EQ-i 2.0: When High Scores Give Low Results

EQ-i 2.0

While we coach our clients to improve their emotional intelligence, we also recognize that sometimes being high in one subscale, when it is not balanced by another, can hinder their success. Below are some challenges sometimes associated with high scores and questions to gather more information on how it may be impacting the client.


-May come across as arrogant.
-May ignore feedback.
-May come across as overly confident.
-Susceptible to losing touch with an objective assessment of his/her capabilities.

Questions: Give me an example of how you display your confidence in meetings. Has your confidence ever gotten the better of you? Led you down a path you later regretted?

-May be less tolerant of those who are not continuously trying to improve.
-May come across as a “know-it-all.”
-May take on too much and get burnt out.
-May be seen as a workaholic.

Question: How do you define work/life balance? How does that impact those around you who may hold a different definition?

Emotional Self-Awareness
– May be seen as wearing your heart on your sleeve.
– May run the risk of over-analyzing or being overly critical of your emotions.
– May put too much weight on emotional information compared to objective or
factual information.

Question: How has your awareness of your emotions helped you communicate with your direct reports?

Emotional Expression
– May share inappropriate information.
– May be seen as overly-emotional.
– You may overwhelm others by sharing too much emotional information.
– You may take the stage to share how you are feeling without giving the same
opportunity to your colleagues.

Question: Think about a time when you realized too late that you shared something you shouldn’t have. What happened? What were the repercussions?

-May come across as aggressive or stubborn in your beliefs.
-May come across as not being open to other opinions.
-May create an atmosphere where others do not feel comfortable sharing their

Questions: When has your assertiveness perhaps not worked to your advantage? How do people react to your assertiveness?

-May not be seen as a team player.
-May not be comfortable taking direction.
-May come across as not needing any help from anyone.

Question: In what circumstance (or with who) would it serve you well to not leverage your Independence as much? Or Tell me about a time when leveraging your independence was not appropriate. How did you handle that?

Interpersonal Relationships
-You may be seen as being too focused on socializing and not focused enough on work.
-You may hold back your honest opinion for fear of putting a relationship in jeopardy.

Questions: Has your Interpersonal Relationships ever caused you to not be taken seriously? Or tell me about a time when you were unable to make a tough decision or share difficult news in order to protect a relationship.

-You could struggle to make decisions that have negative outcomes for others.
-You may find it hard to stay objective when strong emotions are involved.
-You run the risk of taking on other people’s problems as your own.
-You may find it hard to say ‘no.’
-You may focus on others’ feelings over your own.

Question: How do you provide constructive feedback to your direct reports? How effective is that for you?

Social Responsibility
– You may put others’ needs so far ahead of yours that you risk achieving your
personal goals.
– You may take the weight of the world on your shoulders.
– You may take on everyone’s problems as your own.

Question: Think of a time when you put your own goals ahead of someone else’s. What happened?

Decision Making
Problem Solving
-You may ignore your feelings entirely when making decisions.
-Your solutions may be seen as cold and impersonal.
-You may run the risk of fixating on a problem when a solution isn’t readily available.

Question: What feedback have you been given on how you solve issues/problems that arise from your team?

Reality Testing
-You may rely too heavily on logic and objective evidence to reach a decision.
-You may make very black and white conclusions: something is right or it is wrong, there are no shades of grey.
-You may be seen as being less creative.

Question: How much do you leverage this subscale in your role? Does it ever create obstacles for you? If so, how do you deal with them?

Impulse Control
-You may tend to hold back on your actions, appearing to lack spontaneity and decisiveness.
-You may not react to some situations quickly enough.
-You may be seen as not moving things forward.

Question: Think about a time when you didn’t react quickly enough. What was the situation and how did it impact those around you?

Stress Management
-You may appear scattered, easily swayed.
-You may struggle to commit to a strategy through to its completion.
-You may appear to lack conviction.

Question: Tell me about a time when someone took advantage of your flexibility. What happened?

Stress Tolerance
-You may appear too relaxed.
-You may take on more than a healthy share of work, leading to possible fatigue or burnout.
-You may overwhelm others if you hold them to the same expectation for tolerating stress as you do.

Questions: How do know when you are feeling stressed? What signs (either physical or emotional) indicate that you have taken on too much?

-You may set unrealistic goals, ignore personal shortcomings and/or ignore evidence that suggests your efforts are heading towards a negative outcome
-You may be seen as unrealistic.
-You may be viewed as not understanding the seriousness of a situation.

Question: Think of a time when your level of optimism got in the way of being able to see things clearly. Think of a time when others did not share your level of optimism. What happened? How did you deal with it?

One Response to EQ-i 2.0: When High Scores Give Low Results

  1. Thanks – I can see what you’ve done now with the new arrangement of realms and sub scales.
    Looks great!

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