Increasing Emotional Intelligence with 360-Degree Feedback

When we think of someone that has low Emotional Intelligence, we picture a person who is often volatile, abrasive, or inconsiderate of the emotions of others. But the concept encompasses more than that. Emotional Intelligence was developed as a psychological theory by Peter Salovey and John Mayer which they defined as:

“The ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.”

Author Daniel Goleman popularized the concept with his book on the same subject and the idea became an important consideration in evaluating the effectiveness of leaders. Goleman proposed five components of Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness. The ability to recognize and understand your own moods and emotions as well as their effect on others.
  2. Self-regulation. The ability to control emotional impulses and the ability to think before taking action.
  3. Internal motivation. A passion to work for internal reasons that go beyond money and status.
  4. Empathy. The ability to understand the emotions of other people.
  5. Social Skills. The ability to manage relationships and build social networks.

Many self-assessments have been created to evaluate Emotional Intelligence but one of the most effective ways to measure it is by collecting feedback from others through a 360-degree feedback survey. The 360-degree feedback process has always been used to increase self-awareness, but with the addition of a few questions, it can evaluate other specific components of Emotional Intelligence.

360-Degree Feedback Topics to Measure Emotional Intelligence:

  • Interpersonal: Builds relationships of genuineness and respect with others.
  • Self-Awareness: Is aware of how his/her behavior affects others.
  • Self-Esteem/Confidence: Is open to constructive criticism or feedback without becoming defensive.
  • Solution-based Optimism: Keeps a sense of perspective and calmness under pressure.

These are just a sample of the topics from which questions can be designed. Some organizations use 360 surveys dedicated to only measuring Emotional Intelligence. Others add a special section on Emotional Intelligence in addition to the leadership competencies already being measured. Either way, 360-degree feedback is a valuable tool in understanding how well you manage your emotions and are in tune with the emotions of others.

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