Is EQ The New IQ?

Jazmine Bahr · Feb 23 2016

It’s no surprise that the majority of us do not have professions that require us to solve the string theory or pioneer the next mission to sustain life on Mars. The average person often works in office environments, or construction sites that require constant interaction with fellow coworkers. The ability to be diplomatic, agreeable, and adaptable makes the workplace more enjoyable for everybody.

In the last century there have been many tests to measure peoples IQ (Intellectual Intelligence) levels – academic achievement and overall intelligence. People that boast genius IQ levels of 140 and above, represent 25% of the population. It’s all fine and dandy if you happen to be in this elite group, but is having a high IQ actually helpful in achieving more success in your life?

It is not uncommon that people who exhibit these elevated levels of intelligence have a difficult time relating and communicating on an emotional level. It could well be that, when you have so much knowledge floating around in your brain, there may be a disconnect when your understanding of things is far greater than the average person.

Sure, a high IQ may land you a pretty impressive and important job, which commonly finds people in positions of specific task-based work. But for the masses, 67% of us fall somewhere in the range of 85-115 IQ levels and work in positions of customer service or in an office environment surrounded by coworkers. In these jobs we may actually be better off displaying traits of high EQ (Emotional Intelligence) levels.

People with high EQs have a strong ability to control their own emotions and can easily relate to others feelings. They are often charismatic people with a natural gift of showing empathy and candor to those around them. These are traits that are admired in the workplace and people with these qualities are often well liked. In fact, research has shown that EQ is a better measure of financial success than IQ. Further to financial success, people report increased levels of happiness and well being when they have the opportunity to work alongside colleagues that exhibit high EQ characteristics.

In a position of power, being approachable with a natural gift of relating to your employees is a great asset. If you are able to gain the trust of your staff and treat them with respect, they are more likely to go above and beyond their job duties. A happy staff member will show their appreciation and dedication to the work place.

Where you begin to run into problems is when an employer does not portray a friendly nor approachable demeanor. This can leave employees feeling misunderstood and undervalued and they are less likely to go the extra mile, not reaching their full potential.

Many of the great leaders and speakers possess high EQ levels. President Barack Obama is an example of someone with an undeniably warm and caring social presence. His ability to connect with the public and remain relatable regardless of his influential position is incredible. He exudes humbleness, integrity, and a genuine concern for societies well being.

Having a strong EQ, is extremely beneficial in achieving workplace promotions, creating harmonious work environments, and generally speaking, these folks are enjoyable people to share a laugh with.

Often you will find people who have a high EQ are quick to take initiative on new projects that present themselves. They enjoy putting together a strong team and regularly assume the leadership role, acting as the driving force behind project success. Their ability to earn the trust of fellow team members is a large benefit and helps to build workplace bonds and cohesion among the team.

Many companies require people applying for leadership positions to complete an EQ test in the interview process. Select companies offer ongoing courses that are provided to management teams to further develop their EQ. Statistics reveal leaders with high EQ levels are shown to have great success with team leadership and productivity in the workplace.

It does seem that for the average person that doesn’t struggle with their mental capabilities it may be preferable to have a high EQ as opposed to IQ when trying to land leadership roles, management positions, and jobs that require frequent interactions with people.

Thankfully there is a place in the world for everyone to showcase his or her strengths. We can start by taking the initiative to develop and improve our EQ on our own. The personality traits that fall under the EQ umbrella are not only helpful in the workplace. Having a developed EQ can enhance your personal relationships, connections, and strengthen your mind; preparing you mentally for difficult situations that may arise.