Emotional Intelligence:

Daniel Goleman is a Harvard psychology PhD and author of the best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ for Character, Health and Lifelong Achievement.

The following list is a guide to help you explore and
learn from your emotions. 

GUILT: A message that you have violated your own standards. Be sure you are
truly using your standards, and that they are appropriate for the situation.
You can modify and adjust standards and learn for the future.
DISAPPOINTMENT: A message to change expectations. Disappointment results
from not having our expectations met.
DEPRESSION: A message that you need to change something about yourself
and/or your life.
HOPELESS: A message to let go of something.
JEALOUSY: A message that your emotional well-being is threatened.
ENVY: A message that there is something you want. Is “it” worthwhile enough
to go after?
STUCK: A message to go outside of yourself and gather more information and
resources.
ANGER: A message about the need to stop the abuse – from self toward self or
from others toward self.
PROCRASTINATION: A message that either you don’t know how to do something,
or you don’t want to. 

So far, there’s no single, well-validated paper-and-pencil test for emotional intelligence like an IQ test, but there are many situations in which the emotionally intelligent response is quantifiable. The following questions will give you a rough sense of what your EQ might be. And listen, smarty-pants — answer honestly, on the basis of what you really would be most likely to do. Don’t try to second-guess what seems right by using those old rules for psyching out multiple choice tests that helped you through school! 

THE QUESTIONS —————-

1. You’re on an airplane that suddenly hits extremely bad turbulence and begins rocking from side to side. What do you do? a. Continue to read your book or magazine, or watch the movie, paying little attention to the turbulence. b. Become vigilant for an emergency, carefully monitoring the stewardesses and reading the emergency instructions card. c. A little of both a and b. d. Not sure — never noticed. 

2. You’ve taken a group of 4-year-olds to the park, and one of them starts crying because the others won’t play with her. What do you do? a. Stay out of it — let the kids deal with it on their own. b. Talk to her and help her figure out ways to get the other kids to play with her. c. Tell her in a kind voice not to cry. d. Try to distract the crying girl by showing her some other things she could play with. 

3. Assume you’re a college student who had hoped to get an A in a course, but you have just found out you got a C- on the midterm. What do you do? a. Sketch out a specific plan for ways to improve your grade and resolve to follow through on your plans. b. Resolve to do better in the future. c. Tell yourself it really doesn’t matter much how you do in the course, and concentrate instead on other classes where your grades are higher. d. Go to see the professor and try to talk her into giving you a better grade. 

4. Imagine you’re an insurance salesman calling prospective clients. Fifteen people in a row have hung up on you, and you’re getting discouraged. What do you do? a. Call it a day and hope you have better luck tomorrow. b. Assess qualities in yourself that may be undermining your ability to make a sale. c. Try something new in the next call, and keep plugging away. d. Consider another line of work. 

5. You’re a manager in an organization that is trying to encourage respect for racial and ethnic diversity. You overhear someone telling a racist joke. What do you do? a. Ignore it — it’s only a joke. b. Call the person into your office for a reprimand. c. Speak up on the spot, saying that such jokes are inappropriate and will not be tolerated in your organization. d. Suggest to the person telling the joke he go through a diversity training program. 

6. You’re trying to calm down a friend who has worked himself up into a fury at a driver in another car who has cut dangerously close in front of him. What do you do? a. Tell him to forget it — he’s okay now and it’s no big deal. b. Put on one of his favorite tapes and try to distract him. c. Join him in putting down the other driver, as a show of rapport. d. Tell him about a time something like this happened to you and how you felt as mad as he does now, but then you saw the other driver was on the way to a hospital emergency room. 

7. You and your life partner have gotten into an argument that has escalated into a shouting match; you’re both upset and, in the heat of anger, making personal attacks you don’t really mean. What’s the best thing to do? a. Take a 20-minute break and then continue the discussion. b. Just stop the argument — go silent, no matter what your partner says. c. Say you’re sorry and ask your partner to apologize, too. d. Stop for a moment, collect your thoughts, then state your side of the case as precisely as you can.

8. You’ve been assigned to head a working team that is trying to come up with a creative solution to a nagging problem at work. What’s the first thing you do? a. Draw up an agenda and allot time for discussion of each item so you make best use of your time together. b. Have people take the time to get to know each other better. c. Begin by asking each person for ideas about how to solve the problem, while the ideas are fresh. d. Start out with a brainstorming session, encouraging everyone to say whatever comes to mind, no matter how wild. 

9. Your 3-year-old son is extremely timid, and has been hypersensitive about — and a bit fearful of — new places and people virtually since he was born. What do you do? a. Accept that he has a shy temperament and think of ways to shelter him from situations that would upset him. b. Take him to a child psychiatrist for help. c. Purposely expose him to lots of new people and places so he can get over his fear. d. Engineer an ongoing series of challenging but manageable experiences that will teach him he can handle new people and places. 

10. For years you’ve been wanting to get back to learning to play a musical instrument you tried in childhood, and now, just for fun, you’ve finally gotten around to starting. You want to make the most effective use of your time. What do you do? a. Hold yourself to a strict practice time each day. b. Choose pieces that stretch your abilities a bit. c. Practice only when you’re really in the mood. d. Pick pieces that are far beyond your ability, but that you can master with diligent effort.

-Emotions As Messages-

There are no bad emotions; there are desirable and undesirable emotions, but

no bad emotions. Because an emotion is painful or uncomfortable does not

make it bad. When a loved one betrays you, it is human and appropriate to

feel hurt and disappointed – you would be less than human if you did not. 

You may not want to feel emotional pain, but when you find yourself in a

hurtful situation it is appropriate to feel that hurt. The essential

question about emotions is not whether they are good or bad, but whether the

emotion is appropriate for the situation. That is, does the emotion match

the circumstances. For example, a well-educated, intelligent woman who goes

back to graduate school and sometimes feels confused and overwhelmed is

feeling emotions that match or are appropriate for that situation. If

however she goes from confusion into panic or terror, that emotion is

inappropriate for that situation; it does not match the circumstances. When

you’re going through a divorce it is appropriate to feel loss and pain; it

is not appropriate to feel these emotions every time your mate leaves for a

day of work. This does not make these emotions bad – only inappropriate. 

Being human you may often have these “inappropriate” emotions. What does

this mean? You are being paged urgently! Any recurring emotion that does not

match the situation is a signal – a message about some aspect of your life.

The message is different for each person; however, there are certain

universal messages contained in some of the more common, frequently

experienced emotions. The following list is a guide to help you explore and

learn from your emotions. 

GUILT: A message that you have violated your own standards. Be sure you are

truly using your standards, and that they are appropriate for the situation.

You can modify and adjust standards and learn for the future.

DISAPPOINTMENT: A message to change expectations. Disappointment results

from not having our expectations met.

DEPRESSION: A message that you need to change something about yourself

and/or your life.

HOPELESS: A message to let go of something.

JEALOUSY: A message that your emotional well-being is threatened.

ENVY: A message that there is something you want. Is “it” worthwhile enough

to go after?

STUCK: A message to go outside of yourself and gather more information and

resources.

ANGER: A message about the need to stop the abuse – from self toward self or

from others toward self.

PROCRASTINATION: A message that either you don’t know how to do something,

or you don’t want to. 

Emotions are your friends, your allies – not to be used as excuses to avoid

thinking or taking action; but to respect and learn from. When you allow

yourself to feel something you are in process and that process moves you

forward so that pretty soon you’re feeling something else and moving on. 

Sometimes people are afraid that if they ‘give in’ to their emotions they’ll

drown in them. Just the opposite is true; “giving in” to them will move you

through the tunnel to the light of learning and change at the end. Emotions

don’t get us into trouble – it’s the emotions we have about our emotions

that trap us and keep us on a treadmill of negativity and stagnation. 

Emotions are our teachers and opportunities to learn and change. Listen for

the message and don’t kill the messenger.