4 Ways to Test Your Emotional Intelligence
And be a better entrepreneur because of it
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
You think about what you think and you reflect about your feelings. Without even knowing it, you might be practicing emotional intelligence already.
In 1990, Yale psychologist Peter Salovey and University of New Hampshire psychologist John Mayer coined the concept of emotional intelligence. Five years later, psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman popularized the term through his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
“Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth,” say Mayer and Salovey in their book.
And in an interview, Goleman says, “[E]motional intelligence can help people make better decisions.”
As entrepreneurs are constantly making decisions and creating strategies to innovate and make processes more efficient, emotional intelligence is crucial to have.
Curious about the state of your emotional intelligence? Goleman outlines four ways to know:
1. You are self-aware
“Self-Awareness concerns knowing one’s internal states, preferences, resources, and intuitions,” says Goleman.
Being self-aware constitutes three competencies: emotional awareness which is recognizing one’s emotions and its effects; accurate self-assessment which means knowing one’s strengths and limits; and self-confidence which implies one’s self-worth and capabilities.
2. You are capable of self-management
Goleman characterizes this as having the ability to manage one’s internal states, impulses, and resources. And one key aspect he points out is emotional self-control or keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check.
Entrepreneur and Inc. columnist Justin Bariso posits, “Self-management is the ability to manage emotions in a way that allows you to accomplish a task, reach a goal, or provide a benefit. It includes the quality of self-control, which is the ability to control your emotional reactions.”
3. You are socially aware
“Social Awareness refers to how people handle relationships, and awareness of others’ feelings, needs, and concerns,” says Goleman.
This ability, he explains, includes the following: empathy which means sensing others’ feelings and perspectives; organizational awareness which means reading a group’s emotional currents and power relationships; and service orientation, especially for leaders, which involved the ability to anticipate, recognize, and meet customers’ needs.
By being socially aware, leaders can understand how people’s feelings affect social behaviors and, hence, make better organizational decisions.
4. You can manage relationships
“Relationship Management concerns the skill or adeptness at inducing desirable responses in others,” Goleman says.
He explains relationship management has six competencies: sensing the development needs of others and helping them strengthen their abilities; being an inspirational leader; having the ability to initiate or manage change; having the capacity to influence or persuade others; managing conflict or disagreements; and fostering teamwork and collaboration.
Emotional intelligence manifested by these key characteristics can help entrepreneurs be the best they can be. Bariso recommends: “Make emotions work for you. Instead of against you.”