Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions as well as influence the emotions of others, can make the difference between a good leader and a great one. A leader with a high degree of emotional intelligence, or EQ, is empathetic, listens and communicates effectively, is adaptable to change, and has the ability to inspire greatness in others. Fortunately, these "soft" skills can be learned, and there’s no shortage of books and insights out there aimed at leaders who want to work on their EQ.
Whether you are just starting to develop your EQ, or you’ve been working on improving yours for some time, it’s helpful to know where you stand. Self-assessment EI tests and EQ tests can help you pinpoint which elements of emotional intelligence you've mastered and which elements you need to strengthen - such as the language of emotionally intelligent leaders.
[ Want to improve your EQ and associated skills? See our related story, Top soft skills for leaders and how to master them. ]
5 emotional intelligence tests for leaders
We’ve rounded up five emotional intelligence tests to help leaders do just that. Bookmark this page, and check back in from time to time to put your EQ to the test.
MindTools: If you are just scratching the surface on your emotional intelligence improvement journey, this quick, 15-question assessment provides a lot of helpful context around your results. The questions are designed to assess the five characteristics of EQ as identified by psychologist Daniel Goleman: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Psychology Today: Have a little more time on your hands? Grab a cup of coffee and dive into this comprehensive test. The questions – all 146 of them – take a variety of forms, getting at the elements of EQ in different ways, for a more thorough assessment. For instance, you’ll be asked to put yourself into a variety of work scenarios in one section, and then asked to describe the feeling of jealousy as a taste in the next. A snapshot of your results is available for free; however, the full results and advice come with a $9.95 price tag.
Greater Good: A key component in emotional intelligence is the ability to read other people and accurately identify what they are feeling. This quick visual quiz helps leaders hone this skill – by challenging test takers to identify emotions based solely on facial expressions. One nice thing about this test: You’ll get instant results for each question and tips for identifying emotional cues in other people. That's a skill leaders need in order to form compassionate connections with their peers.
[ After months of dealing with the pandemic, is your team exhausted? Read our related story: Remote exhaustion: 13 tips to reduce fatigue. ]
HBR: This emotional intelligence test was made for leaders. After answering 25 questions, you’ll see how your individual scores for adaptability, empathy, and other EQ competencies stack up against HBR’s averages. It also provides concrete next steps based on your results and advice targeted to the specific areas of EQ that you want to improve.
CIO.com: If you're an IT leader and you struggle with questions that are more abstract (Does jealousy really have a taste?), you may like this emotional intelligence test featuring questions adapted for CIOs’ real-life work situations. While the test results and feedback aren’t as robust as some of the other EQ tests on this list, this test could help CIOs make more emotionally intelligent choices the next time they find themselves in the relatable scenarios described.
[ Ready to put yourself out there? See our related articles, Emotional intelligence: 8 ways to improve yours in 2021 and Can emotional intelligence be learned? 4 techniques to practice. ]