Many people believe that creativity and innovative thinking are traits that we are born with—we either have them or not. However, we have found that people who are highly innovative are a work in progress, forever questioning and examining themselves and the world around them. Far from being something we are born with, we can all become more innovative and creative by developing the traits that innovative people share. Here are some of the emotional intelligence-related attributes that innovative people share.
Emotional intelligent people have their egos under control and are open to other people’s ideas. They don’t think their ideas are always the best. As a result of their openness to other ideas, they are able to accumulate a larger source of data from which to draw from. They are also less likely to fall into the trap of following up on ideas and prospects that are only popular and then receiving kudos for them.
Even though they may not think their ideas are always spot on, there is always a belief in their craft and innovate accordingly. They see failures as temporary setbacks. By failing, this will uncover a way that doesn’t work, bringing them closer to a way that will. Great innovators such as Edison, failed countless times before achieving a breakthrough that led to success. A common factor in all innovators is they see failures and setbacks as temporary and do not take them personally.
Emotionally intelligent people are curious about people, concepts, and issues. They’re open to new information always on the lookout for new ideas that can be put into practice. Being avid readers, forever seeking out new ideas, and expanding their knowledge base increases their repertoire of tools for future use. Noticing every opportunity, a random meeting with a stranger, conversation, or an event they are attending is always an occasion to learn something new. Every person they talk to is seen as possessing some knowledge that may be beneficial to them.
Emotionally intelligent people pick up on information and are able to sit back and take it in, and are adept at processing information that makes them excellent listeners. When someone is speaking, most people are formulating a response in their minds instead of just focusing upon what the person talking is saying. Good listeners are able to focus not only on the words that are being spoken, but are aware of the tone of the words, the body language expressed, and the emotions behind them. This allows the individual to not only absorb valuable information but develop strong relationships with others. We all have a strong desire to be heard and are attracted to those we feel have taken the time and effort to hear us.
Emotionally intelligent people see failure as a process—this takes them one step closer to being their best self. They don’t have to defend an idea that is proven to be wrong as they’re seeking to advance themselves personally and are looking to advance their ideas. Emotionally intelligent people just love to create because this fills their soul and life purpose.
Emotionally intelligent people have a keen sense of awareness.They can express their emotions in a way that isn’t confrontational. They can be assertive without being aggressive. One must be able to take direction in order to give direction.
Being emotionally intelligent allows people to feel comfortable around you. To truly understand a customers’ needs you have to have empathy. It’s not just about the product. It’s about the people. As Maya Angelou said: "You may not remember what someone said to you, but you will remember how they made you feel."