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Emotions… What?

… a team can have everything going for it – the brightest and most qualified people, access to resources, a clear mission – but still fail because it lacks group emotional intelligence.

Vanessa Urch Druskat & Steven Wolff, 2001, p. 89

Dr. Torrie Kalm, PsyD

September 2023

In the course of my doctoral journey many years ago, I delved into the fascinating realm of Emotional Intelligence (EI). This concept resonated with me deeply, as I've always believed that a person's true value to an organization extends far beyond their IQ score. The intrinsic worth of employees lies in their emotional intelligence, a quality that surpasses mere numerical assessments or credentials. As I delved deeper into the concept of Emotional Intelligence, my perspective on colleagues, leaders, and relationships underwent a profound transformation. We are beings inherently driven by emotions, yet we often hesitate to express them openly in our professional and personal lives. I've had candid conversations with numerous leaders in my current work, questioning why they refrain from displaying emotions in the workplace. The resounding answer has been fear—fear of judgment, fear of appearing weak, and fear of losing respect as leaders. But let's consider this: Isn't this fear rooted in the discomfort of appearing vulnerable, in revealing that we are, after all, humans with feelings? In an article published by Positive Psychology's Dr. Helen Brown, she stated, "EQ has been linked to better task performance, organizational citizenship behaviors of employees, higher company rank, and higher scores of stress tolerance and interpersonal facilitation." Extensive research unequivocally demonstrates that Emotional Intelligence is the bedrock of success in the workplace. It is my firm belief, supported by a wealth of research findings, that organizations across all industries should incorporate Emotional Intelligence into their professional development plans.

Joseph Ciarrochi, Joseph Forgas, & John Mayer aptly put it, "The concept of emotional intelligence suggests that intelligence may understand emotion and that emotion may facilitate intelligence." Whether you are a business owner seeking professional growth or an individual on a personal development journey, consider the following questions: Are you attuned to when your emotions take control? Can you manage your emotions effectively? Do you have the ability to self-motivate? Are you skilled at recognizing emotions in others? How do you handle the myriad of relationships you encounter daily?

Take a moment to reflect on your answers to these questions, delving deep within and being honest with yourself. We are all works in progress, and personal growth is an ongoing journey with no end. Every day provides a fresh opportunity to embrace both yourself and the world around you.

I welcome your thoughts and experiences on how you continue to evolve into the best version of yourself. Please feel free to email me at or share your feedback in the comments below.

Stay KALM, my friends!

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