The Key Indicator of Emotional Intelligence

There’s a lot of talk about emotional intelligence and it has even reached to business leadership. Being emotionally intelligent means being able to step into someone else’s shoes, focus on solutions, and generally being able to manage one’s emotions. There are a lot of parts to emotional intelligence, but there is one indicator that truly shows emotional intelligence…


Just about every emotional intelligence skill first starts with the ability to stop, take a breath, and see the whole picture, or at least beyond this moment. Of course as leaders, we need to make boundaries with our time, but we also need to sharpen the skill of being really present at the moment with people and challenges. It’s a tricky line so you might be wondering, how does patience actually show up in everyday life.

Here’s how to measure your emotional intelligence. Look at this list of behaviors that indicate using the emotional intelligence skill of patience in your everyday work atmosphere.

How many of these do you do on a regular basis?

Which could you improve upon?

Listen first:

People with patience listen first, talk last.

Showing up to listen first is a leadership skill. Allowing people the space to have their ideas and voice heard and then addressing their concerns specifically, is a great show of patience. Often when we have more experience, we want to just give out the tasks rather than really hear what is important to others.

Allow others to learn:

People with patience allow others to gain experience.

Rather than commanding, a person with patience also allows someone to learn and lead in order to gain experience and deeper understanding on their own. When we are impatient, we want to offer solutions. When we are patient, we allow others to work through challenges on their own so they can gain the experience and have a greater understanding of their work.

Encourage problem-solvers:

People with patience often let others solve their own problems.

As a leader we can easily feel like we have a problem every time one of our employees has a problem. Patience allows us to not take on others struggles until they ask for help. Not only can this eliminate a lot of work we think we have to do, it also leads to the next point.

Pep up the team with patience:

Showing patience gives other more self-confidence.

When we give people the chance and support to solve their own challenges, they become more capable and confident in their own talents. If we hover or solve everything for them, our team can start to believe that they are seen as ineffective or not good enough, or they’ll just expect you to always solve it for them.

Show them you heard them:

Patience means not giving the answer, but mirroring what they are saying.

Often people just need a place to vent or be heard. Patience knows that often there is no answer for what they are saying that would make them happy. When feeling stuck for a response, patient leaders can repeat back what they are saying. Paraphrasing concerns back to them shows them that you were truly listening.

Take a moment for magic:

People with patience have the ability to come up with innovative solutions.

By taking a moment for a breather before reacting, patience offers us a chance to truly reflect without pressure to solve the puzzle this instant. It can offer more solutions than we think of at the moment.


How are you expressing patience in your business?

If you are looking to improve your emotional intelligence, your team atmosphere or just getting to the next level, consider joining myself and several local leaders in my upcoming Mastermind. We’ll talk about building effective, loyal teams and breaking through to the next level in business.

Learn more.

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