Emotional intelligence (also known as EQ) is one of the most in-demand skills in 2020. When it comes to recruiting, it is considered just as important as IQ. The workplace is an interesting environment where we put a collection of different people together and ask them to work toward a common goal. In order to achieve success, everyone has to get along and support each other.
So, what is emotional intelligence? Co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry explains that emotional intelligence ‘is the other kind of smart’. It is that intangible ‘something’ that helps us tune into the kaleidoscope of human emotions, and measures how adept we are at adjusting our behaviour depending on the mood of a colleague, partner, family member, or even our own internal feelings. It is critical for managers, and involves cultivating empathy and human understanding.
Emotional intelligence has become more essential in the workplace because we’ve become more collaborative. Today we work largely in teams rather than in isolation and companies want to avoid employee conflicts. People with higher emotional intelligence are more likely to be aware of their own, and others’ emotions and act accordingly.
Unlike skills and work experience, a person’s ability to manage their feelings is hard to screen for, so how do you screen for candidates for emotional intelligence?
Include it in your job descriptions
Conduct group interviews
Ask insightful interview questions ‘What didn’t you like about your last job’ ‘Tell me about a problem you faced and how you resolved it’
Observe how a candidate behaves outside the interview room
It is also important to look for traits of an emotionally intelligent person, which can be:
Positive and down to earth;
Confident (but ego free)
An emotionally intelligent person is more than a good worker, they are an overall good person. Instead of fanning flames – they will try to put the fire out. They are able to lift the spirits of people around them by remaining level headed in difficult situations – and these are qualities that are an asset to any company.