Monday, May 20, 2013

What's this EQ all about


I was reading a blog of a Chief Learning Officer in India and I was very amused to see the pertinent question that was asked by the author on whether university hires should get tested on Emotional Intelligence also called EQ.

I have been wondering on the efficacy of the personality or trait based tests, the psychometric tests as they are called being advocated for decades now.
What are these psychometric tests? Are they not the questions that an interviewer can ask face to face and read emotions, body language, anxiety or enthusiasm, discomfort or excitement in the voice level, quality variations, facial expressions and body language?
Can you read all this on a paper pen test or an online test?
Another wonder is the use of objective tests that most of these tests are; they give pre-set options to select and many a times, a candidate is forced to take a choice. Is that not a joke? DiSC has options of words that asks you to select one of the four words that is most like you and one , least like you. Is that not a joke? Will you select these most like you and least like you in all situations? Will your choices not vary when you deal with different situations or circumstances? Would the evaluator or test analysis ever know what situation you were thinking when you selected the most like you and least like you options? Can they read candidate's mind for each option? Let's not joke with people. I suggest, you need a psychologist or trained psychoanalysts in the interview panel who can analyse the real time reactions, behavior under given situations and then do a fair analysis and reporting. Similarly, EQ is considered as new science of being socially-able and liked. It is an art of knowing self-emotions, other's emotions, and make a better level of mental and social cohesion. This is not a skill or competency like IQ. IQ is knowledge and application of basic sciences to get a correct answer to a question. In EQ, you do not have a correct or incorrect answer. It is situation based.
I am against comparing IQ and EQ. They are two very different things and have no comparison. Though there has been serious comparison being made and statements have been made like, "IQ gets you a job but EQ makes you successful." Ask all those people who have hundreds of patents in their name and tell them that that it is not their IQ, it is their EQ that has made them successful and celebrated. EQ is a social skill and behavior science that helps understand others emotions and leverage that to make a good relational value on results. EQ is not manipulation of behavior, where, if any actor asks me, who is my favorite actor and I tell his name and I do the same for all 10 actors who asked me the same question. I may earn a smile and a hug and a little favor from them but is this an accepted EQ in a professional work set-up?

Think of a situation: Your boss is furious and asks you for why the report is late this week by 3 days? Would you answer him with the right reason or look at how angry he is, you would change your answer?
If you give a non-conflicting and placating answer, which maybe partly true, is your behavior professional or integral?

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