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26 Factors To Help You Assess Your Level Of Emotional Intelligence

by | Aug 14, 2017

In a recent blog post, I set out 15 questions to ask yourself to help answer the question “How emotional intelligent am I?”

It’s a question that puzzles many of my clients. So, in this post, I will break it down a little more for you.

Self-assessing your level of emotional intelligence can be tricky; there are tests to take that will provide more of a guideline but it’s certainly not like the IQ Test, where you are asked a series of questions and your responses provide a score that places you in a certain intelligence ‘bracket’.

For instance, you might be a good listener and exhibit excellent self-control but otherwise struggle to form close relationships. In this case, you exhibit two strong aspects of emotional intelligence but are weak in another area. How emotionally intelligent does this make you?

By breaking it down into its key qualities, you can practice a little self-reflection and start thinking about how well you do with each factor.

Don’t forget, these qualities can be learned; you can therefore improve them – so it helps to know where you need to start…

The four basic categories of emotional intelligence

I’ll get to the 26 factors of emotional intelligence next. But first let’s consider the four general areas that they cover:

  1. Self-awareness – knowledge of one’s own emotions, preferences, and intuitions
  2. Self-management – ability to manage one’s own impulses
  3. Social awareness – awareness of other people’s needs, feelings, and concerns
  4. Relationships – ability to produce desirable responses in others and to form close bonds

These, like the factors that follow, are based on the work of author and psychologist Daniel Goleman, who is one of the pioneers and primary authorities on emotional intelligence.

The 26 emotional intelligence ‘competencies’

The following factors are broken down into the four categories outlined above.

Consider how well you meet the state or ability explained after each factor. That will give you more of an idea of your level of EQ:


  1. Emotional self-awareness

Being familiar enough with your own emotions, gut feelings and instincts to be able to label them and provide insight about you; recognising their effects on your mind and your body.

  1. Accurate self-assessment

Inner awareness of your strengths, positive attributes, weaknesses, and limitations.

  1. Personal power

Having the self-confidence and deep inner knowledge to know that you can live the life you want; with the ability to speak your truth assertively and with confidence, but also sincerely.


  1. Behavioural self-control

The ability to keep emotions and impulses under control so that they don’t negatively impact you or those around you.

  1. Integrity

Being honest and ethical and living a life that is value-driven.

  1. Innovation & creativity

Keeping an open mind to new ideas and looking for innovative approaches to situations and challenges.

  1. Initiative & bias for action

Not sitting back and waiting for things to happen – creating new opportunities with persistence and positive action.

  1. Achievement drive

Ability to maintain consistently high standards in your personal and professional life – and attempting to exceed these standards with continuous learning and development.

  1. Realistic optimism

Expecting success rather than failure, seeing opportunities rather than threats; seeing others positively rather than as threats; expecting positive change, improvement, and success in the future.

  1. Resilience

Having the perseverance, diligence, and mental toughness to overcome obstacles, challenges, and setbacks.

  1. Stress management

Not being affected unduly by stress in pressure situations – maintaining poise and the ability to think clearly and make good decisions.

  1. Personal agility

Having the flexibility to anticipate and respond rapidly to changing conditions; anticipating challenges and opportunities, with a willingness to rethink past assumptions and adapt to change.

  1. Intentionality

The ability to think and act deliberately; understanding what it takes to control your own outcomes and take responsibility for one’s actions.


  1. Empathy

The ability to sense other people’s emotions and views; to put yourself temporarily in their place and to take their perspectives into account in your relationships.

  1. Situational/organisational awareness

The ability to read social and political situations and to manage the challenges and opportunities that these situations pose.

  1. Service orientation

The ability to anticipate and meet the needs of others – even before your own.



  1. Communication

Being able to carefully and meaningfully listen to the other party and also send clear and convincing messages to them.

  1. Interpersonal effectiveness

The ability to attune yourself to other people with sensitivity and to build a rapport with, and to relate to, a diverse range of people.

  1. Powerful influencing skills

Being able to convince others effectively – without manipulating them negatively.

  1. Conflict management

The ability to mediate and to effectively resolve disputes and conflicts.

  1. Inspirational leadership

Guiding others by communicating a clear, compelling, and inspirational vision for the future.

  1. Catalysing change

The ability to shape change for the benefit of those around you – leading the process of change.

  1. Building bonds

Nurturing relationships over a wide network of people; really connecting with others rather than merely making acquaintances.

  1. Teamwork & collaboration

The ability to collaborate with others and achieve shared goals rather than focusing on personal goals (though the two may cross over).

  1. Coaching and mentoring others

The ability to identify potential in others and to guide their development by taking them under your wing.

  1. Building trust

Seeing trust as the pillar of any relationship and remaining true to this principal to build close bonds when working with others.

Hopefully, considering the above factors has provided you with a clearer idea of your level of emotional intelligence: both the aspects that you excel at and those that you need to work on.

If you or your organisation need help introducing emotional intelligence initiatives, feel free to email me at: