Do you ever wonder,

“Could I be better at what I do daily?  Is there a way for me to get ahead in life that won’t take a year of therapy?”  Possibly….

Below is a 10 question quiz which will give you an idea of the skills of Emotional Intelligence.  This is not a comprehensive picture but merely a beginning.  The subject is vast – many books have been written on this subject (also called EQ).  These questions were designed by the author of Emotional Intelligence – A Practical Guide, David Walton.  I found it fascinating and hope you do to.  This could be the “Get Ahead Ticket” you’re looking for.

Here are 10 situations.  For each, read the four actions and choose which of them is closest to the way you would be likely to behave if in a similar situation.  Choose your actual behavior rather than what you think you should do.  Make note of your choice and then tally your score using the key at the end to get what David calls a ‘quick and dirty’ measure of your own EI.


You’re on an airplane that suddenly hits extremely bad turbulence and begins rocking from side to side.  What do you do?

  1. Continue to read your book or magazine, or watch the movie, trying to pay little attention to the turbulence.
  2. Become vigilant for an emergency, carefully monitoring the cabin staff and reading the emergency instructions card.
  3. A little of both A and B.
  4. Not sure – you probably never noticed.

You are in a meeting when a colleague takes credit for work that you have done.  What do you do?

  1. Immediately and publicly confront the colleague over the ownership of your work.
  2. After the meeting, take the colleague aside and tell her that you would appreciate in the future that she credits you when speaking about your work.
  3. Nothing, it’s not a good idea to embarrass colleagues in public.
  4. After the colleague speaks, publicly thank her for referencing your work and give the group more specific details about what you were trying to accomplish.

You are a customer service representative and are speaking to an extremely angry client on the phone. What do you do?

  1. Hang up. You aren’t paid to take abuse from anyone.
  2. Listen to the client and rephrase what you gather he is feeling.
  3. Explain to the client that he is being unfair, that you are only trying to do your job, and you would appreciate it if he wouldn’t get in the way of this.
  4. Tell the client you understand how frustrating this must be for him, and offer a specific thing you can do to help him get his problem resolved.

You are a college student who had hoped to get an A on an exam that was important for your future career aspirations.  You have just found out you made a C-.  What do you do?

  1. Sketch out a specific plan for ways to improve your mark and resolve to follow it through.
  2. Decide you do not have what it takes to make it in that career.
  3. Tell yourself it really doesn’t matter how well you do in the course; concentrate instead on the other classes where your marks are higher.
  4. Go and discuss your results with your teacher and try to talk him into giving you a better mark.

You’re doing GREAT – Keep going!

You are 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?

  1. Ignore it – the best way to deal with these things is not to react.
  2. Call the person into your office and explain that their behavior is inappropriate and is grounds for disciplinary action if repeated.
  3. Speak up on the spot, saying that such jokes are inappropriate and will not be tolerated in your organization.
  4. Suggest to the person who told the joke that he attend a diversity training course.

You are an insurance salesman calling on prospective clients.  You have had no success with your last fifteen clients.  What do you do?

  1. Call it a day and go home early to miss rush-hour traffic.
  2. Try something new in the next call, and keep plugging away.
  3. List your strengths and weaknesses to identify what may be undermining your ability to sell.
  4. Sharpen up your resume’.

You are trying to calm down a colleague who has worked herself into a fury because the driver of another car has swerved dangerously close to her car.  What do you do?

  1. Tell her to forget about it – she’s OK now and it is no big deal.
  2. Put on some of her favorite music and try to distracter.
  3. Join her in criticizing the other driver.
  4. Tell her about a time something like this happened to you, and how angry you felt, until you saw the other driver was on the way to the hospital.

A discussion between you and your partner has escalated into a shouting match.  You are both upset and, in the heat of the argument, have started making personal attacks which neither of your really mean.  What’s the best thing to do?

  1. Agree to take a 20-minute break before continuing the discussion.
  2. Go silent, regardless of what your partner says.
  3. Say you are sorry, and ask your partner to apologize too.
  4. Stop for a moment, collect your thoughts, then restate your side of the case as precisely as possible.

You have been given the task of managing a team that has been unable to come up with a creative solution to a work problem.  What’s the first thing you do?

  1. Draw up an agenda, call a meeting and allot a specific period of time to discuss each item.
  2. Organize an off-site meeting aimed specifically at encouraging the team to get to know each other better.
  3. Ask each person individually for ideas about how to solve the problem
  4. Have a brainstorming session, encouraging each person to say whatever comes to mind, no matter how wild.

You have recently been assigned a young manager in your team and have noticed that he appears to be unable to make the simplest of decisions without seeking advice from you.  What do you do?

  1. Accept that he ‘doesn’t have what it takes to succeed around here’ and find others on your team to take on his tasks.
  2. Get an HR manager to talk to him about where he thinks his future within the organization might lie.
  3. Purposely give him lots of complex decisions to make so that he will become more confident in the role.
  4. Engineer an ongoing series of challenging but manageable experiences for him, and make yourself available to act as his mentor.


There are up to 10 points available for each situation.  Add you points earned for each situation to determine your ‘quick & dirty’ EI score.

Turbulent airplane ride

  1. – 10
  2. – 10
  3. – 10
  4. –   0        This reaction suggests a lack of awareness of what is going on.

Colleague takes credit for your work

  1. – 0         Public confrontation, not usually a good idea
  2. – 5
  3. – 0         Problem stays unresolved
  4. – 10 Work collaboratively with the colleague but also manage your own emotions

Service rep with angry customer

  1. – 0
  2. – 5         Showing that you understand the client’s concerns.
  3. – 0
  4. – 10 Helping the client resolve the issue but also being sensitive to other’s feelings.

College student with C- on important paper

  1. – 10 Keeping control involves using logic and analysis as well as accepting strength and weaknesses
  2. – 0         Failure usually generates strong emotions and sometimes guilt.
  3. – 5
  4. –  0

Racial and ethnic diversity joking

  1. – 0         Not speaking up can appear as an endorsement.
  2. – 5
  3. – 10 Emotionally Intelligent people know their values and are confident to speak up.
  4. – 5

Insurance saleperson with little results

  1. – 0
  2. – 10 Being positive, resilient and focused are characteristics of someone in control of emotions.
  3. – 5
  4. –  0

Calming colleague cut off in traffic

  1. – 0
  2. – 0
  3. – 5  Partial credit for building empathy with your colleague and accepting her viewpoint.
  4. –10 Additionally, you are giving rational analysis and getting them to think about negative consequences for the bad driver.  This engages cognitive processes to help reduce emotion.

Discussion with partner has escalated

  1. – 10 You have to manage your emotions and your partners that means – Take a BREAK!
  2. – 0
  3. – 0
  4. –  0

Managing a team with creativity issues

  1. –  0
  2. – 10 There’s a strong link between feelings and creative thinking so a team is only as good as the quality of relationships and ability to collaborate.
  3. – 0
  4. – 0

Young manager with decision issues

  1. – 0  Exposure and threat will just build anxiety.
  2. – 5
  3. – 0
  4. – 10 Supporting and challenging him are best options for growth.


Add up your results from the 10 question quiz.

Average score for 30-50 year-old participants     – 65.

Average score for participants under 30              –  60.  I guess that means with age we get more EI.

There were not significant differences in the results for men and women so we might conclude that unlike many emotions, intelligence is something that is not gender specific– That’s interesting!

Like we said before, this is not meant to be a comprehensive measure of your existing level of EI, however this quiz is mostly designed to give you a sense of the skills involved in EI behavior and where some of your own strengths might lie.

Congrats for taking the quiz and watch over the next couple of weeks for more development ops in the EI arena.

Next week: How to increase your Emotional Intelligence!

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