Finding the 5 Emotional Intelligence Constructs (Part 1)

by Daniel James December 11, 2015
December 11, 2015

Emotional Intelligence is a vital component to your workforce. From maintaining a healthy company culture, to ensuring your employees are building strong relationships with your customers, this quality has become an essential trait to seek out in job candidates. But for as important as it is, measuring for emotional intelligence can be a challenge. This quick guide will outline the aspects of emotional intelligence should be looking for, why you should be looking for it, and what you should be doing to find it.

5 Components of Emotional Intelligence

emotional intelligenceFirst published in 1996 and written by Dr. Daniel Goleman, the book Emotional Intelligence outlined all the key aspects behind this novel concept, and in 1998 he published his study What Makes a Leader? In the Harvard Business Review. In this study Goleman outlined five characteristics that emotionally intelligent people possess that make them effective leaders; however, these qualities are not limited to the importance of leadership. They can – and should – be expanded to encompass as much of your workforce as possible, from entry level employees to upper management.

Here are the five components that Goleman evaluates, as well as some key characteristics, both from Goleman’s HBR article and cited as such. We’ve also included a third section, where we suggest ways you might be able to effectively evaluate these qualities in your hiring process.

1. Self-Awareness

What is it: Self-awareness, as you might have guessed, is the awareness someone has over their personal feelings, ideas, and actions – and how those impact those around them.

Key qualities: Goleman lists self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-depreciating sense of humor as the “hallmarks” of this emotional intelligence quality.

How to find it: Short of having your candidates make jokes or do a standup routine during their interviews, you probably won’t be testing for whether or not their humor is self-depreciating. But that’s okay, because you can still use your hiring process to evaluate self-confidence and self-assessment. Classic interview questions such as “tell me about a time you succeeded at something, and a time you failed at something despite your best efforts” are usually the forefront of this, but you can go deeper. Assessing their personality for self-confidence in a personality assessment can be one surefire method of measurement, and having the candidate evaluate themselves while comparing their evaluation to their performance on a test can be a great measure for realistic self-assessments.

2. Self-Regulation

What is it: Self-regulation might be more easily known as “thinking before doing” – people who take the proverbial “deep breath and count to ten” to think something through before making a decision or taking action on something are perfect examples of self-regulators.

Key qualities: People who tend to demonstrate integrity, are okay without knowing every last detail, and are okay with changes that go on in their lives are all ones who have some form of self-regulation.

How to find it: Self-regulation, any way you spin it, is a great quality to have in your employees – the ability to adapt to new situations as they change while still keeping a cool head and staying honest in stressful situations can be great when dealing with angry, frustrated, or upset customers. And what better place to start looking for an employee than by testing your candidates with those types of situations? Use job simulations to create stressful, high-pressure customer situations where the candidate will have to show an ability to keep calm under pressure, adapt to the customers changing (and emotionally driven) needs, finding out key information to provide a solution when the customer is being vague – all while remaining honest and forthright.

Check back on Wednesday for part two of this article!


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