Just over three years ago, the Pastoral Team of the then Ministries Council suggested that two of the Ascend coaching team be trained to use a personal development inventory that would help people understand and think through the implications for themselves of emotional intelligence. The inventory is called EQ-I 2.0 and is produced by a company called MHS (Multi-Health Systems).
A considerable amount has been written about emotional intelligence and how a person’s Emotional Quotient (EQ) compares in importance and relevance with their Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, brought the idea of emotional intelligence to a far wider audience when he wrote his book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ’. Since then, several psychometric tools have been designed to measure EI and open up opportunities for people to work on their personal development. The EQ-I 2.0 Inventory is one of these tools that provide a wealth of information to help us understand ourselves better and make choices about what we want to do differently.
The Inventory involves completing an online questionnaire. There are 133 questions. That might seem a lot, but since the idea is not to overthink the answers, you can usually complete it fairly quickly – anything between 15 and 30 minutes, although it all depends on how you approach it. Once the questionnaire is completed, a report is produced, which gives an overall score for EI and a much more detailed score covering 15 different areas of life which can be impacted by our emotional intelligence. The report has five main headings, and under each section, there are three subsections. They are:
Self-Regard, Self-Actualisation, Emotional Self-Awareness
Emotional Expression, Assertiveness, Independence
Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, Social Responsibility,
- Decision Making
Problem Solving, Reality Testing, Impulse Control,
- Stress Management
Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, Optimism
The report comprises a summary sheet with all the scores and then a page for each of the 15 sub-sets mentioned above and goes through the possible meaning of your score in some detail. There is a lot of information. For example, the report will give you a score for Self-Regard. It then suggests what your score might mean before it considers the impact your score might have, for example, at work. That is followed by a paragraph of possible strategies for action. The final section explores what is called ‘Balancing your EI’, looking at differences between various scores and how a high score in one sub-set might impact the lower score in another.
Once the report has been produced – and that happens very quickly once the questionnaire has been completed – the next step is to arrange a ‘coaching’ session to present your report and go over it with you. This session can be 1 – 1½ hours and, if beneficial, we can follow it up with a further session. (Of course, anyone wishing to take advantage of some ongoing coaching can access that through Ascend.) This coaching session is significant because it allows you to see the report as a whole, but it also encourages you to choose a couple of areas highlighted by the report where you feel it would be helpful to look for ways to increase your score. In that coaching session, you decide what you want to explore further, and the coach aims to support you in that exploration.
It is important to stress that privacy and confidentiality are taken very seriously. The report you receive is yours, and while the coach has access to it to go over it with you, it is deleted once the coaching session is over. The coaching session itself is also confidential. If participants agree, then EI scores can be recorded anonymously to give an overview of the impact of emotional intelligence in the church.
EQ-I 2.0 is a hugely rich tool for understanding ourselves and making choices about what we might want to do differently and how we could go about it. One of the fascinating things about emotional intelligence is that the scoring is not fixed, permanent or unchangeable. We decide what we want to work on and how we might tackle it. If you are open to self-reflection and looking for ways of working more effectively, then EQ-I 2.0 is undoubtedly worth considering.