Emotional Intelligence Test Validity versus Efficacy

emotional intelligence test

I have been asked several times recently about (i) whether you can measure emotional intelligence (EQ) and (ii) whether you can develop it – as opposed to being something you are born with. Great questions! I’ll answer the second part first, as it is easy (the answer is yes). Then I’ll share with you my own thoughts about any emotional intelligence test in principle and as a practical solution.

So, with regard to developing EQYES it most definitely can be developed. This entire website is dedicated to the HOW.

Here’s a quick summary of what follows below in regard to emotional intelligence tests:

  • There are several tests for emotional intelligence, however, we consider them to be based on an incomplete and inadequate definition of EQ.
  • What is missing is the same thing that is missing from most personal development – a lack of accounting for both differences in personality and the naturally varying emotional states that we can all experience.
  • EQ is about much more than being able to recognise and manage emotions – as such it is a misnomer!
  • There is considerable debate as to whether EQ is a form of intelligence or a skill. We question the relevance of the debate and understand it to be both.
  • As a skill, EQ can be learned and developed. As a form of intelligence and ability, it is not one thing, but a range of characteristics in which we will all have differing levels of natural ability. This is our starting point or baseline EQ.
  • In order to teach and learn EQ effectively, both teacher and pupils need to be more aware of and account for these baseline personality-related EQ abilities.
    • Contrary to some EQ advice, this needs to include many key subconscious facets of personality and ‘self’.
  • In our view, the currently available tests and assessments are incomplete when it comes to fully assessing EQ.
    • However, the commercially available EQ tests and assessments can:
      • Be a good predictor of organisational and corporate success.
      • Highlight learning and development opportunities both individually and organisationally.
    • The BIG challenge is that the many books and assessments of EQ, focus mainly on what it is (incompletely) and do a good job of explaining why it is important, but do little to offer anything close to a complete or pragmatic solution for HOW to develop EQ.
    • There are other forms of behavioural assessment, such as PRISM BrainMapping which capture the main elements of EQ, whilst providing significant other vocational benefits and cost effectiveness.
  • General levels of emotional intelligence correlate closely with wellbeing, happiness, resilience, relationship skills, leadership success, commercial success and organisational sustainability.

What follows are my own personal views on EQ – as a critique of how it has been academically defined and assessed:

Can Emotional Intelligence be measured?

Despite the work of several academic groups, there isn’t, as yet a generally agreed, all-inclusive definition of emotional intelligence. This hasn’t prevented several groups from developing tests and assessments to add to the many hundreds of psychometric offerings out there. It is big business.

The concept of emotional intelligence first appeared in a paper written by Michael Beldoch in 1964. It was Daniel Goleman (author, psychologist and science journalist) who raised the profile of EQ in 1995 with a book on the subject. An article EQ, written by Goleman, became the most requested Harvard Business Review.

So what is EQ? There has been much debate as to what extent it is a skill versus a personality trait. This has resulted in tests that seek to assess one or the other, or indeed both aspects (referred to as a ‘mixed’ model of assessment).

Here are some of the popular definitions of emotional intelligence:

Petrides Salovey & Mayer Goleman Bar-On
Trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) refers to a constellation of emotional self-perceptions located at the lower levels of personality hierarchies and integrates the ‘affective’ aspects of personality. The ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. (1) The ability to identify, assess, and control one’s own emotions, the emotions of others, and that of groups; (2) Knowing and managing your emotions; motivating yourself; recognising and understanding other people’s emotions; managing relationships. Emotional intelligence is an array of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and behaviours that determine how well we understand and express ourselves, understand others and relate with them, and cope with daily demands, challenges and pressures.

There are several distinctly different approaches to assessing EQ; the Encyclopaedia of Applied Psychology describes the three major models as:

  • The Mayer-Salovey model which defines this construct as the ability to perceive, understand, manage and use emotions to facilitate thinking;
  • The Goleman model which views it as an assortment of emotional and social competencies that contribute to managerial performance and leadership;
  • The Bar-On model which describes EQ as an array of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and behaviours that impact intelligent behaviour;

The Mayer-Salovey model focuses on the abilities to perceive, understand, manage and use emotions; however, it doesn’t try to break these down into sub-categories/sub-skills. Rather it sets about to assess these four high-level emotional abilities using a variety of techniques including scales that purport to identify emotions in faces, and the emotions conveyed by landscapes and designs.

Daniel Goleman tells us that emotional competencies are not innate talents, but rather learned capabilities that must be worked on and can be developed to achieve outstanding performance. He then appears to contradict himself by saying “individuals are born with a general emotional intelligence that determines their potential for learning emotional competencies“. Goleman has been criticised for equating EQ to a form of intelligence at all. Instead, it has been suggested that EQ should be considered a skill. This may be somewhat of an academic debate as, in fact, Goleman assesses EQ based on 18 competencies (i.e. skills).

Here at Connect To Your Potential, we think EQ is both a form of intelligence and a skill. You could say it is a ‘heart-based’ intelligence, more so than intuitive or intellectual, which provides a base level competence and ability that we are born with. This ability can be further developed as a skill. In this sense, EQ is determined by both nature and nurture. This is important, as the effect of nurture i.e. upbringing, bad experiences and conditioning, as well as fluctuating emotional states can, at least temporarily, reduce any natural EQ ability. Our work with the Enneagram (egotyping) support this view, as the Enneagram recognises three centres of human intelligence – head, heart and gut. The heart centre is the one that most closely influences EQ.

The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) is said to be the most widely used EQ assessment globally, considered to be the most scientifically valid and reliable measure of emotional intelligence based on independent review. The EQ-i2 model of emotional intelligence has five key scales: Self-Perception, Self-Expression, Interpersonal, Decision-Making and Stress Management, each of which is broken down into three sub-scales. EQ-i2 is said to measure ’emotional-social intelligence’.

The Encyclopaedia of Applied Psychology did not list the personality or trait model of emotional intelligence defined by Petrides and Furnham at the London Psychometric Laboratory. Using content analysis, Petrides and Furnham (2001) identified 15 facets of personality (see table below) relevant to EI which formed the basis of their Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue).

Those that have academically defined EQ have broken it down into different groups of traits and/or abilities. Here’s a summary of these for some of the main EQ tests – I have reordered them to try to match up similar properties (not always an exact match):

Petrides and Furnham (TEIQue) Goleman’s EQ Competencies (ECI, ESCI) Bar-On (EQ-i, EQ-i2)
Emotion Perception Emotional Self-Awareness Emotional Self-Awareness
Accurate Self-Assessment Reality-Testing
Self-Confidence   Independence
Emotion Regulation, Impulsiveness (low) Emotional Self-Control Impulse Control
Adaptability Adaptability Flexibility
Achievement  Self-Actualisation
Self-motivation Initiative
Optimism Optimism  Optimism
Empathy Empathy Empathy
Social competence Organisational Awareness
Service Orientation
Developing Others
Assertiveness, Emotion Expression Inspirational Leadership Assertiveness / Emotional Self-Expression
Change Catalyst Social Responsibility
Stress Management Conflict Management Stress Tolerance
 Emotion Management (others), Relationship skills Teamwork & Collaboration Interpersonal Relationship
 Happiness Happiness / Well-Being
 Self-esteem Self-Regard

You can see from the above that there is no all-encompassing agreed definition of EQ and how to measure it.

Can an Emotional Intelligence Test be Valid?

If you look into the world of psychometric testing, it is fraught with issues and controversy. I am a member of several LinkedIn groups for coaching, leadership, HR, psychology and psychometrics. You don’t have to look far to find very heated debates about the validity and efficacy of the various approaches to psychometric testing, or personal and leadership development. I am highly dubious about some of the claims, statistics and the so-called validity the stats are used to claim…

The wikipedia entry for emotional intelligence cites a paper by Hunt, James; Fitzgerald, Martin (American International Journal of Social Science. 2 (8): 30–38, 2013). ‘The relationship between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership: An investigation and review of competing claims in the literature’: “Criticisms have centered on whether EI is a real intelligence and whether it has incremental validity over IQ and the Big Five personality traits. Review finds that, in most studies, poor research methodology has exaggerated the significance of EI.”

So, can an emotional intelligence test be truly and usefully valid? It is open to debate.

There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics. – Benjamin Disraeli

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable. – Mark Twain

If your experiment needs a statistician, you need a better experiment. – Ernest Rutherford

I sat in on a serious meeting a few years ago looking at validating an Enneagram test. The psychometrics expert representing The British Psychological Society talked about reliability, content validity and construct validity (see below). He got my back up with the last one; it all sounded very clever (bamboozling) but at the end of the day how can you claim validity by correlating one test with another….? Who says the other test is valid (even if it is popular and does well in peer reviews)?

Now I’m sure that proponents of psychometrics and statistical validity will want to argue this one.

Here are some of the validity tests reported for one of the EQ assessments:

  • remains relevant and acceptable to clients, researchers and participants (face validity)
  • measures the behaviours it sets out to measure (content validity)
  • correlates appropriately with other similar tests (construct validity)
  • predicts desired performance outcomes (criterion validity)

Bear in mind what I said earlier:

…fluctuating emotional states can, at least temporarily, reduce any natural EQ ability

This throws into question the idea of reliability, as I would expect the results of a true test of EQ to fluctuate with the emotional state of the individual.

Finally, I do think that criterion validity is an important one. This is because, even if a test for EQ doesn’t fully portray what it claims to and even if it is an incomplete portrayal of EQ, it is still useful if it is a predictor of performance. However, to be truly useful, this would need to be a good, well-balanced definition of performance, such as was used by Jim Collins and his team in their long terms studies referenced in ‘Good To Great’ (see references below). The measure of performance would ideally be done over a long period of time, be sustainable, and win:win (not winning at any cost, or to the detriment of others, or the planet).

In the Handbook of Cognition and Emotion, Brackett et al (2013) in an article titled ‘Reconceptualizing the cognition-emotion link’ said of EQ (also referred to as EI): “Greater attention should also be paid to developmental trajectories, gender differences, and how EI operates in the workplace and educational settings“. We concur.

Why Measure EQ?

Hay Group, who sell the Goleman/Boyatzis Emotional and social competency inventory (ESCI) say it can be used to:

  • measure emotional intelligence in your leaders and professionals
  • raise awareness through powerful feedback
  • focus your coaching and development on crucial capabilities
  • bring out the best in individuals and teams

Why is this important? Here’s a few reasons:

The importance and impact of EQ goes well beyond leadership and organisational performance. It is the foundation of wellbeing and collaboration. You could argue that a more emotionally intelligent world would experience far less war and violence, not to mention a much-reduced demand for social care. The main driver of demand for EQ at the moment is in business. Here’s some of the evidence in favour of using EQ in organisations:
emotional intelligence EQ

  • TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills, and found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs.
  • Truly ‘great’ companies, as defined by Jim Collins in his book ‘Good To Great’ (see below) – i.e. ones that have emotionally intelligent leaders and culture, out-performed the stock market by a factor of 7 (700%) over a 15 year period.
  • 75% of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies according to the US Center for Creative Leadership.
  • In a 3 year study of Amadori, an Italian agro-food supplier:
    • EQ predicted 47% of the variation in manager’s performance management scores.
    • 76% of the variation in employee engagement was predicted by the level of the manager’s EQ.
    • Employee turnover also dropped by 63% by focussing on improving EQ.
  • 91% of HR directors think that by 2018, people will be recruited on their ability to deal with change and uncertainty (as key aspect of EQ), according to ‘The Flux Report’ by Right Management.
  • 60% of HR directors identified employee wellness and resilience as key to enabling organisations to achieve their strategic objectives. 53% said that employees’ ability to deal with unanticipated problems is THE key attribute for future business success.
  • According to CIPD, mental ill-health costs the UK economy around £70 billion each year.

The Importance of Self-Awareness

To us, self-awareness is the foundation, the bedrock of emotional intelligence. Without true self-awareness, aspects of EQ such as achievement, optimism and influence (ECI360) can be inauthentic and manipulative. Similarly – Self-Regard, Self-Actualisation, Optimism and Happiness (Bar-on) could be narcissistic and inauthentic. Just as true self-awareness is the bedrock of EQ, in turn, EQ is the bedrock of authentic leadership, which is the foundation of sustainable organisational success.

It has been suggested (Bradberry, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, 2015) that “Self-awareness is not about discovering deep, dark secrets, or unconscious motivations, but rather, it comes from developing a straightforward and honest understanding of what makes you tick“.

emotional intelligence icebergSorry, we cannot agree with the first part of this statement – our combined 24 years of working with people’s fears, limiting beliefs and egoic defence mechanisms and coping strategies has taught us otherwise.

For us, self-awareness is 80% about revealing unconscious patterns and traits. Still waters do run deep! For the vast majority of us, our levels of self-awareness are but the tip of the iceberg – as depicted in the image to the right:

  • Milton Erickson, a specialist in the unconscious mind and a major influencer on many kinds of therapy popular today, said “People only have problems because they are out of rapport with their unconscious minds“.
  • Here in Scotland, it is estimated that more than one in three people are affected by a mental health problem each year. Although there are social, situational and economic factors, ultimately for most cases – many, if not most of the causes of this are locked away in the sub-conscious mind. This has major implications for employers.

Putting things like hypnotherapy to one side, by and large, you can’t accept or change what you can’t see and understand. That’s why, here at Connect To Your Potential, our end-to-end personal development transformation process (we call it Accelerated Personalised Development) is all about identifying and making our clients far more consciously aware of, and accepting of what makes them tick. This process unearths many important subconscious factors, including:

  • Mastering your unconscious ‘shadow side’
  • Recognising and believing in your true potential
  • Learning to trust your intuition
  • Acknowledging and releasing the (previously subconscious) blocks to progress and potential
  • Identifying, trusting and embracing your best personal development path forward for your egotype

Though self-awareness is important, it doesn’t mean, in itself, that a person will act on that awareness in an emotionally-, or indeed intellectually-intelligent manner. The focus on awareness of emotions (in self and in others) is only part of the story. We’re not knocking any initiatives to improve awareness of emotions. This has been a major focus for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence at Yale University, who appear to be doing some great work with schools, teachers, pupils and parents in an approach they call RULER.

RULER – Recognize emotions in oneself and in other people. Understand the causes and consequences of a wide range of emotions. Label emotions using a sophisticated vocabulary. Express emotions in a socially appropriate way. Regulate emotions effectively.

Empathy, teamwork and collaboration, influence, interpersonal relationships, self-esteem and more are all greatly influenced by a deeper understanding of self that goes way beyond emotional awareness/emotional literacy (as some call it).

True self-awareness goes way deeper than being aware of and better understanding your high-level motivations, personality traits and values. We each have deep motivations that border on instinctual drives in terms of their power and influence over us. We have human needs, relationships needs and very definite egotypes which will influence our emotional intelligence competencies. Yet, these factors are hidden in our subconscious, so we are unaware of/afraid of/in denial of them.

Leaders are best when people scarcely know they exist
Not so good when people obey and acclaim them
Worst when people despise them.
Fail to honour people, they fail to honour you.
But of good leaders, who talk little,
when their work is done, task fulfilled,
people will say: “We have done this ourselves!
Verse 17,  Tao Te Ching

There is little doubt (in my mind) that we are all born with certain predispositions which in some ways will make us more or less emotionally intelligent. So nature does play a role. The vast majority of us can develop most, if not all of these characteristics/abilities. The exceptions to this would be people who rate highly on certain traits or conditions such as autism, borderline personality disorder, sociopathy and psychopathy.

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Daniel Goleman listed seven key reasons why leaders fail:

  • Rigidity: Leaders couldn’t or wouldn’t adapt their leadership style to different situations
  • Relationships: Being too harsh, insensitive, critical or demanding – alienating others
  • Self-control: Leaders who couldn’t control angry outbursts, prone to moodiness, tantrums or who handled pressure poorly
  • Self-responsibility: Leaders who reacted to failure/criticism by denying, covering-up, or passing the blame onto others
  • Integrity: Leaders not being seen as authentic or trustworthy (ie. saying what they mean and doing what they say)
  • Social skills: Leaders lacking in empathy and sensitivity, being abrasive, arrogant, intimidating or coercive towards staff
  • Building bonds: Leaders neglecting to build strong teams or networks of co-operative, mutually supportive relationships

The Institute of Leaders and Management (ILM) put it like this – 94% of employees believe their senior management lack essential leadership qualities.  ILM cited the following qualities as being lacking: the ability to inspire and motivate, high levels of emotional intelligence, the ability to deal with people, natural leadership, trustworthiness, natural communicator, possessing vision, drive and ambition.

No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care, Theodore Roosevelt

Elsewhere, Stanford MBA school professor Jeffrey Pfeffer researched into the key traits of successful people (high achievers), concluding they are:

  • Energy And Physical Stamina; Focus; Sensitivity To Others; Flexibility; Ability To Tolerate Conflict; and Submerging One’s Ego And Getting Along…

Sounds like a recipe for EQ to me!

You can read more about the above-mentioned ILM work on leadership qualities, plus top US leadership coach, Marshall Goldsmith’s 16 top leadership defects (all very closely related to EQ), in my blog post on ‘Level 5 Leadership‘ – which looks at the book ‘Good To Great’ by Jim Collins.

It is clear that by most definitions of emotional intelligence, it has the potential to be the key antidote or remedy to the main leadership defects and challenges. Goleman defined six different leadership styles; having the flexibility and emotional intelligence to use them all, or the appropriate mix of these (flexibility – itself a key EQ quality).

Research conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, these four factors out of the 15 measured by the original EQi surfaced as the most powerful predictors of leadership success:

  • Interpersonal Relationship
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Impulse Control
  • Happiness

According to findings from the same study, the strongest EI predictors of leadership derailment (i.e. unsuccessful leadership) are:

  • Emotional Self-awareness
  • Impulse Control
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Optimism
  • Happiness

To soem degree these will be relected in a leader’s ‘leadrrship style. Goleman listed six Leadership Styles:

  • Coercive – demands immediate compliance
  • Authoritative – mobilises the team toward a common vision and focuses on end goals
  • Affiliative – creates emotional bonds that bring a feeling of bonding and belonging
  • Democratic – builds consensus through participation
  • Pace Setting – expects and models excellence and self-direction
  • Coaching – develops people for the future

Of course, there are other, richer models of leadership style – here’s one such model:

Autocratic Democratic Strategic Transformational
Team Cross-cultural Facilitative Laissez-faire
Transactional Coaching Charismatic Visionary

Here’s another:

Laissez-faire People-oriented Task-oriented
Servant leader Transformational Environmental

It is interesting to plot these leadership styles against both the characteristics or abilities associated with EQ, and against personality or egotype.

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership ability, closely linked as they are, are both a facet of (i) personality and (ii) emotional state.

Yet, the tests for EQ include very little on personality. If we go back to a basic definition of EQ, it is about:

  • Self-awareness
  • Motivation & Self-regulation
  • Empathy
  • Adeptness in relationships

Knowing yourself (self-awareness) and knowing how to motivate yourself, manage your emotions and be more adept in relationships ALL require a good understanding of your psychological makeup and ‘what makes you tick’. For this, you need to understand your personality, ego and the other subconscious facets of your ‘self’.

Being able to recognise emotions is important. It is said that only 36% of people are able to identify their emotions accurately as they happen.

Bottom line? If you take two cups of authoritative leadership, one cup of democratic, coaching, and affiliative leadership, and a dash of pacesetting and coercive leadership “to taste,” and you lead based on need in a way that elevates and inspires your team, you’ve got an excellent recipe for long-term leadership success with every team in your life. Robyn Benincasa

Know Thyself

The phrase ‘Know thyself’ is an ancient Greek maxim. It has had many meanings and interpretations by a variety of philosophers, including Socrates, Plato and the Seven Sages of Greece. The gist of its main meaning is “to face the fact that we need to know, to understand and to accept ourselves; it also makes us face with the evidence of the lack of that self-knowledge and awareness of oneself.” Plato allegedly makes it clear that this maxim is a long-established wisdom. Socrates held that self-knowledge as so valuable that other pursuits are “laughable” unless one has it.

Such ancient wisdom is the source of the Enneagram – the egotyping system that we have adopted in favour of more modern personality typing systems and psychometrics. For us, the Enneagram is a much more powerful way to know thyself. Our clients agree and often comment on its power, accuracy and that they are amazed that more people are not aware of the Enneagram. In part, this is because of the commercial size and might of the more established players in the world of psychometric testing.

We’ve yet to find a reliable, commercially available Enneagram test. We have created our own, but, as yet, it is not fully developed or available online. Partly this is down to time and resources, partly it is because the best way for someone to learn about the Enneagram and determine their Enneatype is experiental. So what we do is take them on a journey into the nine different Enneatypes (egotypes) and have them tell us which type they are (this we then test 1:1 by questioning).

STOP PRESS! Is Emotional Intelligence a MISNOMER?

If, as I put forward, what is paraphrased as ’emotional intelligence’ is (i) about much more than emotions and behaviour, and in reality relates closely to personality, ego, and (ii) what is put forward as ‘self-control’ is really about the wider issue of self-management and state-management, and (iii) all of this is situation-specific, then the above definitions and measures of EQ are insufficient and incomplete.

My thoughts on Psychometric Testing and Assessment

I’ll confess up front – I’m, not a huge fan of psychometric tests and testing. I’ve had several of these done over the years. The point is – none of which made any major impact on me, my level of self-awareness or my performance… The tests/assessments I’ve done include:

  • MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) – focuses on four aspects of our personality to try to capture the fundamental elements of who we are and how we are motivated – these are: introversion – extraversion, sensing – intuiting, thinking – feeling,  judging – perceiving.
  • DISC profile – a behavioural exploration tool based around four traits of: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness
  • Firo-B – focuses on behaviour in the context of relationships (so is related to EQ), assessing the extent to which people attempt to satisfy three basic social needs – Inclusion, Control and Affection.
    • Inclusion (participation, recognition, belonging)
    • Control (power, authority, influence)
    • Affection (openness, warmth, closeness)
  • 16PF – purports to provide a measure of ‘normal’ personality. It is also can also be used by psychologists, and mental health professionals to help diagnose psychiatric disorders. The 16 personality factors are:
    • Warmth,  Reasoning, Emotional Stability, Dominance, Liveliness, Rule-Consciousness, Social Boldness, Sensitivity, Vigilance, Abstractedness, Privateness, Apprehension, Openness to Change, Self-Reliance, Perfectionism and Tension
    • Asking respondents to self-assess their personality, which some tests do, is fraught with issues due to poor/inconsistent levels of self-awareness and also egoic defensiveness. So Cattell’s 16PF questionnaire asks True/False questions about real, everyday situations.
    • Cattell argued (correctly in my opinion) that self-ratings relate to self-image, and are affected by self-awareness, and defensiveness about one’s actual traits.

There are hundreds of different psychometric and behavioural assessments out there. There are those that will tell you that all you need to know are your ‘BIG 5‘ (based on Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism). Others claim the best is OPQ (Occupational Personality Questionnaire).

Humans are far more complex than can be adequately represented by such tests, especially when it comes to understanding and assessing EQ.


Apologies for the length of this article. I have summarised the key points at the beginning.

Connect To Your PotentialWe set up Connect To Your Potential in 2010, having trained in personal development; NLP; life, executive and relationship coaching. We set about helping people, based on that we thought we knew. And help we did, judging by the high levels of positive feedback.

We didn’t ‘rest on our laurels’. We knew from our own personal development and challenges that we still faced, that there had to be better solutions. The problem that we seemed to be facing was one of generic solutions, which didn’t necessarily fit our circumstances and personality, taught by teachers who didn’t necessarily see the world the way that we did, or understand what made us tick.

The Enneagram

The Enneagram

We knew about The Enneagram and other personality assessments, but none of them seems to make a profound impact. Then in 2011, we spent 7 days with one of the true pioneers of the Enneagram (not one of the many look-alikes) and any illusion that we were self-aware and emotionally intelligent was shattered! We learned ‘the real Enneagram’ – the nine very distinct models of the world (perceptual filters, fears, hopes and motivations) that describe humanity so much better than anything else we’ve come across.

We worked with this accurate knowledge of the Enneagram, both on ourselves and with many clients. We synthesised this knowledge with the other key models of personal development that we already used.

Then, after a few years, we took a step back and realised that what we had created was a pragmatic solution to developing emotional intelligence. It is a very different approach to the one that you will read about in the books on EQ, and the resulting commercialised EQ assessments – as outlined above.

Whilst we recognise there is a valid need for organisations to be able to assess and measure emotional intelligence and its impact, for most of our work with individuals, couples and small teams (such as in family businesses), the impact of emotional intelligence is huge and obvious, negating the need or value in such assessment. It has resulted in feedback such as:

Why isn’t this taught in schools?
OMG – how do people survive without this knowledge!
We’ve learned more abut each other in 4 days with you than in 40 years of marriage!

What we have also recognised is that a tool that we do use – PRISM Brain Mapping – provides a useful measure of EQ, while more importantly also facilitating its development and measuring its impact.

To finish, here are a few images and extracts from PRISM reports highlighting its EQ-related capabilities in terms of assessing: EQ, team performance, and providing 360o feedback. PRISM can also help with assessing and improving each individual’s EQ and in recruiting emotionally intelligent job candidates.

Click here for more details on our PRISM Brain Mapping services and sample reports.

A PRISM Professional Report includes fives pages on EQ, three pages on the BIG 5 personality traits and six pages on Mental Toughness. These are either self-assessed by the individual, or more powerfully, this self-perception can be compared to (i) an organisational benchmark, and (ii) 360o feedback from significant others including: line-manager, colleagues, customers, assistants or other employees.

  • The EQ assessment includes an assessment of: Self-motivation, Awareness of others, Self-awareness, Self-management, Influencing others, Decisiveness, Consistency and Relationship Management
  • The Big 5 assessment covers: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability (the opposite of Neuroticism) and Openness to Experience
  • The following Mental Toughness competencies: Self-belief, Ambition, Resilience, Self-management, Optimism, Determination, Independence, Competitiveness and Adaptability

360 EQ report
mental toughness chart

PRISM Team Performance Diagnostic

PRISM Brain mapping team performance diagnostic

team performance chart

PRISM Brain Mapping team performance comparison

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