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Emotional Intelligence Versus IQ

There was a time when the only factor that was considered while labeling someone ‘smart’ or not was his or her IQ or Intelligence Quotient. This is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence. IQ scores are used as predictors of educational achievement, special needs, job performance and income.

One of the challenges of using IQ scores as a sole indicator is that a persons overall intellectual abilities can hardly be summarized into one score. Also, IQ tests may assess logical thinking skills and memory, but fail to assess interpersonal skills or creativity, which are equally, if not more important in order to lead a full life. This is where EQ or Emotional Intelligence steps in.

EQ is the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. A high EQ would enable people to be able to be aware of ones own emotional state and that of others, and use that to enrich communication with others and enhance relationships.

Humans are social beings. Interaction with others is crucial- whether it be at work, or in ones personal relationships. For example, which would be more effective? Appealing to reason and emotions to convince someone, or trying to convince someone by facts alone?

It’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. There are a number of people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. IQ isn’t enough on its own to be successful in life. From an education perspective, IQ can help get into college, but it’s the EQ that will help manage the stress and emotions when facing final exams, or managing relationships with other students.