On Intelligence: Which One Matters More? IQ or EQ

Rahama Obadak
Marketing & Comms, Flexisaf

Kinder is academically sound. She’s had excellent grades since elementary school. Her colleague and friend Rosemary however is just average but is a favorite at their workplace. She’s more approachable and has a beautiful personality. Recently, she even got promoted ahead of Kinder.Quick question...But why is it so, since Kinder is more intelligent?While Kinder’s IQ is very high, the same cannot be said for her EQ. Rosemary however has a very high EQ.So what is the difference?While IQ measures a person’s memory ability, quantitative reasoning etc. i.e cognitive intelligence, EQ is concerned with a person’s ability to identify emotions, evaluate how others feel and relate well with them, control one’s own emotions and use emotions to facilitate social communication. In short, EQ is the art of dealing with yourself and others. It’s learning how to live. An American Psychologist and Author, Kendra Cherry says“The concept of emotional intelligence has had a strong impact in a number of areas, including the business world. Many companies now mandate emotional intelligence training and utilize EQ tests as part of the hiring process. Research has found that individuals with strong leadership potential also tend to be more emotionally intelligent, suggesting that a high EQ is an important quality for business leaders and managers to have.”You see. EQ is mandatory to even land you a decent job nowadays.

Personally I agree because growing up, I thought academic excellence was all you needed to succeed. But upon graduation from the university, I realized that though IQ gets you immediate attention, EQ helps you maintain relationships, become highly influential and gets you to the top.So, which one really matters more?Now that we have seen both sides of the coin, which one then matters more?Freedman et al.: “It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it determines the majority of our daily actions. Research suggests it is responsible for as much as 80% of the "success" in our lives."

  • --From Handle With Care: Emotional Intelligence Activity Book

From this we then deduce that EQ plays a bigger role role in ensuring success than IQ. You may now ask, Can this EQ be taught?Sure. Why not? Simple answer-Social Emotional Learning. Yes, that’s right S-E-L.And you know what, the earlier you start, the better.Daniel Goleman, Psychologist and ward winning author of the book “Emotional Intelligence” says"Multiple research studies reported in this book demonstrate that social and emotional learning programs pave the way for better academic learning. They teach children social and emotional skills that are intimately linked with cognitive development. In the ideal learning environment, children are focused, fully attentive, motivated, and engaged, and enjoy their work."

Similarly, caring relationships with teachers and other students increase students’ desire to learn. School-family partnerships help students to do better. And, students who are more confident in their abilities try harder.Because of this, some states in the US have made SEL curriculum compulsory for schools.So how do we foster SEL?That is why SAF Talk2Me is here for you. At FlexiSAF, we have a passion to transform education hence the reason behind initiatives like SAF Talk2Me. SAF Talk2Me advocates for better emotional connection in all facets of a child’s life. Stay tuned with us as we bring more on SEL and how we can teach it!What is your opinion about EQ and IQ? Which one do you think matters more? Tell us in the form below!