By Harvey Deutschendorf, Emotional Intelligence Expert
"75% of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies,
including inability to handle interpersonal problems;
unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict;
or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust." ~ The Center for Creative Leadership, 1994
It has increasingly become accepted that emotional intelligence is an important factor in our success and happiness, not only at work, but in our relationships and all areas of our lives. There are 7 common traits that highly emotional intelligent people share:
1. Focus on the Positive
While not ignoring the bad news, emotionally intelligent people have made a conscious decision to not spend a lot of time and energy focusing on problems. Rather, they look at what is positive in a situation and look for solutions to a problem. These people focus on what they are able to do and that which is within their control.
2. Surround themselves with positive people
People with a lot of emotional intelligence don’t spend a lot of time listening to complainers and tend to avoid negative people. They are aware negative people are an energy drain and are not willing to let others exhaust their vitality. Because they always look for solutions and the positive in situations, negative people quickly learn to avoid positive people as misery loves company. Emotionally intelligent people spend time with others that are positive and look upon the bright side of life. You can spot these folks as they tend to smile and laugh a great deal and attract other positive people. Their warmth, openness and caring attitude leads others look upon them as more trustworthy.
3. Are able to set boundaries and be assertive when necessary
Although their friendly open nature may make them appear as pushovers to some, people with high EI are able to set boundaries and assert themselves when they needed. They demonstrate politeness and consideration but stay firm at the same time. They do not make needless enemies. Their response to situations, in which there may be conflict, is measured, not inflated, and managed appropriately to the situation. They think before speaking and give themselves time to calm down if their emotions appear to become overwhelming. High EI people guard their time and commitments and know when they need to say no.
4. Forward thinking and willing to let go of the past
People with high EI are too busy thinking of possibilities in the future to spend a lot of time dwelling upon things that didn’t work out in the past. They take the learning from their past failures and apply it to their actions in the future. They never see failure as permanent or a personal reflection of themselves.
5. Look for ways to make life more fun, happy and interesting
Whether it is in their workplace, at home or with friends, high EI people know what makes them happy and look for opportunities to expand the enjoyment. They receive pleasure and satisfaction from seeing others happy, fulfilled and do whatever they can to brighten someone else’s day.
6. Choose how they expend their energy wisely
While these enlightened people are good at moving on from the past when things didn’t work out as expected, they are also able to move on from conflicts involved with others. High EI folks don’t hold on to anger over how others have treated them, rather use the incident to create awareness of how to not let it happen again. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” is their motto. While they move on and forgive, they don’t forget and are unlikely to be taken advantage of again in the same set of circumstances.
7. Continually learning and growing towards independence
Highly emotionally intelligent people are lifelong learners, constantly growing, evolving, open to new ideas and to always be willing to learn from others. Being critical thinkers, they are open to changing their minds if someone presents an idea that is a better fit. While they are open to ideas from others, and continuously gathering new information, they ultimately trust themselves and their own judgment to make the best decision for themselves.
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About the Coach...
Harvey Deutschendorf is an emotional intelligence expert, internationally published author and speaker. Take The EI Quiz: theotherkindofsmart.com. Read The Book: THE OTHER KIND OF SMART, Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence for Greater Personal Effectiveness and Success has been published in 4 languages. You can follow him on Twitter @theeiguy.