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This is the difference between being task-smart or people-smart, understanding information or understanding emotions. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is your ability to learn, understand and apply information. It is your ability to logically reason and filter out irrelevant information. Your IQ is a number used to measure your cognitive abilities. If your IQ ranges between 90 – 110 it is considered average and over 120 is considered superior.

Emotional Quotient (EQ) also known as Emotional Intelligence is our level of ability to interact positively with other people. This is your ability to identify, evaluate, control and express emotions. EQ effects how we manage behaviour, work around social complexities as well as how we make personal decisions. People with high EQ usually make great leaders and work well in teams because of their ability to understand, empathise and connect with other people.


“IQ alone is not enough; EQ also matters. In fact, psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success, IQ counts for roughly 10% (at best 25%); the rest depends on everything else – including EQ.” (Bressert, 2007).

We all need some degree of task-smart “IQ” to make in through school, the business world and life. A high IQ score was considered the sole reason of success but doing well at school doesn’t always mean that a person will be successful. IQ is necessary for more cognitive tasks which are technical, organisational and administrative in nature. Your IQ scores can be what gets you into university or an interview for a job you have applied for but then your EQ skills need to kick in and help you with the stress of exams or with the leadership skills required for a promotion at work. A high IQ is necessary but alone it is not sufficient for success.

There is no known connection between IQ and EQ and you can’t predict emotional intelligence based on how high a person’s IQ is. IQ and EQ can exist together and are most effective when both are elevated and build off each another. The higher up you go in your career the more EQ matters. As soon as you have to work as a team, meet with clients or lead a department, IQ skills are not enough. In order to stand out amongst peers with the same skills and expertise as you, you will need to draw on how you handle yourself and others, your communication and leaderships skills will also play a part; these are your EQ skills.

People with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Decades of research now identifies emotional intelligence as the important factor that sets star performers apart from everyone else. More and more companies are realising the importance of EQ skills to their success and growth. EQ assessments are becoming part of the application process and time and money are being invested into providing EQ coaching for their employees.


An Intelligence Quotient is a score derived from one or several standardised assessments which are designed to assess an individual’s intelligence. These scores were originally calculated by dividing the person’s mental age by their chronological age and then multiply by 100. Today though, tests also compare the IQ score to the overall average based on age. Simply an IQ test can determine a person’s ability to solve problems, understand concepts, identify relationships, measure reasoning and memorise.

Standard IQ tests measure a person’s abilities in:

  • Memory abilities – to recall information.
  • Language abilities – to understand sentence structures, recognise words that are mixed-up, and recognising synonyms or antonyms, and being able to differentiate between homonyms.
  • Mathematical abilities – to think logically and to solve problems.
  • Spatial abilities – to manipulate shapes.

The S-SAIS-R (senior), J-SAIS-R (junior) South African IQ test measures mental ability. It is used to evaluate the testee’s strengths and weaknesses in order to obtain diagnostic information. The test is divided into a number of subtests where some subtests measure verbal abilities and the rest measure non-verbal abilities. The results show if the child has a learning problem, a low or high IQ and it detects concentration problems, emotional problems and areas where the testee can improve scholastically to perform better in school. Your IQ stays relatively the same throughout your life.

Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence is a flexible set of skills which can be assessed by giving testers a series of emotion based problem solving questions. These tests can assess a client’s general degree of emotional intelligence and psychological well-being. They identify strong and weak areas and help develop the skills still needed for academic, personal, and social success.

The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i™)

The EQ-i™ is a self-report measure which provides an estimate of emotional-social intelligence. This test is used for individuals of 17 years and older.

This test provides a total EQ score as well as scores for the following scales:

  • Self-Regard
  • Emotional Self-Awareness
  • Assertiveness / Emotional Self-Expression
  • Independence
  • Empathy
  • Social Responsibility
  • Interpersonal Relationship
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Impulse Control
  • Reality Testing
  • Self-Actualization
  • Optimism
  • Happiness / Well-Being

Average to above average results suggest the respondent is most likely emotionally and socially intelligent. The higher the scores, the better equipped he/she is for effectively meeting environmental demands and pressures. Low scores suggest an inability to be effective in performing well and the possible existence of emotional, social and/or behavioural problems. Very low scores on the following scales suggest the potential for serious difficulties in coping on a daily basis: Stress Tolerance, Impulse Control, Social Responsibility, Reality-Testing, and Problem-Solving.

Based on the BarOn model of emotional intelligence, the EQ-i:YV™ (Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version) measures the level of emotional and social functioning in children and adolescents from 7 – 17 years of age. The following scales are assessed:

  • Total EQ (including the following 4 scales)
    • Intrapersonal (comprising primarily Self-Regard, Emotional Self- Awareness and Assertiveness items)
    • Interpersonal (comprising primarily Interpersonal Relationship, Empathy and Social Responsibility items)
    • Stress Management (comprising primarily Stress Tolerance and Impulse Control items)
    • Adaptability (comprising primarily Reality-Testing, Flexibility and Problem-Solving items)
  • General Mood (comprising Self-Actualization, Optimism and Happiness items that did not load on the above 4 factors for the most part)
  • Positive Impression (validity items that did not load on the other scales)


There is a lot of controversy around whether you can increase your IQ or not. Some believe that IQ is more of a genetic make-up and generally remains static especially in the adult years. Other experts believe that 40-80% of our IQ is affected by our genes with the remaining IQ coming from the external environment. Therefore the more stimuli you receive from the environment you are exposed to, the more your IQ can increase. Studies have also found increases in IQ from one generation to the next which shows how our changing environments can affect our IQ.


  1. Exercise – Boosts the blood and oxygen supply to the brain providing it with energy, promoting the growth of neurons and stimulating brain cell growth. Decreasing stress and improving cognitive performance.
  2. Supplements – Caffeine + L-theanine – Studies show that taking L-theanine with caffeine provided the most cognitive enhancement, most significantly to measures of alertness and attention switching accuracy. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Improve the working memory.
  3. Healthy Diet – Good nutrition might not boost IQ, but it’s believed that poor nutrition and toxins, especially lead, does decrease it. During the developmental years, Iodine deficiency is believed to decrease IQ.
  4. Neurofeedback – Training the brain to function at its optimal level helps to improve your cognitive performance, improves memory and concentration
  5. Puzzles – Mental ability exercises like puzzles, thinking problems and problem solving techniques stimulate your brain.
  6. Enriched Environment – Growing up in an enriched environment can help play a role in developing a higher IQ. Actively engaging your brain to learn new things and being exposed to new experiences like travelling to new destinations and learning new languages.
  7. Reading – Reading can stimulate the imagination, increase your vocabulary and challenge your brain.


The great news is YES! EQ can be learnt and developed. EQ is best learnt from an early age by encouraging qualities like sharing, thinking about others, putting oneself in another person’s shoes, giving individual space and the general principles of cooperation. There are toys and games available to increase emotional intelligence.
Corporates, adults and children can also join in doing courses at EQ Advantedge or having individual Skype sessions where we work on increasing your self-esteem, communication skills, decision making, anger and conflict management and how to improve overall happiness and much more (see more details on our webpage

Tips to promote emotional intelligence in children:

  • Help children to recognise their own emotions using rich vocabulary not only words like ‘happy’ and ‘sad’. Encourage them to draw and describe their emotions including good emotions.
  • Help them to be aware of when their tension is building and what creates stress for them.
  • Validate the child’s perspective and empathise with how they are feeling, this doesn’t mean you agree.
  • Talk about your own emotions, but don’t use the child as a confident for a difficult situation you are going through.
  • Regulate how you express your emotions as children learn from their parents.
  • Help them to recognise cues as to how other people are feeling. Teaching them to be sensitive to other people’s feelings, showing comparison and empathy.
  • Through visualisation and relaxation exercises, they will be taught how to take control of their emotions and self-esteem, giving them the tools to develop greater well-being and exercise equanimity, calmness and self-composure.
  • Allow the child to work through their emotions without trying to fix the problem yourself as this builds emotional resilience.
  • Get help dealing with your own feelings in an appropriate way so that you can be a good role model. Write in a diary or talk it through with a friend or counsellor.

The important point is when raising children is that we do our best to encourage high intelligence both intellectually and emotionally.

For further information or courses on parenting or emotional intelligence skills for children, contact EQ Advantedge, 031-2668563/ (

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