You could hire someone for the CV or for their degree or where they studied. You could hire them for what they know or who they know. But there is one trait that tops all that: emotional intelligence.
- In the interview listen to how the candidate answers the questions. Do they take time to think about the question in order to best illustrate an answer?
- Are they active listeners?
- Do they seem honest?
- Can they openly admit any prior mistakes, challenges?
- Do they ask you questions?
- Do they answer with more than just yes or no answers and give examples to illustrate where and how they did it and how it affected the company or team?
Why does Emotional Intelligence matter so much? Because highly emotionally intelligent people…
- … have great potential.
People with EI are great to have in the pipeline of future leaders because they possess the qualities that good leaders have: they are smart, empathetic, good decision makers, humble and self-aware. They are curious and want to continuously learn and improve, asking how and why, not what. They want to understand the bigger picture and be able to connect their tasks to how it’s helping the company progress forward.
- … do good business.
Emotionally intelligent people listen, digest and understand every situation before reacting. They process information to deliver the most effective, valuable advice, and they make an emotional connection to every decision they make, considering how it will impact anyone involved. Emotionally intelligent people will do anything to make the client happy, and in today’s world of word-of-mouth referrals, a bad experience can spread quickly in a network. Exceptional customer service will not only retain existing clients but will turn first-time clients into repeats.
- … attract other good hires.
People who have high emotional intelligence are typically invested in their careers and want to be great. They are curious and want to continue educating themselves on the industry or their role. People who want to be successful in their careers will associate themselves with those who are doing well; therefore, people with EI will be a magnet for those who want to follow a similar career progression. This will create a more robust pipeline of future leaders because top talent typically associates with like-minded people.
- … defuse situations.
People with EI are self-aware. They know exactly what pushes their buttons and what frustrates others. They are able to stop themselves from overreacting and can also empathize with others to defuse any irritations they may have. Whether it’s with an irate customer or co-worker, having defusers on any team help resolve issues efficiently
7 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence
- They’re change agents. People with high EI aren’t afraid of change. They understand that it’s a necessary part of life—and they adapt.
- They’re self-aware. They know what they’re good at and what they still have to learn— weaknesses don’t hold them back. They know what environments are optimal for their work style.
- They’re empathetic. The hallmark of EI, being able to relate to others, makes them essential in the workplace. With an innate ability to understand what co-workers or clients are going through, they can get through difficult times drama free.
- They’re not perfectionists. While extremely motivated, people with EI know that perfection is impossible. They roll with the punches and learn from mistakes.
- They’re balanced. Their self-awareness means that they naturally know the importance of and how to maintain a healthy professional-personal balance in their lives. They eat well, get plenty of sleep and have interests outside work.
- They’re curious. An inborn sense of wonder and curiosity makes them delightful to be around. They don’t judge; they explore the possibilities. They ask questions and are open to new solutions.
- They’re gracious. People with high EI know every day brings something to be thankful for—and they don’t see the world as “glass half-empty” as a lot of people do. They feel good about their lives and don’t let critics or toxic people affect that.