There has been a long-standing debate on which is more important in determining success in the workplace – book smart or street smart? There are numerous studies on the relative importance of the Intelligence quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ) in workplace performance. They show a stark difference between these two aspects.
But does it need to be an issue of EQ vs IQ? Do employers need to choose one over the other? Can one not exist without the other? Understanding how to effectively assess these two aspects allows the management to reap the rewards of a balanced organization.
What is the Relevance of a High IQ in the Workplace?
Business people with high IQs are adept at gathering, recalling, and synthesizing relevant information. They can analyze and communicate them effectively. These workers are excellent at reasoning, problem-solving, and formulating concepts.
An organization will suffer if there is a shortage of IQ. In a highly competitive market, somebody needs to crunch the numbers and analyze data. An organization will lose its grasp on market trends and accounting systems without someone at the helm of technical data.
What Can EQ Contribute to a Workplace?
An organization is not all about data, though. People need to build and maintain strong working relationships, effectively connect and manage conflict when it arises. EQ can foster all these.
EQ is the ability to understand, use, and positively manage emotions. It is an effective way to deal and empathize with others.
A lack of EQ manifests in an organization in many ways. It includes low loyalty, a cold working environment, and high turnover. There is also a lack of information sharing and focus in terms of the company’s mission.
How can an organization’s management cultivate an environment where both IQ and EQ coexist?
1. Involve higher EQs in the management team.
It was a common practice to put high IQ people in managerial positions because of their in-depth knowledge and critical skills. Now is the time to involve high EQ people in leading the team.
Create a management development program that gives high EQ workers the skills to understand the technical side of the job. On the other hand, high IQ people will learn how to relate with others and have fun once in a while.
Opening the door of opportunity for everyone will allow collaboration of the heart and mind. It fills the management gap and provides a venue for career development which will significantly benefit the company.
2. Assign appropriate tasks for each one
Assess the IQ and EQ of each individual. High IQ people have high theoretical motivation so that they would thrive in breakthrough projects, exciting research, and challenging missions.
High EQ people, on the other hand, would love to motivate people. They are great at listening to co-worker’s concerns and lending a helping hand. Assigning them to projects that involve Human Resources and Corporate Communications will allow them to blossom and shine.
3. Promote Equality
Foster an environment where everyone is equal. Leave the EQ vs. IQ narrative at the door and
convert it to EQ and IQ. It should not be a battle but cooperation between the two.
Leaders must be equally accountable as their subordinates. They should enforce the same rules to
everyone else, whether IQ or EQ is involved.
Appreciating the differences between EQ and IQ will create a collaborative environment in the workplace. Ditching stereotypes and maximizing each one’s capabilities gives everyone a chance to excel and contribute to the organization.