Emotional intelligence is your ability to assess and take control of your own emotions and recognize the emotions of others. To measure emotional intelligence, you can use standard tests. You can also ask questions to assess a person’s emotional intelligence. If you find you’re lacking in this skill, you can take steps to improve your own emotional intelligence.
EditUsing Tools to Measure Emotional Intelligence
- Take an online test. Many online assessments claim to measure your emotional intelligence. Generally, you answer a series of multiple-choice questions, and then you’re presented with your results. You can try tests like the ones on this site: http://www.eiconsortium.org/measures/measures.html
- Some tests are more reliable than others. The tests on this link have had a substantial amount of research performed on them, so they at least have a bit more information to back them up.
- Choose a self-reporting test to learn how you see yourself. One type of test asks you questions about how you view yourself. It’s the simplest approach because you can do it all by yourself in less than an hour online. However, it doesn’t necessarily give you the whole picture by itself.
- For instance, this type of test might ask you to rate a series of statements like “I often feel upset. True, Somewhat True, or Not True.”
- Ask others to assess you through testing. Another option, which works well in addition to self-reporting, is asking others to rate your emotional intelligence. Basically, they answer similar questions about you to those you answered about yourself, giving you an idea of how other people perceive you.
- For instance, the test might make a statement such as “This person is able to understand the emotions of others. True, Somewhat True, or Not True.”
- Try an abilities test. A third approach is using the test to actually check your skills, rather than just asking you to talk about them. It’s beneficial because it asks you to exhibit your emotional intelligence, which can then be measured.
- This type of test might present you with situations and give you responses to choose from. Alternatively, it might present you with a person’s face and ask you to guess the person’s emotions.
EditAssessing Emotional Intelligence Using Conversation
- Ask the person to describe a bad day and how they dealt with it. One way to judge a person’s emotional intelligence is to assess how they deal with a situation in which everything has gone wrong.
- For instance, a person who blames other people and just gets angry and frustrated is not particularly emotionally aware or intelligent.
- However, a flexible person who is able to effectively adapt and cope to bad situations has more emotional maturity.
- Discuss how they get along with other people. If you’re in an interview or other situation in which you’re trying to assess a person’s emotional intelligence, try getting them to discuss their work relationships. If they don’t seem to get along with anyone or have a nice thing to say about anyone, they probably aren’t as emotionally mature as you’d like.
- For instance, someone might say, “I try to keep my work relationships professional, and truthfully, I prefer to work alone.” This could indicate a lack of emotional intelligence.
- However, someone who says, “I enjoy working with all types of people, so I’m so happy that my workplace encourages cooperation,” may have a bit more emotional maturity.
- Let them teach you something. This tactic might seem a little bizarre, but an emotionally intelligent person will take on this challenge with relish. Be sure to push the person to describe things you don’t understand, and see how they respond. An emotionally intelligent person will try to rework what they’re saying so you can understand, while a person who is less emotionally intelligent may start getting frustrated or agitated.
- Ask about who they admire. This question helps you assess what values the person admires. In turn, you can at least see who they aspire to be, as we often admire people who we strive to be like. That tells you what level of emotional intelligence the person is working towards.
EditDeveloping Emotional Awareness
- Check in with your emotions throughout the day. Set an alarm to go off several times throughout the day. When it does, take a moment to assess how you’re feeling. Try to figure out why you’re feeling that way. The first step towards emotional awareness is being able to recognize your emotions.
- It can be helpful to write down your emotions, so you can see trends in how you’re feeling throughout the day. However, just identifying your emotional state is helpful, as it helps you become aware of what you’re feeling.
- Work on regulating your emotions. Being emotionally aware is not just being able to recognize an emotion. You also must be able to exhibit some control over it. In part, that means not acting out because you are angry or upset. However, it can also mean trying to put the situation in a better light to help change your emotion.
- For instance, if you’re upset because you received a bad review at work, try to put it in a better light. You can say to yourself, “This is just one review. It’s not the end of the world. Obviously, I have things to learn, and this review will help me do it. I have nowhere to go but up!”
- You can also do things like deep breathing to calm yourself down or taking a break from something when you get upset. For instance, if you get in an argument with someone and feel yourself getting heated, ask to a take short break so you can calm down. Take a walk, or count slowly in your head to help yourself calm down.
- Listen actively when having conversations with other people. Part of emotional awareness is being able to assess and understand other people’s feelings. If you’re always distracted when you’re having conversations, you’re likely not tuning into what the other person is saying and feeling.
- Listen thoroughly to what the person is saying. Don’t just think about what you’re going to say next. Turn of or turn away from distractions, such as phones, computers, and televisions, so you can focus solely on what the person is saying.
- Look beyond the words as well. What’s the person’s tone like? For instance, they may sound angry. What is their body language saying? Do they seem agitated or nervous? If they’re feeling tense, for instance, you may notice their shoulders are scrunched together.
- Talk about what you’re seeing and hearing to help encourage the person to open up. You could say, “You seem a little anxious. Is there anything I can do to help?”
- Build your people skills. Another part of emotional intelligence is being able to get along with other people, such as being able to negotiate, persuade, lead, and manage conflicts. These skills are essential for engaging with other people.
- You’ve already learned to listen, but that’s only part of people skills. You also need to communicate well by being direct and specific. It also helps to develop a positive attitude, as it draws other people to you.
- For instance, in a meeting, you might need to give specific instructions. “Get to work” isn’t enough. Try, “I’d like you all to think about this project and get back to me by the end of the day with ideas for how to make it better. We’ll meet again in 2 days, and by that time, I’d like to see a few developed suggestions. Work in teams of 2 or 3 to develop your ideas.”
- Hold yourself accountable for your actions. Being emotionally intelligent also means taking responsibility for the things you do. Admitting your responsibility helps develop relationships with other people because they feel like they can trust you. You won’t try to blame them or someone else for the things you do.
EditSources and Citations
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