by Aubrey Wursten
EQ can indeed be measured. Although you will find several testing methods for the 4 main EQ models, they share some basic facets. Typically, they present questions that are designed to gauge your responses to different experiences. For example, “Can you remain calm when a fellow grocery shopper aggressively nabs that last wheel of Brie cheese you were eying?” If both you and any eyewitnesses can answer affirmatively, you clearly have stellar EQ. (And may the Brie gods smile on your quest.) Here are some possible testing techniques:
Body Language Interpretation
The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley offers an EQ evaluation that allows you to view different facial expressions and body positions, which you try to interpret. For example, you will want to recognize that a smile may not indicate happiness. Remember the grin you forced when the hairdresser lopped off 5 inches more than you requested? EQ helps you to notice the subtle distinction between a “bad haircut” smile and a genuine one.
Many quizzes, such as the Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SSEIT), will have you answer questions about yourself. After giving you an example scenario, some tests may ask for your likely emotional response, your probable action, or a combination of both. This type of test may be tricky, as it requires a determination to be strictly honest with yourself. If you yelled at the cheese usurper last week, you probably should not claim on your test that such a situation would not faze you. Honesty can make you feel vulnerable, but the resulting self-knowledge is well worth the small discomfort.
Assessments from Peers
Because others may see truths about us that we fail to notice, we can benefit from asking people around us to help with the evaluation. Friends, family, teammates, and coworkers may shed light on issues that we subconsciously keep hidden. Although this may initially be intimidating, you will be pleased that those around you see strengths in you that you have never recognized. While you are too distracted by your tragic haircut to be self-aware, your friends may be noting the restraint you exhibited in the salon. They are probably just dying to report it on your EQ evaluation.