Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Intelligence Quotient is an attempt to measure intelligence; it is a ‘score’ derived from standardised tests that are designed to assess an individual’s level of intelligence.

IQ can change, but an individual’s IQ scores tend to be relatively stable over a period of time.

‘Emotional Intelligence differs from IQ in that it is ‘a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice -- you can develop high emotional intelligence even if you aren’t born with it.’ (Bradberry, 2014) 

There is no known relationship between IQ and EQ. 

EQ and Leadership

It used to be the case that a person’s IQ was thought to be a key factor when recruiting staff, particularly at the higher levels, but since the late 1990s a leader’s EQ has come to be recognised as perhaps more important than their IQ.  

Developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 1990, EQ can be used by the collaborative leader to develop and improve their leadership styles and interactions with others. An ability to develop the regulation of emotions impacts on not only the well-being of the leader in their role, but also as an individual and additionally the people that they interact with, within the team and in general. 

The work of Mayer & Salovey has been developed by a number of theorists, one of the best known being Daniel Goleman (1999), who identified that there are 5 components of EQ:


Boitnott, J. (2017) Use These 7 Emotional Intelligence Tips to Be a Better Leader
Bradbury, T. (2014). Emotional Intelligence-EQ 
Daniel, G (1996). Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London 
Manson, M. (2019) 5 Skills to Help You Develop Emotional Intelligence
Salovey, P. (1997) Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence BasicBooks
Salovey, P. & Mayer, J. D. (1990) Emotional Intelligence Research Article


Further Resources