Should We Teach EQ Over IQ?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EQ) has become more mainstream in the world over the last decade. This creates a very special consideration for students and young professionals that want to compete in the marketplace. Even at young ages, while children are being taught and tutored, emotional intelligence is becoming a factor parents and educators must consider.

In this article we will look at the merits of training EQ over IQ and the differences.

Employers Prefer EQ Over IQ

In 2016, the World Economic Forum released a report that Emotional Intelligence would be in the top 10 skills for the workplace by 2020. Many don't realize however, that this trend has been growing for quite some time.

In August 2011, CareerBuilder released a survey that stated, "More than one-third of employers are placing greater emphasis on hiring and promoting people with emotional intelligence post-recession." This survey was conducted with more than 2,600 hiring managers and HR professionals.

According to the survey, when asked the reason emotional intelligence (EQ) is more important than high IQ, employers said (in order of importance):

  1. Employees [with high EQ] are more likely to stay calm under pressure
  2. Employees know how to resolve conflict effectively
  3. Employees are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
  4. Employees lead by example
  5. Employees tend to make more thoughtful business decisions

HR managers and hiring managers assess their candidates’ and employees’ EQ by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities. The top responses from the survey were:

  1. They admit and learn from their mistakes
  2. They can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
  3. They listen as much or more than they talk
  4. They take criticism well
  5. They show grace under pressure

Hire for EQ Train for IQ

As the adage goes, "Hire for attitude and train for skill." This is where EQ plays an important part in the development of our future workforce. Training, from an IQ perspective is abundant. Today, simply with an internet connection, we can begin to learn almost anything that requires knowledge and skills using our intelligence.

What is not so easy to learn, especially on the job, are the "soft skills" that come with increased emotional intelligence. Learning to lead by example, admit mistakes, and showing grace under pressure can only occur in the context of very specific skills training with application in live relationships and real-time situations.

Therefore, it is never too early to start teaching EQ. Children, as soon as they can talk can acquire the skills, starting with learning an emotional vocabulary which is Level I of Conversations That.

EQ Enhances IQ Learning

All this does not mean IQ is not important. The brain needs just as much proper stimulation to develop intelligence capacity. It's just that opportunities to build intelligence are much more accepted and available. Again, the basics of learning are critical for any age. In fact, we need intelligence to become life-long learners.

Yet let's take a simple example of how emotions can impede learning. If a student suffered from anxiety when taking tests, then both IQ and EQ progress becomes challenged. This example is obvious. But consider for a moment how many children and students are unaware that there is an underlying emotion affecting their ability to learn. Mental health, of students and young professionals, is becoming just as an increasing concern as the focus on emotional intelligence.

This is where emotional intelligence actually enhances IQ learning. If for no other reason than the ability to deal with an emotional block or trigger that leads to inappropriate behaviours when trying to learn. At the same time, there are powerful benefits of EQ when it comes to boosting the learning itself. This has been proven by the field of positive psychology which shows the correlation of positive emotions to performance.

Train Both at the Same Time

There really is no reason that EQ and IQ cannot be trained together. All it takes is a concerted effort and acknowledgement of the important role each plays. Parents, educators and leaders can collaborate together to ensure the future is bright for the next generation of our workforce. We can thrive together, socially and economically.