Reality Testing

Reality Testing...a Really Important Emotional Intelligence Skill

Emotional Intelligence

Reality Testing

Reality Testing is one of the skills measured by the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment.

Reality Testing is part of the Decision Making domain of emotional intelligence skills.  It is defined like this:

Reality Testing is the capacity to remain objective by seeing things as they really are.  This capacity involves recognizing when emotions or personal bias can cause one to be less objective.

This particular skill is one of the most important skills out of the 15 emotional intelligence skills measured by the EQi-2.0.  If a person’s Reality Testing is not balanced, the way they see themselves and the way they see the world around them will be out of balance.

Unbalanced Reality Testing

Let’s say you have a boss who thinks they are an outstanding communicator.  From your point of view, when your boss speaks to you, he / she is never clear with regards to their spoken expectations. 

You constantly find yourself wondering what your boss really expects from you because you’re never clear about what your boss just said.

Based on how confident your boss is about how they think they communicate, they set expectations in their mind for your performance that you never quite live up to.   

Can you see where disconnect is occurring in this example?

This is what an unbalanced Reality Testing score looks like on the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment

Reality Testing

This is what a balanced Reality Testing score looks like on the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment

Reality Testing

What we're looking for in the scores you see above is balance.  The top example is completely out of balance whereas the bottom example is much closer to being in balance.

If you were a boss who had healthy Reality Testing abilities or if you reported to a boss who had healthy Reality Testing abilities, the communication disconnect described in the above example would likely not occur.

Good News!

Unlike IQ (cognitive intelligence) that remains static throughout adulthood,  EQ or Emotional Intelligence can be measured, coached and improved. Think of EQ as being flexible.

If you’d like to see the entire chart of Emotional Intelligence skills that are measured by the EQi-2.0, the world’s most widely used assessment to measure Emotional Intelligence, I’ll take you to it on Jeff Snyder Coaching.

Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810

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Life Happens: Stop, Ask and Listen


The nature of all of my work dictates that I deal with lots of people all around the world.  People in different cultures, situations and circumstances. 

This morning, I communicated with someone in Ecuador.  This afternoon, I’ll be communicating with someone in Guatemala and someone else in Colombia.  Yesterday, my global communication led me to Chile, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  My domestic communication led me to people in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle yesterday.

Every person I communicated with was in a different environment, had different circumstances and faced different challenges and/or opportunities.  The experiences I have working with people around the world are fascinating and sometimes challenging.  One thing is for sure. I’m never bored!

While some communication experiences are fascinating, others are puzzling.  The older I get, the more I’m learning to stop, ask and listen before processing what I think is happening. I want to get the reality of the situation right.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve frequently applied this stop, ask and listen approach to many people who had gone silent on me for reasons I did not understand.  Here’s what I learned when I listened.

  • I went through a brutal divorce and other personal stuff. Doing well now…how have you been
  • My son in another state from my first marriage drowned trying to save his friend who fell into a fast running river.
  • My husband died from a heart attack.  Nobody is monitoring that account any longer.
  • I don’t have time to communicate.  I’m up to my eyeballs in problems.  (Unfortunately, this person created his own problems and was now operating in crisis mode…not a pretty picture)
  • My husband fell off a ladder.  I’ve been trying to juggle the pressures of a new job, regular life stuff and the added burden of helping my husband get back on his feet.
  • We lost one of our children to Leukemia. 

Wow!  This is some serious information that I would not have known if I hadn’t asked and listened.  Stopping, asking and listening allowed me to process my response more carefully. In many cases, relationships were saved.

One of the skills we measure in Emotional Intelligence Coaching is called Reality Testing.  Reality Testing means seeing things as they really are rather than seeing things the way we think they are. Possessing strong Reality Testing skills can pay dividends for anyone whose work focuses on people and relationships.

In all of the above cases, I had ideas in my mind to explain why one person or another went silent for period of time. It wasn’t until I stopped, asked and listened that I found out what was really happening. 

Try slowing down or even stopping, asking for answers and listening.  You might be surprised by what you’ll learn.

Jeff Snyder Coachin

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