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Companies tend to make executive recruiting decisions based on such factors as a candidate’s experience, background and skill set, and oftentimes overlook emotional intelligence (EI). The tide is turning as the importance of EI becomes increasingly evident. As you build your leadership team, it is helpful to understand EI and why it matters so much to your ongoing business success.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is also known as EQ, as opposed to IQ. The concept of EI was introduced more than two decades ago by Daniel Goleman of Rutgers University. Goleman broke IE into five components:

  • Self-awareness.
  • Self-regulation.
  • Motivation.
  • Empathy.
  • Social skill.

He concluded that leaders need to demonstrate these traits in addition to more traditional qualities such as toughness, determination and vision. Goleman wrote in Harvard Business Review that without EI, “a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”

  • This does not mean you should eliminate a candidate with a high IQ. The ideal executive has a highly analytical brain, while also possessing the attributes of an emotionally intelligent person.

Why Does EI Matter?

People tend to eliminate emotion in their decision-making processes, but emotion is a part of every interaction. It can be just as critical as the numbers on a balance sheet.

  • Senior leaders with high EI levels bring their performance gaps into awareness, manage their weaknesses and optimally leverage their talents. The greater ability an executive has to accept feedback and understand themselves, their people and their situations, the more likely they are to choose an approach that nets the best results for their organization.
  • The simple act of taking a step back before you lead can result in more interactions where you achieved your desired results. Executive EI focuses on increasing connection with people to influence, the mindset and skills that foster excellence and the successful integration of thoughts and feelings.
  • Executives with high EI are natural problem solvers. They have the gusto to solve problems ASAP. They do not dwell on issues that have already occurred. They are most effective when finding resolutions versus merely letting thing sit.

The executive recruitment experts at BrainWorks can help you zero in on candidates with just the right balance of EQ and IQ – because you need both to solidify your industry-leading team. Let us tell you more by contacting us today to set up a consultation. We look forward to working with you!


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