Emotional intelligence, or the ability to understand and manage emotions, can play a major role in the way you are perceived as a leader. It has the potential to affect the job you do in many different ways and can help create meaningful connections with your employees that can manifest in improved performance.
But, how do you know if you yourself have high emotional intelligence? Here are 11 signs to look for:
Signs of Emotional Intelligence
1. You Think About Feelings
Do you ever sense emotions in yourself or others around you, and stop to think what the cause may be? Thinking about feelings is an inherent indicator of emotional intelligence because it shows that you see the connections between sentiment and the decisions people make. Asking questions that determine causality yield valuable insights.
2. You Control Your Thoughts
It’s one thing to let your emotions take the wheel. It’s another to choose which emotions you give credence to. The latter implies that you have more focus. Being able to control your thoughts and decide what you’re going to let drive you and what you’re going to push to the wayside is a sign that you may have high emotional intelligence.
3. You Are Authentic
Many of us are guilty of trying to be someone else. Conforming to a preconceived notion of what we think others around us want us to be like. In truth, this shows a level of insecurity that people with high emotional intelligence generally don’t worry about. Being authentic to your true self ensures that you won’t compromise your principles even if they’re not the popular opinion.
4. You Pause
As a leader, there’s a lot going on in your world. It can be easy to get caught up in the moment. Individuals with high emotional intelligence, however, know that they can pause to clear their minds. Think before they speak or act. It’s a simple concept that’s too often overlooked these days.
5. You Are Empathetic
Emotional intelligence goes further than understanding your own emotions. It’s about recognizing what others are going through, too. Being able to see the signs of feelings like stress, worry, motivation, anger, and whatever else your teammates are experiencing allows you to craft approaches and strategies that help them succeed to their full potential. Empathy doesn’t mean weakness; it means emotional intelligence.
Related article: How to Modify Your Behavior to Better Connect With People
6. You Apologize
Another trait exhibited by people with high emotional intelligence is being able to recognize when they are wrong. Apologies can be sobering moments. No leader wants to acknowledge that from time to time, they need to value a relationship more than their ego. Having the courage to apologize and admit it exhibits humility and makes you a better manager.
7. You Forgive
Equally as important as being able to apologize, is being able to forgive. Others, just like you, are human. They also can be prone to making mistakes. Accepting this and forgiving them brings you another step closer to being emotionally intelligent. Note, this does not mean you need to be a pushover, but rather it means that you can recognize when someone is genuinely sorry about something and that you won’t hold it against them.
8. You Help Others
A key signal that you are emotionally intelligent is that you care about the success of others and go out of your way to help them succeed. Great leaders do more than take care of their own job duties – they empower those around them to be their best. Whether it’s on a professional level or even a personal one, helping others will only come back to positively impact your organization’s perception of you.
9. You Learn From Criticism
Being able to take criticism as an opportunity for growth instead of being overwhelmed by negativity says a lot about you as a person. Leaders can actually benefit a lot from criticism if they change their perspectives on the matter. Those with high emotional intelligence understand this and use it to motivate them to improve.
Related article: How Listening to Employee Opinions Can Strengthen an Organization
10. You Give Praise
It’s quite easy to celebrate your own wins, but how about the wins others? Seeking out and recognizing the success of those around, you will win them over more than singing your own praises ever will. All people crave appreciation, and those with emotional intelligence understand how far a little extra praise can go.
11. You Know How to Give Feedback
Not everyone knows what to do with criticism. As an emotionally intelligent person, you may be able to take it in ways that others simply can’t. Acknowledge that and find more constructive ways to get your point across rather than tearing people down. Knowing how to give feedback will resonate far greater than simply hurting peoples’ feelings.
Learn More About Dale Carnegie Emotional Intelligence Workshops
Emotional intelligence has the potential to vastly improve your leadership ability. By recognizing your dominant behavioral style and developing the ability to identify traits in others, you can use Emotional Intelligence to change your behavior to interact with a wide variety of personalities and tendencies. If you are interested in learning more about emotional intelligence, Dale Carnegie can help.