There is a continuous debate and discussion going on since last many decades as to what is more important, significant, and meaningful. EQ or IQ. A random search on google with the keyword “EQ Vs IQ” renders around 2,97,00,000 results, in less than a minute. An interesting thing about these “versus “searches on the net is that you will find people supporting, defending their part of the “versus,” do it vehemently like religious fanatic. Then there are other kinds also, taking no sides. Like all Gods are equal its matter of your belief. As, Joshua Freedman who says EQ and IQ are co-related they are part of each and other they complement each other. End of debate. Both go happily to their home and live happily ever after. But does it work that way, no it doesn’t so today. I am also jumping on this discussion bandwagon, at this point in time, to tell you honestly, I am not sure which side I am on. Writing a post like this is like playing the chess alone. You play from both the sides and then depending on which side is winning you conveniently shift your loyalty. But then both side is actually you, and you beat yourself with logic, so despite feeling bad about the losing side of yours, you try to wash off your guilt of switching sides like an opportunist, on the fact of that both sides were actually you.

Most people are familiar with the term IQ, as you probably know, stands for “intelligence quotient.” It’s a measurement of different qualities we tend to think of as comprising our intelligence. Such as problem-solving skills and analytical thinking, short term memory and spatial recognition. IQ doesn’t measure your knowledge or how well read or educated you are, in fact, an uneducated individual can score just as high as a postgraduate in nuclear physics. The purpose of an IQ test is to evaluate a person’s inherent intelligence, the raw processing power of their mind. Independent of any fact or knowledge that they might memorize in the course of their life. Many of world’s most successful inventors, scientists, and world leaders have demonstrated very high level of IQs. People like Leonardo Da Vince, Einstein, Steven Hawking or Steve Jobs. But then there are many people with high IQs who have never achieved any success at all in their lives. And, many people with average IQ are among most successful people in the world. Why is that? Such observations put a question mark on the absolute hegemony of IQ as the certificate of success. Despite doubts, the supremacy of IQ was accepted by people until in 1985 when a man by the name of Wayne Leon Payne, a graduate student wrote a doctoral dissertation that happened to include the term “emotional intelligence.”

In 1990, John Mayer and Peter Salovey, two American university professors, were doing research in order to develop ways to scientifically measure the difference between people’s abilities in and around their emotions.

Mayer and Salovey soon discovered that some people seemed to be better than others when it came to identifying others’ feelings and solving problems involving emotional issues. They also seemed to be better at identifying their own feelings.

Daniel Goleman, a New York writer, in 1992, while doing research for a book on emotions and emotional literacy, discovered an article by Salovey and Mayer. One of these research papers was titled “Emotional Intelligence “.  Goleman proceeded to ask permission to use the term “emotional intelligence” in his book. Goleman was granted permission. He published his book named “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995. The world community disillusioned with non-universality of IQ welcomed his book with open arms, and the book made to the cover of the Times Magazine. Though Goleman supposed to have popularized the term “Emotional Intelligence” yet he is criticized by some as having distorted and misrepresented the original definition of emotional intelligence. John Mayer has been quoted as stating that Goleman broadened the definition of emotional intelligence to such an extent that it no longer had any scientific meaning or utility.

While Mayor and Salovey may have started the trend in emotional intelligence research, Goleman’s work took off in a big way.

His book, “Working with Emotional Intelligence,” published in 1998, widened the definition even more, stating that emotional intelligence consisted of 25 skills, abilities, and competencies. Since then there have been many more definitions when it comes to emotional intelligence and many claims about what it is and how it works.

Talking about definition, the original researcher and founder of the term, Mayor and Salovey  defined it as “Form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.”

Over the past decade, the term has grown and evolved. A plethora of scholars, researchers, coaches, and consultants, and even neurobiologists have contributed to the theory and understanding.

Mayer and Salovey proposed the original framework of emotional intelligence. It was defined as:

  1. Identifying emotions in the self and others.
  2. Integrating emotions into thought processes.
  3. Effectively processing complex emotions.
  4. Regulating one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.

Goleman expanded on Mayer and Salovey’s ideals, utilizing five essential elements of emotional intelligence:

  1. Emotional self-awareness or being aware of what you are feeling moment to moment as well as seeking to understand the impact this has on others.
  2. Self-regulation or attempting to control or redirect your emotions and learning to anticipate the consequences before you act on impulse.
  3. Motivation or utilizing emotional factors to overcome and persevere.
  4. Empathy or learning how to tune in and sense the emotions of others.
  5. Social skills or learning how to effectively manage relationships and inspire others.

According to Goleman, emotional intelligence is not a thing to be looked for, but something that is a part of you and an integral part of your inner self.

Goleman believes IQ tests are designed to screen candidates based upon their ability to process information, as opposed to their likelihood of success.

According to Goleman, the infamous IQ only contributes to 20% of our success in life. In light of that, we must ask ourselves what is happening with the other 80%?

The remaining 80% is the result of emotional intelligence.

To summarize, this EQ includes factors such as:

  • The ability to self-motivate.
  • Persistence.
  • Control of impulses.
  • Regulation of empathy, humor, and hope.

Exactly like Joshua Freedman, the gentleman quoted at the beginning of this post, Goleman sees IQ and EQ as skills that work separately, not opposing.

What this means is you might have someone who is brilliant on an intellectual level, but emotionally unfit. This misalignment may, in fact, be the cause of some of the biggest problems in life people face.

So, coming to the original question, EQ or IQ Which one is more important for success in life? Well, I believe, that its like asking brain or heart which is more important for life? You need both of them perfectly well and in tandem. Any misunderstanding among these two can be fatal for your physical life, similarly any misunderstanding between the earlier two will certainly not be a pleasant thing to happen in your life. So, this time it’s a draw in my game of chess which I was playing with myself.

Krishna Kant Bajpai

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