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IQ vs EQ: Finding the balance for effective management

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IQ vs EQ

Some people may argue that your EQ (Emotional Quotient) can be more of an indicator of professional success and managerial proficiency than your IQ (Intelligence Quotient). However, this isn’t necessarily true. After all, almost everyone has at one time or another worked with an extremely intelligent colleague who has zero people skills. Similarly, there are a ton of case studies of business achievers who had few qualifications but became well-respected leaders through the power of their personalities. So, what is the ideal managerial profile?

Higher IQ?

People who have been gifted with a high IQ and pursue intellectual interests also tend to be good problem solvers. This means when faced with new situations or challenges they’re able to figure out the best way forward. It’s no wonder that people with a high IQ, and who hold qualifications as well as experience, may often be seen as the most suited to lead teams and organisations. However, these talented achievers don’t necessarily make for the very best managers.

Add More EQ

At the end of the day, employees can become dissatisfied with a wide range of issues in the workplace. Keeping productivity high means more than just meeting their remuneration and benefits needs. An employee who has a manager that doesn’t possess a high level of EQ may feel undervalued or unheard. This makes retaining really good people for your team a lot more difficult.

That’s why all managers also need to be smart about their emotions. They need to cultivate a sense of self-awareness about how their emotions can influence another’s sense of purpose and autonomy. There is a lot of research to suggest that embracing emotional intelligence too, is indeed a very effective management style (Rahman, Md & Uddin, Md & Rahman, Mostafizur. 2016. Role of emotional intelligence in managerial effectiveness: An empirical study ).

The Benefits of Balance

When a manager is both a specialist in their field, with a high IQ and the respect of their peers, as well as practices a higher level of EQ, they’re usually less reactive and more responsive. Most often, they’re self-assured, but not arrogant and they are also very collaborative. They are able to hone in on their employees’ weaknesses and strengths and implement strategies to address this and to further foster competence. Furthermore, higher EQ can also mean higher profit margins for organisations. “Companies with higher empathy are shown to increase in value and generate up to 50% more earnings” (2016 Global Empathy Index, compiled by The Empathy Business, originally published in the Harvard Business Review).

The good news is that employers and individuals can also improve EQ within the workplace in increments and over time. A good first step is looking at courses and workshops that will aid the process. We offer a leading programme with an Advanced Certificate in Management Studies. Our curriculum aims to build IQ and EQ critical skills for better productivity, efficiency and workplace satisfaction. Find out more by speaking to one of our student advisors!

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