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Measuring What Matters: Comparing EQ tools

Would you like to work in a place where great decisions are made, where people are free to express their opinions and ideas safely? An environment where there’s great communication and collaboration, where confidence and productivity are high?

These workplaces are what we would call ‘emotionally effective’.

But how do you know if you personally have high EQ and that those around you in the workplace are high in emotional intelligence? You need something to measure where you are and where you want to get to.

In this blog, we’ve picked out the top diagnostics to help you on your way towards becoming an emotionally effective player, ready to change your workplace culture. Let’s get comparing EQ tools…

Comparing EQ tools

1. The Bar-On Model (EQ-i)

Developed by Reuven Bar-On, the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) is one of the earliest models of emotional intelligence and arguably the most researched. It measures emotional and social functioning across several factors, including self-regard, interpersonal relationships, and stress tolerance.

The EQ-i assessment is the world’s only scientifically validated tool for the measurement of emotional intelligence and places a strong emphasis on personal growth and self-awareness. It encourages individuals to explore their emotional strengths and areas where they can enhance their emotional intelligence.

Assessments are generally very easy to complete, and individuals receive an individualised report with strategies for action. Leadership, Group and 360 reports are also available through the EQ-I 2.0 and can provide for a fuller and more in-depth assessment.

Using the Reuven Bar-On method, uplift in personal effectiveness can be measured at the start and again at the end of a development programme as an indicator of enhancement.

At Think EQ, we use the EQ-I 2.0 in our development programmes with individuals, leaders, and teams. Check out the sample reports here.

2. The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT)

Developed by Peter Salovey, John Mayer, and David Caruso, the MSCEIT is one of the most well-known and widely used performance-based measures of emotional intelligence. The MSCEIT assesses an individual’s ability to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions effectively.

The MSCEIT is a performance-based assessment, which means it measures actual abilities related to emotional intelligence rather than relying on self-report or self-perception. This reduces the potential for self-presentation biases.

The test is structured and standardised, making it easy to administer and score. This standardisation enhances its reliability and objectivity.

The MSCEIT has been criticised for its limited cultural adaptation. Some argue that it may not adequately account for cultural variations in emotional expression and interpretation. Obtaining access to the MSCEIT and the associated training for administration and scoring can be costly.

This may limit its availability in some organisations or for individual use. The MSCEIT can be time-consuming to complete, with multiple sections and questions. This can be a disadvantage, especially in busy or time-sensitive settings.

3. The Emotional Capital Report (ECR) by RocheMartin

This tool provides insights into an individual’s or team’s emotional intelligence competencies. Like any assessment tool, the ECR has its advantages and disadvantages.

The ECR is tailored for organisational use and provides insights into how emotional intelligence influences workplace performance, leadership, and team dynamics.

It helps organisations understand the impact of emotional intelligence on their success. Is has foundations in science, provides customised feedback and is acknowledged to be a great tool to develop leaders. You can find a copy of a sample report here.

It does however, have a few drawbacks, in that it is cost and resource intensive. The ECR is a comprehensive assessment, which can make it complex for participants to complete. The assessment may take some time, and individuals may find it challenging to navigate.

4. The ‘360 EQ’ by TalentSmart

This is a 360-degree emotional intelligence assessment that gathers feedback from various perspectives, including self-assessment and assessments from peers, supervisors, subordinates, and other stakeholders. Gathering feedback from various sources can lead to enhanced self-awareness. Individuals may gain insights into how their emotions and behaviours impact others, both positively and negatively.

The primary purpose of a 360-degree assessment is often development and growth. It offers individuals valuable insights into their emotional intelligence competencies and helps them identify areas they can work on to enhance their effectiveness. Read the fact sheet.

However, the accuracy of the feedback collected depends on the honesty and competence of the raters. If raters provide biased or inaccurate feedback, it can lead to misleading results. Interpreting the results of a 360-degree assessment can be challenging.

Feedback may be mixed or contradictory, requiring careful analysis to identify meaningful patterns and areas for improvement. Also, receiving feedback from peers, subordinates, or supervisors can be sensitive and potentially lead to conflicts or discomfort in the workplace. Handling feedback effectively is essential to avoid negative consequences.

Why is it important to compare EQ tools?

It is really important to do your research when it comes to selecting an emotional intelligence diagnostic as it will save you time and money in the long run.  

To do this, research and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each and whether your preferred option meets your requirements. You’ll also want to ensure that the diagnostic you use is scientifically valid – i.e., that it is reliable, avoids over generalising and confirmation bias and ensures cultural sensitivity.

How easy is it for your client to use and what does the report output look like?

As the experts in emotional intelligence, Think EQ can help you and your organisation become more emotionally effective. Contact us to see how we can do this.