Not too long ago, we did an “EQ test” (Emotional Intelligence) during our regular pastor’s meeting. It gives a scenario and asks you to choose what type of action you will take. I was told that average is 100 out of 200 but I got 40. There were a couple of questions with competing answers so I retook the test with other answers but I got the same result!
I never considered myself as a highly emotionally intelligent person but was surprised to find out that I’m below average. I know I was very strict with my answer, only choosing what I will “immediately” and “instinctively” do, not what I “hope” to do. But even with being stingy with my answer, I didn’t know it would be that low. And knowing that modern leadership requires a high level of emotional intelligence, being able to sympathize with people’s emotion and making decisions accordingly, it was pretty discouraging at first.
After some thinking, I’ve come up with a couple of reasons for the result. First, I’m Enneagram type 9, which is “peacemaker”. Type 9 hates conflicts and being affected by “life”. That is why type 9’s deadly sin is “laziness”. Out of several options, I think I chose the least cumbersome one.
I also have a high level of “self-love” so spending my own time and energy for others doesn’t come naturally. Rather, I often feel awkward trying to do so. My wife is total opposite so sometimes I think that she is too sacrificial for other people.
When I was called into full-time ministry, the first memory that occurred to me was failing to take care of 3 followers that I was entrusted with in my university Christian club. Contacting them, checking up on them felt like a chore and felt like putting on a show without sincerity.
Despite this part of me, occasionally (?) there is a sign of emotional intelligence in my ministry and in my family. If I’m put on a spot, my real, selfish part comes out but if I’m given some time to think, I find myself making emotionally intelligent decisions here and there. Above all, I get to experience God’s grace working through my weakness when I hear people around me saying they felt loved or understood by me.
Good news is that emotional intelligence can be developed through continuous learning effort. In that regard, I feel fortunate to have pastors in my church who got much higher marks than me! :). Hopefully, my EQ will improve to at least 80 in 10 years.