How to Measure Emotional Intelligence

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The Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment is a way of measuring one of the key indicators of success. HRDQ asked co-author Dr. Derek Mann about his experiences in developing this breakthrough evaluation tool.
Question: Why did you develop the Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment (EISA)?
Answer: We were interested in developing a tool that would increase awareness of emotional intelligence (EI) and accessibility to EI measurement and development. Most of the available Emotional Intelligence models are geared towards audiences with very specific qualifications, and many require certification or prior training. With the EISA, there is no prerequisite, which makes it an ideal EI introductory tool for use by any human resource or training professional in a broad range of development and coaching situations.
Q: What does the EISA measure?
A: The five factors in the EISA model are ones that most people can readily observe. Two factors are what we call primary emotional abilities -- the ability to perceive and manage emotions -- and three are emotionally-driven behaviors: decision-making, achieving, and influencing. It's helpful to understand the relationship between the primary (or internal) emotional abilities and how these affect our external behaviors. Take the ability to influence others, for example. If we are more effective at portraying positive emotions, others are more inclined to want to work with us, so we more easily gain access to people. And this in turn increases our ability to influence others.
Q: There are a number of EI assessments on the market. What's different about the EISA? 
A: I think it's fair to say that some people struggle to get their head around emotional intelligence. Some see EI as a nebulous concept. What we set out to achieve with the EISA is a model for working with emotional intelligence that takes into account all the significant models of emotional intelligence. At the same time, our goal was to offer an EI tool that can resonate with everyone and particularly those who are new to the concept of EI. It's true that there are many EI-based assessments in the market place -- those with less scientific rigor may be less predictive of one's performance in the workplace. Those with more scientific rigor require specific training for their implementation and interpretation. In essence, the EISA offers a very practical tool for introducing the concept of EI. It has the value of being scientifically based in its development, but it is designed to be easily implemented, interpreted, and applied.
Q: What are some of the applications for the EISA?
  • Relationship Development: The EISA has direct implications for relationship enhancement, so it is a useful addition to any program that focuses on interpersonal skills.
  • Leadership Training: For organizations interested in developing leaders, improving skills in one or more of the five EI factors will increase leadership effectiveness.
  • Team Building: The EISA is an ideal tool to promote discussion around team dynamics, especially communication, and influence within and between teams.
Q: How informed about EI do you need to be to work with the EISA?
A: You certainly don't need to be expert or even proficient, in EI to facilitate the EISA. A detailed facilitator guide for the trainer and a participant workbook for the learner supports and encourages learning. The facilitator guide is geared towards the human resource and/or training professional and includes two pre-designed workshop templates, one for a half-day, and the other for full-day of training.
We also provide scripted language to aid facilitators who are unfamiliar with EI. These scripts cover topics such as what is EI, why it is important, and how it impacts the workplace. The scripts serve as a useful and practical roadmap for facilitators and trainers, regardless of their level of experience.
For the learner, the EISA participant workbook provides development strategies for each of the five EI factors, including a number of activities that the participant can engage in, either on their own or with a group.
Q: What you would say is the primary benefit or learning outcome from using the EISA?
A: After taking the self assessment, a participant will achieve greater awareness of their ability to manage and perceive emotion, and understand the implications of their emotions on themselves and others. This awareness opens the door to increased emotional and social functioning by directing one's developmental efforts to the areas of greatest opportunity and potential for growth. 

About the Author
Derek T.Y. Mann, Ph.D., is a performance enhancement consultant and co-founder of the Performance Psychology Group, LLC (PPG), an organization responsible for providing coaching services to athletes and corporate executives across North America. Dr. Mann spent several years investigating the impact of emotion on human performance with elite populations. He has been published in "The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology," "The Sport Psychologist," and the "Journal of Human Movement Studies." Dr. Mann also served as a contributing editor to several leading academic and professional journals. He is currently a senior research associate at Multi-Health Systems (MHS), where he has contributed to the growth and accessibility of emotional intelligence through assessment, training and development, and professional presentations throughout North America.