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Throughout history, scientists have tried to measure intelligence in many ways and formats. As such, two distinct measures of intelligence were penned – The intelligence quotient (IQ) and the emotional quotient (EQ). For a business seeking new employees, finding highly intelligent candidates which align to their company’s vision and values is extremely crucial. As such, it is highly important that hiring managers, aspiring job applicants and managers to understand the differences between IQ and EQ to understand which should be better fostered to enhance individual and company performance. We’ll be discussing what IQ and EQ are briefly in this post before going on to discuss the differences between IQ and EQ and concluding on which is more appropriate for the workplace.
What is IQ
Since the inception of the notion of intelligence, IQ has been viewed as the most common professional measurement of human intelligence. It has been used in countless psychological studies as well as in business, education and even government. People with higher IQ can think in abstracts and make connections by generalizing easier.
What is EQ
On the other hand, EQ which is the other measure of intelligence, is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. People with high EQ can manage emotions, use their emotions to facilitate thinking, understand emotional meanings and accurately perceive others’ emotions.
Differences between IQ and EQ
Now that we know what IQ and EQ are, the question that most workplaces have is, what are the main differences between the two?
Well, firstly, both measures different aspects of intelligence.
IQ measures an individual’s ability to learn, understand and apply information to skills, logical reasoning, word comprehension, math skills, abstract and spatial thinking and filtering irrelevant information. While EQ, measures an individual’s ability to use emotions to facilitate thinking and understand emotional meanings, they can read body languages and answer appropriately.
However, the most important difference between IQ and EQ is the method it takes to train and develop them. Unlike IQ which many claim to be largely dependent on genetics and can be further developed through math practices, and other pattern recognition courses, EQ needs to be slowly developed with experience or through classes about human behaviour. Thus, since IQ might be largely determined by genetics, EQ needs to be developed, and refined, making it much more taxing to develop compared to IQ. By gaining more experience and education, professionals can improve their EQ and become better leaders.
So, which is better in the workplace?
Both EQ and IQ should be used together for a person to achieve success in their lives. However, should the organisation need to choose one to prioritise over the other, EQ would most probably be the more effective intelligence a leader should possess in the workplace.
There are differing perspectives on which intelligence is more important over the other in determining success, with one meta-study compiling results from a few studies conducted to compare IQ and EQ, which found that IQ accounted for more than 14% of job performance, while EQ accounted for less than 1%. Well, it is without a doubt that many companies aim to hire the brightest minds in the industry which can serve their companies well, thus many companies hire for entry-level positions based on IQ.
However, scaling the corporate is whole new ball-game since companies tend to promote people based on their EQ. Thus, it is important to note that workers need to have brilliant IQ to be a good employee (one that delivers result), but to be a leader of these brilliant workers, EQ matters much more than your IQ.
Maya Angelou, an American Poet, once remarked that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This certainly holds true in the realm of business and especially so for countries like Asia, where people buy emotions and relationships and do not simply focus on the product sold. Teams rally around missions, not directives. Entrepreneurs take on incredible challenges because of passion, not logic. Individuals with high EQ can speak to the soul of another person and ultimately influence their behaviour, thus trust among clients and colleagues can be fostered much easily when a leader has a high EQ level. Therefore, in the workplaces, EQ trumps IQ every day of the week.
Travis Bradberry, coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, notes that high EQ helps organizations understand the intangibles that make leaders successful, making EQ the strongest predictor of performance. In Bradberry’s studies, he found that 90 percent of the top performers in companies are individuals who are high in EQ and just 20 percent of bottom performers are high in EQ. For IQ on the other hand, people with average IQ scores can easily outperform those with higher IQs for majority of the time, as long as they had a better EQ score.
As such, workplaces are beginning to see how EQ is becoming increasingly crucial to boosting their company performance. As more and more companies embrace EQ measuring tools, professionals will have to understand their EQ and how to improve it
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