Is IQ more important to EQ in leadership?

A great question came from a friend in LinkedIn based of one of my previous blogpost.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) and Intelligence Quotient (IQ) are both essential in leadership capabilities. While IQ measures cognitive abilities, EQ measures emotional intelligence, which encompasses a leader’s ability to understand, manage, and express their own emotions while also perceiving and responding to the emotions of others. Skilled communication, in turn, serves as a compensating factor that increases leadership effectiveness.

Research studies have shown that EQ is just as crucial as IQ in leadership effectiveness. In fact, a study conducted by TalentSmart on more than a million people found that individuals with high EQ were 58% more likely to be successful in their jobs than those with high IQ alone. Additionally, studies show that leaders with high EQ are more effective at managing relationships, leading teams, and resolving conflicts.

The importance of EQ in leadership has been supported by several scientific studies. For instance, in a study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, researchers found that emotional intelligence was significantly correlated with leadership effectiveness. The study also showed that emotional intelligence is a stronger predictor of leadership effectiveness than IQ.

Another study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was the most critical leadership trait needed for success in today’s complex and global business environment. The study showed that leaders with high EQ were better able to build relationships, navigate complex social situations, and inspire others to achieve their goals.

In addition to EQ and IQ, skilled communication is also crucial to leadership effectiveness. Skilled communication involves the ability to express oneself clearly and effectively while also being an active listener. Effective communication is essential in building relationships, gaining trust, and inspiring others to achieve their goals.

Research has shown that effective communication can compensate for low EQ or IQ in leadership effectiveness. A study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology found that leaders who were skilled communicators were more effective at motivating their team, building trust, and achieving goals, even if they had low EQ or IQ.

In conclusion, EQ and IQ are both critical in leadership capabilities. While IQ measures cognitive abilities, EQ measures emotional intelligence, which is equally important in leadership effectiveness. Skilled communication, in turn, serves as a compensating factor that can increase leadership effectiveness. As leaders, we must strive to develop our EQ and IQ, while also focusing on building our communication skills to maximize our effectiveness.

Interesting readings on the topic (thanks to ChatGPT):

  1. Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. San Diego, CA: TalentSmart.
  2. Wong, C. S., & Law, K. S. (2002). The effects of leader and follower emotional intelligence on performance and attitude: An exploratory study. The Leadership Quarterly, 13(3), 243-274.
  3. Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
  4. Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. (2000). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), The handbook of emotional intelligence: Theory, development, assessment, and application at home, school, and in the workplace (pp. 343-362). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  5. Wolff, S. B., & Pescosolido, A. T. (2009). Emotional intelligence as a predictor of leadership effectiveness. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(1), 97-113.
  6. Rosete, D., & Ciarrochi, J. (2005). Emotional intelligence and its relationship to workplace performance outcomes of leadership effectiveness. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 26(5)

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