Measuring Your Emotional Intelligence

Nitro supports and promotes an article by Dr. Robert A. Rohm…
Tip: You can measure your emotional intelligence.
In school, we all had to take tests.  The main purpose for those tests was to see if we were learning anything or not.  Hopefully, we all learned a little bit, even if it was just by accident!  We also had to take standardized IQ tests so that teachers could group us appropriately.  Even though all of us have heard of IQ, many of us are still working on our EQ.  Our Emotional Quotient has everything to do with our emotional intelligence.  In other words, the issue is not how smart we are academically but rather how smart we are emotionally.  There is a very simple test to discover the level of your emotional intelligence and it is to answer the question, “How easily do you get angry?”  Let’s discuss it.

I have found that a person’s anger level is directly related to their emotional intelligence.  If you are easily upset and angered by the smallest thing, your emotional intelligence is probably fairly low.  But, on the other hand, if you are able to evaluate situations and respond appropriately, rather than react inappropriately, your emotional intelligence is probably high.  If it is easy for you to get angry, then it reveals a lack of ability on your part to think things through.  Not every issue or problem should to be handled with anger.  Often, further information or a personal evaluation will help you see a situation more clearly.  Maybe a story will help.

Years ago, I had a friend who was a pastor.  He was a very wise man and had a high emotional intelligence level.  His first response to a situation or problem was to look further into the situation so that he could gain a better understanding and know the proper response.

His church supported many missionaries.  At one of the Board meetings, someone said he had heard that one of the missionaries had recently bought a Cadillac.  The individual who brought it up, thought that was inappropriate and seemed to be very angry that the missionary would take the church’s support to buy such an expensive car.  He didn’t mind the missionary having a vehicle but he just felt like it was a little abusive to buy a Cadillac.  The pastor did not react, but rather responded with something like, “That does not sound like this missionary friend that we are supporting.  I will look into it a little more closely and get back with you.  Before we cut off his support, why not let me do further investigation?”  In other words, the pastor handled the situation in a calm manner and he did not react.  That was because he had a high level of emotional intelligence.

The next day, he called his missionary friend, who was overseas, and talked to him.  As it turned out, there had been a miscommunication.  The missionary had had some difficulty with his eyesight and had to have a cataract removed from one of his eyes.  I will never forget the pastor saying, “There is a big difference between a Cadillac and a cataract!”

Now, that is a simple story but, I have never forgotten it.  The reason it means so much to me is because I want to be like that wise pastor who did not react because of the first news he heard, but rather, followed through and did a little further investigation before he made his decision on how to respond.  I think the biggest mistake that the average human being makes is to react to a situation when we do not have all the facts.  It is much better to respond to a situation after we have taken the time to do some research.  It takes a little more time, effort, and energy, but it is well worth it.

Ask yourself a question, “Am I easily angered?”  If you are, it may be a direct result of the level of your emotional intelligence.  You may read this Tip and say, “Well, I have high emotional intelligence!  I am a calm, rational, thoughtful, easy-going person.”  But, is that true?  You may want to ask some of those around you how they see you and your emotional intelligence.  If you do not see things honestly, then there is no real way you can grow in this area.

One last thought; I have noticed that the people who are closest to me seem to be able to “push my buttons” easier than total strangers.  If I have a misunderstanding with the guy at the local QuikTrip, it is no big deal.  But, when I have a mix-up with one of my co-workers or family members, it seems to affect me emotionally in a deeper way.  Therefore, I have to be on my toes to exercise extra emotional intelligence around people who are close to me.  I work diligently to stay calm in every situation because I do not want my blood pressure to go up and have a heart attack when most of the time, further investigation will offer a simple solution to whatever challenge I might be facing.

I believe our emotional intelligence can rise higher each day if we practice keeping our anger level down.  It is well worth the effort to do so.

Robert A. Rohm Ph.D.
Personality Insights, Inc.

~ by Nitro on September 2, 2008.

One Response to “Measuring Your Emotional Intelligence”

  1. I thought that the idea that you can determine someone’s level of emotional intelligence by how quick they get angry was very interesting. It makes sense. I think perhaps you might also determine it by how anxious people are every day. Both being angry and being anxious imply a lack of awareness of what is really going on around you, and the assumption that you are aware when you are really not. Perhaps that is what is really at the root of emotional intelligence.

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