Misconceptions abound about emotional intelligence. Some people mistakenly think that it means seeing the best in others and exhibiting optimism and blazing confidence to lead with courage.
But emotionally intelligent leaders are, above all, self-aware in the best possible way. They can detach themselves, assess how they process information and communicate what they think and feel.
Here are four ways to gauge whether you possess emotional intelligence:
1. You admit error. Apologizing with sincerity when you know you’ve done something wrong is a healthy sign of self-awareness.
2. You reflect on your actions and behavior. The ability to question yourself in an earnest, searching manner enables you to uncover your motivations and weigh options with an open mind.
3. You speak the truth even when it hurts. Leaders are often tempted to soften their remarks to avoid confrontation or ill feelings. But in an effort to make others feel good, you might send the wrong message and pay the price later.
4. You manage your emotions well. Some people let their emotions control them. Their temper can overpower their reason and they wind up blurting out stinging insults that come back to haunt them. Emotionally intelligent leaders maintain a high degree of self-control. They’re not overly optimistic or agreeable; rather, they roll with the punches of everyday life and keep their composure.
— Adapted from “5 signs that you’re emotionally intelligent—even if it doesn’t feel like it,” Aine Cain, www.businessinsider.com.