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Emotional Intelligence (EQ): The Next Essential Skill

A recruiter explains why emotional intelligence is important and how to add this skill to your CV or résumé.

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Emotional intelligence, otherwise known as your EQ, is the “level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them,” -Howard Gardner, Harvard theorist.

Emotional intelligence can be broken down into 5 areas of growth.

  • Self-awareness
  • Managing emotions
  • Self-motivation
  • Empathy
  • Handing relationships

Table of Contents

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Important

In today’s world, it’s so easy to learn new things. Over time, we are seeing skills decrease in value. For example, the skill of coding ten years ago would have been extremely rare, however now days they’re teaching it in IT syllabuses to every child at school. Many years ago, ‘typing’ was a skill listed on job adverts.

As we move forward, the skills that will become ‘specialist’ are people skills because these can’t be taught, you must develop them yourself. Examples of these ‘people skills’ would be conflict management, motivating others, teamwork and emotional intelligence.

Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, speaker and internet personality, says that ‘the number one thing that will make your company go fast is continuity and lack of politics’.

It’s simple, if someone is happy at work they’re more likely to be more productive.

We’ll start to see emotional intelligence appearing on job adverts in the next few years. Employers are starting to realise that the responsibility for creating a great company culture doesn’t just lie with management, it’s something all employees have a part to play in.

How To Develop Emotional Intelligence

What’s great about this skill is that it’s actually pretty easy to develop! Once you’ve learnt about what it is, then it’s easy to keep in mind and pick up on times where you should have been more emotionally intelligent.

1. Understand Ventilation Fallacy – talking about your emotions does help to solve problems, however venting when you’re angry doesn’t. If anything, venting at work negatively affects the emotions of your colleagues around you.

2. Check you’re not ruminating. Ruminating is when you keep focusing on negative thoughts, which prevents you moving onto more positive ones. Make sure you’re tackling these negative thoughts by channelling your energy into other things, such as exercise or helping others.

3. Develop self-motivation. Work out what motivates you! Is it money? Is it having a title? Once you’ve figured out what motivates you, work towards this at work. This will make you a happier and a more productive employee.

4. Realise that your emotions are contagious. This doesn’t mean hide them from your colleagues but try to adopt a positive mindset and talk about things in a positive way. Working on this is one of the best ways to develop your emotional intelligence.

Click here for a quiz to see how emotionally intelligent you are!

Add Emotional Intelligence To Your CV & Interview Technique

If you find yourself applying for a company that seems very forward thinking, then definitely mention emotional intelligence on your CV! Include an explanation on why this skill is so important and how you have developed this skill.

Some employers who don’t yet have a focus on positive workplace culture might not recognise what emotional intelligence means or how important it is. However, they all subconsciously know they need great team players and for everyone to play their part in upholding a positive working culture.

The best way to mention it in the job application process is when you’re asked about teamwork in your job application or interview.

You should say something like: I work well in a team. I appreciate that when working with others, everyone has a responsibility to keep a good atmosphere. If someone is stressed or struggling with something, you should support them.

There may be other opportunities to talk about emotional intelligence such as when asked about how you interact with customers or how you work with internal stakeholders.

It’s up to you which approach you take. Definitely research the company and find out what sort of wellbeing initiatives they have.

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