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

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


A high IQ might indicate the potential to be a genius, but EQ could be the real determinant of success. Uncover the critical differences between EQ vs. IQ.

The debate between EQ vs. IQ has been on for a while, with each side claiming that their measure of intelligence is more important for success. Communities, parents, and educators have long taught that a child’s academic performance will determine how successful they will be in the future. 

But what if they were wrong? 

There are more important aspects to human development than IQ. And if you aspire to develop yourself integrally, here’s what you need to know:

This discussion isn’t about answering the question, “What is EQ vs. IQ?” but rather about understanding what it takes to thrive in our rapidly changing world.

What is EQ?

Emotional quotient (EQ), commonly known as emotional intelligence, is your ability to understand people—their emotions and motivations—and use that awareness to guide your actions. It is considered the basis for all social interaction, as it enables you to communicate effectively, empathize with others, and even withstand temptations.

People with high IQs are graced with a variety of superpowers, including:

  • Assertiveness
  • Empathy
  • Collaboration
  • Stress and anger management
  • Time management
  • Trustworthiness
  • Tolerance to change
  • Decision making

Apart from these superpowers, there are three key elements that define EQ-gifted people:

  1. Self-awareness. It includes emotional self-awareness, self-management, emotional self-control, adaptability, achievement orientation, and a positive outlook.
  2. Social awareness. It includes a great deal of empathy and organizational awareness.
  3. Relationship management. It includes influence, coaching skills, and conflict management.

In essence, EQ enables you to thrive as a social being by building strong and long-lasting relationships with others.

What is IQ?

Your intelligence quotient (IQ) is your ability to learn, reason, and solve problems. The result is obtained from one of the many standardized tests that measure your intellectual abilities, such as verbal comprehension, working memory, perceptual reasoning, and processing speed.

There’s no such thing as a good or bad memory. There’s trained and untrained memory.

— Jim Kwik, trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest

IQ is often used as a predictor of academic and professional success, especially in the past. But according to Ken Wilber, the creator of Integral Theory and trainer of Mindvalley’s The Integral Life Quest, there are different skills and traits that undergo growth and development. He calls them “lines.” 

So different types of intelligence represent various lines of development, and you can have one of the highest IQs but, at the same time, have low musical or linguistic intelligence.

How Are They Measured?

IQ is measured through standardized tests such as:

  • The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
  • The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
  • The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
  • The Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities

These IQ tests measure either your verbal ability and knowledge or your ability to reason, think abstractly, and solve problems.

EQ is measured through standardized tests such as:

  • The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT)
  • The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i)
  • The Situational Tests of Emotional Understanding
  • The Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy

Most EQ tests measure your self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

What Is the Difference Between IQ and EQ?

The main difference between IQ and EQ is that IQ measures a person’s cognitive abilities, while EQ measures a person’s emotional intelligence.

Here is a summary chart of emotional intelligence vs. intellectual intelligence:

summary chart of emotional intelligence vs. intellectual intelligence
A summary chart of emotional intelligence vs. intellectual intelligence

Which One Is More Important?

Traditionally, IQ was considered a master predictor of your success. But with the discovery of EQ, multiple studies have shown that EQ is far more important than IQ. 

While high cognitive abilities are crucial for certain fields like science and engineering, without high social skills, you virtually can’t survive.

As Daniel Goeman puts it in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, people with well-developed emotional skills are more likely to be content and effective in their lives, mastering the habits of the mind that foster their own productivity.

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 led to businesses putting greater emphasis on emotional intelligence over intellectual capabilities when hiring.

So, if your EQ is high, you will make an average of $29,000 more per year than people with low EQs. Additionally, you are more likely to be a successful leader and have better relationships with your team members.

Other Types of Quotients

In addition to IQ and EQ, let’s look at other types of quotients that are utterly important in the modern world:

  1. Cultural Quotient (CQ). It is the ability to effectively navigate culturally diverse situations. CQ-gifted individuals can quickly adapt to various cultural contexts, find a common language with individuals from all walks of life and cultures, and cultivate strong bonds with them beyond ethnic barriers. 
  1. Digital Quotient (DQ). It is the ability to navigate and use a wide range of digital technologies. People with high DQ are digitally savvy, skillfully juggling multiple tools and platforms to communicate, collaborate, and innovate. They also stay up-to-date with emerging technologies and adapt to new digital trends and opportunities.
  1. Adversity Quotient (AQ). It is the ability to overcome adversity and recover from setbacks. In any field, setbacks and failures are inevitable. Individuals with high AQ can control their stress levels, maintain their motivation in the face of challenges, and adjust to changing conditions. They have the capacity to see failures as opportunities for growth and draw on their experiences to advance and evolve.
  1. Creativity Quotient (CQ). It is the ability to generate and implement creative ideas. Simply put, when you are highly creative, you can think and solve problems creatively, and discover new ways again and again. They are able to adjust to changes and foresee upcoming trends and challenges.
  2. Entrepreneurial Quotient (EQ). It is the ability to spot and monetize business opportunities. People with high entrepreneurial intelligence can identify new markets, create innovative goods and services, and build successful companies.

The bottom line is that in today’s dynamic and increasingly complex world, a range of skills and abilities are required for you to thrive that go beyond IQ and EQ.

Developing Yourself Holistically With Mindvalley

We, as a human species, have undergone a multitude of transformations just in the past century. So our abilities and potentialities go beyond EQ and IQ. In today’s increasingly diverse and digitized world, we are called to develop ourselves in many ways to be up-to-date.

Most importantly, by developing yourself in different lines, as per Ken’s theory, you can grow and evolve integrally and make an evolutionary impact in the world.  

The good news is that Mindvalley has been at the forefront of multidimensional personal growth and development for over two decades. With Mindvalley, you can become the best version of yourself and be the change you want to see in the world.

If this is what you are looking for, Mindvalley is the place to be.

The best part is that you can sample the first few lessons of a great number of Quests by unlocking your free access, such as:

  • Superbrain with Jim Kwik; to help you grow your emotional and energy body awareness;
  • Tapping Into Emotional Masterywith Jennifer Partridge;
  • Integral Life with Ken Wilber;
  • Duality with Jeffrey Allen; and
  • So much more.

Welcome in.

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Written by
Irina Yugay