The first time we heard the term, emotional intelligence or EQ, was back in the 1990s. Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer developed the theory of emotional intelligence. Their interpretation of the term meant “a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitory one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action”. Over the last 30 years, business professionals have adapted the theory of EQ into an important trait they seek in an employee. As described by Entrepreneur, here are five characteristics that can identify EQ in a potential hire.

  1. Self-Awareness

An individual with a healthy self-awareness can understand their own strengths and weaknesses and how actions affect others. Many talented people can create drama in a culture if they lack self-awareness skills. This can translate to significant cultural, productivity and bottom-line costs.

  1. Self-Regulation

A person with a high EQ can maturely reveal emotions and exercise restraint when needed. Self-regulation is key during stressful situations. An individual who possesses self-regulation will be able to manage change or stressful situations with ease.

  1. Motivation

Emotionally intelligent people are more self-motivated. This means, they’re not motivated simply by money or title. In addition, people with high EQ and motivation skills are usually more resilient and optimistic when they encounter disappointment and are driven by inner ambition.

  1. Empathy

Someone who shows compassion and understands human nature that allows him or her to connect with other people on an emotional level. This is arguable one of the most important skills. An employee with empathy will be one with the ability to understand someone else’s thoughts and feelings. Listening to coworkers and taking their concerns into consideration is a great quality to have.

  1. People Skills

People who are emotionally intelligent can build rapport and trust quickly with others on the team. They avoid power struggles and back-stabbing and usually enjoy other people.

When looking to add to your team, there are many things that should be considered outside of if the person is simply qualified. There are many qualities of an individual that come into play. Make sure to include a scan for emotional intelligence the next time you hire. People with high EQs are more likely to succeed in a role and stay at a company.




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