Emotional intelligence, as defined by Psychology Today, is the “ability to identify and manage your emotions and the emotions of others.”

Think about the impact of that ability on a person’s success as a manager. There’s no doubt most of us make as many emotional decisions as we do logical ones. And all of us have emotional triggers or issues about which we struggle to think rationally. We might strive for cold calculation, but we all have buttons. Now, think about what happens when someone with low emotional intelligence is tossed into the powder keg of an office environment – a team of people with varying levels of emotional control being led by a person with no ability to gauge and work within that dynamic.

You end up with a fairly commonplace scenario: work that needs doing hindered or stopped by emotional disconnects or friction, amplified by a manager who lacks the ability to properly navigate emotions and positively move the situation forward.

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew how to identify leaders with high emotional IQs in order to place them in key positions in your organization? And, if you’re that manager, wouldn’t it be nice if you knew which qualities within yourself you could work on? Here are a few:

Individuals with high emotional intelligence are not perfectionists in the understood sense of the word. Sure, they want things done accurately, but they don’t allow the pursuit of perfection to get in the way of progress. It’s one thing to be able to see the right end and motivate people toward it. It’s something else not to see the steps to get there. Leaders with high emotional IQs are better at seeing which steps, however imperfect, can result in a win.

They also understand that not everyone has the same understanding of how to balance work and play. Managers love workaholics … until their drive destroys their personal lives, and their subsequent depression brings down the entire workflow. A better approach is to understand each team member’s inherent need to do something other than work and allow for protocols that maximize productivity while also encouraging employees to feed their need for recreation and relationships.

Here’s a combined trait that may seem like a dichotomy. Managers with high emotional IQs embrace change while avoiding distraction. Low EIQ individuals are brittle when it comes to facing change. They resist it reflexively, but can’t quite get past the potential to do something better. This creates a “my way or the highway” approach that often squanders resources and misses opportunities. Meanwhile, folks with high emotional intelligence welcome change while staying focused on the end goal. Remember that ability to see “good” on the way to “great”? That ability plays a key role here.

So, what about you? How’s your emotional IQ?