How can businesses find and attract top talent? As a business owner, I find that some of our best hires are not necessarily those that graduated from a top university or previously worked for an impressive corporation.

The best hires tend to be individuals that possess emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is often abbreviated as “EQ” or “EI.” It is sometimes referred to as “the other kind of smart” versus traditional intelligence that a high IQ determines success.

A person that possesses emotional intelligence possesses four core skills. These skills include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Self-awareness and self-management are part of personal competence which is based on you as an individual. Meanwhile, social awareness and relationship management are considered social competence based on your surrounding relationships.

Emotional intelligence is largely intangible in nature. However, individuals that possess EQ are often considered to be the top performers in a business — even surpassing performances of those with a traditional high IQ.

Benefits of Hiring for Emotional Intelligence

One of the best aspects of hiring for emotional intelligence is that it’s a win-win for all parties. It’s a win for the growth of the business and it’s a win for the talent’s long term personal and professional development.

Expressing Empathy

Studies have shown that individuals with a high EQ are better able to express empathy for one another.

Social awareness is one of the core skills that allows those with emotional intelligence to pick up on the emotions of others. Once we recognize these emotions, those with EQ can understand what is happening and how they may become more understanding towards the feelings of others. Expressing empathy gives us the ability to walk a mile in our colleague’s shoes and to manage the relationships we have with one another in the workplace.

Open to Feedback

EQ allows us to be open to feedback and empowers us to give constructive feedback to one another.

Feedback, through the EQ lens, isn’t viewed in a negative light. Individuals with emotional intelligence know that there’s always room for improvement. More often than not, they want to help kickstart those changes. Professionals with EQ may reach out to their supervisors and ask how they can help or how they can assist in making a certain process easier to manage or streamline for others.

Think Before Acting

Let’s go back to the core skill of self-awareness. This is where you understand and are aware of your emotions.

EQ is often connected to character. Individuals that possess emotional intelligence are careful to think before they act. They understand how their behavior impacts the bigger picture. Those with high EQ are also willing to admit when they are wrong. If they make a mistake, they will not blame someone else for it. They will take responsibility for what happened and apologize.

Take Care of One Another

Those with EQ are genuine team players.

They are invested in building strong relationships with their team members and understand that many hands make light work when working together. As such, they will also use their likeability to act as cheerleaders for their team members. Individuals with high EQ motivate and inspire their colleagues. They are in it to win it, but also focus on how they can take care of one another.

Win-Win of Emotional Intelligence

Each of these benefits goes back to the win-win for the business and its EQ team members.

Hiring an individual with EQ provides an incredible return on investment for the business and its growth. And those with emotional intelligence also find they experience satisfaction in their roles. They like what they do, perform well in their role and with one another. This allows them to advance onward and upward in the business — and within their career.