Mood rings & feelings: EI in the workplace

Mood rings & feelings: EI in the workplace

Once upon a time, emotions were something you left at home and never brought into the office. How you felt was of little consequence, and more importantly, it was all about how professional you were.

Back then, professional was defined by how formal and un-personable you could possibly be. But as we all know times are a changing, and a new set of skills are needed to operate successfully in the modern business world—most importantly, emotional intelligence. As well as technical skills, leaderships abilities, and education levels, how you can emotionally engage with your team and other employees defines your success rate.

It not only defines the success of the candidate, but hiring for emotional intelligence means giving your own business the best chance for success.

However, it isn’t easy to hire for emotional intelligence. The cues are not as obvious, and it’s difficult to look for an abstract thing. If you’re looking to employ an emotionally aware and intelligent workforce, try the following:

Talk to references

We don’t mean this in the usual checkbox manner, or a letter of reference. Having a deep conversation in which you can ask pointed questions beyond their skill set and technical abilities is very helpful. Get lots of details and go into specific examples when emotional intelligence would have been used. Asking how they’ve interacted with and treat other employees and the people around them is also a good measure.

Behavioral interviews

Emotional intelligence isn’t the same as being academically smart. When testing for skills and intelligence, you can ask and wait for the right answers, whereas there is not always a ‘right’ answer with a person’s emotional abilities. Posing them with hypothetical scenarios will give you more insight into how they’ll react when other factors and people are included into the mix.

Emotional intelligence isn’t the same as being academically smart.Click To Tweet

Watch for the unsaid

This is everything from attitude to body language and non-verbal cues. Watch how well they listen and respond to you, as opposed to relying solely on the things they think you want to know. Notice how comfortable they are with themselves and how their body language reacts to other people. It’s also worth keeping an eye on how they interact with other people outside of the interview room.

This is everything from attitude to body language and non-verbal cues.Click To Tweet

Group interviews

While everyone groans at the very idea of a group-based interview, they’re actually really useful for assessing how well people engage with one another. It doesn’t even have to be a conventional situation that asks questions. It can even be leaving them in a room and asking them to complete a task. Watch them do it, and by the end, you’ll have a much better idea whose emotional intelligence is at an all-time high.

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