Getting all emotional

22 August 2011
This might come as a blow (or relief) to teenagers who received their exam results last week, but employers are apparently less interested in knowledge than other attributes when looking for new staff. A survey carried out by a careers website found 34 per cent of companies are lending more weight to emotional intelligence (EI) – understanding and controlling emotions and managing relationships – when hiring or promoting members of staff. And 71 per cent said EI is more valuable in an employee than IQ.
 
The survey of 2,662 HR workers and hiring managers also found 59 per cent would not hire somebody with a high IQ, but low EI. Companies are looking for specific ‘soft’ skills, top of which is the ability to stay calm under pressure. Other talents mentioned include being able to resolve conflict, to lead by example, to make thoughtful business decisions and empathy with team members. These are good traits for any business role, but specifically for procurement – whether it is staying calm in a tough negotiation, empathising with the needs of stakeholders or resolving conflict with a supplier. Procurement doesn’t have the reputation (outside the profession, at least) as a ‘people’ function, but increasingly those are the skills necessary. What are your tips for developing EI and applying it to purchasing?
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