Here are 9 characteristics shared by Dr. Travis Bradburry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and president of TalentSmart :
1. Being positive is key. No one wants to work with an Eeyore. Even in the most stressful situations, a leader with a high EQ will stand out because of his or her ability to maintain a positive outlook.
2. Having a strong ability to express your emotions will take you far. Clear communication is always important, but when you’re communicating about the nebulous arena of feelings, it’s a stand-out. When an individual can verbalize emotions (his own or other people’s), he or she will be much more successful. Having the ability to name and address emotions will help diffuse potentially volatile situations, allowing for more productivity.
3. Being assertive goes hand-in-hand with confidence. People are drawn to confidence. If you assert yourself in a calm, confident manor, your influence will flourish. Know your stuff so you can assert yourself and take action.
4. Possessing a strong curiosity about others is a great way to build relationships. People love to talk about themselves. Ask questions. Be curious. And then use that information to encourage and challenge people to grow in their abilities.
5. Forgiving but not forgetting is extremely important to your emotional health, and therefore your emotional intelligence. It’s critical to forgive offensives quickly and often if you want to move forward. Holding onto grudges only hurts you. However, prudent leaders need to be aware of areas of conflict so that trouble can be avoided in the future. So don’t wipe the incident completely from your mind.
6. Don’t give others the power to limit your joy. Empathize with the challenges of others, but don’t let them drag you down. Recognize your own obstacles as challenges, not burdens. So much of your joy comes from your perspective. Choose to be grateful and share that perspective with others, rather than letting others rob you of your joy.
7. Making your job fun is a fabulous measure of a high EQ. Executives typically have high stress jobs that come with a lot of responsibility. If you are able to lighten up the mood with some fun, the response will be contagious. No matter how silly, fun makes a job a whole lot better.
8. Being difficult to offend stands out as a key indicator of high emotional intelligence. Key executives have to be able to receive criticism graciously. Not only that, a wise leader will evaluate the criticism and identify if there is truth to it. If so, he or she will take action to make those changes.
9. Squelching negative self-talk is crucial, but can take some practice. The more you dwell on your flaws, the more those flaws become your identity. As a leader, you cannot afford to let negative self-talk undermine so many of the characteristics I mentioned above. Negative self-talk robs you of your joy, hijacks your confidence and sucks all the fun out of your day. Squelching such thoughts are key to a high EQ.
These 9 habits are a start to identifying individuals with a high EQ.
Raise Your Own EQ to be a Better Leader: the other side of this information is the personal side. Don’t just look for emotional intelligence in others, look for it in yourself. Start strengthening your own EQ.