EQ stands for emotional quotient. Just like IQ measures mental intelligence, EQ measures emotional intelligence. Our EQ can be assessed just like our IQ. However, unlike our IQ, our EQ can be strengthened and improved. Higher emotional intelligence can lead to a happier, healthier and more satisfying life. EQ includes these 5 skills:
The ability to identify, express, understand and communicate our emotions
The ability to regulate our emotions and understand their influence on our behavior
The ability to motivate ourselves from within
Our capacity for empathy and to understand the emotions of others
The ability to interact socially
First, let’s talk about what makes up our EQ. There are 5 main domains:
This is our ability to understand ourselves and our own emotions and being able to identify what we’re feeling and why.
It’s being able to identify our own strengths and weaknesses. Are we able to see ourselves as other people see us or do we have a distorted view of ourselves?
It’s also accepting who we are (self-esteem) and what we’re capable of (self-efficacy).
This involves being able to regulate and manage our emotions appropriately.
Understanding that our emotions guide our behavior.
Being able to take responsibility for our emotions and our behavior.
Being motivated from within for growth and achieving our own goals.
The ability to move through adversity and failures, accept criticism and remain positive.
Being able to recognize and understand other people’s emotions and being able to respond to them appropriately.
The ability to see situations from different perspectives… like putting ourselves in other people’s shoes.
The ability to read people and understand what they’re feeling without telling us.
The ability to communicate effectively and connect with people.
Being able to resolve problems and conflict with others.
Being able to assess our own needs and the needs of others and balance both appropriately.
Let’s assess our own emotional intelligence. There are many assessments and self-report tests online. If you're interested just search for emotional intelligence tests. I’m going to guide you through a screening tool for a quick and easy assessment of your EQ. There are three questions for each area of functioning for a total of 15 questions. Answer honestly. Accept the first answer that pops in your mind. Don’t overthink it.
We’re going to take the “Emotional Intelligence Test” by Bill Gaultiere. Each question asks how you act or feel in certain situations. Answer how often it is TRUE of your ACTUAL (not desired) behavior or attitude. Here’s how you’ll score each answer. Please write this down at the top of your paper and refer back to it to answer each question.
For each question write down the number that corresponds to your answer. I’ll say each question twice but feel free to pause the recording if you need more time to answer. Ready? Here we go:
1. When I feel bad I’m not sure what it is that is bothering me.
2. When faced with a disappointment or a loss I try not to feel sad.
3. I put high priority on understanding how I feel when I make an important decision.
4. When I am upset it takes a long time for me to feel better.
5. When someone criticizes me unfairly I feel bad about myself.
6. My emotions are up and down.
7. It’s hard for me to wait to get what I want even if I know it’s for the best.
8. When working on a challenge I struggle to feel hopeful, energetic, and confident.
9. If I have to do something I don’t want to do I put it off till later.
10. When people share a problem with me I think more about how they could solve it then about how difficult it feels for them.
11. In situations of conflict I have trouble understanding other people’s emotions.
12. I am unable to sense other people’s unspoken feelings on important issues.
13. I avoid engaging in conversation with people I don’t know well.
14. I say things to other people that I regret later.
15. In social situations it’s hard for me to build rapport with others.
Now let’s score the test. Add up your total score. EQ scores range from 45 to 165 with 105 being average. A score of 120 and above is exceptional.
Let’s break down the scores for each of the five areas of functioning so that you can see where your strengths and weaknesses are and what you can work on. Here are the questions associated with each domain:
Self-Awareness- questions 1-3
Managing Emotions- questions 4-6
Motivation- questions 7-9
Empathy- questions 10-12
Social Skills- questions 13-15
For more self-help education, guided exercises and meditations check out these resources:
Free Spirit's Therapy Homework- https://www.freespiritcoaching.org/therapyhomework
Dr. Traci Moreno on Insight Timer- https://insighttimer.com/DrTraci
Free Spirit's YouTube Channel- https://www.youtube.com/@freespiritcoaching