Q. I've heard about EQ (as opposed to IQ). Recently, however, I read an article that left me with the impression that EQ could not be quantified as can IQ and that EQ may not even be a real type of intelligence. What's your opinion?

A. I find it helpful to view EQ as a concept. From that perspective, the work that has been done over the past 15 years or so (since Daniel Goleman first published his book on the topic in the mid-'90s) is accumulating nicely. Dr. Singh of India is working on an EQ assessment that organizations can use during their hiring process. If current estimates hold up (e.g., a person can raise their EQ level by choice; EQ may be responsible for at least 80% of a person's overall success in life; unsuccessful managers often have high IQs but low EQs; EQ skills can help a person achieve positive outcomes on a more consistent basis; and so on) the concept of EQ will likely find its way in curricula all over the world. At the very least, evaluating your own behaviors against characteristics and behaviors touted to fall at the higher end of a metaphorical EQ Continuum, may be a fast and practical way to get a handle on what to work on; where to put your time, money, and energy.

This field is still emerging. There are several models out. The model touted in "Emotional Intelligence 2.0" identifies and discussed four EQ skills. When I lecture on the topic, I present eight EQ skills, believing that breaking descriptions into smaller bites can makes it easier for a listener to evaluate his/her own behaviors. Whether or not EQ is in and of itself a discrete intelligence, is relatively immaterial in comparison to what a person can gain from the concept if he/she wants to put in the evaluation time and build requisite skills.

I agree that until recently there hasn't been an EQ test that purports to be the equivalent of an IQ test. If you are trying to find an EQ test, the authors of the book "Emotional Intelligence 2.0" offer an Emotional Intelligence Appraisal on line for a fee (reportedly half-a million individuals have taken this appraisal).