How High is Your EI?

The story goes like this. My neighbor Harold, a very nice 80- something young gentleman, knocked on my door, asking for a little help.

“I am sure that you can help me with my problem-can you?” asked Harold.

“Sure, I’ll try to do whatever I can do for you,” I said passionately. “But, I need to know your story first.”

“I will be glad to tell you my embarrassing story,” murmured my neighbor.

“Go ahead, Harold.”

“Last weekend, we got together for dinner at my daughter’s house. My son was there with his family, and, of course, so were my adorable grandchildren.

“I am so happy when I am with my family, but this time I had a different experience. During the conversation, my granddaughter mentioned that her boyfriend had a very high EI score when he was tested.

“With my stupid superiority, I said, `don’t you mean IQ (intelligence quotient)?’

“Silence. Unpleasant silence.

“`Well, I really mean emotional intelligence, grandpapa.'”

To make a long story short, my neighbor asked for my help in learning more about emotional intelligence.

“I don’t have the nerve or the patience to sit down and learn about EI myself,” said Harold disappointedly. “Could you please write an article on the subject of emotional intelligence for me?”

This article is for you, Harold, and please do not be so upset and down. Many people have no clue what EI is all about.

Let me begin my article.

John Mayer, PhD, was the first to propose the model of emotional intelligence.

By definition, EI is a set of acquired skills and competence-some form of social intelligence. It’s the capacity and the ability to perceive and manage one’s own emotions and those of others and of groups. Most importantly, it is the ability to restrain negative feelings such as anger or self-doubt.

People with high EI are able to recognize feelings, which helps them to better manage their emotions and focus on confidence and congeniality (compatibility between individuals). With high EI, anybody is able to enjoy excellent performance and success in any walk of life. It can be developed by anybody, at any time of life, no matter what background.

There is no doubt that high achievers and successful people- people with high motivation and persistence-are people with very high EI.

We all know about cognitive intelligence, right? Now, I have a big question for you.

What is more important at work and in life: cognitive intelligence and high IQ, or emotional intelligence and high EI?

You’re right: emotional intelligence!

Daniel Goleman, PhD, author of the book Working with Emotional Intelligence and an expert in the field of EI, says: “Eighty percent of your success at work is based on your EI, not your IQ.”

I have good news for you. If you do not have high emotional intelligence, you can gain it and learn it and build a better, higher EI score-if you are ready to make the effort.

Unfortunately, IQ is relatively stable and fixed for life (sorry about that). High IQ alone is not a very good predictor of job performance.

Usually, high IQ goes with high EI. Despite the stereotypes, people with high IQ but low EI (or the other way around) are relatively rare.

If you want to know your EI, you can test yourself online. If you just want to know more about your emotional intelligence, ask yourself these questions:

Can you express and control your feelings appropriately? Can you take responsibility for your emotions, behavior, and actions? Can you listen to other people expressing their emotions and ideas?

Can you easily handle stress and change?

If your answer to any of these questions is “No”, there is room for improvement.

You need to do something about your personal profile. If you are willing and ready to change a part of your life in which you are not as strong, you will enjoy a better life. Just knowing your personality-not just your emotional intelligence score-can make your journey through life much easier.

Your relationship, your career, your success, even your health depend on your personality.

Back to my neighbor Harold, who is still waiting for this article. I didn’t want to go into the details.