How Do You Measure Emotional Intelligence? Look For These 5 Signs

Those that exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence are drastically more self-aware than their peers, work better with others and are promoted at a much faster pace. But, have you ever stopped to take the time to observe what makes them stand out from the rest?

Here are 5 characteristics of emotionally intelligent people:


Self-control is a personal competence developed in every person.

Internationally known psychologist and best-selling author Daniel Goleman explains, “Reasonable people–the ones who maintain control over their emotions–are the people who can sustain safe, fair environments. In these settings, drama is very low and productivity is very high. Top performers flock to these organizations and are not apt to leave them.”

Self-control, along with mindfulness, are skills we teach our leaders so they have the capacity to be present, calm, and focused during times of high stress.


Life gets busy, and often times it’s easy to forget to practice proper self-care, stop to evaluate our feelings, or analyze what our emotional triggers are. Knowing yourself at the core is a good barometer for gauging your own happiness, and creating incredible growth.


So often we fly off the handle at our children, co-workers, partner etc. because we don’t know what our triggers are, or how to defuse the situation once the button’s been pushed. It’s quite human of us–we’ll get defensive and act out in fear stemming from an underlying emotional issue. In high-EQ people, once you get a handle on the root cause of your negative reactions, you can respond with confidence and self-control.

In high-EQ people, once you get a handle on the root cause of your negative reactions, you can respond with confidence and self-control.

By modeling appropriate and effective communication, high EQ people set the example for others to follow as a cultural trait. When triggered to react, we learn from the models of high EQ that we first need to reflect on what’s pushing our buttons and choose a “keep calm” approach as we process our emotions for a more tactful response.


People are drawn to empathy, it’s an attractive quality to have in building successful relationships at work. In fact, it is the number one driver of overall organizational performance in the workplace according to DDI research.

Regardless of any preconceived notion you may have about empathy – you are not born with it. And it is something you can develop.

The first step is thinking about other people’s circumstances, understanding their pains and frustrations, and knowing that those emotions are every bit as real as your own. This exercise will help you develop perspective, opens you up to helping others, and enhances your sense of gratitude.


After an argument, many of us stew in anger, rehashing every detail to the point of exhaustion.

But, does this do any good? More often than not, it’s just plain silly.

A person with high EQ doesn’t let his/her ego have its way at the expense of losing a friendship, a family relationship, or great work connection.

Since social skills is one of the four “best features” of emotional intelligence, a person running on all EQ cylinders will be the first to reach out to make amends, even if it means apologizing first. As Kendrick said, “sit down, be humble.”

Regardless of your level of emotional intelligence, the above guidelines are helpful skills to put into action in our everyday lives. You might just be the first to get that next promotion!

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