General FAQs

How Does MDNA Affect Emotional Intelligence?

In MDNA 3.0 we began the integration of brain science and emotional intelligence (EQ). There was enough data and experience to gain a clear understanding of how the MDNA gifts impact the brain.

The Short Answer

As a framework for intrinsic motivation, MDNA, in of itself, does not indicate the level of one's EQ. However, MDNA does help motivate and accelerate the development of EQ.

Self Awareness

An important foundation for EQ is self-awareness. The process of "knowing thyself," for many however, can be an intimidating and vulnerable experience. We have found that by learning about their intrinsic motivations, individuals are encouraged to move deeper into self awareness. The human brain is wired to be stimulated by pattern recognition and discovering areas of competence. This is the reason a great degree of EQ training involves learning of one's strengths and taking other psychometric assessments. MDNA can be very helpful in this area.

Emotional Vocabulary

Another foundation for EQ is a robust emotional vocabulary. MDNA is a tool to learn how every gift experiences emotions for different reasons. For example, a UCD can get angry about ideological differences. Whereas an IAF will become angry because someone close to them was offended, so the IAF carries that offense on the other's behalf. Both situations may be expressed as "I am angry," but with an understanding of MDNA, individuals can explore the reasons for that anger and then expand their emotional vocabulary accordingly.


Empathy is important for EQ development. We define empathy has the ability to feel another person's feelings without being overtaken by those feelings. This is different than sympathy. In addition, there are different forms of empathy such as cognitive empathy. Every MDNA gift is intrinsically motivated for empathy and sympathy differently. It is easy to assume that the more non-relational gifts, such as UCD, have less empathy which is not true at all. Every gift simply handles the feelings of others differently. IN addition, the level of one's EQ greatly affects how they are able to synchronize with intrinsic motivations. For example, a UCD with low EQ will quickly go relationally offline and lack any empathy. At the same time, with a high EQ, a UCD can be very effective in applying their gifts while maintaining relationship with tremendous empathy. Learning MDNA can greatly assist in developing EQ through empathy.

EQ is Caught Not Taught

An important lesson to EQ development we have gained is around the emotion of joy. Joy is the catalyst for both MDNA and EQ. This is the reason MDNA 3.0 was titled True Joy. One pivotal revelation here is that no amount of knowledge or changing one's beliefs can teach joy. Joy must be experienced. In the same way, EQ can only be learned in the context of relationships. Reading books or attending seminars may introduce you to EQ, but in reality, EQ is caught not taught. We train individuals in MDNA to use the emotion of joy for the purpose of EQ development. This is where we are very excited about the possibilities of MDNA 3.0.