Emotional intelligence (EI) is popping up everywhere- from Facebook to LinkedIn there’s more and more buzz about why EI is the new IQ. Emotional intelligence includes your ability to recognize what emotion you are feeling and to manage that emotion in a way that allows you to use the emotion rather than becoming overwhelmed by it. It also includes your ability to accurately interpret and respond appropriately to the emotions of other people. It is involved in your capacity for resilience, motivation, empathy, reasoning, stress management, communication, and your ability to read and navigate sticky social situations. Understanding the strengths of your own Emotional Intelligence and being able to convey these strengths on a CV, resume, college application or in an interview will help you in achieving your goals.
Once thought of as part of the soft skills of employment, leaders are now recognizing that hiring enthusiastic employees who have a growth mindset and high emotional intelligence matters. It’s easier to provide training for the so-called hard skills that to help someone increase their EI.
Daniel Goleman, author of What Makes a Leader, suggests working these types of questions into any interview process:
“Tell us about a time that one of your weaknesses had a negative impact on your work team’s performance.”
“Tell us about a situation in which you became frustrated in a professional setting and you were able to redirect these feelings in a positive manner.”
Social Skills Question
“Describe a situation involving your work team where you were able to manage conflict
within the group to help them move forward.”
“Share an actual situation that happened at work that showcases your ability to consider
other people’s feelings in your decision making.”
“Is there a work-related situation you can tell us about where you put a lot of energy and
effort into an important project that went unnoticed or unrecognized by others?”
Good candidates arrive ready to answer questions like these, great candidates address the areas of motivation, empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation and social skills right in the application or on their CV.
Selling Yourself Means Knowing Yourself
If you are interested in emotions, learning about them will satisfy your curiosity. If you depend upon emotional knowledge in your job, learning more about emotions would likely help.
Taking time to learn more about your unique strengths might mean reading Strengths 2.0 and taking the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment.
It could also mean understanding your values in action through a free VIA Character Strength Assessment.
Check out this list of assessment tools I love.
Once you have a list of words that describe you in, pick the ones that feel like a vital part of who you are and incorporate them into how you describe yourself. Weave them into your CV or cover letter or use them in interview answers. When you know yourself and can speak confidently about both your areas of strength and the areas where you could grow, you show yourself to have Emotional Intelligence. If you think you need a little help increasing your EI this blog post has some great exercises. Or check out the fabulous Ramona Hacker’s TED talk.
Becoming more aware of emotional intelligence has no downside. When you increase your self-awareness you level-up your ability to interact with people in a way that allows you to get more of what you want. Make yourself impossible to ignore!
“No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it.”