Emotional Intelligence – The secret ingredient to a fulfilling life

A few years back I wrote about emotional intelligence (EI) in the context of leadership and shared ways that sport leaders can enhance their EI.

My interest in EI has continued to grow over the past few years as I expand my integral coaching practice and support clients who are keen to grow and expand their leadership capacity. To practice one of our SLSG values, I continuously strive to expand my own coaching toolbelt and decided to become certified in applying the psychometric assessment tools EQ-i 2.0 and EQ360.

This blog focuses on what EI is and how you might gain a better understanding of how emotionally intelligent you are. Here are a few things I’m inspired to share:

Definition: Emotional intelligence is defined as “a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.”

Why is EI important: While EI isn’t the sole predictor of human performance and development potential, it has proven to be a key indicator in these areas. Emotional intelligence is also not a static factor — to the contrary, a person’s EI can change over time and can be developed in targeted areas. In your organization, EI can be connected to: • Leadership Development • Selection • Organizational Development • Executive Coaching • Team Building • Athletic Performance.

EQ-i 2.0: The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i 2.0) reflects a person’s overall well-being and ability to succeed in life. The EQ-i 2.0 is a psychometric assessment that measures EI and how it can impact people and the workplace. For almost 20 years, consultants and organizations have trusted the science that underpins the EQ-i 2.0 (and its predecessor the EQ-i 1.0) to help improve human performance. As a scientifically validated measure of EI, you can count on the EQ-i 2.0 to add robustness and accuracy to your talent management initiatives.

What does the EQ-I 2.0 measure: The EQ-i2.0 is measured using an online survey that includes 133 items, rated using a 1-5 scale. The EQ-i 2.0 features one overarching EI score (Total EI), broken down into five composite scores (think of these as five big muscle areas) which measure five distinct aspects of emotional and social functioning. These aspects are further broken down into 15 subscales (think of these as smaller muscles that support the larger ones). Sound complicated?

The good news is that each EQ-i 2.0 assessment comes with a 90 minute debrief session to ensure the client has a deeper understanding of their EI. In addition, clients walk away with a greater sense of awareness on aspects of their EI that they might want to focus on developing. The five areas that are expanded on more fully in the EQ-I 2.0 Report are:

  • Self-perception: A deep understanding of self; the ability to set and achieve goals and the ability to recognize and access a range of emotions
  • Self-expression: The ability to express how one feels in an appropriate manner; the capacity to assert oneself in a way that aligns with our values; being self-directed and independent
  • Interpersonal: The ability to relate to others; the capacity to show concern for others and appreciate how they feel; the ability to contribute to a greater good
  • Decision-making: The way in which we use emotions to shape our decisions; ability to use our emotions when solving problems; to be able to step back and take perspective and to manage our emotions skillfully
  • Stress management: The ways in which we manage our emotions and adapt to unfamiliar situations; our ability to respond to unpredictable events; our capacity to remain optimistic and hopeful when we face adversity

In addition, there is an overall happiness indicator that summarizes our overall joy in life, which can provide important opportunities for growth and fulfillment.

Performance and well-being: The EQ-i 2.0 can be used by as a screening tool in hiring, leading to the selection of emotionally intelligent, emotionally healthy, and the most likely successful employees. Supplemented by other sources of information, such as interviews, the EQ-i 2.0 can make the recruitment and selection process more reliable and efficient.

In addition, the tool can be used to help identify areas of growth and development for current employees, supplementing the annual performance reviews with meaningful data. Employees can identify growth areas that are connected to a specific EI sub-scale, and when working with a certified professional coach, can design practices that increase awareness and create an enriched learning experience.

Finally, for those employers looking to take their own leadership growth to a different level, the EQ 360 assessment tool provides the leader with an opportunity to compare their self-assessment with feedback from others. This tool provides the opportunity to take stock, ensure perception matches reality, and model the value of ‘kaizen’. Leaders walk away with real-time feedback that they can use when working on their own development plans.

The X Factor: Imagine what this could mean in sport, especially team sports, when you are looking to gain a competitive advantage over others. Imagine adding emotional intelligence to your assessment of an athlete’s physical, technical and tactical capabilities?  Imagine having coaches become increasingly aware of their EI as they continue to grow and expand their skills … being able to recognize blind spots and further develop their capacity to manage emotions in a healthy manner. Imagine staff and volunteers more emotionally aware as they work together in service of their sport organization. Imagine!

As always, I’d love to hear from you so drop me a line at dbl@sportlaw.ca or 613-591-1246 if you want to chat more about EI or any other leadership development topic.

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