Gauging Emotional Intelligence

When looking at your recruiting candidates, are you limited to simply judging them based on their background, skills, experience, and academic performance? Of course not. That is a two-dimensional image of their record, but not adequate for providing a three-dimensional insight into their identity. To discover who they are, how they are likely to behave in any given circumstance, or their professional demeanor, you need to investigate their Emotional Intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence? It is the ability to:

  • Understand emotions – your own and those of others
  • Manage emotions – the notion of self-regulation and self-control
  • Feel for others – this is an “empathetic” skill that allows you feel not only for but with others
  • Utilize emotional input to achieve goals – in other words, to take the power of feelings and use them for good.

So what makes a candidate with a high emotional intelligence valuable? He or she will likely be able to:

  • Accept and receive constructive criticism in the spirit in which it was delivered because he or she recognizes both their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Put their emotional investment into action by driving initiatives that meet their objectives. They will truly care about the success of their project.
  • Gain the trust and respect of their coworkers and subordinates. A candidate with high emotional intelligence will understand the importance of being a reliable and empathetic leader and will be someone that can be counted on to do what they say they will.
  • Manage interpersonal conflicts and professional disputes in a clear-headed and even-handed way.
  • Accept and incorporate change mandates – emotional intelligence requires flexibility and adaptability.
  • Bring a sense of order into chaos and lead by “walking the talk” through challenging circumstances not only for their own sake but for the sake of those looking up to and over at them.
  • Maintain a positive attitude because they care for themselves as much as they do their company. By being a force for positivity, they attract and retain positive-minded workers as well.

Don’t underestimate the power of emotional intelligence when evaluating potential candidates.