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Emotional Intelligence — it has been long assumed that IQ alone would be essential for the success of an individual. In the last decades, many studies and investigations have shown that Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is also crucial for success. It’s the distinguishing factor leading to success. It involves self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
“Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions. Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. In practical terms, this means being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions — both our own and others — especially when we are under pressure.”
~ Dan Goleman, Working with Emotional Intelligence, 1996
An essential element of emotional intelligence is empathy. The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley defines and describes two types of empathy and its psychological and evolutionary derivation.
Cognitive empathy, unique to humans, is a conscious deliberate choice— often called perspective taking. It refers to your ability to identify and understand other peoples’ emotions’.
Additionally, emotionally smart people label and understand the causes of their emotions. The cause of an emotional experience falls into one of two categories — incidental and integral. To know the difference is key. An incidental emotion is when a feeling that arises in a situation X carries over into Situation Y and begins to have an effect. To less emotionally intelligent people, that’s a common occurrence that happens outside of their perception.
On the other hand, integral emotion is the feeling caused in a specific situation. An emotionally smart person recognizes the cause situation and can effectively label whether a feeling is incidental or integral and optimize their behavior accordingly. But, what is the impact of EQ on your professional success? It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with tremendous results.
Qualities of an Emotionally Intelligent Person
Personal competence focuses more on you individually. It’s your ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behavior and tendencies.
- Self-Awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen. It’s how we see ourselves and how we perceive others to see us.
- Self-Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positive.
Social Competence is about social awareness and relationship management skills — it’s all about the ability to understand other people’s mood, behavior, and motives in order to respond effectively and improve the quality of your relationships.
- Social Awareness is your competence to understand certain emotions of other people – to understand what they really think and feel.
- Relationship Management is the capability to use awareness of your and the others’ emotions to manage interactions successfully.
How To Spot Emotionally Smart Candidates
The World Economic Forum predicted EI to become one of the top 10 most wanted skills by 2020. The problem is that you won’t find these skills listed on a CV or standardized interview templates.
30% of HR managers said they feel like most employers don’t put enough emphasis on emotional intelligence during the hiring process. In fact, employees with a high EI can more efficiently deal with workplace changes, challenging situations and difficult colleagues — and they make great leaders.
Most candidates turn up the positivity during interviews and the first few months on the job. It’s important to search for candidates who possess the personal qualities matching your company core values.
Here are some examples, what you should keep in mind while seeking emotionally smart talents:
- Include your defined personality traits in your job description
- Ask insightful interview questions, by what you can understand a candidate’s ability to learn from negative experiences
- How does the candidate behave outside the interview room
- Pay attention to the content of answers
- Pay attention to body language
- Ask questions that evoke emotion
In the end, good people hire good people, make emotional intelligence a priority when hiring. It will continue to pay off as your company grows.
30% of HR managers said they feel like most employers don’t put enough emphasis on emotional intelligence during the hiring process.
There are specific indicators that suggest a candidate might have a high EI during a personal interview. Listen carefully to the interviewees’ answers. Here are some question ideas, how to gain information about the candidates’ EI.
Ask about the past
Ask about her or his relationships with co-workers, have they been healthy? How does she or he acknowledge and describe their own feelings? Be aware of a self-reporting bias, there is no objective approach to gain this information.
Ask stressful or thought-provoking questions. Pay attention to how your candidate response, their tone, and expressions. They’ll change their mimic and body language subconsciously.
Hypothetical scenarios or brain teaser will show, how calmly a person can answer.
All in all, be aware of the candidate’s answers during the personal interview, how he/she:
- Handles criticism
- Resolves conflict
- Listens to others
- Motivates other team members
HR & Emotional Intelligence
Regarding a Report by Robert Half Company, 95% of HR managers and 99% of workers feel it’s important for employees to have a high EQ or a strong level of emotional intelligence. 3 in 10 HR managers feel most employers put too little emphasis on emotional intelligence when hiring.
Why it’s such an important trait for employees to have?
1. Better Communication
A person with high EI will have an easier time understanding the meaning and motivation of coworkers. At the same time, she or he will do a better job of expressing personal thoughts.
2. Better Co-worker relations
Emotionally intelligence people can make new social connections easier since they can relate to others and communicate effectively. That’s a skill which is crucial for leadership positions. Most emotionally smart workers will help to unite your team.
3. Understand Clients Needs
An emotionally smart person is more able to read between the lines, for example, to read clients emotions. Therefore, it means a better management of, especially difficult or stressful situations. This is important for your business’s relations.
Workers with a high emotional intelligence are better in predicting behaviors and understanding why people do things the way they do. Example: A Manager sees an unusual behavior of a coworker thus he would assume to approach him and check his workload. On the other hand, an emotionally smart employee will be more self-aware — by telling the supervisor when she or he is in too much stress, or the work is not challenging enough. This makes your job as a manager easier.
The responsibility of HR towards Emotional Intelligence and how to create a supportive workplace
1. Encourage a culture of openness in the workplace – Without a fear of a backlash, employees should be able to share concerns, appreciations, and feedback openly.
2. Train employees on Self-Awareness & Emotional Intelligence — Individuals are enabled to manage an emotion effectively when they identify it accurately and early. It means to be in touch with one’s emotions and being able to distinguish one emotion from another.
Establish emotional intelligence in your HR agenda
Emotionally intelligent individuals are more effective and successful leaders. In order to foster a productive, inclusive and equitable workplace, it is critical that organizations seek out individuals who are high in EI. Keep our framework in mind when looking for talents and enabling an emotionally smart work-environment in longterm. This will lead to more engaged and committed employees — and a more successful business as well.