Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) has been a hot Inc. topic written by many of my colleagues. I've also registered my thoughts on the power of EQ in leadership, or how to respond with emotional intelligence to people who push your buttons.

But ask any scholar and they'll tell you the study of EQ has not had a smooth history. It has been debated since the mid-1990s over its effectiveness as an evidence-based leadership model,  or as a predictor of job success.

Sure, I agree that in many professions -- some higher-level teaching, medicine, accounting, engineering, and other highly-technical professions -- IQ still remains the best predictor of job success.

But here's where it gets tricky. Once you land a job in your field of expertise, and start thinking about increasing your role, getting promoted, leading others, and navigating political landscapes, IQ will be begging for EQ to show up.

Lets face it: everyone you are competing with in your field probably is about as smart as you. Emotional intelligence does its best work to get you promoted to the next level.

Speaking of next level, the last two companies I worked for had brilliant thinkers and high-IQ people in upper management.

What they lacked the most were crucial EQ competencies like self-awareness, empathy, and nurturing relationships. As a result, morale suffered and turnover was consistently high.

If you're an organizational leader, founder/owner or aspiring to each, how's your emotional intelligence? You're going to need it.

9 Questions You Need To Ask

Daniel Goleman, the foremost authority on emotional intelligence, has put together these questions to help you evaluate your own emotional intelligence, and get you thinking about your strengths and limitations in EQ.

  1. Are you usually aware of your feelings and why you feel that way?
  2. Are you aware of your limitations, as well as your personal strengths, as a leader?
  3. Can you manage your distressing emotions well -- e.g., recover quickly when you get upset or stressed?
  4. Can you adapt smoothly to changing realities?
  5. Do you keep your focus on your main goals, and know the steps it takes to get there?
  6. Can you usually sense the feelings of the people you interact with and understand their way of seeing things?
  7. Do you have a knack for persuasion and using your influence effectively?
  8. Can you guide a negotiation to a satisfactory agreement, and help settle conflicts?
  9. Do you work well on a team, or prefer to work on your own?