Is IQ or EQ more crucial in the workplace today?

17 Mar 2022

Apart from the standard technical requirements, hiring managers and recruiters are starting to seek out applicants with certain intangible attributes.

Life is full of curveballs, but some of us handle these situations better than others. So what is it that helps us navigate challenges and changes? The answer: emotional intelligence. Find out why emotional intelligence is important in the workplace, now more than ever.

The difference between IQ and EQ

There was a period when intellect was seen as the main determinant for success in life. This was stressed upon and drilled into us at a very young age by parents and teachers alike. However, today, experts have proven that success requires a combination of both intellectual and emotional intelligence.

While intellectual quotient (IQ) may determine how well we do in school and the first job we land, from then on the connection between IQ and success gets murkier. In circumstances where logic and reason are taken out of the equation, a person with low emotional quotient (EQ) may find it tough recognising, differentiating, and managing their emotions as well as the emotions of others—which is crucial in the workplace, especially when collaboration is required.

Success takes more than smarts

A study conducted by TalentSmart, which is co-founded by emotional intelligence expert Dr Travis Bradberry, showed that ‘90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence’1 and earn a higher average income per year. Psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ, believed that after technical skills are accounted for, it is our ability to work with and connect with others that determines how quickly we advance and are promoted. And this is valued more today with companies choosing applicants who display high emotional intelligence, with an understanding that the most meaningful work is produced in collaborative teams.

Csuites recognizes the importance and value of building effective working relationships, and its amenities are thoughtfully designed to foster these human connections essential for success. By taking a human-first approach, Csuites has created the quintessence of coworking spaces, offering different zones and areas where organisations as well as people can work and live at their best.

Why emotional intelligence is important in the workplace

In the wake of the pandemic and the constant changes in regulations, many professionals are forced to adjust their routines regularly—whether it’s switching between working from home and the office or working completely remotely while juggling family responsibilities. These experiences are emotionally challenging and demand conversations with others that require a good deal of tact and empathy—qualities that help us effectively communicate and solve problems in a compassionate manner.

In hybrid work environments like Csuites where people from different organisations have to share workspaces and facilities—such as the pantry, phone booths and collaborative zones—being mindful of yourself and those around you is absolutely essential to function harmoniously.

Leading by example is never overrated

Employers need to walk the talk and set the tone for their organisation. Leaders who lack emotional intelligence tend to fail to acknowledge their employees’ feelings or achievements, leading to negative consequences such as lower employee engagement and higher turnover rates. At PepsiCo, executives identified as having higher EQ competencies experienced an 87% decrease in employee turnover. This shows that employees are highly influenced by good leadership and form a sense of loyalty to their company when they feel respected and understood by their employers.

In an interview with Harvard Business Review, Psychologist Daniel Goleman said, “The most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but… they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions.”2

As the hybrid work model becomes a mainstay in the future of work and flexible office spaces like Csuites become a more popular option for companies and individuals to work out of, practising self-awareness will help us return to life with ease.

1 Dr Travis Bradberry. Emotional intelligence can boost your career and save your life (n.d.). TalentSmart. Retrieved from
2 How Emotional Intelligence Became a Key Leadership Skill (2015). Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from