Why practices should hire staff with emotional intelligence

By Aine Cryts

Between calming down the stressed out parents of sick children and figuring out how to juggle physicians' busy schedules, physician practices need employees with emotional intelligence.

What's more, team members with high emotional intelligence are more likely to be empathetic and self-motivated, according to a recent article in Inc. In general, they're also more focused on the future and able to embrace change. That's because empathy is grounded in curiosity about other people, the ability to show compassion and a sincere interest in helping others, according to the article.

Still, it's not easy to hire for emotional intelligence, reports Harvard Business Review. Personality tests won't help you suss out this personality trait, nor will asking job candidates to report on their own capacity to illustrate emotional intelligence.

Behavioral event interviewing can help, says HBR. Here's how that works: Once you have created a comfortable, warm environment for the job interview and done basic introductions, ask candidates to tell you about challenging work situations that they tackled successfully. Next, ask them to tell you about challenges they faced where they were unsuccessful.

What's pivotal to this interviewing technique is asking detailed questions as candidates tell their stories. Make sure you listen for how they articulate their own feelings, the impact of events on others and about own their contributions, suggests HBR.

Encouraging candidates to describe these experiences will show you the level of emotional intelligence they can bring to the workplace, according to the publication.

Physicians' ability to connect with patients is a direct result of their emotional intelligence, as previously reported by FiercePracticeManagement. But empathy and kindness are crucial qualities for all physician practice staff.

To learn more:
- read the Inc. article
- check out the HBR article