EQ vs IQ: What is the difference?

What determines intelligence?

Some would argue that an abundance of knowledge is the main characteristic of being intelligent, while others would say that being able to express your emotions clearly is an intellectual trait.

Having both a high Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) are essential in the workplace, home, and personal growth.

The difference between IQ and EQ lies in what is being measured.

  • The intelligence quotient measures your cognitive ability. For example, how much information you can retain or your problem solving skills.
  • The emotional intelligence quotient measures an individual's ability to express, regulate, and understand their and others’ emotions. 

While a high rate of intelligence is important in some job roles, in more recent years, many employers have started to highly value employees who demonstrate a high rate of emotional intelligence.

What is emotional intelligence?

According to HelpGuide.com, “Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as an EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.”

The term was first coined by academics John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey in the 1990s. Both Mayer and Salovey were conducting studies to understand how you can measure emotional intelligence and learn more about its significance.

Harvard psychologist and New York Times writer Daniel Goleman eventually caught wind of Mayer’s and Salovey’s studies and published the book entitled Emotional Intelligence. The book presented that business success is not based solely on cognitive intelligence but on emotional intelligence as well.

Goleman stated that emotionally intelligent people possess:

  • Self-awareness - self-observation
  • Self-regulation - managing emotions
  • Empathy - recognizing emotions in others
  • Motivation - motivating oneself
  • Social skills - handling relationships

Why is emotional intelligence important?

Emotional intelligence in a work environment is just as important as having the knowledge and skills a person needs to succeed in their position. When leaders have emotional intelligence, they can inspire, motivate, and grow stronger relationships with their employees.

EQ is not only significant for creating a productive and positive working environment, but it is also substantial in self-development. People with a high EQ are not as reactionary, are more compassionate, and open-minded.

Examples of high emotional intelligence in a work environment:

Intelligence is not based just on obtaining information but on having the ability to apply it as well. Implementing and maintaining an elevated EQ in the workplace is not easy, but it is beneficial.

Characteristics of a work environment with high emotional intelligence can be:

  • Employees feel as though they can express their thoughts freely: When workers are exchanging how they feel about projects or even aspects of their personal life respectfully, this is a sign of a work environment with greater emotional intelligence. When emotions are not freely discussed, people may feel fearful or have negative feelings towards their superiors. Encourage employees to provide feedback about how they are managed, their projects, and the amount of work they are expected to produce.

  • Flexibility: Employers who are flexible with employees’ schedules, work pace, and work duties can lead to loyalty in the company. People are less likely to be tardy, are willing to work harder, and employees are also less distracted. If you manage or supervise employees who have worked with the company for many years, offer them the opportunity to work remotely once a week.

  • Workers socialize outside of work: Employees interacting outside of work with their leaders gives them the chance to view you as an individual. They will feel more comfortable around you and get to know you a little better. You want your employees to respect you but also to enjoy your company. Arrange a lunch outing occasionally with your employees so you can get to know them on a personal level.

How can you grow a higher EQ?

The first step in growing your emotional intelligence is reflecting upon yourself with honesty. When you are honest with yourself, you will give yourself the grace to recognize you have weaknesses and improve upon them.

Ways you can raise your EQ are:

  • Practicing humility
  • Taking responsibility for mistakes
  • Examining how you behave in stressful situations
  • Observing how you react with others
  • Improving your listening skills

Self-awareness is the first step to growing emotional intelligence

PeopleKeys has helped many diverse teams develop healthy and productive work cultures. We understand reaching new goals is essential, but we also understand that valuing each other in the workplace should also reign as a priority. Take your first step to improving your leadership emotional intelligence through self-awareness with the PeopleKeys' 4D Report, containing 1,440 behavioral points of success through DISC, TEAMS thinking styles, personal core Values, and Behavioral Attitudes/motivators. Looking for more knowledge, become a PeopleKeys' Certified Behavioral Consultant, and not only will you discover how to grow your EQ, but also discover how to apply it in business and at home.

Learn more about 4D + DISC certification today!

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Posted By: Monica Reynoso

Monica graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.A. in Journalism and fell into the marketing field soon after. There she fell in love with writing to rank. Through the years, Monica has gained an extensive amount of knowledge in search engine optimization. In her leisure time, she enjoys watching reality television with her cat. DISC Style: SI