The Skill That Changes Everything
Updated: Mar 24
When you ask most organizations how they increase revenue, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction, they answer training, KPIs, better hiring, and more innovative products. While those are all necessary, there is one component that many organizations miss - this is the development of emotional intelligence in their people.
In a LinkedIn article from 2018, they mentioned that EI is responsible for 58% of your success. It also serves as the foundation for various other skills like communication, time-management, and customer service.
Hiring for emotional intelligence is a quick way to ensure better results.
You can increase your level of self-awareness by seeking feedback and being open to it. You can also interview for this ability. Everyone thinks the "sell me this pen" question is to see if someone can sell. In fact, great leaders use it as a way to see how the candidate accepts coaching and if they implement the changes. The more self-aware the candidate is, the more open they will be to receiving feedback.
Something that I loved doing was changing "pen" to their favorite candy. It would sound like this...
"Random question, what is your favorite candy?" They would tell me (I would judge them if they said anything other than dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt), and then I would ask them to sell me their favorite candy.
This question had a few purposes:
Are they confident, and what is their current understanding of sales?
How does the candidate respond to stress?
How do they respond to coaching, and do they implement feedback on the next attempt?
Most importantly, now I know their favorite candy, and I included the treat in their first day welcome packet!
Developing higher EQ is simple (not always easy).
There are many books on emotional intelligence; my favorite is Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry. While this is a great book, it is also important to understand your current emotional intelligence level.
As s Genos certified practitioner, I am partial to their assessment and development tools. I prefer to use the 180-degree or 360-degree assessment because it gives you insight into how other people perceive your current EI level and allows them to rate the importance of each competency to them. All assessments give you actionable steps to take to improve your emotional intelligence in the most important areas. The most important thing to remember is, like any other muscle, if you do not work on EI consistently, it will atrophy, and when you work on improving it, over time, you will develop higher levels of EI.
One last thing.
If you think emotional intelligence means you do not outwardly express emotions (like I used to), you might want to start by being more conscious of how you feel. You can become more conscious of your feelings and demonstrate greater awareness of them by reflecting on, defining the way you feel, and discussing this explicitly with others.
Happy to help.
If you want your leadership team to deliver better sales results, please reach out, and we can talk through possible approaches.