When a Good Thing is Too Much

February 26, 2014 § 4 Comments

EQ-i 2.0 Model PictureAs a measure of your Emotional Intelligence (EI) Multi Health System’s EQ-I 2.0 is a valid and reliable tool, and the one I prefer to use most in my assessment work.

EI is now widely accepted as an important & critical factor in our success, happiness, and the sin qua non for how we are viewed as a leader, partner and parent.  Over the past six years I’ve worked with hundreds of seasoned and emerging leaders who look at their EI assessments to see how high they scored– or could have scored – on the 15 competencies.  Like IQ, the EQ-i normalizes at 100, with 150 being the tippy-top of ability in any of the 15.

All of my clients want to be the best they can be, but I caution them: If an EI competency isn’t BALANCED with others, a derailment could be imminent in ANY part of  life at work or home.

Train Derailment

Below are descriptions of what it looks like to others when you overdo, or misapply important EI skills:



  • Self Regard:  “Blind to personal feedback;  Arrogant.”
  • Self Actualization (pursuing meaningful goals): “Leaves others in the dust.”
  • Emotional Self-Awareness:  “Too much focus on the ‘me.'”
  • Emotional Expression: “Too much emotion, at the wrong time.”
  • Assertiveness:  “’My way or the highway” attitude.”
  • Independence: “Not a team player; doesn’t accept help.”
  • Interpersonal Relationships: “Avoids difficult conversations for fear of upsetting others.”
  • Empathy: “Gets too caught up in others’ strong emotions. Catches their ‘dis-ease.'”
  • Social Responsibility (team player): “Gives up on their own needs.”
  • Problem Solving (staying focused when emotions are in play): “Ignores feelings; Impersonal.”
  • Reality Testing: (Seeing things as they are, not what one wants them to be): “Relies too heavily on what is versus what could be.”
  • Impulse Control: “Too thoughtful, slow, analytical.”
  • Flexibility:  “Gives in too much, wishy-washy.”
  • Stress Tolerance: “Too laid back & out of synch with the situation.”
  • Optimism:  “Sets goals that are unrealistic.”

As stated, balance is everything.  For example, it’s great if you’re above average in Assertiveness. After all, Winston Churchill did say: “You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something in your life.”  But you need to temper it with Empathy, Impulse Control and Flexibility.  After all, not every disagreement you’re in needs to be treated like your playing for the World Cup.

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