Besides seeking out the best-qualified candidates for final interviews based on an applicant’s first interview and experience, a growing number of people who make new hires are looking for something special that positions prospects for success: Emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence – the mark of a sensible individual equipped with mental toughness – increasingly tops the list of qualities HR seeks in applicants, whether they are brand-new, entry-level employees or potential senior occupants of the C-suite.
In an Entrepreneur magazine story, “15 Habits of Mentally Tough People,” author Travis Bradberry says people with emotional intelligence are strong, clear-thinking visionaries who take decisive action when faced with critical work issues.
“The ability to break the mold and take a bold new direction requires that extra grit, daring, and spunk that only the mentally toughest people have,” Bradberry writes. Bradberry, in fact, literally wrote the book on the subject; he co-authored the best-selling business book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0.”
“Unlike your IQ, which is fixed, your [emotional intelligence] EQ is a flexible skill that you can improve with understanding and effort,” Bradberry writes in the magazine article. “It’s no wonder that 90-percent of top performers have high EQs and people with high EQs earn $28,000 more annually (on average) than their low-EQ counterparts.”
How Does One Develop Emotional Intelligence?
* Embrace opportunities to shine by volunteering for demanding, high-profile projects that require focus and thought.
* Act with poise and thoughtfulness with your company’s best interests in mind.
* Take measured, responsible risks to further your company’s goals. Overcoming risk allows you to make a name for yourself as a bold leader.
* Accept change, because with change comes new opportunities.
* Say no to hyper-extending yourself – focus on work-life balance. Take care of your physical and mental health so you bring your best to the workplace.
* Acknowledge failure, but don’t let one-time disappointments keep you down.
* Be a successful team player. Recognize other team members’ successes with a full heart and back up fellow teammates when the chips are down.
* Be quick to admit when you’re wrong. Offer sincere apologies and suggest ways to move forward.
* Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Focus your energy on directing the two things that are completely in your power – your attention and effort.
Professionals can develop deeper emotional intelligence as their careers progress. Still, even those new to the workplace can exhibit mental toughness as they seek to live their employers’ missions, set intrepid personal goals, and take on challenging new projects every day.