I have never heard a client say to me about an employee ‘they don’t have the right skillset to do their job.’ What I hear instead is ‘they don’t listen,’ or ‘they are not a team player,’ or ‘they can’t adapt to change.’ These are all traits of Emotional Intelligence.
When hiring, it is taken as a given that the candidate will have the experience and know how to do the job that is required of them. What is rarely considered (or certainly not enough in my experience) are the levels of EQ of the candidate. How empathetic is the person? How adaptable? Are they able to influence? Do they consider themselves conscientious? And most importantly, what are their overall levels of self-awareness?
If more organisations measured this during the interview process, the rate of staff turnover falls and the productivity of the team improves.
In his article for the Harvard Business Review ‘What makes a Leader?’ Daniel Goleman stated:
“When I compared star performers with average ones in senior leadership positions, nearly 90% of the difference in their profiles was attributable to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities.”
Here are three reasons why it is essential you consider the Emotional Intelligence of the candidate before making your next hire:
- Candidates with high emotional intelligence will always be better team players. Their empathy will ensure they will try and unite and not divide. If they are also good listeners, then you will have a team that feels valued and supported. This provides the team with a higher level of psychological safety, where people are not afraid to speak up and open discussion is encouraged.
- Candidates with high emotional intelligence will have a high degree of self-awareness. This means they will be more aware of their strengths, weaknesses and areas for development. The importance of hiring a candidate with a degree of self-awareness (the higher the better obviously) cannot be overstated. A person with higher self-awareness lives by their values, and recognizes where they need to focus their attention, so they plan accordingly. Self-awareness means an ability to assess oneself realistically and that brings with it more mature, confident performers.
- Candidates with high emotional intelligence are skilled at building bonds with people. They are aware of other people’s strengths and know who should be doing what in order to build on those strengths. They are aware of the motivations and needs of their team. People with high social skills are good at reading people – an essential trait of any prospective leader. Through their social skills, they are also able to spread positive emotional contagion throughout the team.
There are many other traits of Emotional Intelligence that I have not even touched upon here, but self-awareness is the starting point. I provide a psychometric assessment that measures the 8 traits that predict success in the workplace. You can find out more information here:
If you are hiring and you have any questions about any of the services I provide, or you would like to explore your options, I provide a 1-hour free consultation. Alternatively, you may be in a leadership position and wish to explore your EQ through the assessment and consultation. If so, this is a good time as I am currently offering a 50% reduction until the end of June. Get in touch!