The eleventh element of Emotional Intelligence is reality testing. Reality testing during our current climate and increased conversations around race relations is an incredibly important element to focus on. Reality testing is defined by the EQi 2.0 as “the ability and tendency for you to assess the here-and-now reality of any given moment or situation – what is actually going on – and compare that objectively to your fantasy of what is going on, thus avoiding being overcome by fantasies, daydreams, and biases.” Reality testing is rooted in our objectivity, lack of drama & volatility, and rationality.
There are a ton of emotions involved in conversations going around our country right now, and it’s important for us to be able to assess the here and now reality of what is actually going on. It is easy to rely on our biases or fantasies of what we want the world to be, but in order to be emotionally intelligence, we must be able to move that aside to focus on what is really going on. A high sense of reality testing means you are able to see the world how it actually exists where you routinely sound practical and grounded.
With being said, I wanted to share three ways we can work on our reality testing:
- Make sure your perceptions are correct. Ask at least two other people who experienced a similar event for their feelings on the event, and notice what details are the same. If you’re leaning into a difficult conversation and unclear how it went, ask other people that were involved.
- Before making a decision to do something or say something to a group, think about your own biases. Understand that you are looking at the situation with a certain lens, and mention how that lens may be impacting your statement/idea.
- When sharing your ideas with a group, check in regularly to say “does that make sense?” or “are we all on the same page?” It can be easy to go down a rabbit-hole of sharing your own ideas that may not be grounded in reality, so it’s important to regularly get feedback on if the idea is making sense to the broader group.