I’ve been assessing salespeople, in both leadership and quota-carrying positions, since 2001 and the longer I do it, the more value I place on emotional intelligence (EQ).  The sheer abilities that flow from a high EQ are in greatest demand today.  The Millennial generation thrives on EQ leadership which will drive its importance even higher.

What are the keys to EQ?  This post from TTI provides great insight into the entire topic.  A couple traits to consider:

1. Possess self-awareness

Before someone can be effective interacting with others, they need to have a conscious knowledge of their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. The “feelings” part of this equation is very important. When those feelings are not positive, having the ability to control emotions is paramount to managing interactions successfully. When a person is self-aware and able to employ self-regulation under stress, they tend to have more successful outcomes (and less regret).

Personally, I believe all EQ flows out of self-awareness; without it, the person is unable to access the other traits.  Also, my experience has been that they cannot course correct their own behavior which leads to difficulties with others.

7. Act calm under pressure

Everyone deals with some form of stress in their daily lives. No one is immune to stress. Yet, some people seem to be cool and calm in virtually all situations while others seem to be frazzled at the slightest distraction. Those who keep their cool have developed the skill of learning to manage stress when the pressure rises.

Doing so is not always easy and sometimes a person may have to bite their tongue hard to stop from saying something they’d later regret. But those that do, tend to get through stressful situations much easier than those who haven’t developed this skill. The more times a person can successfully navigate through a pressure-filled situation, the easier it becomes to do so the next time they find themselves in the same situation.

This is no small ability.  Calmness is infectious even in highly stressful situations.  The ability to stay calm in those situations is one of the hallmarks of great leadership.

As they say, read the entire thing.

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