Viewing posts from: November 2000

What is Holding You Back From Asking For a Pay Raise- Salary?


Authored by OfficeTeam

Feeling apprehensive about asking for a raise? You’re not alone. The majority of workers feel they deserve a higher salary, but just over half plan to ask for one.

A research was carried out by asking more than 1,000 full-time professional employees about their confidence levels and attitudes concerning their careers and compensation. Almost 90 percent of those surveyed feel they deserve a raise, but only 54 percent plan to ask for a salary increase this year.

In fact, many people absolutely dread the thought of asking for more money: 32 percent of those surveyed said they would rather clean the house, 13 percent would rather look for a new job, 7 percent would prefer getting a root canal … and 6 percent would rather be audited by the IRS. Here are more insights on salary-related matters brought to light in the study:

Employees have good reasons to want more pay

Among employees who do plan on asking for a raise, reasons included increased job duties, higher costs for basic needs and a lower-than-market pay rate. One-third of survey participants said they would save or invest their salary increase, while nearly a quarter would use it to pay down debts.

Most people know their worth

Among survey respondents, 59 percent had checked their salary against national averages based on third-party research. Twenty percent said they had checked the market rate in the last month.

Employees’ confidence levels vary

Many employees may need a confidence boost when it comes to asking for a raise, but the majority of workers surveyed are very confident of their prospects in today’s job market. According to the study:

• 65 percent of survey respondents would be more confident looking for a job now than just a year ago
• 30 percent of those who say they’d ask for a raise would, if turned down, ask again at their next performance review
• 19 percent would be willing to look for a new job if turned down for a raise

If you feel deserving of a raise but lack the confidence to ask for one, there’s plenty you can do to improve your situation. Keep track of your accomplishments and contributions at your organization, practice your pitch with a friend before meeting with your boss and develop a strategy before entering this conversation.

Are you planning to ask for a salary increase? Share your confidence-building tips in the comments below.

Where do you belog?


This article is been edited to Nigerian workplace realities.

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Emotional Intelligence and Employee Engagement


Authored by By Enahoro Okhae

Employee Engagement can be referred to as a state of being emotionally connected to the organization; Being fully involved in and enthusiastic about your work and care about the success of the organization. Amongst Employees, we have those who are Fully Engaged, Partially Engaged and Disengaged.

Fully Engaged employees are actively involved in and enthusiastic about their work. They are willing to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction and make the organization a success, spreading enthusiasm within their team and beyond.

Partially Engaged Employees do the minimum to get by, concentrates on the job at hand and add little extra value. They simply follow their job description, they can’t understand why they have to go out of their way to get other things done.

Disengaged employees demonstrate negativity at work and undermine the accomplishments of others, potentially creating a toxic atmosphere in the workplace.

By now, you should be able to tell which category you fall into, I’m sure the categories above would not suffice for some people, never mind, you can find yourself in between …lol.

Now it is largely understood within the Human Resource industry that the Organization is responsible for creating an environment that would make the employee Fully Engaged, means the Organizations should create Structures, Policies and Procedures, Communication Style, Psychological Safety, Values, Systems, Processes etc. that would encourage active involvement of Employees. It is also expected that Leaders should communicate respectfully, act humanely to aid the full engagement of the employees.

As a human resource consultant, a life coach, an Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, a leadership, management and soft skill trainer, I have met countless employees that are either partially engaged or disengaged, of course I have also met a lot of people that are fully engaged, while several reasons might exist within an organization that influences the level of engagement of a staff, I have found that the difference between partially engaged/disengaged and the fully engaged staff is mostly not as a result of what is happening or not happening in the organization, neither is it a function what is available or not available in an organization. I have found that the major difference is that the fully engaged person sustains the decision and ability to create and use “Intrinsic Motivation” which propels their love for the job, input on the job, enthusiasm, going the extra mile and even spreading optimism

While the organization truly sustains the responsibility to create enabling environment, Structures, Policies and Procedures, Communication Style, Psychological Safety, Values, Systems, Processes etc. that would encourage active involvement of Employees, the challenge with this paradigm is that, there is a limit to what the organization can do to motivate a staff and get them fully engaged. The limit can be vested in the personality of the business owner, the limit can stem from the unavailability of resources, lack of profitability of the business and several other reasons; please don’t get me wrong I am not making a case for irresponsible structure or leadership; however, I am revealing to you the fact that you owe yourself the responsibility to have a fruitful day at work and to get the most out of your time at work.

Fully engaged people are optimistic, happy, excited, creative, make suggestions, they sustain a healthy emotional state at work irrespective of the “lacks” in the workplace; the outcome of sustaining this healthy emotional state is actually more beneficial to the individual than it is to the organization whether presently of futuristically. In the present it will help the individual to avoid the toxic emotions that are existing in the environment, it would distract the person from negativity, such a person would achieve better results and be in the good books of most people. All this would count positively for the person in the future.  If however an individual allows the unhealthy workplace environment results in idleness, anger, irritation, complacency, do not see reasons for extra input (which dampens creativity), spreading of negative news, etc. such a person is actually allowing more harm than good, eventually the staff loses more that the organization is losing.

Rather than allow the happenings within an organization be a determinant for your feeling, you should actually build the capacity to navigate the murky waters of the workplace and intentionally determine your emotional state for your good.

In the field of Emotional Intelligence, it has been established that your thoughts influence your feelings and your feelings influence your action. Workplace engagement is seen as an “action” which is influenced by their “feeling” based on their “thoughts”. If you think you are in a terrible workplace, that do not deserve you, do not treat you well, is not structured, filled with “dog eat dog”, and you allow that thought to fill your subconscious, there is a high likelihood that you would sustain unhealthy feelings, which is not good for you.  The difference between the fully engaged and the partially engaged/disengaged is their Intrinsic Motivation which is an Emotional Intelligence Competencies. Intrinsic Motivation is driven by internal rewards, it is the ability to choose yourself despite the happening in your workplace environment, the ability to focus on the positives available rather than be swept away by the bad and the ugly, the ability to identify and focus on learning points in the middle of the unstructured chaotic environment.

I have concluded that if you depend on your organization for the level of your motivation and thus engagement, you would be disappointed a lot of times. People who have experience working in several places know that there are workplace challenges everywhere, even in Google.

Engage you intrinsic motivation today by blending your thoughts and feelings to find a healthy emotional state for yourself and thus build a positive legacy for yourself in that workplace.

When you are gone, what would be remembered about you is “how” engaged you are not “why” you were partially engaged or disengaged.

Authored By Enahoro Okhae;

The Chief Managing Consultant; Simeon’s Pivot Resources, President Pause Factory; The Emotional Intelligence Academy and Co-Founder: GlobalCerts and Strategy (Delivery Partner; The KPI Institute Australia)

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3 Things Your Business Needs to Stand Out Online


Here’s how businesses and their owners can stand out in a noisy online world.
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Why Customer Reviews Are Crucial to Your Small Business


Word-of-mouth is not dead — it has simply adapted to the change in how businesses and shoppers operate

Authored by  Zev Herman

Back in the day, small businesses relied on word-of-mouth for business success. Today, word-of-mouth is not necessary for consumers to find businesses, thanks to the internet and other advancements in technology, transportation and communication. Consumers can find companies located near them and on the other side of the globe with relative ease.

Nevertheless, the word-of-mouth concept is not dead — it has simply adapted to the change in how businesses and shoppers operate. Think about it: Consumers still value what other people have to say about businesses, products and other people. What’s changed is how people get that information.

It Starts With Customer Reviews

Not every business utilizes customer reviews like they should. Sometimes, businesses don’t need reviews because they get business regardless. But for small businesses, customer reviews are important and can make or break a business.

If you get too many one-star customer ratings on Yelp or another review platform, it can hurt your business. If there aren’t a lot of ratings for your business but there are a high number of positive ratings for your competitors, it may cause you to lose business to companies that are in direct competition with you.

As the owner of a small business, I’ve found that to be successful, your customers must always be your top priority. This means making your customers happy, which translates to listening to them and prioritizing their needs. One way to do this is to pay attention to customer reviews.

Step One: Make It Easy for Customers to Review Your Business

Before you can use customer reviews to your advantage, you have to get customer reviews. It’s easy enough to utilize customer review platforms, like Yelp — all you have to do is claim your business. But you also have to encourage customers to leave reviews, because it’s easy for them to dismiss doing something that takes time. You can do a lot with customer reviews once you have them.

One easy way to encourage customers to leave reviews for your business and products is to implement review management software. This allows you to pre-screen customers. For example, did they have a positive or negative experience with your business? The software then directs customers to the appropriate review platform.

Once you have plenty of positive reviews, take advantage of them! Share them on your website and social media channels. Send them out in your company’s monthly newsletter. Do whatever you want to do with them, but one thing you should definitely do is respond to the reviews.

Step Two: Let Your Customers Know You Hear Them

Customers like to be acknowledged. If they leave a negative review of your business or product, respond to them in a positive way: Ask them how you can make their experience better in the future. Respond, even if their experience was positive. Thank them for the positive review and share it wherever you want other customers to see it. This shows that you put your customers first.

Step Three: Take Customer Reviews One Step Further

Getting customers to leave reviews — and sharing positive ones for the world to see — is an amazing accomplishment. If you do this regularly for your business, then you’re doing great, but you can do more. Most businesses value their customers because, without them, there would be no business.

Something we have done is use customers’ positive experiences to our advantage to create case studies and customer spotlight videos. We put time and money into making videos of our clients saying good things about their experiences with us, then shared the videos with everyone who subscribed to our monthly newsletter. We also built case studies for our company, because although this is more focused on us than the clients, it shows what we can do and how our products and services benefit customers.

Consider adopting similar approaches to take your positive testimonials even further for your business.

As president of Superior Lighting, Zev Herman focuses on growing a wholesale light bulb and lighting business.

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HR Does More Than Payroll — How to Become More Strategic and Why it’s Vital to Your Company


How to Move HR from Operational Fluff to Strategic Partner

Authored by Ben Peterson

Here’s a truth we often seem to forget: people create value, not companies. People are the ones who have the capacity to be great and do great things, and these actions drive businesses forward. People are a company’s biggest asset, and therefore, the department that’s focused on people — HR — is also an invaluable component of the business.

HR done right is crucial to the success of any company. That’s why the department whose job it is to maximize human potential needs to be involved in business strategy and directly contribute to the goals of the overall business — not just fulfill transactional functions like payroll and benefits.

HR isn’t strategic, and it’s hurting your company

However, HR is not a strategic partner in most companies today. We’re experiencing a value perception crisis in which HR’s true potential is not perceived. Edward Lawler argued that in 2015, HR wasn’t involved in business strategy anymore now than it was 10 years ago. He wrote in a piece on Forbes, “HR spends less than 15 percent of its time as a strategic business partner.” When HR is involved, he says, organizations not only function better but can more easily implement strategic changes.

By not perceiving or leveraging HR as a strategic partner, businesses are losing money. The high-dollar cost in HR failure includes detrimental issues like high employee turnover, low employee engagement, decreases in sales and more. On the flipside, financially stronger organizations are strategic about their people and execute this strategy through the HR department to create attractive company cultures that lead to high productivity, profitability, and retention.

Where we can improve

We have a void to fill in the perception of HR, and we need to fill it fast. Gartner presented research calling out two large market opportunities within the HR space: first, strategic HR skills transformation and second, HCM technology to support HR strategy. Currently, many organizations are keeping their HR departments buried with menial operational tasks like company policy and compliance and recruiting via listing, interviewing and posting — many of which can be automated using HR software, as Gartner points out, to help free HR for strategic action.

It’s understandable that when a company is just starting, HR will be performing a lot of transactional work to set the foundation. But rather than waiting until they’re fully matured to think about making HR strategic, companies should feel more urgency to create higher business value through HR as soon as possible. Let’s move the curve from operational to strategic faster; your money and efficiency depend on it!

Getting to the top of the pyramid

Think of HR’s role as a pyramid. Basic operations like payroll form the base; general operations like reporting, talent acquisition, and compliance tracking are the second tier; and strategic operations like culture, engagement, employment brand, operational efficiency, internal influence and learning and development are the top tier. Most HR departments are still stuck at the base, while a few are working on building the second level. Fewer still make it to the top, where HR fulfills its true strategic potential. What they need is a way to boost themselves up from that broad, transactional first level into a more strategic role — a force multiplier. HR technology is the solution, not only for rising above the transactional level but for elevating mid-level practice to the top of the pyramid with metrics, reporting and added bandwidth. Technology can satisfy the operational and administrative demands as well as aid the strategic side of HR. That’s a win-win.

HR professionals want to be strategic partners, and they want to add high, strategic value, faster. By investing in technologies that help them get there, the HR department and the C-suite can gain mutual trust and collaborate to meet critical business goals. When it comes down to it, the business has to support the profession that supports its greatest asset: people.

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You Think HR Is Lame? Think Again–It’s Your Most Important Department


Authored by By Michael Schneider

What comes to mind after reading these words? “Honest,” “Awesome,” Smart,” and “Punchy”… Was it HR? Probably not. These words aren’t typically synonymous with HR and recruiters (until recently). Whether it’s in corporate America or an agency setting, HR/recruiter stigmas aren’t great: cost centers, the principles office, and necessary evils are just a few that I’ve heard.

As a former third-party recruiter and an HR specialist, I can understand where these negative perspectives come from. That’s why I appreciate the premise of Top Recruiter. Finally, HR/recruiters have a global stage that’s showcasing the positive business impacts of talent acquisition.

For those who haven’t had a chance to check it out, Top Recruiter is a global movement of CEO’s who are re-engineering the business side of talent. The brand is driven by a groundbreaking docu-series broadcasted across channels like YouTube and Facebook.

At the helm is executive producer and talent acquisition advocate, Chris LaVoie. His goal, along with his cast of CEO’s, talent leaders, investors, and strategists, is to challenge contestants (HR/recruiter entrepreneurs) to get out of their bubbles, band together and reinvent an industry. The question driving all of the hype is “How would you re-engineer the business side of talent?”

Some important topics that have already been discussed on Top Recruiter are:

Turning a cost center into a profit center

Unlike profit-driving functions such as sales, HR is often viewed as a drain on the bottom line. However, if you look close enough, there are ample opportunities to increase efficiencies, streamline processes, and generate revenue.

Attracting, hiring, and retaining the “right” employees could be worth millions alone. For example, a Fortune article revealed that Google’s top technologists (vs. the average) are 300 times more productive. With the average Google employee generating over $1 million in revenue per year, recruiting an all-star has the potential of adding $300 million in revenue each year.

Also, there are cost savings opportunities when it comes to decreasing employee turnover, increasing engagement, and reducing recruiting spend by building strong talent pipelines.

Improving the candidate experience

Candidate experience is a hot topic in talent acquisition. In a few words, it refers to a prospective candidate’s opinion of your recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding process.

If negative, a poor candidate experience can adversely impact your organization’s employer brand. Possible side-effects of a poor employment brand are longer time-to-fill ratios, decreased employee morale, and overpaying for talent. On the flip side, per NextWave, a startup that specializes in employer branding, a strong brand can lead to a 50 percent decrease in cost/hire and a 28 percent increase in employee retention.

Being a strategic business partner

Organizations are coming to grips with an important truth that was elegantly said by Simon Sinek, “100 percent of customers are people. 100 percent of clients are people. 100 percent of employees are people. If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.”

Companies now have roles called HR business partners where the incumbent is responsible for aligning business objectives with human capital. They serve as an internal consultant to management on people-related issues and act as an employee advocate.

The times when HR and recruiters were seen as necessary evils and policy pushers is over.

The docu-series, Top Recruiter, is empowering HR professionals and recruiters to think differently. To change they way we approach our work and start focusing on savvy business strategies to drive bottom-line results.

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5 Powerful Habits of Extraordinarily Effective Leaders


Authored by  By Peter Economy

Take your business from good to great by applying the habits of today’s most successful leaders.

In business today, change can be rapid and unexpected. A great company one day can be not-so-great the next. Your best people may come and go, and your business strategy may need to change radically overnight to keep pace with ever-shifting markets. Challenges like these can make leading a successful business difficult, but the most successful leaders have figured out how to build companies that can thrive in even the most difficult circumstances.

Extraordinarily successful leaders get the most out of their people by helping them become highly motivated, engaged in their jobs, and happy. Adopt these five habits of extraordinarily successful leaders and watch your company’s performance quickly surge.

1. Set the bar high

The best way to encourage your people to consistently give their very best on the job is to set the bar high and then challenge them to meet or exceed your expectations. Delegate some of your most vexing problems to your employees. Set realistic goals for them, treat each employee as a valuable member of your team, and give them the autonomy to make decisions and do their work as they see fit, so long as they meet their performance standards and your expectations.

2. Build a productive work culture

A workplace that is industrious, trusting, open and fun will be the most productive and successful, even during turbulent times. Be open to new ideas and suggestions that come from your employees, and show them that their voices are being heard and their efforts appreciated.

3. Be visible and honest, and keep promises

Make the time to manage by walking around. Be visible to your employees. Find the pulse of your organization by observing your employees at work and asking them for their views on how they think things are going at their level, management’s level, and throughout the organization. Be frank and honest with them, and never make a promise you can’t keep. Listen to their concerns and regularly schedule meetings to strategize and problem-solve with your employees.

4. Make your team a part of the plan

While it’s the job of a leader to set the course for the organization, your employees’ knowledge and skill are critical for your success. Direct your employees toward your goals, but be as transparent with your people as you can be. Involve them in developing company plans and goals, and then show them what their role is in achieving them. When your employees understand the overall plan, they will view themselves as an important piece of the puzzle and may better understand your plans for the organization.

5. Celebrate your team’s successes

Take some time each week to celebrate your team’s successes and to thank your people for their continued efforts. A sincere thank you for a job well done can be a powerful motivator. Thank your employees personally and promptly when you find them doing something right by writing a quick email or text message, or by dropping by their office to tell them in person.

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Are you emotionally intelligent in the workplace?


Emotional intelligence is not just your ability to be aware of your own emotions. It also relates to how effective you are at controlling and expressing emotion to others on the job. It involves being able to understand how other people at work feel so you can use that insight to interact with them more effectively.

The importance of emotional intelligence

Both managers and staff-level employees can benefit from improving their level of EI to lead project teams, influence people and gain more responsibility. When people have high emotional intelligence, they make better leaders as well as better team members.

While EI can be helpful in any type of job or industry, it is particularly valuable for administrative professionals. The admin job involves personal interactions with a wide variety of personalities and workstyles, both internally and externally. Administrative managers need to not only work on their own EI but also help enhance emotional intelligence for their staff and consider it when evaluating job candidates.

How to build emotional intelligence

Here are five strategies that a manager or employee can use to help elevate their EI at work:

1. Boost your self-awareness

Do you know how you typically react to the stress of a pending deadline? When frustrated by a fellow employee who isn’t listening to your ideas, Don’t simply assume that you know how you come across to other people. Make an effort to objectively gauge your reactions and ask trusted colleagues for their candid take on your behavior. As a manager, it’s especially important to be aware of how your level of emotion, management style and behaviors affect your team to avoid being perceived as a bad boss.

2. Think before reacting

Emotional out bursts can cause your credibility with colleagues to plummet. If you’re leading an initiative or a team, consider the bigger picture before having a visible emotional reaction to something that upsets you in the workplace. If you walk away from the situation for a few minutes, it can give you a chance to regain composure.

3. Impact a sense of motivation

When you’re leading others, remember that they depend on you for inspiration. Take steps to enhance your mood before starting work, whether by exercising, talking to upbeat coworkers or other forms of self-care. Help keep the people you lead motivated by working with their strengths and providing them with the resources they need.

4. Listen more

Emotionally intelligent professionals know it’s important to empathize with the feelings and viewpoints of others in the workplace. Yet you can’t understand someone else’s wants and needs without really listening to that person. To lead with higher EI in the workplace, be a better listener. Avoid interrupting and tune in to what someone is saying before you speak.

5. Improve your social skills

Active listening is just one part of having a strong set of interpersonal skills to help you lead with greater EI. You can also work on improving your communication skill level by managing difficult conversations, resolving conflicts proactively and maintaining a friendly demeanor when interacting with other people on your team.

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The Essentials of Emotional Intelligence to Your Firm’s Hiring Process


Authored by Deanna Arteaga

By now, hiring managers at even the most traditional accounting firms know that if they hope to find the perfect candidate, they need to look for more than solid technical skills and a pedigreed education. They need to find a recruit who possesses exceptional soft skills as well.

But if you’re truly hoping to hire a candidate who will move your firm forward – someone who fits your culture, grows your business, and is primed to take on future leadership roles – there is one soft skill in particular that you need to move to the top of your must-have list: emotional intelligence (EI).

According to OfficeTeam, a division of staffing firm Robert Half, a growing number of companies are factoring EI into their hiring decisions, and they’re doing it for the very same reason they focus on developing EI in their current workers.

Employees with a high emotional quotient (EQ) can more efficiently deal with workplace changes, challenging situations, and difficult colleagues – and they make great leaders, said Brandi Britton, district president of OfficeTeam.

“Considering emotional intelligence in the recruitment process will pay off in the long run for accounting firms,” Britton said. “Someone’s emotional intelligence ties into their fit with the corporate culture, which is of utmost significance, and EI is also essential when considering future leadership roles.”

So essential that a recent survey from OfficeTeam found that nearly all human resources (HR) managers (95 percent) and workers (99 percent) said it’s important for employees to have a high EQ. Forty-three percent of HR managers identified increased motivation and morale as the greatest benefit of having emotionally intelligent staff, but three in 10 HR managers believe most employers put too little emphasis on EI during the hiring process.

In its research guide, Emotional Intelligence at Work: What It Is and Why You Should Care, OfficeTeam suggests hiring managers at all professional firms should make “EI a consideration when evaluating job candidates.”

“We believe if you want to find the best fit for your firm, it is advisable to ask behavioral interview questions to gauge how someone manages situations, and ask references how well an applicant handles criticism, resolves conflicts, listens to others, and motivates team members,” Britton said.

Many accounting professionals may question, however, whether hiring for EQ is a luxury firms can afford. Given today’s talent shortage, they may be thinking: Can we really afford to judge, and potentially turn away, otherwise talented candidates based on their EQ alone?

Britton acknowledged that hiring for EQ takes additional effort and a shift in perspective at first, but it is a small initial investment that promises a big long-term return. Initially, she said, hires with high EQ are more able to adapt to a firm’s culture, which means firms avoid the costly and time-consuming mistake of making a bad hire.

They are also better communicators, which means they will build stronger client relationships throughout their careers, and once they enter the leadership pipeline, they are also likely more capable of securing new business for the firm.

Technical abilities may be easier to assess and train, but soft skills are more difficult to develop, so “don’t overlook soft skills in the interview process,” she cautioned.

Strategies to Gauge Emotional Intelligence
Once a firm has committed to considering EQ as part of its hiring process, there are specific strategies hiring managers can use to gauge candidates’ EI.

First, Britton said, it’s important to understand the basic concept of EI, which, according to OfficeTeam’s research guide, is defined as “a person’s capacity to be aware of, control, and effectively express emotions.” Perhaps more importantly, EI “involves understanding how others feel and using that knowledge to manage how you interact with them.”

EI pioneer Daniel Goleman, PhD, co-director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations, identifies the five key components of EI in the workplace as:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

According to OfficeTeam, many of the specific EQ indicators – EQ “tells,” if you will – that hiring managers can look for in a simple interview or resume will present themselves in the language a candidate uses to describe his or her goals and accomplishments.

Some specific clues to look for in a resume: Are there indicators the candidate was self-motivated enough to take outside developmental courses? Are there examples of how he or she overcame objections? Does the candidate use phrases that highlight his or her communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills?

During the personal interview, there are specific questions hiring managers can ask themselves, as well as questions designed to assess the applicants’ EI. According to the research guide, some examples of questions HR managers should ask themselves while listening to an applicant may include:

  • If an applicant talks about a failure, does the comment suggest an awareness of some personal responsibility for the episode, or does he or she simply blame others?
  • When it comes to handling criticism, is the person able to acknowledge any shortcomings and keep things in perspective rather than becoming defensive and making excuses?
  • What about teamwork? Can candidates describe how they have confronted simmering issues and helped to solve them with a team, or are the answers slanted more individually? Similarly, do they credit team members for successes?
  • Do candidates seem genuinely interested in the job and the people they’ll be working with? Or do you sense indifference?

“If any of the answers tend toward the latter in these questions, it may be an indicator [the candidate has] a low emotional quotient,” according to the research guide.

Questions hiring managers should ask the applicant may include:

  • If you’ve previously reported to multiple supervisors at the same time, how did you get to know each person’s preferences and juggle conflicting priorities?
  • Tell me about a workplace conflict you were involved in, either with your peers or someone else in the company. How did you manage that conflict, and were you able to resolve it?
  • If business priorities change, describe how you would help your team understand and carry out the shifted goals.

When considering final-round candidates, references can also be an incredibly valuable tool for hiring managers trying to gauge candidates’ EI “in action,” as it were. Questions for references can be very similar to the types of questions asked in the interview, just revised to glean an outsider’s perspective.

For example, the research guide suggests that hiring managers ask references to comment on how the candidate handles conflict and criticism, listens to others, and motivates other team members.

If firm leaders find this EQ learning curve too steep, and if they are still leery of revamping their calcified hiring and interviewing strategies, Britton suggested that there is one additional argument hiring managers can use to make the case for EQ hiring: Employees with high EI can help ease the tensions and transitions surrounding changing demographics at today’s accounting firms.

Nearly every accounting firm today is a generational mosh pit of retiring baby boomers, an influx of millennials, and ambitious Gen Xers elbowing for management positions – all with differing expectations of work and vastly different communication styles.

Team members with high EQ, whatever generation they belong to, are the best at managing change, negotiating these differing work styles, and developing solutions to help team members adapt to new processes, so they are best for the health of the firm in these changing times, Britton said.

“Navigating interactions with different age groups is a challenge in all workplaces, including those in the accounting space. While demographics can affect certain parties’ motivations, goals, and approaches, making assumptions or stereotyping isn’t the way to go,” she added. “When employees have strong emotional intelligence, they take the time to carefully listen to and understand each other before drawing conclusions. Barriers are broken and the group’s overall ability to collaborate improves.”

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How Emotional Intelligence Changed Interviewing


Authored by NeighthanWhite

What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is how a person uses their emotions in order to identify, understand, and manage emotional situations in a positive manner in order to communicate successfully and relate to others.

Not long ago businesses hired based on the answers in an interview as to where the candidate went to school, what skills the candidate had and if they were going to stay with a company for more than a couple years. Due to the fact that more and more students tend to cheat or even trick plagiarism tools in their thesis, the real “skills” of an employee can be overestimated. Now interviewing candidates has changed and it isn’t always the smartest or the most skilled candidate that gets the job; today it tends to be the one with the best emotional intelligence.

What gives someone a high emotional intelligence?

Someone who is aware of their own emotions and those around them, who can interact with others so that it brings others to them, and can understand the emotional signals of others so that they can commune successfully in order to form solid connections; has a high emotional intelligence.

The good thing is that like stress management, emotional awareness can be learned which can raise your emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence and business

When it comes to business emotional intelligence is a great guide in making hires. The boss or manager who is doing the hiring needs to have a high emotional intelligence in order to hire people. They need to look for; people who cannot only do the job because of skills and education but those who have a high emotional intelligence as well. This results in a more productive workforce.

When it comes to interviewing applicants the interviewer needs to ask certain questions and gauge the applicants’ answer and attitude; basically look at their emotional intelligence to see if they are going to be a good fit in workplace and position they are being hired for.

So what types of questions might an interviewer ask to gauge emotional intelligence? There are 4 basic types of question to ask when gauging emotional intelligence.

  1. Self-awareness – In order to gauge this you as the interviewer will need to ask the applicant questions such as; what are your weaknesses? Here you are looking for responses that show they understand their genuine weaknesses and not just “I’m not good at math” or “I’m too organized”. You are looking for something that says they understand their genuine weakness; an answer like “For one I am too organized it may actually border on obsessive compulsive”.
  2. Self-regulation –During the interview you should be able to gauge a person’s self-regulation by what they have to say about previous jobs, bosses, and co-workers. One question that can be asked is “why did you leave your last job?” and depending on their reply you can gauge their self-regulation. If they say my boss was an idiot and my coworkers were morons you should think twice before hiring this person. On the other hand, if they answer with it wasn’t a good fit for me or the business and I felt I could do a better job in a different area or department then you can see that they have some self-regulation.
  3. Motivation – You want employees who are self-motivated, this will free up the time of supervisors and bosses to concentrate on other areas that need to be taken care of instead of just managing workers. A question that may reveal how self-motivated the applicant is would be; what are looking for in the company if you are hired or where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you were to manage to get your work done early what would you do with your time? Answers such as I am looking to work for a company where I can advance, in 5 years I see myself having advanced to the next level or even 2 levels above the current position I am interviewing for, if I had my work finished early I would ask co-workers if I could be of assistance to them first and if not then I would make sure the area is clean and after that I would find the boss and ask what else needs to be done for this project.
  4. Empathy –this can be tough to ferret out in a first meeting but if you watch for the signals such as do they look you in the eyes during communication, do they smile, and do they ask questions about you? Questions you could ask to gauge their empathy level are; what would you do if a customer was yelling at a co-worker or how would you handle a customer who needs special assistance?
  5. People skills –these can be hard to determine during an interview but if you pay attention to social signals of the applicant such as do they look you in the eyes during communication, do they stand up when you do, or do they smile and what their body language is saying you should be able to gauge the skills they have socially when building relationships or communicating with others. You will at least get a general idea of how they interact with others.

Emotional intelligence and school

College can be a tough place, a heavy academic load, a job to help pay for books and tuition, as well as time to study can place a huge amount of stress on a student. How they handle that stress and perform is a great indicator of their emotional intelligence.

College is also a place where you can build your emotional intelligence and learn how to deal with situations and people. Let’s look at a couple of examples of how this can help build your emotional intelligence.

  • You discover your weaknesses and strengths. Here you could find out that you are not self-motivated which means you need to work on that. You could also find out that you are good at helping people with their problems because you are a great listener.
  • You learn how to interact with others in a way that brings them to you. This could be a mediator between your friends or classmates or in being a motivator for a class project.
  • You also learn how hurtful gossip and someone talking about you behind your back can be; this is where you have to learn to deal with that. Do you choose to not be a gossiper to directly talk to the person you have an issue with or spread rumors? This is where you can build your empathy for others as well as self-regulation.
  • You will also discover if you can manage your time well and if you are able to ask for help when you need it to get work done. An example of this is two days ago you told Sue at work that you would cover for her only to realize that you have an assigned essay due. If you cover for Sue you will not have time to do that essay; what do you do? Cover for her as you said you would and turn the essay in late, cover for her and try to do the essay while you are working; or do you find someone who can help you with that essay?

Building your emotional intelligence during school years and even after can help you get hired at a good paying job or in the industry which you wish to be working in.  Always work on emotional intelligence by being more self-aware and honestly understanding your weaknesses and strengths and what you can do to improve your emotional intelligence.


Emotional intelligence has changed the way companies and businesses hire their employees so you need to learn how to strengthen your emotional intelligence.

Someone once told me “it is not the hand you are dealt in life but how you react to that hand that defines your character” I always agreed and still do but I would also say that the hand you’re dealt and how you deal with it defines your emotional intelligence as well.

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