Guess what trait 41% of hiring managers consider to be more important than IQ?Emotional intelligence. It’s one of the 2015 buzzwords you probably heard over and over again. But do you really understand what it means?

When you’ve got a high EQ, you’re skilled at identifying and regulating your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Which sounds great, right? After all, who wouldn’t want to hire people who are capable of doing this?

Oh, and it isn’t just important when you’re trying to get hired—it’s also super key while you’re on the job. A whopping 58% of the factors of your success can be attributed to it.

1. They Pause

During high-energy or tense moments, colleagues with high EI never react without first pausing and taking stock of the situation. This short break gives them the chance to objectively review what’s going on and stop themselves from saying or doing something impulsive.

Here are the types of things these people consider during that pause:

  • What mood is the other person in? Is he or she anxious, angry, annoyed, stressed, disappointed?
  • What mood am I in?
  • What can I do to make both of us feel better?
  • If I can’t do anything, is there anything I can say to mollify the other person?

Pausing will help you find the appropriate response, instead of saying something you’ll later regret.

2. They Ask Lots Of Questions

One of the best ways to figure out how someone feels? Ask lots of questions. Emotionally intelligent people use a series of questions to make those they’re talking to feel comfortable—which usually results in them opening up and sharing more.

For example, here’s what an exchange may look like:

Person 1: Hey, how’s your day going?

Person 2: It’s going pretty well. We’re trying to get that presentation finished before we show it at the conference.

Person 1: Nice. The conference is in just a couple days, right? Did you guys run into any road blocks?

Person 2: Well, it’s been hard to get all of our team members in the same room at once. Everyone ends up doing work on their own time, but then it’s not cohesive.

Person 1: That does sound difficult. Did it all work out?

Person 2: Yes eventually, but it took awhile to learn…

You’ll be surprised at how quickly co-workers will be honest with you when you ask questions and listen.

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