The World Economic Forum recently uncovered something that would not have registered on the radar screen of most HR leaders even ten years ago.

One of the top 10 job skills required for workers to thrive--a skill projected to trend in the year 2022--is emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) has embedded itself in the business lexicon as a force to be reckoned with; it is by far one of the most desired qualities for personal and professional development. 

Managers are hiring workers with more right-brained skills like EQ because they know these people contribute to the workplace on a relational and interpersonal level that is unmatched.

To assess where you stand in relation to the tenets of emotional intelligence, some key "hold up the mirror" questions must be asked to help us determine where we measure up. 

As you go over each carefully-chosen question below, truthfully but gently confront yourself, in relation to how you lead yourself, lead others, and lead your organizations. 

6 Questions

1. Are you usually aware of your feelings and why you feel that way?

2. Are you aware of your personal strengths, but especially your limitations and blind spots?

3. Are you able to manage your distressing emotions well, and can you recover quickly when you get triggered, upset or stressed?

4. Do you have the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within his or her frame of reference?

5. Do you choose to live each day by having a positive outlook and seeing the glass half-full?

6. Are you comfortable with who you are, regardless of whether anyone is stroking your ego?

While I posed these questions to stimulate your thinking, if you couldn't answer "yes" to most of them, a deeper and more involved self-inquiry may be your next step. This is to your benefit since we're now in an age where EQ has become an important predictor of job success, surpassing technical ability.

Benefits of emotional intelligence

In countless studies, exemplary employees exhibiting emotional intelligence, plain and simple. make the workplace better, including:

  • Improving teamwork. People with EQ communicate better with team members than those who are not in tune with their emotional intelligence.

  • Increasing innovation. People with EQ share ideas and are open to others' ideas.
  • Adaptability. They adjust easily to change and challenging situations. Employees with high EQ know how to handle unhappy customers, disgruntled co-workers, or managers not pleased with their work.
  • Emotional self-control. They stay calm and positive during tough conversations and display boundaries during a disagreement, conflict, or disciplinary action (if they're a manager).
  • Optimism. Employees with high EQ have a growth mindset and are naturally optimistic; they're motivated by their inner ambition and drive to improve and achieve, take initiative, or act on opportunities.

A person exhibiting emotional intelligence also has great self-awareness and the natural inclinations to look at the whole picture and both sides of an issue. That said, I'll end with something Daniel Goleman, the emotional intelligence expert of all experts, once remarked:

"If you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far."