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Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Quiz - Fuel for Success

By Michael E. Rock, Ed.D. |

It's Friday afternoon. Voice mail again! Fourth time in a row! You want the client to confirm the order. You need the business.

The printer just ran out of ink. The house phone's ringing.

The kids? They'll be home any moment now.

Time now for EQ to the rescue.

EQ, or your emotional intelligence – is the fuel you need each day to make your business a success. Actually, research studies now show that EQ is almost 50% of your success! Whether you have a home business or work in a more traditional setting, high EQ is the lubricant for this success.

Your EQ announces to the world how emotionally intelligent and capable you are. IQ tells the world what you can do; EQ, what you will do. In this second of five parts, I want to address the first component of emotional intelligence: the inner you.

Take the following simple 12-item EQ self-test. Be honest with yourself.

Item QUESTION Yes() No()
Are you able to recognize your feelings, how you truly feel?
Can you differentiate among the different feelings you have?
Do you know why you feel the way you do?
Can you express your feelings, beliefs and thoughts and defend them in a non-destructive way?
Do you respect and accept yourself, just as you are, warts and all?
Do you feel secure and self-confident most of the time?
Would others who know you say you have a good sense of yourself?
Are you realizing your potential?
Would you say you have a meaningful, rich and full life?
Do you feel excited and satisfied with your accomplishments?
Are you self-directed and self-controlled in how you think and act?
Are you free of emotional dependency on others?

How did you do?

High EQ types will consistently score between 10-12 almost every time.

A more formal term for what I have called the inner you is what the EQ-i (or Emotional Quotient-Inventory) calls the "Intrapersonal EQ Scale." "Intra" means "inside," "inner." Intrapersonal skills are self-knowledge or inner core competencies that free you up to know yourself. How you really feel, and how to act wisely on that self-knowledge.

People who score high on the intrapersonal scale are people who are in touch with how they feel. They also feel good about themselves. Their lives are positive and they feel positive about what they are doing in life. Not only do they know how they feel, they also know how to express those feelings. They have a very good sense of themselves, who they are as people. They are confident in themselves, their ideas and how to convey them to others.

Let's look at the 12 items again that make up the intrapersonal EQ scale. There are 5 sub-components to the intrapersonal scale. They are listed below.

Items 1-3: Emotional Self-Awareness. This EQ inner core competency gives you the freedom to know yourself and how to share and express that awareness. People who lack this competency, or are low on it, will have a feeling of being "locked up inside themselves." An emotional prison. We all have personal as well as corporate stories of people who finally "explode," who've "had it" with the boss. The song "Take this job" best illustrates this feeling of repressed feeling. Richard Barrett, formerly of the World Bank, will ask someone at the beginning of his seminars, "How are you doing?" Typically the answer is, "Fine." He then replies, "That stands for Feelings Inside Not Expressed."(1)

Workplace application: Some may say the work environment is not a place for "touchy-feely stuff." A workplace culture that blocks feelings, or sends out a message of "all work and no play" is open for trouble. Big trouble. Feelings don't go away. They may go underground, but they will explode later, unless they're dealt with well. Workplace violence is increasing at a staggering rate. A recent report, "Violence at Work," by a branch of the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) highlights workplace bullying as a major problem in the workplace. Bullying also includes sexual harassment. For instance, "In the U.S., 1,000 people are killed in job settings each year. Homicide is the leading cause of death on the job for women and the second-leading cause for men."(2) Canada shouldn't be complacent either: "Employees in Canada report rates of assault and sexual harassment in the workplace that are among the highest in the world."(3)

A healthy EQ means you are emotionally literate. You are emotionally honest with yourself and others. Is the workplace ready for this kind of honesty? The new workplaces are, brutally so. Knowledge workers vote with their feet. They know what they want and they go for it.

Recommendation: Know who you are and how you feel. Don't ignore your true feelings. Managers who take charge of their feelings don't "spray" their work environments with unresolved conflicts, gossip, and intimidation. Remember: you're the only one in charge of your feelings. Your EQ is in your hands. So is your success.

Item 4: Assertiveness. Aggressiveness is getting your way, no matter what. Assertiveness is the EQ inner core competency that allows you the emotional freedom and skill to appropriately express your thoughts, feelings, opinions, and beliefs. When you are assertive you can affirm yourself, your world. You can be bold, daring. You are able to mobilize the emotional energy required to defend your rights and take care of yourself.

Workplace application: When the workplace is filled with "Chainsaw"-type executives, when aggressiveness is fostered and interpreted as "taking initiative," it becomes very difficult to build a business ethical climate that honours employees for who they are and what they do. Assertiveness in the workplace eliminates "put-down behaviours," either from others or from doing it to yourself. An ethic of assertiveness also fosters emotional integrity because employees will appropriately speak up about how they are feeling, the ideas they have, and the work suggestions that can foster good products and services. How many times have you left a meeting – fuming. Everyone around the table said they were "in agreement"; but they really weren't. They were afraid to say how they really felt. And so emotional frustration continues and profits keep getting drained. In one organization I consulted with, it cost $200,000 in rejects because the employee felt undervalued, not free to speak his mind, and just didn't care about following the product specifications this one time. Emotional sabotage.

Recommendation: Know your fundamental principles and values. Be guided by them. Courage is putting yourself on the firing line. In many work situations, it can also be the liberator: "Finally, someone spoke the truth."

Items 5-7: Self-Regard. Self-regard is the EQ inner core competency that endorses your self-worth. A high self-regard obviously endorses a high self-confidence. You have feelings of adequacy. You have good feelings about who you are and your person. You feel satisfied with yourself and have a good feeling of self-fulfillment. Your theme song is from the musical "Oklahoma": "Oh, what a beautiful morning!" Life is good; you feel good about life.

Workplace application: This is where the old saying of "nothing succeeds like success" comes into play. A workplace that fosters positive self-regard is a healthy workplace. This is the new workplace where people truly believe that relationships are the new currency that drive business. Relationships are sacred in this workplace. IBM has lived by this ethic. An employee could make mistakes on technical issues, but not on the people ones.

You can always tell if an organization is low on self-regard among its employees: a visitor can "cut it with a knife," so to speak. Morale is low; employees walk around depressed; the culture has low self-esteem; people are fearful; complaining is rampant.

Organizational self-regard is its reputation. The wisdom of The Book of Proverbs is very apropos: "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." There are numerous case examples of companies that have gone out of business because of their unethical behaviour. When employee self-regard is low, it is not long before organizational malaise sets in. Before being sentenced to death over 2,000 years ago, Socrates asked the court: "Are you not ashamed that you give your attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and similarly with reputation and honour, and give no attention or thought to truth and understanding and the perfection of your soul?"

Recommendation: If you're the manager or boss-owner, don't let your workplace be choked up with emotional pollution. Oxygen (O2) is the lifeblood of every individual; it is the same for organizations. Make sure it is pure; you'll die otherwise. You not only need satisfied customers; you especially need satisfied employees.

Items 8-10: Self-Actualization. While no one on his or her deathbed ever said that they wished they had spent one more hour at the office, many have regretted not having lived the life they felt called to. Dr. Carl Jung wrote that to come to the end of one's life and not to have lived one's mission is to have failed. Period. Jung was very clear about the purpose of our lives: individuation, that is, becoming alive as a full person. A high EQ self-actualization inner core competency gives you the strength to lead a meaningful, rich and full life. You are maximizing your potential. People experience you as energetic, enthusiastic, committed to your long-term goals, dynamic and eager to fulfill your dreams. Low EQ types don't know what they want to do in life and don't care much about improving themselves.

Workplace application: A company that neglects getting the best from their employees is on a very slippery slope. In an age when continuous learning and "You Inc." characterize the new workplace, ongoing training and development are essential. Human capital is the centrepiece of the new organization. Corporate personal development has to be acknowledged along with financial and business goals and interests. Robert Burns' words of "the best laid plans of mice and men" are very apropos here. At the end of each day, the fuel needed to build the business is a human resource one. In other words, an EQ determinant.

Recommendation: Create a workplace environment with what I have described in The 7 Pillars of Visionary Leadership as the 3 Ps: People, Pride, and Profits. And they work in that order. Pay attention to your human resources (People), acknowledge and reward who they are (Pride), and they will deliver the sun and the moon and the stars (Profits). It's a time-tested formula. Managers are simply building on people's innate need to fulfil their destiny (self-actualization). Make it work for you, not against you.

Items 11-12: Independence. This EQ inner core competency showcases people as "self-starters." Dr. Reuven BarOn, author of the EQ-i, writes that it is "the ability to be self-directed and self-controlled in one's thinking and actions and to be free of emotional dependency."(5) People with high EQ scores on this factor know how to take care of themselves. They are self-reliant in planning and are able to make the important decisions for themselves. They don't fall apart or stay stuck unless others bail them out emotionally. They are not co-dependent -- depending on others emotionally in an unhealthy way. Their relationships are marked by courtesy, self-and-other respect. Above all, these are people with integrity. They are willing to take responsibility for their feelings, thoughts and actions. They have their own inner standards. They rely on others for help when necessary, but do not cling to other people to satisfy their emotional needs. In other words, they don't "live out of the psychological pocket" of other people. In short, like King Arthur of the Round Table fame, these people embody "the principles of coherence and centering, authority and stability, inspiration and leadership."(6)

Workplace application: Blessed is the company that has employees with high independence EQ. They provide minimum "people drag" to the organization. Close supervision is not even a consideration; it doesn't have to be. Employees get on with the business of running the business, not getting sidetracked with getting their emotional needs met all the time in the workplace. This is not to say that employees should not get emotional satisfaction from working. Thomas Carlyle said one time, "Give me a man who sings at his work." Rather, EQ independence among employees allows people "to do their job." Teamwork becomes an exciting proposition, not a therapy session. Employees have a high desire to meet expectations and obligations, but they don't become a slave to them.

Recommendation: High Independence EQ employees are your "stars." Take care of them. Care for them. Create a work environment that frees up this liberating human spirit. In the new decentralized workplace, this inner core competency will be more prized than ever. The "answers" are not always clear anymore; you need employees who think for themselves. This process is what I call "entrepreneurship of the mind" and, in business, it is the unmatched process of transforming data into information into knowledge, and finally, into strategic intelligence.

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