A lot has been said about the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. While it’s a trait that most employers seek in their new hires and aspiring leaders, emotional intelligence is still a bit of an abstract concept in today’s job market.
So what is it and how do you know if you have it?
From how you react to challenges to the way you approach colleagues, emotional intelligence comes into play in a variety of situations at work. Since this is a multi-faceted trait, your level of emotional intelligence can be hard to pin down. To help you get started (and identify possible areas of improvement), here are five signs of high emotional intelligence:
They know their strengths and weaknesses
An emotionally intelligent person knows what they’re good at and what they’re not so great at. This also means they know which settings set them up for success and which ones can be disruptive. Being able to understand their strengths and weaknesses allows them to utilize their skills and work on the ones that need improvement.
They adapt to change
Accepting that change is a normal part of life is one of the signs of high emotional intelligence. Instead of letting change paralyze their progress, emotionally intelligent employees are flexible with evolving industry trends and technological innovations.
They are empathetic
An individual with signs of high emotional intelligence is not only aware of their own emotions, but can understand what others are feeling and thinking. Being able to see a situation through another person’s eyes can help build stronger connections in a work setting. It is also a quality that can make someone a more effective manager as it allows one to understand how to give constructive feedback.
They pause before they react
While it’s difficult to control your feelings in any given moment, emotionally intelligent people can control their reaction to those feelings. Pinpointing their emotions—whether that be frustration or enthusiasm—and pausing before they react not only allows them to make rational decisions, but can prevent embarrassing outbursts.
They learn from their mistakes
Professionals with signs of high emotional intelligence own up to their mistakes, but do not dwell on them. Understanding that perfection does not exist, they view mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow in their role. This does not mean that they forget, but rather that they do not let a sense of failure become a roadblock to future success.