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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Invest In The Right Type Of Intelligence

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Invest In The Right Type Of Intelligence
Intelligence is highly priced anywhere you go. People with high IQ are often sought after in the working world and well thought of. In the past, intellectual ability (IQ) seemed to be the determining factor for whether a person was selected in top schools or at big corporations. These days however, emotional intelligence has risen in rank and could almost, if not, be more important in determining one’s potential.Simply putting, is it good to only be book smart, or is it better to be street smart? What kind of intelligence will actually help you survive well in today’s cut throat society? More and more jobs and industries are valuing emotional intelligence over technical or intellectual capabilities because this is how management sieves out the crème de la crème.

So if emotional intelligence (EI) is so valued, wouldn’t you want to know where you stand on the scale? In fact, unlike IQ, EI can be learned and improved over time. So try this test to see where you stand.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

The Global Emotional Intelligence Test (GEIT) is based on Daniel Goleman’s four quadrant Emotional Intelligence Competency Model (2002).

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Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise, understand and manage emotions in ourselves and others. Goleman divides Emotional Intelligence into four clusters or quadrants known as of Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management (also popularly known as “people skills”).

To read in detail what each cluster reflects after you have completed the test, click here.

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The GEIT

    The GEIT uses 40 questions which are derived from the Global EI Capability Assessment instrument, which contains 158 items.

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    The GEIT, is a forced-choice psychological test which requires you to chose one statement in each pair of statements that describes you best. For each pair of statements, select the statement that best applies to you. It usually takes about 10 minutes to complete the test.

    Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

    Goleman’s (1998) findings indicated that Emotional Intelligence contributes 80 to 90% of the competencies that distinguish outstanding leaders from average leaders. Some of the behaviors identified include:
    – The ability to recognise and understand their own moods, emotions and drives as well as their effect on others;
    – The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses, moods and to think before acting;
    – The passion to work for reasons beyond money or status and the propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence;
    – The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and the skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions; the proficiency in managing relationships, building networks and the ability to find common ground and build rapport.

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    You Can Train Up Your EI but Not Your IQ

    In professional and technical fields, the typical entry-level threshold IQ is 110 to 120. It is generally considered that your IQ, which is largely genetic, will change little from childhood. Since everyone is in the top 10% or so of intelligence, IQ itself offers relatively little competitive advantage.

    EI on the other hand can be learned at any age. Growing your competency in EI is not easy or quick, as it takes perseverance in the process of critical self-evaluation, commitment to improvement and of course behavioural practice. It is also important to note, that competence in Emotional Intelligence does not necessarily increase with age as you might expect. Some people may learn from life’s experiences, but many do not.

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    By taking the GEIT, you will have better awareness of where you stand with your EI and this will serve as a guide to which EI areas you are doing well in and those which perhaps you need to focus on for development.

    Take the Global Emotional Intelligence Test here.

    More by this author

    Anna Chui

    Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

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    Published on August 23, 2021

    Why Am I Depressed If My Life Is Fine?

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    Why Am I Depressed If My Life Is Fine?

    If you suffer from depression or suddenly experience bouts of sadness that seem to come out of nowhere, you probably wonder why this is happening. The truth is that there are several possibilities, and you aren’t alone. According to the World Health Organization, in January of 2020, more than 264 million people were diagnosed with depression and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.[1] In this article, I will answer the question: why am I depressed if my life is fine?” I will discuss what depression is and what the possible causes of depression are. Additionally, I will offer some solutions to consider as you navigate the depression you are experiencing.

    The question of why you are depressed if your life is fine is one that I can personally identify with, as I can remember a time when I went through an intense depression even though, in many ways, my life couldn’t have been much better. I was financially secure, had a good family, lived in a beautiful place, had a pretty adventurous and exciting life, but none of that could have prevented a serious and prolonged battle with depression.

    Given that you are here reading this article now, you will hopefully be able to identify the problem early and get the support you need to fend off any significant depressive episodes, as this can make a huge difference in your battle with depression.

    Furthermore, you don’t have to live with depression! Despite the debilitating effects of depression, with the right treatment and support, it is also one of the more “curable” mental health disorders and you can overcome it.

    What Is Depression?

    Depression is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, irritability, and in the worst cases, despair and suicidality.

    Depression from a clinical perspective is classified into a few distinctive categories, two of the more common categories are; major depression and dysthymia. According to the DSM 5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual—which governs the diagnosis of psychiatric and mental health disorders—major depression is classified as experiencing five or more symptoms in the same two-week period and must include a loss in pleasure as well as a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.[2]

    The criteria are:

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    • Loss of pleasure or joy
    • Intense feelings of sadness and depressed mood most of the day, almost every day
    • Difficulty sleeping or disturbed sleep
    • Change in appetite (increased or decreased appetite) and a 5% change in body weight
    • Difficulty focusing, poor concentration
    • Psychomotor agitation or slowing down
    • Excessive fatigue
    • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
    • Persistent thoughts of death, dying, and suicide

    Dysthymia is an ongoing or persistent depressed mood for a period of two years where you feel sadness more days than not. It will include at least two of the following symptoms when depressed:

    • Poor appetite or overeating
    • Insomnia or hypersomnia (having more sleep than usual)
    • Low energy or fatigue
    • Low self-esteem
    • Poor concentration
    • Feeling of hopelessness

    The above symptoms of dysthymia can coincide with the symptoms of major depression.

    Causes of Depression

    Depression happens for several reasons that I categorize into three: biology, environment, and situation. Depression also tends to occur in more sensitive people, tend to overthink, and get stuck in their thoughts, which—more times than not—are negative.

    Biological causes of depression are related to how your body produces neurotransmitters that impact your moods, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Some people might have a biological predisposition for depression and never experience any significant symptoms but when confronted with a challenging life situation, such as a loss or disappointment, it can send them into a tailspin of despondency and intense feelings of low and sad mood.

    Depression caused by one’s environment is more about those you might have grown up with, your family, and your home environment, which could also be connected to heredity. Regardless of your biological predisposition, you learn how to handle challenges in life by observing those around you.

    Adults, in particular, are role models for children and will likely deal with life in similar ways as to what they observed. For example, a child who grows up witnessing partner abuse between their parents is at increased risk of either being a victim or perpetrator of violence in an intimate relationship as an adult.[3]

    Situational depression, as I mentioned above, can be seen as more of a cause-and-effect relationship. When you are confronted with a particular life challenge or change, such as job loss, geographic relocation, or family and financial stress, these situations can cause you to fall into a temporary or prolonged depression.

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    In some cases, depression can be a combination of all of the above.

    Examples of Causes of Depression

    Below are some examples of situations that might lead you to experience a prolonged period of depression.

    Grief

    The loss of a loved one, especially when sudden and traumatic, can bring about intense feelings of loss and sadness, which can lead to clinical depression. This includes the death of pets.

    Medical Issue or Diagnosis

    Being diagnosed with a medical issue, especially if chronic and progressive, is much like any other loss you might experience. It represents the loss of a life you had. Very often, there will need to be changes made in one’s life that will not allow for a lifestyle previously enjoyed.

    A Feeling of Failure or Perceived Shortcomings

    As I mentioned, people who experience depression tend to be sensitive and self-critical. You might be struggling with not getting a job promotion or failing to progress in the way you imagined for yourself, but this doesn’t mean that you are not progressing in some other way.

    Sudden Life Change

    Changes—even good changes and welcomed changes—are hard. Sometimes, these changes can have an impact on your role and status in society like marriage or parenthood, which are both wonderful changes yet fraught with many challenges and new social roles.

    Feeling Trapped or With Limited Options

    Having options is both a blessing and a curse. We know that the more options we have, the less happy we are and the more anxious we might tend to feel, wanting and needing to make the right decision. However, on the flip side, the idea that you don’t have any options can also lead to feeling trapped and feeling that your life circumstances are already written in stone.

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    Burnout

    Job stress, being overworked and underpaid, or the lack of fulfillment in your profession can lead to depression, which might also coincide with the feeling of being trapped and feeling as though you don’t have many options in your life and career.

    What Can You Do If You Experience Depression?

    It may sometimes feel as though, out of nowhere, that you are hit with depression, and this is true for many people who have a biologically based depression. However, I would argue that whenever there is something like depression or anxiety—which are defense mechanisms—there is something in your life that is not 100% congruent with who you are and where your life is at or going.

    This essentially means that it’s time to take a step back and reassess a few things in life. It doesn’t mean that you will be able to wright the ship entirely. However, you might be able to make some small changes that will help you feel more in control of your life and the direction that you are going in.

    1. Consider Therapy

    Therapy will help you take stock and think about what is happening in your life and where you might be able to make some changes. Needless to say, you will also have the support you need to embark on making those changes. It could also be a chance to identify what it is in your life that is causing the depression. A therapist can also help you connect to other supports that might help you as you work through this period in your life.

    2. Group Support Network

    Processing hurt and pain through the group experience is a powerful method of connecting with yourself and others who might be experiencing similar challenges. Part of the value of group experience is knowing that you are not alone and that you have support not just from professionals but also from other people just like you.

    3. Self Assessment

    Self-assessment involves assessing where you are in your life in relation to your life goals, your relationships, and the direction that you are headed. Maybe it is time to make a pivot and change course, which could be a very scary thing. Bringing this kind of information to therapy will be very valuable and will assist you in the therapeutic process.

    4. Take Some Time Off

    Taking some time off will be and can be helpful in many ways. If you are experiencing burnout, this will give you more time for self-care and help you give yourself a break. Moreover, taking a time off gives you more time to do some of the things I described above in therapy, group work, and self-assessment.

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    5. Are You Bored?

    Sometimes, when we lack stimulation or work in a job for which we are overqualified, we might find ourselves feeling underutilized and as if we are not meeting our potential. This would, hopefully, come out in a self-assessment and could indicate the need to make a change in your work life.

    Depression and Suicide

    Depression is a serious mental health disorder. Thirty to seventy percent of deaths by suicide are attributed to major depression or bipolar disorder.[4] If you or someone you love is experiencing depression and expresses thoughts or statements about death and suicide, consult with your medical professional or mental health counselor. People who receive treatment for depression have an 80 to 90% rate of success from therapy and/or medication.

    Suffice to say, if you get the treatment you need for depression, your chances of recovering skyrocket. Again, as I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to live with depression. Get the right treatment,[5] and you can have a whole new lease on life.

    Final Thoughts

    Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by feelings of sadness for a long period of time. Many people throughout their lives will experience some depression in varying degrees. If you notice that what you are experiencing resembles any of what I have described above, please know that you can make changes and you can live a life free of depression. Getting help, support, and treatment is essential to addressing the depression or changes in your life that might need to be considered.

    More Tips on Coping With Depression

    Featured photo credit: Paola Chaaya via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] The World Health Organization: Depression
    [2] NCBI: The DSM-5: Classification and Criteria Changes
    [3] OASH: Office on women’s Health: Effects of domestic violence on children
    [4] Mental Health America: Suicide
    [5] Upside Down Flan: The Best Treatment for Depression

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