General Question

seazen's avatar

EQ or IQ - or both. What is your opinion on the importance of them?

Asked by seazen (6113points) December 16th, 2010

I have been reading a lot about the subject of late (for school). Yes, Auggie, this is a homework question. Just kidding – it isn’t at all. It’s a question about EQ versus IQ – and how they interact – and more specifically:

From your experience in the workforce (or in life) how important is one or the other?

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26 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

As far as getting the job done….IQ all the way. The greater the ability to problem solve and handle tasks old or new, the greater the value to that company that gives them a paycheck..

EQ will be an asset as well but can also be a huge liability. The ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself can help one either get along with co-workers or be a total PITA to every one at work and as Donald Trump would say….“Your fired!”

talljasperman's avatar

IQ helps one to think that they can do a task ; EQ helps you find someone to do it for you

seazen's avatar

According to Goleman “our emotional intelligence determines our potential for learning the practical skills that are based on its five elements: self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationships. Our emotional competence shows how much of that potential we have translated into on-the-job capabilities”.

A study of Harvard graduates in the fields of law, medicine, teaching, and business found that scores on entrance exams – a surrogate for IQ – had zero or negative correlation with their eventual career success.

@cruiser et al

Cruiser's avatar

@seazen I have 2 very key employees, one can’t balance a check book the other does not know and cannot for the life of him demonstrate the difference between ½ and ⅓. We now convert all the math to pounds so he can keep his job. Harvard may hand out diplomas, I hand out paychecks. Both are very lucky to still have a job because I do care about them. I would give either a raise if they could just figure out what I would like them to do so I didn’t have to worry so…


JLeslie's avatar

I think IQ matters at the extremes. A guy who has an IQ of 115 and the other guy 130, probably both of them can do just as well as each other in any career and in life. But, the difference between a guy with an IQ of 100 and 115, maybe not so much. Some has to do with the career of choice obviously. Ambition and perserverance seem to be very important when it comes to success. A willingness to do what it requires to acheive ones goals. The two, IQ and EQ are intertwined. One without the other does not provide enough of what is needed to be very successful in my opinion. My husband bought me a t-shirt genius by birth, lazy by choice. LOL. I am not genius level, I never test that high, but I am in the 96th perecentile for IQ. He probably would test a little below me I would guess, but nothing significant. The big difference between us is he has goals, ambition, willing to do whatever work is required, no fear of failure.

mattbrowne's avatar

They are both important, but IQ is overrated, while EQ is underrated.

In large companies EQ is absolutely critical. People won’t be successful without it.

jerv's avatar

It would seem that EQ plays a larger role than it used to nowadays. There was a time when competence mattered, but now it’s less about how well you can do your job or how intellectually smart you are and more about how you deal with people and how well you can handle stress.

I can say that as far as IQ goes though, my stepfather at 146 is not nearly as smart or mentally agile as I am at “only” 130–135, especially not if you ask him, so that calls into question the accuracy of any real measurement of any aspect of mental acuity. Oddly, many of the questions I’ve seem on EQ tests are the same questions as on such tests for Autism/Aspergers, so that has me wondering a few things now.

@Cruiser I think it’s safe to assume that those two wouldn’t last two seconds in my workplace. One misplaced decimal point and I can send a machine that probably cost more than your house into itself (with loud noises and plenty of shrapnel), as can entering a diameter when you need to enter a radius.
Of course, my job also requires putting up with people like me who often threaten to ear-fuck people like the engineers who think that their college degrees and fat paychecks prove that they actually have a clue, so I guess EQ (mainly the ability to shrug off what is said about you, your mother, your sexuality, or anything else we can think of to insult) is also required for my job.

@mattbrowne Define “successful” in that context.

augustlan's avatar

I think it depends on the job or life situation. I’ve know some incredibly smart people who are assholes and some incredibly dumb people who are a joy to be around. The former might be a great independent inventor/mad scientist, but might not last long in a corporate setting. The latter would be a great customer service rep or receptionist, but not a doctor. Many jobs require high marks on both sides of the equation. SEE: Community Manager :p

mattbrowne's avatar

@jerv – Reaching their business objectives.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv It makes sense to me that EQ and Autism tests would have similar questions, although I am not familiar with the tests at all, just the basic of both EQ and the Autism spectrum. I once saw a women with Aspergers on TV talking about herself and people with the diagnosis, and one of her comments was she thinks many scientific discoveries and advancements probably would not have happened without people with Aspergers. That maybe it is not something to view as totally negative or abnormal.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, but many see us as failures since we don’t get the corner offices and the huge salaries.

@mattbrowne So I would be unsuccessful if I got a management position? My objective is to earn a decent salary doing what I love to do, and my trade has a decent median income. Different strokes for different folks.

@augustlan Very true.

mattbrowne's avatar

@mattbrowne – People without a management position have to reach their objectives too, for example business analysts or webmasters.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv I don’t agree. But, I undertand why it might seem that way. Just remember the majority of people don’t have corner offices, that is a select few. I think most people are impressed by scientists, engineers, etc.

wundayatta's avatar

There are requirements for the job, whatever the job is. In my case, they have to know a variety of statistical software packages and then mapping software and other kinds of data analysis software. Basically, they have to be at least graduate students because few other people would have those skills. In fact, only grad students are eligible for the positions.

In addition, they need to have good “people” skills. They have to like people and want to help them and be able to understand the problems the people really have, not just the ones they think they have.

Test scores? I’ve never used a one. I talk to people. I look at their resumes and their recommendations. I look at how far along they are in their academic career. It generally becomes pretty clear who I want. My boss and I are pretty much always in agreement on this.

I do the same thing in real like. It’s the whole package I’m interested it. Are they interesting? Do they express themselves well? Are they sensitive or empathetic? What kind of life experience do they have?

These ways of measuring people are useless to me. I wish they didn’t exist. I need to evaluate people myself. Test scores tell me little of value. I once went to a meeting of people who tested very well on intelligence measures. God, was that unpleasant! I tend not to like people who think IQ matters. That’s a sign of bad people skills, right there.

For me, IQ and EQ are equally un important. I’m looking at the whole package. People have different strengths and different challenges. All that matters to me is that I like and admire them.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ve thought about that interaction a lot. I need a partner to have both but I’m much more likely to let it go if they have less EQ than IQ – I just can’t stand it the other way around.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta I think that if you disregard test scores then you should also disregard formal education. I mean, having a degree is more a sign of financial health than of actual knowledge.competence. I know more about some things than some people who actually have degrees in those areas! Accordingly, I find the education requirement for your positions to be only slightly better than racism. You can recommend a certain level of education, but making it mandatory means that even if I had said degree, I would not want to work for you. If nothing else, it shows a short-sightedness and a total disregard for life experience, and on-the-job training, and I don’t want to work for an employer that myopic.

Talking to them may or may not always be good either, depending on your approach. I am surprisingly sociable in a casual setting, but in a more formal setting (like an interview), you would see an entirely different person. That is true of most people; call it “stage fright”, “performance anxiety”, or whatever else you want to, but the simple truth is that people change when they are in the spotlight; some more than others.

For some positions people skills may be important, but for others, not so much. And many of those that are best at technical stuff are the ones most lacking the social skills, or at least the right type of people skills to be the sort of person you’d want customers to talk to. I can run a CNC or manual mill or lathe, do all sorts of electrical, automotive, mechanical, or computer work, and make you laugh while doing it, but I can’t sell myself well enough to get many chances to actually show people that.

Still, you are entitled to your opinion, and I honestly found your answer rather illuminating. I tend to find opinion questions fascinating as they give me insight that I otherwise would never get.

seazen's avatar

@jerv Still, you are entitled to your opinion, and I honestly found your answer rather illuminating. I tend to find opinion questions fascinating as they give me insight that I otherwise would never get. Well said, my friend.

Cruiser's avatar

@jerv I agree with you that in the real world the sheepskin is an overrated badge of achievement for many jobs that require them, but at the same time it will separate the known from the unknown. You pointed out how my 2 employees would not last a second at your workplace and I take it the jobs there do require a prerequisite technical skill. So do the jobs my two workers now handle. No college degree required but having one would tell me that person could balance a check book and would know the difference between ⅓ and ½ and then I have to pay a hefty salary for that experience. These 2 men, neither of who have college experience, have their current positions because they started at the bottom and proved their worth, ability and dedication to a tough job and got promoted along the way. So hard work in a workplace setting as opposed to a classroom can allow anyone to earn the ability to have a decent job with responsibility in spite of a lack of a few smarts a college grad would have.

jerv's avatar

@Cruiser I beg to differ merely because I have seen some quite uneducated people with degrees. A good work ethic means quite a lot, but is hard to document. The best way to “measure” that is to take a risk, hire them, and see how their first month goes.
It is possible to work in my shop at an entry-level position but even that requires decent math skills. Actual technical skill is not essential solely because, with one exception, everybody in there has at least three years experience…. though we just let our last entry-level mook go since he wasn’t learning fast enough and after two months he still couldn’t change and set his own tools. His replacement is a prodigy with four days experience and he can already do that. He got hired on the recommendation of one of my coworkers.

Cruiser's avatar

@jerv There will always be exceptions in every situation in life as we both point out. What seems to be universal is every employee thinks they should be paid more than they get! ;)

jerv's avatar

@Cruiser I would be happy with earning what most people at my level and with my duties earn. That would double my income , and I don’t feel that asking for the prevailing wage is unreasonable. Maybe it would be if my job description was below my actual abilities, but it isn’t so it isn’t.

The rules are often slightly different for older folks since we have had more time to pick up stuff through non-academic means and are more likely to have actual experience than some youngster. How many kids do you know that have thirty-plus years experience with computers? What are the odds that they already have a few years experience with something related to the position you are offering and have a better real-world understanding of it than a classroom can provide? So I would say that those of us over the age of 35 are often exceptions.

Cruiser's avatar

@jerv I feel for you as your industry has been hammered down big time over the last 3 years and no end in sight. My BIL is a computer programmer in your line of work, hasn’t had a raise in 7 years and says he is lucky to still be getting a paycheck. Outsourcing overseas is what I see has affected your type of business the most and who’s to blame for that??

jerv's avatar

@Cruiser I think I’ll continue this in your inbox later when I have more than a few minutes. Suffice it to say for now, one reason I tolerate my current wages is that that place I work for is booked solid for the next few years, and good enough that China outsources to us!

wundayatta's avatar

@jerv While I do believe you generally need a graduate level education to have the skills I need, in actual fact, I have no choice but to hire graduate students. The position is part of the stipend they can get. However, if I had an open market, I would certainly look at anyone’s skills, not just those of graduate students. Still, it would be very unlikely that anyone with less than graduate level education would have the skills I need. In fact, most of the students I hire need a good deal of training to get to where I need them to be.

Part of the reason for this is that I require generalist skills, and most people specialize in something, so their major methodological skill is in one area (quantitative or qualitative), and even if they know both, they are usually much stronger in one than the other. In addition, if they are quants, they need to know a variety of quantitative tools and software.

I would say that the training I provide is worth about an extra 10K in salary when they graduate.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta That makes a bit more sense. My main beef there is just that older folks can often do things based on experience that a twenty-something would need an education for.

thesparrow's avatar

The only questions I ever answer on IQ tests are the ones I don’t really have to bother with, which might lower my score.

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