More and more we hear about how Emotional Intelligence (EI) is considered one of the key factors for success with sales professionals. Is this a trend or a fad? Absolutely not. Dan Goleman coined the term Emotional Intelligence in his 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter from than IQ” and since that time, it has become a growing area of focus for work and life success. Major organizations have compiled statistical data and clear evidence that employees with high emotional intelligence are more successful and are consistently stronger performers for sales and productivity. In fact, companies that tested and hired candidates with high EI see major increases in total sales and production. As recruiters, this is good news since EI skills can be learned at any time with conscious effort and practice. Given how competitive the business of hiring top talent can be, why not focus on building a high EI office for your recruitment success.
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Below are 8 ways to increase your Emotional Intelligence so you can get more placements:
Practice Self-Awareness- Emotionally intelligent recruiters are self-aware and intuitive. They are aware of their own emotions and how they influence and impact those around them. They can also pick up on subtle cues that others transmit with their body language and energy and use this information to improve their communication skills in each situation.
Practice Active Listening skills-In conversations with both clients and candidates, emotionally intelligent recruiters listen for clarity instead of just waiting for their turn to speak. They make sure they understand what is being said by asking relevant meaningful questions and listening for non-verbal clues in the conversation. They repeat key points to ensure they have listened accurately and respond appropriately and respectfully to the person who is speaking. When the person speaking feels they are being “heard”, they are more likely to build trust and engage in further conversations that develop the client or candidate relationship.
Practice Empathy-Emotionally intelligent recruiters know how to empathize with others and understand empathy is a trait that demonstrates emotionally strength not weakness. Since all people are built for emotional connection, empathy helps us relate to others at a deep human level. Even when a person’s behaviour is not acceptable, we can emphasize with the person and the emotion behind the action. I remember dealing with a very rude client in a meeting once. Instead of getting angry (aggressive response) or becoming insecure and losing confidence (passive response), I calmly said “I notice you seem agitated Mr. X. Is there somewhere else you need to be today? I would be happy to reschedule the meeting or send you the notes if this is helpful.” To my delight, he showed immediate relief and said that he had just received a text from his daughter’s school and needs to pick up his daughter. He apologized for his rudeness and I offered to reschedule our meeting to a better time. He was grateful for my empathy and understanding and turned into a active client.
Practice improving your leadership skills-Emotionally intelligent recruiters are always working to become better leaders. They have high standards for themselves and set a positive example for others around them. They take initiative and encourage others to be the best they can be every day. They show up, own their mistakes and set regular goals for themselves and others.
Practice being positive-Emotionally intelligent recruiters are approachable, open and positive. They help improve the environment wherever they go. They approach problems realistically but with an optimistic outlook for solving them and are proactive. When something goes wrong, they learn from the mistake and keep trying to find a solution. They catch their own negative thoughts and do not let them overwhelm or control their moods.
Our attitude is something we can control. Your patterns of thinking affect everything you do so make an effort to upgrade your limited beliefs and practice appreciating each day to become naturally more positive and resilient.
Practice Responding instead of (over) reacting in high stress situations-When conflicts arise (and they will on a regular basis!), people become more emotional and often more irrational. Sometimes things get said that have a negative impact or worse. Recruiters have been stereotyped as being impulsive and overly aggressive. Those that fit this stereotype are harming their bottom line since impulsive decisions in the face of conflict or high stress salary negotiations can lead to bigger problems and fewer placements. To help build a “responsiveness muscle”, start by counting to 10 in any high stress situation before responding or leave the room if you are unsure if you can handle your temper or emotions. Negotiate for a win-win always by trying to understand what the other party needs and making accommodations where possible.
Be confident and motivated-Emotionally intelligent recruiters earn respect with their confidence and assertive communication style. They have learned that aggressive dialogue can only turn off prospective buyers and job seekers and speak respectfully and factually to others while appealing to their emotional needs. They are highly motivated to succeed and look after their health to ensure they have levels of energy each day at work. They track their progress regularly and challenge themselves to achieve their goals for success.
Practice be open for feedback and criticism-Emotionally intelligent recruiters listen for feedback and ideas without getting defensive. Criticism can be a great gift if it helps you adjust your approach or the content of your presentation for greater success. I remember speaking in front of a large audience in California last year. The talk was going very well until I person put up her hand and said “All that stuff is fine, but I just want you to tell me how to get more retainers”. Some people gasped at the obvious rudeness of the comment. Although, I was taken back for a moment, I adjusted my next talk to better tie together all my points so it was clear how they would help get more retainers. In my keynote talk, at the end of the conference, she was there again and for this talk, she stood up and clapped at the end.
Emotional intelligence training is a life long project. You can practice anywhere including at home, shopping, with children and of course at the office with co-workers and clients and staff. When you catch yourself before you say or react in a way that could be damaging, you are building your EI muscle for more success and more placements as a recruiter. The best place to start is by knowing yourself and identifying your hot bottoms and situations that trigger you to react in a way that doesn’t serve you well. We all have them whether at the office or at home. Then make a conscious plan and effort to change your response in those situations by tapping into your EI skills. Be honest and realistic with yourself. For example, if you are not getting as many placements as you want, do a reality check. Ask yourself if your presentation is weak, your energy is low, your value proposition is not clear, your questions to prospective clients are not appealing to their true emotional needs, your listening skills are poor, your impulsive behaviours are sabotaging your success etc. When you start with a realty picture, you can take positive action for learning, growth and better outcomes. The effort to improve your EI skills is one of the best investments you can make and will lead to lasting improvements in all areas of your life. Start today!
I’m inspired to help other recruiters achieve their true potential. Why? I’m passionate about the business of living fully and achieving personal and professional goals that are meaningful. During the decades of owning and running a leading Talent Solutions company, I have witnessed countless people suffering from burn-out, chronic illness, severe stress, depression and anxiety. I decided to use my decades of experience and training as a successful recruiter, Black Belt Martial Artist, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Emotional Intelligence Trainer to develop specific training and coaching programs. These on-line and live coaching programs at www.tishconlin.com can help you learn how to increase energy, improve performance and build more focused, resilient and engaged teams for more success.
“If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” Dan Golemanss has genius, power and magic in it.” ~ Johan Wolfgang von Goethe