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Emotional Quotients

J. Harry Caufield

It's Tuesday, so that must mean it's time for another personal assessment! (This is not specifically due to Tuesday but rather because Tuesday is a discrete period of time.)

I'm taking the Talentsmart Emotional Intelligence Appraisal. It's billed as the "#1 measure of emotional intelligence (EQ)." You'd think that would mean something about how many emotional intelligence tests there are out there or even why people keep framing intelligence tests in the context of IQ, but there are in fact similar tests out there, including this one by a group at UC Berkeley and this one used by Yale. The Talentsmart test is intended to be bundled with the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Bradberry and Greaves.* 

Judging by the introductory demographics questions, this test has been designed with fairly traditional career ladders in mind; one of the questions is "What type of score did you receive on your last job
performance evaluation (performance review)?" The test itself is very short, including only 20 questions or so about how often you are able to do things like handle stress or read the mood of a room. I'm always suspicious whenever an assessment tries to draw conclusions based on limited data. In this case, the assessment appears designed to simply identify emotional or social areas and skillsets in which you may feel lacking. This suggests that the assessment may not be misleading, but it may not provide much insight, either.

The results confirmed my suspicions and are copied below. Scores are from 0 to 100, though anything below 59 is "a concern you must address." Scores in the 70s and 80s indicate areas which can be improved, while higher scores than that are definite strengths which should be employed often. I don't have to worry about that last category. My social competence is evidently lower than my personal competence, which is to be expected, but I'm having trouble gleaning any useful material from these scores since I know they're based on just a few questions. Self-reporting is bad enough as it is, but with this assessment they practically just asked "are you socially aware?" and then mirrored the provided answer.
 
Your Overall Emotional Intelligence Score: 75

Personal Competence: 80
The collective power of your self-awareness and self-management skills. It's how you use emotional intelligence in situations that are more about you privately.
Self-Awareness
75
Your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen. This includes keeping on top of how you tend to respond to specific situations and certain people.
Self-Management
85
Your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior. This means managing your emotional reactions to all situations and people.
Social Competence: 69
The combination of your social awareness and relationship management skills. It's more about how you are with other people.
Social Awareness
67
Your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and get what is really going on. This often means understanding what other people are thinking and feeling, even if you don't feel the same way.
Relationship Management
71
Your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the emotions of others to manage interactions successfully. Letting emotional awareness guide clear communication and effective handling of conflict.

Verdict: Little insight to be gained. I'll give the accompanying book a fair shake eventually.

*The course gave us a copy of this book. I've only read one page out of the middle of it so far. The page told me I should stop taking notes at meetings lest I miss out on the emotional states of others.  Still a bit split about that advice.