick and what makes them anxious. If you know someone is stressed out about their workload, you can help lighten their load.
  3. Practice gratitude:
                                     Positive emotions, such as gratitude, help us achieve more and be more empathetic. If you want to become a better HR leader, you need to be focused on the positive things in your life. By focusing on the gratitude in your life, you’ll be better equipped to help others achieve their goals.


HR professionals deal with a wide range of people, from employees to customers to partners. To best support these individuals, it’s crucial to understand their emotions. Fortunately, research shows that the best way to achieve this is to focus on emotional intelligence. The more you can understand your team members, the more likely you are to be able to help them achieve their goals.

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