By Jessica Massoni, Assistant Director, Business Consultant


Successful leaders often share a few common attributes, but the most influential of those may not be what you expect.  While the natural inclination is to point to IQ and technical skill, these do not outweigh the influence of a person’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ). According to the writers of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, ninety percent of top performers have high EQ and executives who are rated high on EQ outperform low rated executives by 15 – 20% on yearly goals and objectives and people.  

Now, what is EQ and how is it measured?
EQ explains the ability of a person to “recognize and regulate emotions in [them]selves and in others.”1  As the awareness of EQs influence on job performance increases, many corporations are providing appraisals and trainings to assist their employees in further development of their EQ.  The Emotional Intelligence Appraisal provides it’s takers with their emotional intelligence score and a better idea of what that means and how to improve it.  The appraisal is broken down into four areas:


  • Self-Awareness: the ability to perceive your own emotions accurately and stay aware of them as they happen.  Think, how do I respond to certain people and situations in the moment?
  • Self-Management: The ability to stay flexible and direct your behavior in a positive way. Think, how do I react to situations and people?
  • Social Awareness: The ability to identify emotions in others and understand what is really happening. Think, do I understand what other people are thinking and feeling even if I don’t feel the same?
  • Relationship Management: The ability to manage interactions successfully.  Think, am I able to communicate clearly and handle conflict effectively?
But my GPA is a 3.9…
For many college students, IQ and GPA are the acronyms that carry the most weight when it comes to personal evaluation.  The thought process – IQ is often a direct influence on your GPA, and your GPA means everything right?  Wrong! 
Many companies are now placing less focus on GPAs alone, and beginning to evaluate a candidate’s ability to interact with people, manage relationships and adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.
Understanding your ability to manage your emotions and use them to control your approach to social situations will make you stand out in an increasingly competitive market.  Where IQ remains fairly constant over a person’s lifetime, the beauty about EQ, you have the ability to increase this score.
Now what…
So how do I know what my emotional intelligence is or at least, how can I improve it?  Some of the questions below will give you a better idea of what exactly the appraisal looks for in assigning your score.  Think about your answer to some of these and consider if there is a way to improve your approach. How often do you…
  • recognize the impact your behavior has upon others
  • realize when others influence your emotional state
  • handle stress well
  • resist the desire to act or speak when it will not help the situation
  • do things you regret when upset
  • hear what the other person is “really” saying
  • learn about others in order to get along with them
1Emotional Intelligence Appraisal (5-6)
As you start to reflect on these, try setting some development goals to improve your approach to your own emotions and adaptability to the situations in which you may find yourself.
Repeat after me…
When it comes to emotions
I am better at understanding (my own / others)
I am really good at ________________________________________________________________
I could improve_____________________________________________________________________
To improve this in myself I plan to _______________________________________________________
1Bradberry, Dr. Travis & Greaves, Dr.  Jean.  (2001-2010). “Emotional Intelligence Appraisal”. 1-16