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Team brainstorming and taking notes on a whiteboard after using QuickBooks resources to learn about IQ and EQ
Professional development

What is IQ and EQ?

Have you heard the terms IQ and EQ before? Ever wondered what they mean and why they matter? IQ and EQ are more than buzzwords, they’re a way to define and determine intelligence. Many employers look for employees that exhibit a high level of EQ, and some even believe EQ is more important than IQ. So let’s take a step back and figure out how IQ and EQ can impact your success in the workplace.

What is IQ?

IQ stands for intelligence quotient, a score determined by standardized tests that are designed to assess an individual’s intelligence. The tests were originally created to evaluate a person’s cognitive abilities relating to reasoning and logical problem-solving.

There are a number of IQ tests that can be used, but one of the most common is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Most people will score in the range of 85 to 114, with anything above 115 seen as above average. Those scoring 145 and beyond are considered in the genius range.

What is EQ?

EQ stands for emotional quotient or emotional intelligence. It determines an individual’s ability to identify emotions, both their own and that of others. It is a common belief that people with a high EQ make better leaders, because of their ability to understand and connect with those around them.

People that have a high level of emotional intelligence often do well in leadership roles and display excellent teamwork abilities. They are able to perceive the emotions of others and often have strong empathy, usually resulting in good self-awareness and social skills.


Young business people shaking hands over a table after discussing IQ and EQ in the workplace using QuickBooks resources

IQ and EQ in the workplace

While IQ is often based on born-ability, emotional intelligence is believed to be a skill that can be developed over time. Those with a high IQ are recognised for having an impressive ability to understand and apply information, with excellent language and maths skills, and overall reasoning. They can complete tasks efficiently and identify and solve problems quickly.

Meanwhile, those with a high EQ are often praised for their leadership and relational ability. They are team players who can quickly identify situations, make decisions easily and cope well under pressure. They often progress into managerial or leadership roles due to their ability to work with all different types of people effectively.

How to improve your EQ

To advance your leadership skills in the workplace, it’s worth trying to improve your emotional intelligence over time. The ability to recognize emotions and understand their effect, will help you on your own journey – both inside and outside the workplace.

The first step to improve your EQ is to be more aware of it. Take the time to understand the importance of your own emotions and those of others. When the opportunity presents itself, ask those around you for their perspective towards an event or subject matter. Be more observant and aware of your surroundings in day-to-day life.

Regardless of your IQ, your emotional intelligence can take you far both in life and in the workplace.


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