Emotional intelligence is someone’s ability to recognize and understand their own feelings and the feelings of those around them. It requires being aware of ourselves and the world around us. Millennials especially are focused on being better global citizens, being socially conscious and informed, and emotional intelligence plays a large part in that.


Currently, millennials are the largest generation in the workforce. This means that older generations and leaders need to learn how to lead and work with millennials effectively. Because millennials have a different work style than older generations, these leaders need to adapt their methods to recruit and retain millennial employees. Companies need to adjust their business models and consider adding a corporate social responsibility program to keep their younger employees passionate and engaged in their job.


Most millennials need a sense of purpose in their career. They want to feel as though they’re having a positive impact on the world, instead of just a positive effect on the CEO’s wallet. Because they often feel as they have no control over the state of the world and can make no change there, they rely on their career to give them that feeling of positive change. Millennials need to feel emotionally connected to their work to stay motivated and to remain at the same company.


Emotional intelligence has four main components: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and social skills. Those with higher emotional intelligence make better leaders, because of their ability to understand others. Emotionally intelligent leaders communicate more effectively because of their ability to understand what other people need. Because of their self-awareness of their own emotions, they’re better able to handle and manage stress.


In a 2017 survey of millennials, around 80 percent of respondents said that emotional intelligence is something they consider an essential part of career development. In the same study, 87 percent said that the emotional intelligence of the leadership determines how motivated they are in helping the company do well. Millennials want to work in an environment where they feel understood.


Millennials feel that emotions should play a more significant part in the workplace and the world, and view them on the same level as facts. Millennials need a workplace leader that recognizes their abilities and inspires them to go farther. They see emotional openness as a necessary component of a successful workplace.