One of those critical skills for success that made the top 10 list? Wait for it ... emotional intelligence.
According to emotional intelligence (E.I.) experts, E.I. has become an important predictor of job success, surpassing technical ability. In 2011, a CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,600 U.S. hiring managers and human resources professionals revealed that 71 percent valued emotional intelligence in an employee over a high IQ.
What to Look for in People With High Emotional Intelligence
If you're looking to work in a high-performing tribe of people with E.I, or build your own E.I. superpower culture, you need to know some of the key behaviors that show up in its five tenets of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
1. Look for people who show up with their true selves.
Transparency is a hot commodity in the relationship economy. Sometimes the tendency is for employees and bosses to hide, withdraw, stonewall, or put on the mask of false charisma or dictatorship to avoid tough situations or conflict. And that mask hides who we truly are as we order people around or forcefully command attention. In teams that thrive, you'll find people showing up with raw authenticity. It's leading in conversations and interactions with your mind and your heart, during good times and bad. You show up with:
- Emotional honesty
- A great attitude
- An openness to feedback
- A self-awareness of not only your feelings, but of those of others in your sphere of influence
2. Look for resilient people who display flexibility.
Priorities shift in almost every company and every job. Surround yourself with people who are flexible during change and will jump on every opportunity to help during a transition. They have the flexibility to deal with uncertain and unpredictable situations--a hallmark of true E.I. You also want to be around people with resilient minds. They deal in the factual (what's really true) and the here and now, and leave the ghosts of their past in the past. The most resilient people recover from bad situations by saying no to anyone who interferes with their goals and schedules, and especially their values and beliefs. Resilient people don't allow themselves to feel guilty about things that have nothing to do with them. They know they are not responsible for the actions and drama of others, and they never beat themselves up for something someone else did.
3. Look for people who manage their emotions better than most.
This falls under self-management (or self-regulation) in emotional intelligence and is a personal competence found in most high-performing teams. The question behind self-management is simple but rare: Can I manage my emotions and behavior to a positive outcome? Internationally known psychologist and best-selling author Daniel Goleman says this about people with manage their emotions well:
Reasonable people--the ones who maintain control over their emotions--are the people who can sustain safe, fair environments. In these settings, drama is very low and productivity is very high. Top performers flock to these organizations and are not apt to leave them.
4. Look for people who display empathy.
People are drawn to empathy. It's an attractive quality to have in building successful relationships at work. In fact, DDI research has proved that empathy is the No. 1 driver of overall organizational performance. Who knew? A high-performing team that displays empathy does so from having fostered strong personal relationships and collaboration. They'll think about their colleagues' circumstances, understand their challenges and frustrations, and know that those emotions are every bit as real as their own. This helps develop perspective, and opens team members to helping one another.