What differentiates people who are calm under fire from those who lose their cool? What separates the Captain Jean-Luc Picards of the office from the Homer Simpsons?

Two words: emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions, to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions, and to manage emotions to adapt to environments and achieve one’s goals. It is arguably the single greatest tool for success in the business world.

Emotions can affect the bottom line for me as a recruiter. I have an allegiance to both clients and candidates, and I serve both groups best when I stay neutral.

To close deals and achieve success in my job, I keep the following in mind:

Take a breath. Emotionally intelligent people are able to pause before getting upset over a perceived slight. Instead of being angry about something a colleague said, consider that the person could be distracted by unrelated issues. Rise above it and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Keep your eye on the prize. People who succeed in business keep an eye on the big picture and move past life’s daily road bumps. When you keep the end goal foremost in your mind – instead of getting sidetracked by petty annoyances and putting out little fires – you’ll have an easier time negotiating with a difficult client, creating successful partnerships, and focusing your energy on what’s most important.

Don’t burn bridges.  Even if a deal falls apart on a bad note, emotionally intelligent people make all efforts to take the high road and keep the connection alive and positive. Who knows when your paths might cross again?


Key People Skills You Need to Succeed

Forbes highlights the people skills and attributes you need to succeed at work. Here are a few:

  • The ability to relate to others.“By having a well-rounded personality and set of experiences, it’s usually possible to relate to almost anyone.”
  • Strong communication skills.“This is the most fundamental people skill because it encompasses your persona and ability to get along with other colleagues.”
  • Patience with others.“If you’re patient with others and can keep a level head in stressful situations, it will definitely be noticed by management and perceived as a very strong asset.”
  • Knowing how and when to show empathy. “Having the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes is a key people skill. … It allows us to create relationships with others, provides insights into people’s motives and allows us to predict responses.”
  • Active listening skills. “Listen without interruption and then take the time to think and form a response before replying. It takes practice, but it pays off.”
  • Genuine interest in others.“People know when you’re truly interested in them. … If you’re not showing a genuine interest – asking thoughtful questions and considering their answers – your interaction can actually have an opposite effect to the one intended.”
  • Communication. “Supreme communicators have a keen ability to shift gears when the context calls for it, and a deep well of communication options to choose from.”
  • Good judgment.“Good judgment is a key people skill that comes directly from learning, listening to others and observing the world around you. … It allows you to wisely select friends and associates, determine reactions and responses, and make sound decisions.”

Read the full article here.