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Why You Need Coaching to Learn Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognize your feelings and those of others, to motivate yourself, and to manage emotions well in yourself and others. (Goleman, 1995).

EQ can be learned, so of course we're interested in how to measure it. Many of the tests are self-report, meaning individuals are asked to rate themselves in different categories.

The assessment Goleman created, the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI) assesses 20 emotional competencies.

It's probably already occurred to you that someone who isn't very high in EQ wouldn't be able to assess their own EQ very well, because it takes awareness.

In fact one of the scales on the ECI is called Accurate Self Assessment, and measures how aware the person is of their own strengths and weaknesses.

And, yes, it turns out in a study done by Michelle Burckle, that those who scored low in Accurate Self Assessment had much larger gaps between their views of themselves and other's views of them.

And this is interesting 'those who scored high in Accurate Self Assessment rate themselves slightly less emotionally intelligent than they are perceived. And conversely, those low in Accurate Self Assessment tend to view themselves as more emotionally intelligent than others do.

Ms. Burckle concluded that self-assessments alone could be misleading, and multi-rater assessments would be more desirable in evaluating emotional intelligence.

I believe one could also conclude that a coach is a necessary part of the mix 'to have the objectivity to gather the data, use the multi-rater assessments, observe the person in action, and help them learn with feedback.

The most salient result of the research was that we aren't good at assessing our own emotional intelligence, and it follows that we also would not be good, alone, at changing it, observing the difference, and getting it right.

Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc.Emotional intelligence coaching for all areas of your life; affordable EQ coach training (http://www.eqcoach.net); resources: distance learning. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for free ezine.


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