How to Understand and Measure Your Emotional Intelligence

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This post lists resources to help you understand and measure your Emotional Intelligence (EI). In so doing, you’ll understand your EI strengths, and learn more about yourself and how you might further improve your EI.

Emotional Intelligence is the missing part of the puzzle in our overall success in managing ourselves, and our relationships with others.

A practical definition of Emotional Intelligence (EI) is: The capacity to be aware of, control, and express your emotions, and to handle relationships sensitively and with empathy. Traditional IQ refers to our Intelligence Quotient. But IQ only goes so far in understanding ourselves. When it comes to self-awareness, insight into ourselves and others, IQ has been shown to be insufficient by itself. The missing part of the puzzle is Emotional Intelligence (also known as EQ).

This explains why some highly intelligent people don’t handle themselves very well. They are not good in social relationships, for example, or they have difficulty communicating without upsetting people. Success and happiness elude them.

The pillars of EI

EI is built around five ‘pillars’ or skillsets: 

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-control 
  • Social skills
  • Empathy
  • Self-motivation.

Your level of emotional Intelligence governs:

  • Your emotional self-awareness, that is, the ability to identify and name your own emotions. 
  • How well you control those emotions and apply them to thinking, problem-solving, and self-management. 
  • An awareness of the emotional impact that your words and actions can have on others.

Emotional intelligence is the foundation of a well-balanced life. It influences all aspects from physical and mental wellbeing to successful relationships and our interactions with others.

At its heart, regardless of definitions, EI is based on a set of aptitudes which determine how well you handle yourself in life, and how well you can understand and get on with others.

If you want to know more about how to measure and understand your Emotional Intelligence there are plenty of ways to do it.

Emotional Intelligence resources

Here are a number of resources to help you understand and develop your Emotional Intelligence. The first is my course: What Emotional Intelligence is, why It matters, and how to develop it (if you’ve come to this page via the course, you will already know this).

It’s an engaging course (so students have said) that outlines the concept of Emotional Intelligence, explains why it is important for personal and professional development and describes how to apply the ideas to assess and improve your own confidence and performance by developing your EI.

The resources below have all been developed by others and are freely available on the web. I’ve collected them together here for your convenience. Each will add something different to your understanding of Emotional Intelligence and how you use the skills in your life. You’ll be learning about your EI strengths, but equally, any areas that it would be useful for you to develop. (The titles below are the links)

PsychTests Emotional Intelligence Test

This questionnaire will enable you to evaluate your EI skills. It’s a solid test with 341 questions, so set a little time aside to complete it (Psychtests – who designed the test – recommend an hour).

How well do you read other people?

The Greater Good Science Center “studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society”. Their test helps you to assess an important aspect of your Emotional Intelligence. It is aimed specifically at helping you to understand how well you can read other people by their facial expressions. The value in this is that you assess your ability to pick up on and correctly identify the emotional visual cues of those around you.

The Alpha High IQ Society EQ test

Measure your emotional Intelligence with a shorter questionnaire. We are all familiar with the traditional IQ test which measures intellectual intelligence. EQ (Emotional Quotient) is a term often used in relation to Emotional Intelligence. Just like IQ, EQ is assessed using tests like this one, though the authors are quick to point out that, unlike IQ tests, those for EQ have not yet been scientifically validated.

Please let me know…

I hope you find these resources useful in helping you understand and measure your Emotional Intelligence. Let me know how you get on, why don’t you? Above all, if there’s anything else you need in relation to developing your EI, then please let me know by leaving a comment.

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