Emotional Intelligence (EI) is having an awareness of your feelings and the actions that go along with them. It is often defined as the “ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions.” Why is emotional intelligence important in a job interview? Because many employers believe that it is a key indicator of leadership performance and results.
We all know people who are successful AND have a positive impact on our lives. What are some of the traits that they possess? These are often people who care about results but also about people. They are caring and considerate of others. They have good listening skills. They manage their anger well and calmly find solutions to their conflicts. These people are usually able to evaluate themselves honestly and can handle criticism and use it to improve their performance. And finally, they sense the needs of others and leave people feeling optimistic. These traits are all characteristics of emotional intelligence.
Many people believe that emotional intelligence can be as important as regular intelligence. Companies are now using EI testing in their hiring practices when screening new employees. It may be helpful for you to determine your own, personal emotional intelligence. There are online tests that you can take to assess your own EI.
If a person desires to enhance their EI skills, they can be learned and developed. Here are some tips to work on with a coach or mentor:
* Learn to be aware of how you respond to people. A coach or trusted friend can give you feedback about body language, facial expressions, and voice tone, especially when under stress.
* Develop healthy strategies and tools to manage emotional stress or negative emotions. There are numerous online and real-world resources available that teach practical skills such as mindfulness, breathing, relaxation techniques, meditation, etc. which help calm the body and mind.
* Assess whether you are open and accepting of those different from you. Consider taking an implicit bias test and developing strategies to address your personal biases, especially those which may impact your workplace success.
* Commit to being a team player and supportive of all in the workplace. Consider ways to expand your cultural competence and awareness of many types of diversity, including neurodiversity.
* Become aware of how your interactions may affect others. Find ways to improve your communication skills and ask for feedback on your listening and communication styles.
Emotional Intelligence can be a key indicator to success not only personally but professionally. The ability to manage people effectively and manage your own interpersonal relationships are important skills for a leader. Developing and utilizing your own EI is a way to show an employer just how effective you are as an employee and leader!