Hiring managers have a long list of qualities that they look for in candidates but for some, one quality trumps the rest: Emotional Intelligence. In fact, Emotional intelligence is included on the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills that employees will need to have to be successful in the job force of the future. So, what is it and why is it so important?
We know that Intelligence (IQ) is one's ability to process information and use that information to problem solve and make decisions. Well, Emotional Intelligence is the ability to process and understand your own emotions and those of others to solve problems and make sound decisions. Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who popularized the concept of Emotional Intelligence, outlines five key elements: Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social skills. Although we tend to think emotions and work are not related, the truth is that emotions are part of everything we do and every interaction we have. Employees that possess these elements bring value and benefit to the work place.
1. Self-awareness is the ability to accurately recognize your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, actions and understand how these affect others around you. Self-aware individuals are also able to see the relationship between how they feel and how they act.
Workplace Benefits: These employees can recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. They are better at handling constructive criticism and are more open to new ideas or the opinions of others.
2. Self-regulation is the way in which a person manages their emotions and reactions. It includes being able to express emotions appropriately and effectively and only when necessary. People with self-regulation also exhibit discipline and the ability to take responsibility for the things they say and do.
Workplace Benefits: These employees are calm and rational. They can adapt well to change and be highly effective in stressful situations.
3. Empathy is the ability to identify and understand the emotions of others. Empathy allows people to see someone else's perspective and grasp how certain things would affect them.
Workplace Benefits: These employees make great leaders and can be very successful at managing a team and gaining the respect of their colleagues. They tend to develop team members, listen closely to others' needs and provide helpful feedback. From a customer service perspective, these employees are able to understand client's needs more clearly. They are also able to make decisions that are better for the team not just themselves.
4. Motivation is the willingness to complete tasks and assignments. Self-motivated people have a desire to fulfill their own goals and needs.
Workplace Benefits: These employees are highly engaged and resilient through change and challenges. They tend to rely less on extrinsic factors for motivation like title, money, or attention. They set goals and work to achieve them.
5. Social skills are the skills needed to develop and manage relationships. This includes communications skills, conflict resolution, and persuasiveness.
Workplace Benefits: These employees make great leaders and team players. They build strong relationships with colleagues, employees, and customers alike. They trust and respect people and that emotion is usually reciprocated.
When reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, there will always be required qualifications, education, and experience, but once those requirements are met Emotional Intelligence will be what sets someone apart. The skills that come with a high Emotional Intelligence are certain to make a positive impact in any organization.