How Is Emotional Intelligence Measured
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People with high emotional intelligence are not necessarily good people, nor do they have to be. Some of the most famous bullies in history had very high levels of EI. They knew how to play on others’ emotions for their own benefit, and sometimes it was hurtful to those around them.
Emotionally intelligent people may also use emotion as a tool to take advantage of others. This is why some people who lack empathy can still succeed, though certainly not at a level that makes them worthy company.
There are many theories about what makes someone feel controlled when they look into another person’s eye. There isn’t one agreed-upon definition, but researchers generally agree that being able to recognize your feelings and those of other people is an important part of having emotionally smart relationships.
Some studies include the term ‘empathy’ in their definitions of emotional intelligence, but this article uses the term intuitively to refer to understanding your own feelings and those of others. It may be helpful to think about it that way first before looking more closely at the tests used to measure it.
One of the most common ways to assess emotional intelligence is using self-assessments or questionnaires. These assessments ask you to evaluate yourself on a scale according to different traits, behaviors, and qualities.
Interpersonal emotional intelligence
Another way to measure EI is by assessing someone’s interpersonal skills- how well people are able to read other people, use social cues, and understand what makes others feel good or bad. These types of behaviors are considered part of interpersonal emotional intelligence because they focus more on understanding other people and their emotions than having control over your own.
Some examples of this type of EQ include being able to recognize when a friend seems down and wants to talk about things, or knowing when to offer help with tasks after work. This would be up-lifting someone else’s mood and demonstrating that you care about them, which is a great quality in its own right.
However, it can go too far- if used improperly, these qualities can contribute to making an individual face less challenge and criticism in life. People may avoid bringing up difficult topics for fear of upsetting you, you might hesitate to help others out due to fears of getting burned again, and you could unknowingly put off seeking help because you don’t want to deal with anyone but yourself. All of these effects reduce self-confidence and wellness.
There have been many theories as to why some individuals seem to lack empathy, but none with strong evidence supporting them until now.
Intrapersonal emotional intelligence
One of the most important forms of EI is intrapersonal emotional intelligence or “self-awareness” as it’s sometimes called. This aspect of EQ focuses on your understanding and management of emotions within yourself (i.e., your personal reactions to situations, thoughts about yourself, and how you perceive other people’s behavior towards you).
Most commonly, this element of EQ is measured via self-report questionnaires that ask questions like: "How often do you feel confident in your ability to show feelings to others?" or "How much control do you have over your own strong emotions?"
Researchers also look at whether individuals are able to identify their own emotions correctly, which helps them recognize what they're feeling and why. For example, someone who is aware that she feels nervous when she talks may try to distract herself from talking by doing something else. Or, someone who knows that she gets angry when things don't go her way might make sure not to let things be difficult for too long before seeking resolution.
One of the most fundamental ways that we assess emotional intelligence is by looking at how well someone makes decisions. Does this person take their time to consider all options before choosing? Once they have made their choice, does this person stick with it, or do they keep re-evaluating their decision?
If you've ever worked for someone who constantly changes what position he/she holds in an organization, then you have experienced someone with low levels of emotional intelligence. These people are called maladaptive leaders because rather than staying within the parameters set out by the company, these individuals often look to push aside the rules and guidelines put into place to ensure successful leadership.
People with high levels of emotional intelligence make smart choices and understand that things will change depending on whoever else is involved, but they remain consistent even when others are not. They recognize that relationships can be tough, so they try to avoid putting too much energy into them unless they feel that connection first.
Emotions play a big part in how well someone leads, and having control over your own emotions is one of the key qualities in developing yours.
One of the most well-known measures for emotional intelligence is called the “Interpersonal Skills” questionnaire. This test was developed in 1995 by psychologist Peter Salovey at Yale University. Since then, it has been adapted and modified many times to fit different versions of the test.
The original Interpersonal Skill questionnaire had ten questions. Eight asked about how you would describe yourself when interacting with other people, and two more focused on whether you were able to control your emotions in social situations and if you could read others’ body language.
Since its creation, though, only one version has gone beyond these eight questions – and even that reduced the number down to just five. These ask about how often you feel happy or sad while around others, how frequently you use positive versus negative body language, and how likely you are to consider context before interpreting someone’s actions.
But what all these tests have in common is that they don’t actually measure emotional quotient — something we know is an important part of leadership. They assess something else, which some call ‘emotional literacy’ or ‘social effectiveness.’
This isn’t the same thing as EQ, which would look at not just how you behave towards others but also how you relate to others and understand their feelings. It goes without saying that having strong interpersonal skills is great, but being emotionally intelligent requires more than that.