The list of ways to assess intellectual ability ranges from benchmark testing to IQ tests to the SAT. It's not surprising that our intelligence can have a significant impact on modern society. Our intellectual intelligence is often a key factor in job placements and college admissions. Are IQ tests the only or best way to determine our intelligence?Another type of intelligence can offer a different perspective on our mental abilities. The term "emotional intelligence", also known as emotional quotient (or EQ), was coined by John Mayer and Peter Salovey in 1990. It refers to our ability to recognize and interpret emotions and to respond to them.In a Nutshell: Emotional IntelligenceDo you find it easy to remain calm and collected in the midst of distressing circumstances? Do you crumble at the touch of a button? How you respond to different situations will depend on your emotional intelligence. The combination of life experiences and genetics can lead to emotional intelligence. It is also possible to learn or improve it.You may be thinking that emotions are too broad to measure. We can get a clue from a study about the role and influence of emotional intelligence in different situations. The study divided EQ into three dimensions: perception, understanding, labeling, expressing, managing, and regulating.Self-awareness is the first step to understanding emotional intelligence. Recognizing our moods and how they affect others is the first step to understanding emotional intelligence. Let's suppose you had a difficult day at work and felt depressed. Recognizing the emotion and how it may impact your relationships with others is an important step. Recognizing the emotion is not enough.Sometimes, our emotions need to be labelled in order to communicate with others. The second step to emotional intelligence is being able to identify and express your feelings. You're probably familiar with the expression "Think before acting." This is the last aspect of EQ. It involves managing and controlling your emotions. This involves the ability to manage powerful emotions such as anger and redirect them in positive or healthy ways.How to Measure Your EQYou can assess your EQ to find out where you stand in emotional intelligence. Your ability to correctly interpret and respond to emotions will be measured by your EQ. Many companies are now using EQ measurement as an assessment tool. There are three common methods to measure your employee's EQ: self-report surveys (or other-report surveys) and ability tests.Surveys that ask for self-reporting typically require participants to fill out a questionnaire. Participants are asked to rate themselves on a scale from 1 to 5. The subjective nature of the responses to this survey has led to its criticism in recent years. Respondents may also try to match their answers with more acceptable or desirable outcomes in self-report surveys.Surveys that collect other-report information seek out feedback from coworkers. Harvard Business Review states that formal 360-degree assessments are those which include observations from coworkers about your behavior. These evaluations can be used to predict your business performance, job satisfaction, and leadership abilities. These observations are more about your emotional intelligence than your IQ.Ability tests are a way to assess a person's ability to respond to situations. These tests are often administered to mental health professionals. There are two types of ability tests: the Mayer-Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, (MSCEIT), and the Emotional & Social Competence Inventory (ESCI). The MSCEIT measures an individual's emotional perceptions and management skills. The ESCI requires that people familiar with you assess your social and emotional abilities in different environments.Both personally and professionally, emotions play an important role in our lives. A high level of emotional intelligence is a desirable trait that has many benefits, including better communication skills, better relationships, and lower stress levels. Your EQ is as important, if not greater than your IQ, according to some measures. A survey of hiring managers found that 75% said they value an employee's EQ more then their IQ. Our ability to recognize the emotions of others and ourselves is invaluable. Although not everyone has high levels of emotional intelligence, it is possible to be more flexible with your EQ and this tends to increase as you age.