Whether you're looking for a new job--or trying to get ahead in your current one--it's important to keep in mind the specific characteristics and skills employers are often looking for. While your specific work skills or technical ability are easy to pin down, the emotional intelligence you bring to the table might not be so apparent.

But make no mistake about it--companies want to attract and retain people who bring both business and emotional smarts to the job. And for good reason. According to research conducted by the Carnegie Institute of Technology, only 15% of our financial success is due to technical ability, while 85% is due to skills specifically related to emotional intelligence.

So, what are businesses on the lookout for, above and beyond your technical skills? Here are five emotionally intelligent skills they'll be looking for.

1. The ability to work with others

Interpersonal skills are the best kind to have for a team member or any other participant in the workplace. When hiring or making decisions on employee advancement, employers definitely look at your capacity to be social, to understand social cues and to react to the wants, actions, and desires of others. The ability to consistently demonstrate interpersonal skills is key for anyone who wants to get ahead in business.

2. Empathy

Much like interpersonal relationships, empathy is a skill that can actually be practiced, trained, and strengthened. Being able to understand another person's problems, as well as to convey that your understanding gives them a space of comfort, is a great skill to employ in the workplace.

3. The ability to react quickly

In dynamic settings, the ability to improvise is not just something that's beneficial--it's something that's necessary. Without being able to think quickly on your feet, think of how many times you may have let someone down in the past. Life rarely goes as planned; it's important that we demonstrate we have the power to adapt to such changes as they occur.

4. Mentoring capacity

While this isn't a necessary component of any hire or person in the workforce, the ability to mentor is something that many employers look for when thinking of who to promote into positions of greater responsibility. Although we all have natural capacities to lead, some of us simply feel more comfortable as a vanguard than others. Adopt some of that confidence to shine in the office.

5. Self-motivation

Being motivated by a pressing deadline or demanding superior happens pretty often, but interestingly enough, the best kind of imitative is that shown by the employee himself. Ask for more projects, work efficiently without anyone asking you, and always keep moving--never stay stagnant. Your employer will definitely notice your efficiency.

Published on: Sep 15, 2016
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