Emotional Intelligence versus Personality in the Workplace

Jul 07, 2015

Emotional Intelligence versus Personality in the Workplace

For the first part of our 2-week series, it is important to understand and be able to recognize emotional intelligence and the way it affects employees. Emotional intelligence can set an employee apart in the workplace, allowing him or her to impact the bottom line for the company. This term is very popular among human resources departments, in hiring assessments, and even in executive boardrooms. So what exactly are emotional intelligence and emotional intelligence quotient (EQ)?

They can be described as "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically." It also means the possession of good social and communication skills and balancing emotion in stressful or difficult situations. Another thing to consider is selecting work that is emotionally rewarding to avoid low achievement and procrastination and improve goal management. EQ looks at the pattern of biases in people's thinking and how it affects their decision about which choice is better than the other and their clarity in exercising clear and sound judgment.

Many may want to hire someone based on his or her great personality, but that doesn't always transfer to high emotional intelligence. According to psychology, personality refers to emotion, thought, and behaviors. Personality assessments show one's tendencies and behavior patterns unique to an individual. But personality cannot predict EQ, since EQ can identify both the biases and clarity in one's thinking patterns that allow him or her to make sound decisions. Personality refers to the biases in just the behaviors. Personality tests only clarify four categories of temperament but may not distinguish which melancholy person is actually high in ambition—a trait that will translate into a desirable employee. It all comes down to an employee's ability to exercise sound judgment on a regular basis. Here are common emotional intelligence traits that correlate to success in the workplace:

  • Intuition and empathy
  • Political acumen and social skills
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Self-expectations and motivation

The big picture when it comes to differentiating between personality and high emotional intelligence is clarity in thinking and composure in stressful situations. These traits will separate top performers from weaker ones in the workplace. These strong employees have the ability to build rapport in tense situations, resolve customer complaints, and remain optimistic even in the face of adversity.

In many cases, the answer can be found in emotional intelligence rather than in an individual's personality type. Many problems at work can be caused by unmet emotional needs and troubles outside of the workplace.

The ZERORISK Hiring System trains your hiring team to know what to look for to inflate your workforce with top talent, higher retention, and much-improved productivity! Find more information about the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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