Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the measure of a person’s ability to understand his or her emotions and that of others. High emotional intelligence has a clear relationship to strong job performance. In short, the emotionally intelligent among us make the best workers, and will only continue to do so in the future.
There are certain traits among the emotionally intelligent that are cause for better performance, here are the top three:
- Emotional Stability
Emotionally stable people are able to manage themselves more effectively than the less emotionally intelligent. They have a higher tolerance for stress and are able to stay calm in taxing situations. They can avoid and defuse conflict and have the ability to think things through, to see the big picture, and to avoid toxic reactions. Emotional stability is perhaps the most important predictor of EI and therefore job performance.
When one is conscientious, it means they have sound impulse control. They strive ardently to achieve goals and often seek excellence. The very definition of conscientiousness is an adjective which means “wishing to do what is right, especially to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly”. This conscientiousness includes social situations as well. Conscientious individuals are the ones who go above and beyond to do the right thing and to get the work right.
Extraverts are naturally outgoing and expressive individuals, which bodes well in the workplace. They build networks of relationships with ease and are able to build bonds with others well. This trait works in favor of organizational behavior, team building and leadership.
What’s interesting and encouraging about emotional intelligence is that it is not a fixed trait. In fact, Daniel Goleman, the psychologist who coined the term emotional intelligence, says there are ways to improve.
First, by analyzing your strengths and weaknesses and creating a plan to improve yourself, you can increase your self-confidence, which will increase your emotional intelligence. You can also hone the skill of single-tasking, or cultivating better focus. Concentration and focus has been shown to improve interpersonal skills which improves EI as well. And through coaching and self discipline, you can learn to avoid unhealthy habits and trust your gut, both indicators of higher EI.
What we know now about Emotional Intelligence is that it’s a strong predictor of an employee’s job performance and success, which directly correlates to the success of an organization. And we also know that since the key traits of the emotionally intelligent are ones we can strive to improve, we in turn increase emotional intelligence, job performance and the success of our organizations.