Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand and control our emotions as well as that of others, in order to improve communication, overcome stress and other challenges. It is also abbreviated as EQ or EI.
It consists of 5 features which include self-regulation, self-awareness, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
The features of emotional intelligence are a determinate factor in knowing who has a higher EI. People with high emotional intelligence exhibit them through their deeds.
Having a high EI implies that you are able to understand your emotions and that of others. Also, such a person communicates well and develops skills that help people learn from him/her.
Additionally, a high EI offers the ability to improve problem-solving skills at workplaces or anywhere in life. EI is a skill that is highly valuable and important in one’s career, studies, workplace and life in general.
How is emotional intelligence acquired?
Emotional intelligence can come natural or learned. This simply means that if you are not naturally gifted with that, then you have to learn the skills.
Getting to know how to interact and communicate with people, at work, in school, etc. can help you acquire emotional intelligence.
To start this, you have to, first of all, be motivated by yourself for yourself, because that is one thing that can make you improve your EI.
When you want to develop a higher EI, it is advised to know the features (what made it up), and then know where you need attention more, and start from there.
There are 4 effective known ways to test your emotional intelligence which the major ways to know your EI levels. They include:
- Self-report method
This method is used in measuring your attributes or features by yourself. Such attributes are anxiety, confidence, warmth and so on.
It has been used for many years and has served as a great tool in measuring one’s emotional intelligence.
In this way, you are required to answer questions that were given to you such as a questionnaire, and these questions have to do with your feelings, beliefs, behavior, etc., while you are being observed.
It measures by self-report, however, the best way to measure emotional intelligence is by ability. This is because EI is made up of many skills, and skills are better measured by ability test.
There is another type of self-reports method, which is;
- Target scoring
This involves allowing a person whose emotional intelligence is to be tested to tell how he/she feels. Then, whatever be the answer at that moment is considered correct.
This is another way through which our emotional intelligence can be tested, but instead of answering the questions yourself like in the self-report, others answer on your behalf.
The observers are given questionnaires to rate you, and whatever their result is, that is what you are. This is applicable even when the result isn’t true.
This is because they rate you by what they see and think, and by not by actual feelings. This method is good when you want to know the opinion of others concerning someone.
This method provides information such as the person’s skills but fails to provide information concerning one’s emotional intelligence.
An example of “other-report” method of emotional intelligence test is
- Expert scoring
This method involves consulting professionals who are skilled in detecting someone’s emotional intelligence. From their perspective, the person to be tested is scored.
This method can be quite useful to a point but seems not to be the best.
The experts score based on their perspective, they are the ones that determine the result. Instead of them focusing on how the person feels, they tend to tell how the person should feel.
- Ability tests
Unlike the other kind of emotional intelligence test, this one measures your skills by your ability. It doesn’t allow you or your friends to answer for you, rather it provides you with the opportunity to show your skill and then rate you accordingly.
Some Examples of ability tests are:
- Psychology tools EQ test: This was developed by Simon Baron-Cohen, for testing Empathy Quotients in adults.
It is a questionnaire consisting of 40-60 items questions that you have to answer by ticking the appropriate box which ranges from strongly agree to slightly agree, and then, slightly disagree to strongly disagree.
The person to be tested is expected to carefully read the statement and then tick. When you are done, you submit and wait for your EQ score.
- Harvard business review test: This test provides a 25 question quiz in which you are to tick an answer under each question.
This test expects that your answer is nothing but the truth. And so, it helps in directing you to the path where you need improvement after the result is analyzed by your answer.
The test also allows you to check your answers. The result and may be shown to friends who will view it from their perspective, in order to rate you too.
- Very Well’s EQ test: The EQ test was designed to have 10 simple and straight forward questions with respective answers under, this was developed by Kendra Cherry.
When you are done, your result will be shown according to performance.
There are lots of ability test tools such as PyschTest and more. You can use any of them to measure your ability online. Though each may have their technique but the concept is the same for all.
The answers are determined by other people’s opinions, those who took the Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale (MEIS).
The test was conducted using more than hundreds of people, and then, the answers were analyzed and used to form the basis for measuring EI.
So, that which you think might be wrong might be the one allocated with the highest point which is based on the frequency at which each of them was selected.
In general, no answer is determined as the best in this case.
The ability test uses the MEIS to measure emotional intelligence, as started above too, and is based on;
- Identifying emotions: This means recognizing your feelings and that of people around you. It uses faces and stories as a subtest.
- Using emotions: This includes being able to reason with your emotions and use them effectively.
- Understanding emotions: This involves the ability to know how to guide your emotions, and it uses blends, progressions, and relativity as a subtest.
- Managing emotions: This involves how you can use your emotions in making positive decisions. It uses self and others as a subtest.
- Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQI)
This is a type of test which was developed to measure emotional intelligence. Self-report and other-method reports are both applied to score an individual.
The target person is allowed to express how he/she feels. Also, the observers are also allowed to rate the person from their perspective.
In the end, both results are combined to deduce a more detailed and precise answer.
This method has been used for more than 2 decades. It focuses on measuring EI in a more reliable way based on skills/abilities like competency and non-cognitive abilities capabilities.
It makes use of 5 scales which comprises of 15 components as shown below;
- Intrapersonal scaleThis consists of independence, self-actualization, self-regard, emotional awareness and assertiveness.
- Interpersonal scalesThis includes interpersonal relationships, empathy, and social responsibility.
- AdaptabilityAdaptability includes reality testing, flexibility and problem-solving.
- Stress management scaleThis is made up of stress tolerance and impulse control components.
- General mood scaleConsists of optimism and happiness. This method was developed to focus on the actual potential areas of the target individual, which is measuring its ability.
Emotional intelligence is very important in our career, workplace, and encounters with people. It goes a long way to show how we relate, value others and control our emotions, listen to others and identify with them.
It is regarded as a great tool not just for emotional intelligence but also for social intelligence.
Comparing Emotional Intelligence (EI) with Intelligent Quotient (IQ)
Many people, even companies have placed high regard on Emotional Intelligence (EI) than Intelligent Quotient (IQ). EI has proved to help to increase productivity, create a good working atmosphere through relationships with people and so on.
When comparing Intelligent Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence (EI), it is believed that IQ can help a lot in making one successful but EQ is really what makes one special.
And why IQ is mostly genetics, EQ can be acquired (learned) through training and development, and improve on it always.
Currently, the test for emotional intelligence is limited to the above, though there have been some other trails and attempts in measuring emotional intelligence. One of them is the “fun quiz” developed by Daniel Goleman but has not been proven reliable to an extent.