Emotional Intelligence - A critical job skill

Last night I watched a seasoned marathon of Suits and dozed off even though I had to go my office tomorrow and conduct a series of interviews the next day. Feeling like Harvey Specter, the next day, I made my way to the office on limo service Ontario with no hurry while candidates lined up at the office sharp at 9 am. While I was relaxed and calm, taking a sip of my morning coffee and looking outside the wall-sized windows of my office, overlooking the main busy street, I knew one of the longest days was about to begin. I always hated to conduct interviews, with the feeling of guilt and disappointment radiating in high pulses from the candidates sitting at the other end of the table made always made me feel for them.

Alas! Perks of being emotionally intelligent, you just can’t shove the feeling aside, so I had to look for a suitable candidate able to take on the work pressure and my sarcastic humour.

What Daniel Goleman had to say about emotional intelligence?

If you are an expert in controlling your emotions and managing them in any given condition, it is said that the person is emotionally intelligent. Therefore, emotional intelligence is all about managing and self-preservation of the emotions, to control the feelings you have around people and to empathize strongly in return with a certain set of emotions. 

Thinking of finding a protégé similar to myself (regarding emotional intelligence) I sat down and recalled the time in university when I got to study about an American psychologist, Daniel Goleman. According to him, there are 5 key elements in a highly emotionally intelligent person;

  1. Self-awareness.
  2. Self-regulation.
  3. Motivation.
  4. Empathy.
  5. Social skills.

As a leader, it makes you more than suitable for a job if you can achieve these skills. It helps not only with the leadership skills but also with interpersonal communication. And when you have to recruit a new employee, it becomes a critical skill.

3 Ways to Spot the Dark Horse in Midst of Snails

Looking for the right person for the right job is as tough as chewing nails. Studies have shown EI is another core skill to procure at the professional level. It can be inborn but it can be developed and observed as well.

· Behavioural Interviews

For interviews I do not prepare any questions, instead, I rely on my gut instinct to listen to what the person has to say. This goes against norms, but to find the right side of EI in a candidate you have to let the chips fall where they may. Notice a behaviour pattern.

With a friendly tone, I asked one of the candidates, “Do you like the colour of my suit?”

With the unexpected question, the candidate who was scoring high grades by the thumb rule gave a pause and his mind got blank. He couldn’t respond with a simple yes or no. asking a perspective other than expectations is vital. But a candidate with the right mind can end the interview with a positive tone as well, despite not giving the right answer.

·  As Basic as Local Services

If one of your colleagues or anyone in staff was hired due to their high level of emotional intelligence, it’s the best resource tool you have to ask for referrals. Business is all about connections. Sometimes lucks hit you, and a star is dropped at your feet. That’s how I hired my efficient assistant. I asked her the same question I had asked the client earlier.

She had given a quick response, “not really, you should have worn a shade lighter”.

If the candidate notices minute details, you can use the questioning session round to your advantage to spot the EI skill.

· Think beside Personality Tests

Personality tests are outdated and unreliable with upstream. Results are far from accurate, and how can you judge a person’s skills on a piece of paper with limited questions? Personality is a different dimension than emotional intelligence. A person’s personality doesn’t define his emotional intelligence.

Always go for a face to face interview, to identify the level of skills the candidate has. It’s best known as innovative skill and is a healthy option especially for high wok pressure jobs. Let the potential recruit solve a problem for you and be the judge of it. Prioritize the skill that your company can cash the latter.

“Emotional intelligence is the iceberg of success and happiness for any employee”

Emotional intelligence is critical for every business culture. With the ongoing set of competitions, there is no rest for the wicked, so hire effectively. Implement a culture of empathy, as it is said, empathy brings the midst of intelligent bees to work with.