Which is more important, cognitive intelligence (IQ) or emotional intelligence (EQ)?
There have been heated debates weighing in the pros and cons on both sides but a conclusion has not yet been reached. While proponents of “book smarts” suggest that IQ plays a vital role in establishing one’s career, advocates of EQ states that EQ is even more important. Let me ask you about your opinion. Which is more important, according to you? Before indulging ourselves in the debate, let us see what is EQ and IQ 

  • Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Intelligence is also called an Emotional quotient which defines a person’s ability to identify and evaluate the emotions, thoughts, and feelings of others and their own, while also being able to control and express their feelings. People with high Emotional Intelligence are known to tackle social situations with ease and it can be seen commonly amongst leaders, politicians, and people who work in the public sphere.
  • Intelligence Quotient, however, is a measure of academic abilities. It is a score derived from several tests to assess an individual’s intelligence. 

Components of Emotional Intelligence: 

Certain internal and external factors define a person’s Emotional Intelligence. EQ is measured through how a person is thinking about himself and how he is acting towards others. The stronger a person is in this prospect, the higher the chances of him attaining a greater position in life. There are certain determinants to probe this ability in a person, below are the following determinants: 

  • Self-awareness: It is the ability to recognize and understand the moods, emotions, thoughts, and feelings of self. Without having a proper awareness of the internal-self it is hard to control the internal process and it reflects in behavior towards others. 
  • Self-regulation: People who have self-awareness mostly can regulate their adverse impulses. Self-regulation is the ability to control and redirect extreme impulses and moods. It is the ability to think before acting. It is the ability to influence your thoughts and emotions.
  • Motivation: Motivation that goes beyond an external drive to acquire or achieve something. Rather it is an internal drive to pursue goals with energy and persistence. 
  • Social-awareness: It is the ability to understand the psychological and cognitive makeup of other people. The ability to weigh how your words affect or influence others. 
  • Social-regulation: Social regulation is the ability of a person to influence the emotional clarity of the other person and hence build networks and manage relationships with proficiency. 

Can Emotional Intelligence be learned? 

I know your doubt! “If emotional intelligence is so significant can it be learned, acquired, or is it an innate quality?” 

The one-word answer to your question is: “No.” 

No, emotional intelligence is not an innate quality and it can be acquired. 

Character education, self-analysis, empathizing exercises, modeling positive behaviors, and encouraging people to think in different directions are a few of the strategies that help in developing emotional intelligence. 

Differences between EQ and IQ?

Emotional Intelligence

Intellectual Intelligence

Visual-spatial processing

Identifying emotions

Worldly knowledge

Evaluating other’s feelings

Logic and reasoning

Self-regulation of thoughts and emotions


Perception of behaviors, emotions, and thoughts.

Quantitative reasoning

Communicating with ease

Which is more important?

IQ was considered the sole determinant of success at an earlier point in time. However, even critics have started to realize the significance of the emotional quotient, lately. While IQ is still the determinant of academic success, EQ determines success in life as a whole. EQ, for now, is a complex and narrow concept for human knowledge. People with higher IQs are known to achieve things and make more money, but companies are looking for equal EQ levels because people with EQ naturally know how to deal with clients. They are deft with social influencing.

Recent studies have found that leaders and politicians tend to show strong emotional intelligence which suggests that high EQ is yet another quality for business persons, managers, and leaders or who so ever wish to work in the social sphere.

Life is a success of many factors where IQ and EQ are just two determinants that play an equal role in overall success, happiness, and health. The greatest benefit, therefore, lies in striving to improve both the qualities rather than indulging in debates and arguments to decide which one is better.