What’s the difference between an executive who maintains composure during stressful times versus one who flies off the handle or melts down? It’s high emotional intelligence.
The characteristics of emotional intelligence are found in leading executives, Navy Seals, politicians, counselors, and other roles that demand effective self-management, an understanding of other people, and excellent interpersonal skills.
Improving emotional intelligence traits is one of the best things that anyone who wants to advance their career, increase their net worth, and improve their personal life can do.
How do you know if someone has high emotional intelligence?
Someone with characteristics of emotional intelligence is skilled at navigating social environments, building relationships, handling interpersonal interactions, and coping with difficulties.
These traits make them good team players, communicators, and conflict resolvers.
Signs You Are a High Emotional Intelligent Person
Emotional intelligence traits are soft skills that can go unnoticed unless you know what signs to look for. These characteristics work as the building blocks of social skills and competence.
Signs of high emotional intelligence can be found by looking for areas of self and social mastery.
Active emotional management is a strong sign of high emotional intelligence. Emotional awareness is one of the fundamental characteristics of emotional intelligence and this trait can be built on to master traits like emotional resilience and emotional management.
A person with high emotional intelligence can easily and effectively manage emotions, both their own and other people’s.
Do you remain composed when under pressure? Do you actively manage your stress levels? Can you detect and prevent a budding conflict? Do you have self-control? If so, you may have strong emotional intelligence traits related to awareness and management. These are fundamental skills that can be built on further.
Emotional intelligence traits are found in top business leaders, top performers, and career outliers. But it’s also found in those drawn towards compassionate fields of work, like therapy and care fields. And it’s found in those who have rich, rewarding, and fulfilling social lives and lasting friendships.
What kind of people have high emotional intelligence?
People with emotional intelligence traits are empathetic, tuned in, and perceptive. They have high levels of emotional awareness, self-control, and situational skill.
These emotional intelligence traits help them perceive, understand, use, and manage emotions in their personal lives, careers, and other situations.
What are the 7 signs of emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence trains run the gamut. There are many signs of emotional intelligence and ways to approach it. These can be looked at as personality traits, character traits, emotional states, habits, behaviors, and skills.
Here are seven characteristics of emotional intelligence that have been observed in a wide range of people.
Emotional Resilience: emotional fortitude, the ability to recover from personal setbacks and manage negative emotional experiences.
Emotional regulation: the ability and willingness to manage, regulate, and control one’s own emotions.
Self-awareness: awareness of one’s emotional state and nature.
Social awareness: awareness of other people’s emotions, behaviors, needs, and psychology.
Communication: excellent communication that’s appropriate for the situation and people.
Interpersonal skills: skillful in social situations and personal interactions.
Conflict management: socially aware and agile enough to detect, mitigate, and resolve conflicts
What are the 5 signs of higher emotional intelligence?
1. Influence without authority
Someone with very high emotional intelligence will have such interpersonal mastery that they become influential within a social environment. These people can be influential without being designated authority figures, such as supervisors or managers.
This sign of high emotional intelligence can look like popularity, but it’s more connected to being someone who is respected, liked, valued, and looked up to.
2. Social Leadership
Social leadership is another sign of high emotional intelligence. Effective leadership always requires strong soft and social skills, which are built on emotional intelligence.
Leaders must understand human nature and be competent in dealing with it.
Armed forces around the world focus on building emotional intelligence traits in their members.
3. Great Team Player
Are you familiar with the etiquette and manners refrain that being a gracious guest is just as important as being a wonderful host?
The same applies to being a great team player. It’s just as important for team members to have characteristics of emotional intelligence as it is for leadership.
Being a good team player often requires us to take a step back, act with humility, go without credit, and work well with a range of personalities and communication styles.
High-performing teams all feature emotionally intelligent members.
4. Heartfelt communication
Good communication is an emotional intelligence trait. People with even higher emotional intelligence are able to communicate with others in a heartfelt way.
This requires drawing from emotional awareness and resilience skills.
5. Conflict resolution
Some other signs of high emotional intelligence are conflict avoidance, management, and resolution skills.
People with these traits have strong emotional awareness, management, and resilience skills. They can perceive conflict, understand what’s going on, and effectively work to resolve it, even in emotionally volatile situations.
They can also manage their own emotions to stay calm and in control while the conflict is active, and then effectively decompress and alleviate stress when it’s over.
11 Characteristics of High Emotional Intelligence
Someone with high emotional intelligence will demonstrate certain traits and characteristics. These are varied but can be detected in their personal lives, relationships, and social interactions.
Here are eleven you can look for. Some are basic soft skills while others describe how emotionally intelligent people behave and relate with others.
Emotional intelligence begins with emotional awareness – and self-awareness is the first form that most people develop.
People who have mastered this trait are highly aware of their own emotions, behaviors, responses, triggers, and patterns. These people are aware of their emotional state at the moment and can keep a check on themselves.
Self-awareness grows into self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is first built as we begin to reflect on ourselves and our personal characteristics, traits, habits, and patterns. We then form a deeper awareness of who we are as human beings, including our strengths, weaknesses, values, and level of integrity.
Self-knowledge can be challenging, emotionally confronting, and end up uncovering things we’d rather not acknowledge. Facing this requires high levels of authenticity, honesty, and self-regulation.
People who can accurately assess themselves are highly emotionally intelligent.
Part of this requires social awareness and how perceptive we are of social cues, body language, and other forms of communication. But it also requires us to be willing to consider someone else’s interests.
4. Impulse Control
Impulse control is a sign of high emotional intelligence and its essential for modern success. It’s an advanced trait that involves your ability to control, regulate, and manage your emotions, impulses, and behavior.
People with good impulse control can perform better in social environments, avoid awkward situations, delay gratification, improve decision-making, manage emotional triggers, and maintain emotional balance.
5. Control over Thoughts and Mental State
Thoughts are tricky little things that can seem to flit in and out of our minds without our control. People with strong emotional intelligence have learned how to exert control over their trains of thought and mental states.
This trait influences self-regulation. It can be difficult to build but it always pays off.
6. Take a Moment to Think
Someone with good emotional intelligence traits doesn’t just spout off. They’re able to pause, reflect, and compose themselves.
This involves checking our emotions and impulsive reactions and becoming aware of any emotional triggers. It also involves being emotionally aware of other people.
7. Ability to Apologize
Emotionally intelligent people can and do apologize for their mistakes. Their apologies are sincere, heartfelt, and meaningful – not dismissive, fake, or filled with gaslighting.
Apologizing and meaning it requires empathy, self-awareness, courage, confidence, and maturity. There can be difficult emotions to cope with as you swallow your pride, acknowledge errors, and admit them to other people.
Personal authenticity is one characteristic of emotional intelligent people. Authenticity begins with self-awareness and self-understanding.
These people must be open, genuine, and true to themselves. And they need the fortitude to withstand personal vulnerability.
9. Good with Feedback
An emotionally intelligent person offers constructive feedback and is open to receiving feedback from others.
Feedback is a tricky thing. Performance-related communication is essential for success, but it can be very sensitive and personal. Providing productive feedback is a learned skill and a sign of personal generosity.
Those who are emotionally intelligent understand how to give constructive feedback and are willing to do so. They are willing to hear from others and understand how to manage emotions when the feedback is negative, harsh, and non-constructive.
10. Thick Skin
Emotional intelligence is linked to being difficult to offend and having a thicker skin. One reason why is that someone who is aware of other people’s emotions and psychology understands when not to take things personally.
Another reason is that people with high EQ are emotionally stable, grounded, and self-confident. Plus, emotional intelligence brings increased situational awareness, impulse control, and social navigational skills.
Someone with high EQ might decide that someone else’s poor behavior isn’t worth their time and may choose to redirect their energy elsewhere.
Emotional intelligence traits like emotional awareness, resilience, and self-regulation lead to adaptability. Adaptability comes into play in relational situations and when handling environmental changes.
These people can adapt their social approaches to suit other people’s needs. They adjust to changes better and understand how to respond to new environments.
Adaptability is a critical characteristic of emotional intelligence for those in fast-paced careers.
Level Up Your High Emotional Intelligence
The characteristics of emotional intelligence allow for greater self-control and social skill. These traits are critical for personal and professional success.
Technical proficiency, knowledge, and professional competence are crucial. Hard skills get you in the door and give employers or clients a reason to keep you around.
But high emotional intelligence is what creates outliers, leaders, influencers, and authority figures, setting them aside from their technically skilled but socially mediocre peers.
Emotional intelligence is the reason why people with average IQs outperform
those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. It’s the strongest predictor
of performance and can explain 58% of success in all job types. And people with high EQ make around $29,000 more
than people with low EQ.
Shoring up your emotional intelligence traits will put you on the path to higher levels of accomplishment, social fulfillment, and personal wellness.
Maven has courses dedicated to high emotional intelligence traits that are essential for career success, professional advancement, and leadership.
C. Jeremy Jameson is a retired U.S. Navy Flight Officer, Leadership Coach & HeartMath Certified Mentor who teaches managers how to provide high EQ leadership while preserving energy levels and mindful well-being.
Satish Mummareddy draws from his project management leadership experience at Meta, Yelp, and Yahoo to teach you how to thrive in organizational dynamics and politics.
Hema Vyas is a psychologist teaching how to use heart-based intelligence for authentic, impactful, and purposeful leadership.
Sign up for a Maven course
and start up-leveling your way to higher emotional intelligence. If your employer offers an L&D or education budget, you can expense the courses to them. Take a high emotional intelligence course even if you can’t expense it. It will equip you with skills and traits you can use to advance your career and make more money than less emotionally intelligent peers.