The ECI 360

Q: My dissertation topic requires that I survey my participants regarding emotional intelligence. I would like to know if it’s possible to use the ECI 360 test (or part of it).

A:  The emotional intelligence assessment that I co-designed with Richard Boyatzis and the HayGroup is the Emotional and Social Competence Inventory, or ESCI-360. An earlier version was called the ECI-360; a version called the ECI-U is designed for college students. The ESCI-360 was designed for use in EI-based leadership development programs, but it and the ECI-U is also available at no charge for use in academic research. However, you must get approval from

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EI & the elementary curriculum

Q: Is EI being integrated into elementary school curriculum in the USA? How has it been approached?

A: There are hundreds of programs for K-6 (and up to grad 12) in use today. They are called “social/emotional learning,” or SEL.  They have names like Second Step, Six Seconds, Social Development, PATHS, Resolving Conflict Creatively, and so on.  To find out more, visit, the website of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning.»

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EI & SI training qualifications

Q: I have been employed in managerial roles (a post graduate in Business and Management) and have extensively read about EI and SI. I have conducted casual research in this area and have access to a small team of psychologists. With this background, can I train individuals in emotional and social intelligence or must I acquire a specific qualification before doing so?

A: There is no accreditation or particular requirement for people working with EI in a business setting. There are, however, best practices that professionals working in this area should follow for, say, development. You can find them at, the website of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.»

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EI and Jane Austen

Q: I’m writing a MA thesis on Jane Austen’s novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’. My argument is that she knew about EI even 180 years ago and that this novel is in fact about EI. To me the two concepts fit in so well within the theory. I am, however, a little confused about one very important issue with the analysis of it all. In the novel there are some unsympathetic but socially smart characters (Fanny Dashwood, Lucy Steele; motivated by greed) who are very good at manipulating other people’s emotions for their own self-gain. To me that cannot be emotional intelligent behaviour.


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EI and basic needs

Q: Is emotional intelligence possible when basic needs like food, clothing and shelter are not met ? Can I hope to teach SEL skills to people/children who don’t get two square meals to eat in a day, let alone nurture and care…? And how?

A: When children don’t have their basic needs met for food, clothing, and shelter, of course those needs are the first priority. I’d add another one by the way – safety.  And far, far too many children in the world lack some or all of these needs.  On the other hand, the capacity to meet life’s challenges well is a resource every child deserves, too – and perhaps most of all those children who have the hardest lives.»

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On stress

Q: From our research, it appears that both in the business and education sector one of the ways EQ helps improve performance is through mitigating the effects of stress. People with higher EQ seem better able to manage the overload. What is the neurobiological explanation for this EQ advantage?

A: When we’re under stress, the brain secretes hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that in the best scenario mobilize us to handle a short-term emergency, but in the worse-case create an ongoing hazard for performance. Attention narrows to focus on the cause of the stress, not the task at hand; our memory reshuffles to promote thoughts most relevant to what’s stressing us, and we fall back on overlearned habits.»

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