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Psychreg Twitter Poll: IQ, EQ or SQ in Leadership?

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Notwithstanding all of the focus on cognitive abilities, I think most people can remember encountering an individual in a leadership position who was a brilliant thinker but struggles understanding how to connect with people. These leaders have difficulty when their team members are unable to make a decision, particularly when they see it as the obvious course of action. I find this aspect of leadership particularly interesting. So, last 12 November, I used Psychreg to launch a Twitter poll to ask, “Which do you think is more important in leadership?” –  Is it intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional quotient (EQ), or is it spiritual quotient (SQ). 

And here’s the result:

Here are some of the comments:

  • Alla Abdin (@AllaAbdin) – I believe that EQ can’t exist without the other two. It’s a delicate balance only truly achieved by knowing yourself.
  • Rona dela Rosa (@itismerona) – think it’s EQ because you have to manage your emotion well for you to be an effective motivator to those you lead. 
  • Annie Fox (@Annie_Fox) –  EQ! Without the ability to empathise, create and maintain healthy relationship, manage distressing emotions, no one gets very far.
  • Michelle Winter (@thriveprogshell) – Emotionally intelligent leaders will be in the best possible shape to learn facts! Their decisions will be made with levelheadedness.
  • Laura Donaghy-Spargo (@ThriveLaura) – Self-management has shown that leaders with high EQ earns them respect and cooperation from others. But the new three-way IQ test looks promising.
  • Dina Relojo (@dgrparaluman) – I think, having high IQ is highly appreciated in our society and the basis to become successful in school and career.
  • Sarah Kallend (@Illuminow) – Leadership relies on connection with others and understanding of self so EQ wins . Not all super bright people are able to connect. 
  • Mohammed Baddar (@MohBaddar) – I vote for emotional quotient simply because leadership is all about inspiration.
  • Marisa Gottschalk (@reptarsaurusRex) – It’s really tough between EQ and IQ; I chose IQ. I have to think ahead and consider the outcome of all possible solutions and choose best one.
  • Merrilyne Afrazeh (@a_afrazeh) – Do you not think that these specific yes / no answers are wrong way of thinking?

Thank you for all the those who voted, shared the poll and those who left the comments!

The notion of emotional quotient and spiritual quotient, along with their relevance to leadership has continued to spark debate over the past decades and I agree with Merrilyne and Laura that the form of intelligence involved in leadership is indeed a mix bag. 

Dennis Relojo is the founder of Psychreg and is also the Editor-in-Chief of Psychreg Journal of Psychology. Aside from PJP, he sits on the editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals, and is a Commissioning Editor for the International Society of Critical Health Psychology. A Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society, Dennis holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Hertfordshire. His research interest lies in the intersection of psychology and blogging. You can connect with him through Twitter @DennisRelojo and his website.


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