Emotional intelligence and job performance: The role of enactment and focus on others' emotions

Keri A. Pekaar*, Dimitri van der Linden, Arnold B. Bakker, Marise Ph Born

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The link between emotional intelligence (EI) and job performance was examined focusing on the interplay between self- and other-focused EI dimensions. Two diary studies were conducted among divorce lawyers and salespersons. We adopted a two-level perspective including individual differences in EI (person-level EI) and within-person fluctuations in the usage of EI (enacted EI). It was hypothesized that a focus on others' emotions predicts job performance in social jobs. Multilevel analyses showed that others-emotion appraisal contributed more to subjective (Studies 1 and 2) and objective (Study 2) job performance than other EI dimensions. This link was more apparent in person-level EI in Study 1 and in enacted EI in Study 2. Furthermore, EI dimensions interacted with regard to job performance, such that appraising the emotions of one person was more effective than appraising the emotions of two persons (other and self), and appraising others' emotions was more effective when one's own emotions were also used or regulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-153
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Performance
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes




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