Have you ever worked with someone who was incredibly smart, but somehow managed to damage relationships and had difficulty working with other people effectively? We have all heard the term “book smarts”, describing someone who might score well on an intelligence test. Different terms are used to describe a person through of as savvy and very successful at relating to other people, finding ways to accomplish their goals. Maybe you have referred to that kind of person as “street smart” or “good at building relationships”.
In the last 15 years the term Emotional Intelligence has surfaced. Very much like having an IQ (intelligence quotient) as it is measured; several models of Emotional Intelligence or EQ have come onto the scene in business. One of the grandfathers of the term Daniel Goleman identified the five “domains” of EQ as:
Knowing your emotions.
Managing your own emotions.
Recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions.
Managing relationships, i.e., managing the emotions of others.
Leaders and companies across industries are acknowledging the importance of this skill set so much so that it is consistently trumping other skills for hiring and promotional decisions. Many successful leaders swear by the practice of “hiring for attitude”. What they are really hiring for is emotional intelligence.
CareerBuilder.com commissioned a poll this year and found that more than 70 percent of employers say they value emotional intelligence over workers’ intellectual ability or IQ.
The jobs site’s survey also found that in this post-recession era that more than a third of employers place greater emphasis on hiring and promoting people who have high emotional intelligence quotients, or EQ.
Further, CareerBuilder found that 61 percent of employers surveyed said they are more likely to promote workers with high emotional intelligence instead of candidates with a high IQ. What’s more, 59 percent of hiring managers said they wouldn’t hire someone with a high IQ but a low EQ.
“In a recovering economy, employers want people who can effectively make decisions in stressful situations and can empathize with the needs of their colleagues and clients,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said in a statement accompanying the release of the survey data.
“Technical competency and intelligence are important assets for every worker,” Haefner said. “[But] the competitive job market allows employers to look more closely at the intangible qualities that pay dividends down the road.”
If you are already convinced this is important for your personal career growth and success, how do you go about demonstrating Emotional Intelligence? Some answers can be found in more detailed responses from over 2,600 private-sector hiring managers surveyed by Harris Interactive as part of the study CareerBuilder.com commissioned.
When asked why emotional intelligence is more important than high IQ, employers said employees with high emotional intelligence (in order of importance):
Are more likely to stay calm under pressure
Know how to resolve conflict effectively
Are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
Lead by example
Tend to make more thoughtful business decisions
Human resource managers and hiring managers assess candidates’ emotional intelligence by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities. The top responses from the survey were:
Admitting and learning from mistakes
Keeping emotions in check and having thoughtful discussions on tough issues
Listening as much or more than they talk
Taking criticism well
Showing grace under pressure
In addition to thinking about how you can increase you own EQ by demonstrating the skills listed above, Aha! Leadership developed a multi-session series and workbook Leaders can use with their teams to strengthen working relationships. The series was designed to provide a deeper insight about team members and simply start a dialogue. Knowing the goals, motivation and ways your team perceives information is critical to successfully leading. The biggest mistake we see leaders make is NOT taking time to better understand the people they work with. “I am too busy” is often cited as a reason this does not happen. “Our conversations are centered around solving business problems or dealing with fires. When could I fit this in?” The reality is having strong EQ skills is sure to circumvent a number of issues, thus saving everyone time in the long-run.
Robyn is…Passionate. Enthusiastic. Genuine-guest blogger to HRB-
Robyn Marcotte launched Aha! Leadership, in 2008, which specializes in helping organizations create a culture and drive accountability by using a variety of engaging, highly interactive workshops that inspire every participant to engage and think! Robyn’s unique ability to connect and motivate people is what makes Aha! Leaderships’ process so powerful. Click here for her full bio.