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Why you should be adding Emotional Intelligence to your Job Specification

Finding great talent for your business can be difficult.  You want someone who is intelligent, culturally matched and has the right skills and experience.  But what about Emotional Intelligence?

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, emotional intelligence will be one of the top 10 job skills in 2020 and beyond.  Major tech leaders such as Google and Amazon now prioritise EI in their applicants and hiring in this skill is obviously paying off for them.

What’s so special about emotionally intelligent people?

They understand and cooperate with others

Teamwork is important in most jobs and highly emotionally intelligent people have well developed people skills that help them build relationships with diverse groups of people. Understanding how others feel and how to adapt to situations makes working with people more productive and provides a more positive experience for everyone involved.

They’re more open to feedback

Honest, constructive feedback is one of the most useful tools in any managers handbook and people with high emotional intelligence are less likely to be defensive and be more open to feedback – especially when it comes on areas of improvement.

They make more thoughtful and thorough decisions

Emotionally intelligent people tend to think from another person’s point of view and therefore able to make better decisions about how their decisions will affect others. This enables highly emotionally intelligent people to think more proactively.

They are more adaptable

People who show the ability to adapt to change, manage their emotions, and work well with a diverse range of people are already valuable in most workplaces. Knowing when and where manners, behaviour and conversation is appropriate benefits everyone in the workplace and is something which people in high EI have.

How to spot emotional intelligence

When interviewing for emotional intelligence try and stay away from questions that can easily be prepared for.  Structure the interview like a chat, that way people feel more comfortable and are more likely to be open and honest, enabling you to get a better feel for their abilities and intentions.

Don’t rely on personality tests

Emotional intelligence is not a personality trait, it can’t be measured through personality tests. A face to face interview is the best way to identify Emotional Intelligence or lack of it.

There are some jobs which don’t require as much emotionally intelligence such as programmers and accountants however when personal communication is critical emotional intelligence is irreplacable. Does your job require high or low emotional intelligence?

In a role where you need to have an idea about how other people are feeling towards you or your company, emotional intelligence is crucial.

Here are some careers in which people with high emotional intelligence are likely to excel in

How to be more emotionally intelligent

Emotional Intelligence is usually an innate quality however it can be strengthened by doing the following….

Create technology free zones

Having time away from technology allows more time for self reflection without being distracted by calls, emails and texts.

Practise empathy

Consciously put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think how they think and feel.  Practising may not be accurate but you are still engaging your emotional self which can improve your emotional intelligence.

You can’t fake emotional intelligence and this is why improving it is so important if you lack EI – pretending you care about someone or something is easy to see through, even if you are a good actor. Emotional awareness and authentic behaviour are key in any workplace and even more so in a sales environment.

What are your thoughts on emotional intelligence? And would you add it to a job spec?

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