7 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence
August 27, 2020
The other day, a friend called sounding quite distressed. She had shortlisted five candidates for a managerial position in her company. All five were qualified and came with solid experience. She was unable to choose the perfect fit for her company. “Just pick the one with high emotional intelligence”, I advised her. After all, a manager will have to be a good leader, and only a high emotional quotient or EQ can make a leader fit to lead. “How do I know which one is emotionally intelligent?”
This is what I told her:
You need to chat with the candidates some more. Find out how motivated they are and whether they are braggers or individuals of substance. Certain traits can help you identify them.
Emotionally intelligent individuals will be:
1. Communicative: Most candidates are able to answer questions well during interviews. That is probably because they have gone over the interview in their heads a thousand times before the actual meeting. Remember, it is not just their ability to talk that makes them fit for the role of a leader. They should be able to establish a rapport and connect with those they interact. This can only happen if they come across as genuine and possess the ability to uncover shared interests. Nothing about their mannerisms, speech, actions should appear fake or put on. Only then will their teams trust them and confide in them.
2. Self-aware and humble: If your candidate does not brag about the achievements mentioned in his resume, but has the courage to admit his weaknesses and shortfalls, he is surely a self-aware individual. He knows his strengths but also accepts his That will also make him a humble individual. He will keep his cool even under stress, and be able to handle situations with equanimity. Humble people rarely hold a grudge. They are able to forgive and forget, and carry on. Such people are also able to accept failures without getting too disturbed. They learn from mistakes and know how to move on. This keeps their mind free of stress and clutter. This ‘never give up’ or ‘never say die’ attitude is infectious. A team that catches this infection from the leader can only succeed.
3. Self-regulated: An individual who practices self-regulation is one who is able to control himself and not lose his composure in any situation. He will weigh his words and speak with utmost care and caution. His speech and action will be aimed at positivity. He will be the first to admit a mistake if he has made one and remain calm amidst chaos. Such individuals are able to sleep better at night. And sound sleep is very essential for a leader. Those who sleep soundly have a clear conscience, which speaks volumes about their character.
4. Self-motivated: Only an individual who is motivated can provide motivation to others. A leader can only get the team to chase targets and goals if he himself is motivated. Leaders have to set an example for their teams to follow. They should have the ability to see the positive even in the negative. No matter how difficult the situation, if the leader is motivated and focussed, he can guide and take the team forward.
5. Empathetic: A leader who is able to imagine himself in another’s position, and look at situations from other people’s perspective too will be a better decision-maker. In other words, leaders must be able to empathise with others, be it their clients or their own team members. If a client demands something, the leader should be able to see the reason behind it before agreeing or disagreeing to it. Similarly, if his team expresses the inability to do something, he should be able to put himself in their shoes and be able to understand what they are saying and why. This will help him gain their respect and trust.
6. Curious: A candidate with high emotional intelligence will be very curious. Whether he is an introvert or an extrovert, he will ask the right questions — about those he will be working with, and about those he will be surrounded by. This curiosity should not be mistaken for nosiness. It is because he cares about those he will be working with and is eager to connect with them. This curiosity also makes him a good judge of character. Such people are able to read the people around them well, so much so that they know what will bring out the best in them.
7. Decisive: Emotionally intelligent people are not impulsive. They are able to weigh the pros and cons of a situation before coming up with a decision. They know where to draw the line. When they say ‘No’, they really mean it. This safeguards their mental health. Leaders who take on projects with impossible deadlines often end up stressed and become the cause for the burn out of their teams. Emotionally intelligent leaders will make mature decisions, and stand by them. They will not leave any lose ends. Their answers and decisions will be accurate, clear, and to the point. They will know when to put their foot down. They will also know when to nip negativity in the bud.
8. Flexible: Leaders who are rigid and resist change seldom have loyal followers. If your candidate appears to be one who is willing to adapt change and is open to embracing flexibility, he will make a good leader. Such a person is not afraid to experiment, and is willing to allow his team the freedom to explore, innovate, and bring out their creativity. Thinking out of the box only helps organizations reap benefits.
Youngsters who are starting out on their professional journey should know, that it is not always the smartness of their appearance that helps them nail an interview; their potential employers also test their emotional intelligence. A good EQ score can help them bag the role of their dreams.