EQ vs. IQ: Heart Over Mind, the Best Way to Succeed

EQ vs. IQ: Heart Over Mind, the Best Way to Succeed

heart over mind

A high IQ might indicate the potential to be a genius, but EQ could be the real determinant of success. Explore more about EQ vs. IQ.

The purpose of school is to learn factual information, typically through textbooks. Yet most children will place more importance on their social connections and interactions than the pages and chapters they’re required to read.  Parents, teachers, and communities have always preached that children’s grades in school will determine their success, encouraging them to ignore frivolous ‘distractions,’ like friends.

But what if they were wrong? There are more important aspects to childhood development than IQ. Check out this video by the brilliant Rhea Lalla to learn more about the concept of EQ vs IQ in relation to childhood development:

So-called ‘nerds’ were thought to have highly successful futures to pursue. However, the modern era has offered a new perspective regarding what makes people successful. It’s called emotional intelligence, or EQ. Science has uncovered data surrounding this type of intelligence, forcing us to reconsider IQ as the primary factor in success. After all, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

How do EQ vs IQ oriented people differ in their attainment of success?

What is EQ?

Emotional Quotient (EQ), commonly known as emotional intelligence, is simply defined by the ability to understand people and their emotions and motivations. It is the basis for all social interaction; it enables us to recognize social cues and respond appropriately.

People with high EQ’s are graced with a variety of superpowers, including:

  • Assertiveness
  • Empathy
  • Collaboration
  • Stress and Anger Management
  • Time Management
  • Trustworthiness
  • Tolerance to Change
  • Decision Making

These are some of the factors that distinguish EQ vs IQ, that make this intelligence useful for attaining success.

According to Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and founder of TalentSmart, 90% of the top performers in any field have a high EQ. When it comes to EQ vs IQ, people with high EQs will outperform their higher IQ counterparts 70% of the time. This has lead to businesses putting greater emphasis on emotional intelligence over intellectual capabilities when hiring.

There are 3 main elements, with multiple sub-elements, that define EQ. Our EQ-gifted example, Ben, will take us through these elements of Emotional Intelligence.


Ben is consciously thinking about his behavior and the way he effects himself and others around him.

Emotional self-awareness

This fits into self-awareness as Ben continuously thinks about his emotions and what causes them. He knows his emotional triggers and notices when emotions flare up.


Ben’s emotional self-awareness becomes incredibly useful with the ability to regulate his behavior. When he gets angry he knows what to do to keep his cool.

Ben knows when to walk away and when to stand up for himself.

Emotional self-control

Instead of yelling his head off at new office assistants who have double-booked him on his busiest day, he takes a deep breath and calmly handles the situation.

Ben implements strategies and rules to help him from becoming a slave to his emotions in certain situations. He keeps his cool and knows when and how much emotion he needs to express.  

a group of happy friends


In life, when Ben faces a change that sends him into bumpy seas, he rides the waves and adapts accordingly. Ben knows that change is inevitable and he embraces the ‘it’s probably a good thing’ credo when changes come his way.

Ben is a go-with-the-flow type of guy. However, he knows to stand his ground when it matters.

Achievement orientation

Although Ben enjoys the person he is, he always thinks he can do and be more. He continuously strives for excellence and gets energized by the thrill of that strive.

Positive outlook

Most of the work Ben does he does with a huge smile on his face. In the face of adversity, he cannot help but know that he will get through this challenge with the best possible outcome.

Social awareness


Ben puts himself in the shoes of others. He takes on the perceived situation of others and sees how he can relate to them. He has an understanding of how others feel and gauges his approach in relation to his understanding.

Organization awareness

Ben works in a group. He knows how the group functions with all the unspoken rules, organizational preferences of others, and the ideal flow of the group.

Ben plays his role in a way that he can add the most value. He also knows how to work with each person’s strengths within his group.

Relationship management


Ben knows everyone on his team. They all trust Ben and his opinion about things.

When Ben has an idea, it tends to spread and many people get on board with it. If a team member wants to express an idea, it is best to get Ben on board first.

Coach and mentor

Ben enjoys helping new people on his team. If someone does not know what to do, Ben is the first person to step forward and help.

Ben enjoys building people up. He pays a lot of attention to the young and inexperienced, helping them get up to speed with the rest of the team.

Conflict management

There is rarely ever a problem involving Ben in the group. When there is, he is very quick to confront the problem head-on and solve it as quickly and calmly as possible.

Ben is always upfront with everyone in his team, yet he does this in the most respectful way possible. He doesn’t allow things to hang in the air and is open and willing to solve any disputes that come his way.

Team work

Team work

Ben is trusting and has confidence in his team to do their part in any project that they may take on. Ben has learned that organized hands are very efficient and he manages to play his part and trusts others to play theirs.

Ben is willing to ask for help and is very open to offer his assistance when needed.

Inspirational leadership

When the chips are down and the odds are against Ben and his team, Ben always holds his head high and keeps fighting. He is the type of person to put the most work in and keep the biggest smile when things aren’t going right.

He is often seen consoling others who fall under the pressure and constantly giving words of encouragement to other team members.

How to Develop EQ

A good place to start with emotional intelligence is to find out what your EQ is.

This is no easy task as EQ is a highly fluid form of intelligence. Despite these challenges, the best-known methods are the  Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Test and Daniel Goleman’s Emotional and Social Competence Inventory Assessments.

Once you get a general idea of how adept your EQ is, you can take the appropriate measures to improve. Why change a winning formula?

If your EQ is in need of development, then there are some great strategies you can start implementing today.

1. Journaling

Journaling is one of the greatest ways to create EQ awareness. Keep a notebook and write down things that are bothering you, what isn’t working in your relationships and life, and what measures you can take to fix them.

2. Build healthy relationships

Developing EQ is dynamic, and will require actively participating in new and old relationships. Go out of your way to meet new people, and work on building current relationships. Healthy relationships are one of the best ways to build your character.

3. Reading books

Lastly, reading books can help provide a great reference to your social interactions. Here are some great self help book recommendations to get you started.   

Artificial Intelligence is rising quickly and is taking over the responsibility we have to build our logical and linguistic intellect. In the contest of EQ vs IQ, the value of humanity rests in our emotional intelligence. The new power is EQ.

Written by
Matt Coates