If you are familiar with the subject of Emotional Intelligence (EI), you know that it involves four skill areas. These areas are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. The first two skill areas pertain to personal competence and the ability to have insight into who we are and why we react and respond the way we do. The second two areas pertain to social competence and the ability to have insight into other people and how other people react and respond to us. Personal competence is about ego strength while social competence is about empathy for others. A balance of ego and empathy is mentally healthy. Arrogant people overvalue themselves and are less likely to be empathetic. Less confident people tend to undervalue themselves and are often empathetic to the point of becoming caretakers rather than encouragers of others.
I often recommend Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves to clients who want to work on EI.1 The book includes a short online self assessment that provides immediate feedback and offers many suggestions on how to improve your score. Unlike IQ, EI (also known as EQ) can be changed and improved over time. The starting place is always with insight and self-awareness. We need other people's honest input to help us know ourselves. It is not possible to gain self-awareness without feedback from others. We are unable to be completely objective about ourselves.
EI is an area of interest for me and I look for case studies and what can be learned from them. I believe a current case study is Meghan Markle. She has been a rising star since her engagement to Prince Harry of Britain was announced in November 2017. Their Royal Wedding was in May 2018 and baby Archie was born in May 2019. Then in January 2020 Meghan and Harry announced that they were stepping back from their royal duties and moved to Canada.
Meghan certainly accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Some might say that Meghan is a strong independent woman who knows what she wants and goes for it. Some might further say that she has significant ego strength and high EI. But not so fast. Meghan has, in my opinion, an overly healthy ego, but ego accounts for only half of the total EI score. The other half is empathy which Meghan seems to be lacking. It is hard for me to believe that Meghan was not briefed on what would be required of her as a member of the British Royal Family. It seems that she failed to count the cost of joining the royal family. She failed to take the bad with the good. Further, she seems to lack empathy towards Harry’s family, friends and country regarding the grief and loss which has been thrust upon them.
Therefore, I unofficially give Meghan a score of 50% on Emotional Intelligence which, according to TalentSmart, Inc., means there is a concern to be addressed. A low score in a skill area means that it is a problem area for the person being assessed, that person doesn't value it, or the person didn't know it was important. The good news is that someone with low EI can choose to improve it.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
1 Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, TalentSmart, Inc., 2009