IQ and EQ – What Are They and Which is Most Important?
What is IQ and What Does it Mean?
Albert Binet observed how children’s performance is affected not only by their inherent intelligence but also by their circumstances. For example, some children are intelligent but find learning difficult due to problems at home or having poor access to learning aids.
He became convinced that everyone is born with their own inherent IQ – Intelligence Quotient. This then affects how they learn and progress throughout their lives.
The IQ Equation
Binet developed a method of testing someone’s IQ using their chronological age and their ‘mental age’. Mental age is determined by looking at what a large group of people of the same age are able to achieve. This information is then used to determine a mean average.
Binet created an equation that provides a person’s IQ score: mental age/chronological age x 100 = IQ.
Using this equation, it can be seen that a score of 100 equates to average intelligence. A score below 100 equates to lower intelligence. A score that is higher than 100 indicates that a person has a higher IQ.
IQ tests today measure various areas, including spatial ability, mathematical ability, language ability and memory skills. However, the test makes no allowances for the fact that people are naturally better at some skills than others. For example, people who are very good with English language often seem to struggle with mathematics.
Many critics of the IQ method of measuring intelligence argue that it is redundant. This is because, they claim, it fails to measure creativity, innovation, a person’s social skills or skills that they acquire over their lifetime – learning a new language, for example. This is why we now refer to two types of intelligence, IQ and EQ.
What is EQ and What Does it Mean?
EQ refers to a person’s emotional intelligence. Having high emotional intelligence enables someone to interact well with others, empathise with them and recognise the non-verbal signals they may be using to communicate.
Howard Gardner, a highly renowned Harvard theorist, says, “Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them.”
People with high emotional intelligence are often very successful in many areas of their lives. They make good leaders and proactive team members.
There are five categories of EQ, these are:
- Self-awareness – the ability to recognise and manage your own emotions.
- Self-regulation – being able to control negative emotions and adapt to required changes with ease.
- Motivation – the ability to set clear and achievable goals, and then work consistently towards them.
- Empathy – being able to recognise how other people feel is key to being able to motivate them to develop their own skills and achieve their potential.
- Social skills – people skills are vital in good leaders and successful influencers. Clear communication and collaboration leads to the best decisions being agreed upon and good conflict resolution.
IQ and EQ – Which is Most Important?
Having both a high IQ and EQ would be ideal – but most people find they are better in either one area or the other. A person with a high IQ may be able to easily learn new skills and apply them to creating innovative solutions. However, without a high EQ, they may fail to be able to communicate the benefits of their solutions to others.
We are born with a certain IQ, which will determine what we are able to intellectually achieve throughout life and how quickly we can progress. There is an ongoing debate about the extent to which IQ can be changed – deliberately or through circumstances – through our lives. EQ can be improved if a person recognises that they lack skills in this area. Self-evaluation can enable a person with a low EQ to concentrate on improving in the areas in which they lack skills.
If someone has a low IQ, they can still learn new skills. They may learn slower and require more patience and guidance from mentors, but goals can be set and progress made to improve their abilities.
IQ and EQ are both important – which skill set is easier for you and what can you do to improve the skills you may lack?