Can you measure emotional intelligence?

About five years ago I trained to administer a psychometric test called MSCEIT. This aims to measure a person’s emotional intelligence level. It does this by using an online questionnaire which takes about 30 minutes. The psychologists behind the test spent many years investigating what makes up and defines emotional intelligence. They suggest that it’s the degree to which a person remains open to information provided by emotions (both yours and the people around you) and your ability to incorporate this successfully into your decision making process. Making good decisions which are well communicated, and in tune with those around you, is at the heart of emotional intelligence.

The designers of the test divided an assessment of a persons emotional intelligence into four areas:

Recognising emotions – the ability to observe the physical manifestation of emotions in yourself, others and in your general environment – for example you are shown faces and asked to say which emotion the person is probably experiencing

Using emotions – the ability to match an appropriate emotion to a thought task – for example when the task at hand is creative, perhaps the emotion should be fun and upbeat . Where analysis and concentration is required, perhaps more focused, vigilant emotions are required

Understanding – the ability to see cause and effect relationships as emotions come to the surface – you are able to understand why someone is feeling in a particular way and how the situation may develop based on past and current information

Managing emotions – the ability to use the information that has been observed and incorporate it into successful decision making – this is the ability to blend analytical information with what your emotions and those around you are telling you. In the short term this may be the ability to handle stress – perhaps by counting to 4 or going for a run. In the longer term it means understanding what the emotions in yourself and others mean, changing behaviours in yourself, and facilitating change in those around you.

The test results are back in a few days and give your overall assessment score compared to the average population. It also divides the test results into layers so that you also receive test results on each of the four areas. It is this pattern of results which is of most interest. For example one can imagine a situation where someone is great at recognising emotions in other peoples faces but have no idea how to use, understand or manage this information. Or another situation where a person is great at recognising, using, understanding and managing emotions, but very poor at managing their own emotions to create positive work and lifestyle changes. The permutations are endless!

The good news about emotional intelligence is that unlike a personality type (for example how agreeable you are, or how open) which is difficult to budge, emotional intelligence levels can be increased with training. For example, teachers get better at being able to recognise emotions as they spend their careers observing children (often through the backs of their heads!). We all have these abilities, but to develop them it takes effort and focus. I have given feedback for this test many times and have found it very useful in my own life. You obtain feedback from a coach and are then given a program for developing these skills.

“If there is one secret of success it lies in the ability to get the other persons point of view and see things from their angle as well as your own”

Henry Ford

Developing your emotional intelligence – I need volunteers!

All you need to do is:

– take the test once initially, and then again in a months time

– after the first test I will give you private and confidential feedback on your results

– I will then get all the participants together to discuss a program for improving your ability to recognise, use, understand and manage emotions

– Over the next 30 days I will ask you to put the training into practice once a day, and to record your experience. This means deliberately using a model of recognising emotions, using appropriate ones, understanding where they came from and managing emotions. There will be just one task or challenge per day

– If you wish I’ll also get you into a buddy system so that each week you can have a telephone chat with your partner or meet up to discuss how each situation developed and what you have learnt

– during the 30 days you’ll be given online tools to help you recognise emotions – for example there are lots of emotional recognition tools out there

– After 30 days you will take the test again, receive confidential feedback and we’ll get together as a group to share experiences

I will also take the test and do the 30 day challenge with a friend. And hopefully we will all be more emotionally intelligent!

The cost for two psychometric tests plus two group workshops and two one to one feedback sessions is £250. If you can persuade work to pay for it that would be wonderful! If you have friends or colleagues who may be interested in improving their emotional intelligence levels in 30 days please forward this email.

To register interest just email me back and I’ll send back payment methods and organise start times.

Next week I’ll set out the business case for why developing emotional intelligence is a good idea. You might think this is a strange order for things – surely its a good idea to set out the argument for something before trying to sell a test measurement and program for change. Not in this case. Its a no brainer for two reasons. Firstly most people have a gut instinct that getting along with people and understanding what they are about is a key component of success at work, in life and for health reasons. Secondly, most of us like to know how we compare to others. The thing about emotional intelligence or any “skill” is that we are notoriously bad at judging our abilities. For example on average most people who drive a car rate themselves as being above average at driving – obviously this can’t be true. And so it is with emotional intelligence skills. If we have poor skills in at recognising, using, understanding and managing emotions we don’t tend to recognise the fact.

 

Hope you found this useful

 

Andy

 

Posted on April 10, 2013, in Coaching, Meditation etc., positive psychology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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