Being “emotionally intelligent” is a vital characteristic for brokers, according to psychologist Hendrie Weisinger, author of “Emotional Intelligence at Work.”

Sensing the emotions of clients and co-workers, recognizing your own emotional cues and implementing techniques to manage those feelings are invaluable to your business, says Weisinger.

Weisinger's book highlights several steps to achieve emotional intelligence:

High self-awareness — “Imagine the impact on your business if you are not aware of how your clients are reading your behavior,” Weisinger says.

Mood management — “Are you the thermometer [influenced by the environment] or are you the thermostat [able to regulate your emotions]?” he asks. Weisinger says it's important to anticipate potential emotional states of clients and prepare your reaction ahead of time, he says.

Interpersonal communication — “Do you truly listen?” Weisinger asks. “What are clients saying and how do they say it?”

Emotional mentoring — Helping other people handle emotions is essential to your own emotional intelligence, Weisinger says.

Published by Jossey-Bass, “Emotional Intelligence at Work” (ISBN 0787951986) is available for $16 at selected bookstores and online.