Career Advice From A To Z: “E” For “Emotional Intelligence”

Your professional qualifications were flawless, but again you didn’t get the job. As a jobseeker, you keep asking yourself the question why this is happening over and over again, but you don’t know the answer. Also many workers reach their boundaries when it goes beyond pure professional demands in every day working life.

So why do people fail in their job search or are stuck at work even though they have always been the best student and worker and are in possession of a high IQ? In many cases the reason for that is a lack of emotional intelligence.

Employers value emotional intelligence over a high IQ:

Seventy-one percent of employers said in a CareerBuilder survey they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ. Thirty-four percent of hiring managers said they are placing greater emphasis on emotional intelligence when hiring and promoting employees post-recession. Fifty-nine percent of employers would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EI.

Psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman explains emotional Intelligence (EI) in his best-selling book “Emotional Intelligence” as a general assessment of a person’s abilities to control emotions, to sense, understand and react to others’ emotions, and manage relationships. The CareerBuilder survey – which was conducted among more than 2600 US hiring managers and human resource professionals – reveals that EI is a critical characteristic for landing a job and advancing one’s career.

Emotional intelligent employees resolve conflict more effectively:

In how far emotional intelligence plays a role in everyday working life was also discussed in the survey. When asked why emotional intelligence is more important than high IQ, employers said:

  • Employees with high EI are more likely to stay calm under pressure
  • They know how to resolve conflict effectively
  • They are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
  • They lead by example
  • They tend to make more thoughtful business decisions

For workers being considered for a promotion, the high EI candidate will beat out the high IQ candidate in most cases – 75 percent said they’re more likely to promote the high EI worker.

In today’s competitive job market, employers are able to look more closely at the emotional intelligence level of candidates because they can choose from a range of similarly qualified candidates. However, HR managers and hiring managers can really only assess their employees’ EI when observing them at work. The following behaviors and qualities reveal a high EI:

  • They admit and learn from their mistakes
  • They can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
  • They listen as much or more than they talk
  • They take criticism well
  • They show grace under pressure

This means, people with a high EI are also potentially good leaders and are thus very welcome new recruits. There are numerous online tests which can help you find out your level of EI and if you possibly need to work on it.

How to improve your emotional intelligence:

A first step to improve your EI would be to work on how you perceive your own emotions. If you know how you feel in certain situations and why you feel that way, it will become much easier for you to understand other people’s emotions.

This article from The Corner Office,  the career blog from CareerBuilder.co.uk which covers career-related topics and offers information to job seekers, applicants and workers. Readers can find tips, resources and news about job search, job opportunities and application and employment trends

  1. Byron Reply

    Nicely summarized

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