While many people have heard of the term emotional intelligence (EI), most don't know what it means to have high EI, why it is important, and why companies should hire candidates with high EI. EI can broadly be defined as recognising, assessing and managing your emotions, and the emotions of others. High EI can underpin personal success and success in the workplace – making it a highly desirable skill for candidates. So what are the traits of someone with high EI, and why is EI important? We have compiled a list of qualities we regularly see in high performers, and looked at how these traits have attributed to their success:
People with high EI have a high level of empathy and understanding. We all occasionally have bad days, are in a bad mood or have issues in our personal lives that can affect our work. How people deal with their problems and the problems of others says a lot about them. Rather than just telling someone who is experiencing difficulty to get on with it – someone with high EI is aware and responds to their colleague's emotions, supporting them to help get the best outcome. It's no secret that team players often make the best employees, and workers who demonstrate empathy can find it easier to build relationships with their colleagues. They are also better at managing their own issues – showing themselves empathy, understanding their emotions and taking time out when needed to ensure they remained balanced.
Good listening skills
Listening to others, and letting people talk rather than talking over them is another sign of good EI. When people don't feel heard, they don't feel valued and respected. It is therefore important to hire people that listen to colleagues, take feedback on board and ensure constructive conversations lead to positive outcomes.
Employees who have strong EI are able to be flexible in the workplace. They understand that flexibility and the need to be flexible with others can sometimes be the difference between retaining and losing other staff. They also recognise that everyone has personal commitments outside of work. Hiring people who are mindful of this will ensure that they can be accommodating, build relationships and bring out the best in others.
Manage change well
Managing change is difficult at the best of times, however people with high EI know how best to respond to change. While employees who resist change and react negatively can make a situation worse, people with high EI embrace change, take a positive outlook, and help others through the conversion. This helps with a seamless transition into different ways of working, and ensures that team performance remains consistent through times of change.
Allow people to be creative
For innovation to occur, it is important to encourage creativity and generation of new ideas. People with high EI recognise that they might not always have the best idea, and are open to suggestions on improved ways of working. Emotionally intelligent employees allow others in their team to be creative, feel valued and to make a meaningful contribution. Employees with high EI are skilled at building strong relationships, nurture others to grow, and take the time to understand their own and their colleagues' emotions. High EI is not only an asset to the employee possessing it, but to your business as a whole, helping you achieve the best outcomes that help you meet your business objectives.
If you are seeking employees with high EI – Paxus can help. As industry leaders in technology and digital recruitment, Paxus actively seeks applicants with the most sought after skills. If you would like us to connect you with some of the best talent in the market, get in touch.