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Look For Employees With High EQ Over IQ

Source | Forbes : By Steve Cooper

In a third international study of 515 senior executives, emotional intelligence was a better predictor of success than either relevant previous experience or high IQ.

So what can a business owner do to boost emotional intelligence?

I asked Dr. Richard Mendelson, I.O. psychologist and founder of Dynamic IO Consultants, a consulting firm specializing in human capital management and other services. During the hiring process, he recommends asking job candidates to complete an emotional intelligence assessment.

“There are several out there, and some are specifically designed for different levels of employment,” says Dr. Mendelson. “Assessing EQ is less about asking specific questions in an interview or on an application, and more about properly using an assessment to generate data about an individual’s level of EQ.”

Dr. Mendelson warns that not all HR departments are equipped to handle this type of assessment, but firms such as his have training programs, which can take several months to complete.

Of course, many businesses already have their staff and are simply looking to improve or boost productivity. Dr. Noelle Nelson, a clinical psychologist, trial consultant and author of “Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy,” says one of the easiest, most successful ways of supporting a worker’s EQ is to catch him/her in the act of doing something right. Like a healthy marriage, it once again comes down to communicating expectations and expressing appreciation.

In her book Dr. Nelson writes, “Most people worry when they see their manager looking over their shoulder or stopping by their work area. They are convinced that you are looking for something they did wrong—which is usually an accurate assessment! But that very worry will often make them do something wrong.”

Instead, Dr. Nelson says the better situation is when workers see a manager’s visit as an opportunity to receive appreciation. “When workers know managers will be on the lookout for good work, they are far more motivated to doing good work.”

Dr. Nelson says emotional tendencies that facilitate reaching goals are critical to EQ. She adds, “Communicate employees’ duties and responsibilities clearly so they know what is expected of them.” Employees can’t live up to what they don’t know and therefore clear direction is what gives employees the confidence to go ahead and do the job competently—it sets them up for success.

As managers change their habits it’s easy to see how the work of subordinates can quickly improve. The great news is the process of improving EQ within the workplace can be achieved, but the intention must be there. Dr. Mendelson adds that measured EQ scores can improve in small increments over time, but significant gains can be seen by building awareness, and continuing a focused and facilitated learning process for people who wish to improve.

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