Multiple Intelligences: IQ, EQ, SQ and the other SQ

What kind of intelligence do you have?

We’ve all heard of IQ (Intelligence Quotient) which measures our ‘intelligence.’  Most of us have  heard of EQ (Emotional Intelligence), first mentioned by Wayne Payne in  1985 and made famous by Daniel Goleman in 1995.  A few of us have heard of one of the SQs–Spiritual Intelligence or Social Intelligence.  What do they really mean, though?  How important are they to career development?

IQ:  Intelligence Quotient which measures rational thought abilities,  is  considered a critical ‘trait’ for leadership.  IQ associated learning is step-by-step rule based learning.  To be successful, you don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room, but you have to be smart enough.  What ‘smart enough’ is depends on what kind of organization that you’re leading.  Meredith Belbin, a British researcher who focuses on teams, started his research with the assumptions that if he created a team of the smartest people–“A” players–then it will be a high performance team.  What he found was that intelligence itself was not enough.  A high performing team needs team members with a variety of skills and perspectives.

EQ: Emotional intelligence is the ability to assess, access and  control your emotions, and those of others.  Basically, if you have emotional intelligence, you have the ability to perceive, understand, use, and manage emotions.  There are lots of arguments about whether this is “real” intelligence, but most of us know people who are good at this and can see that there is something to it.  Again, EQ is considered a requisite for success in leadership.

SQ(1): Social intelligence is the ability to understand, manage, and navigate complex social networks.  It is also called ‘interpersonal intelligence.’  Leaders of global organizations and project managers of virtual teams require this SQ to be successful.  Some assert that autistic children have low social intelligence.  As the world has grown more complex, as organizations have grown, changed, evolved, this intelligence has become more important.

SQ(2): Perhaps the most controversial of the ‘Q’s’, spiritual intelligence is defined as  “the adaptive use of spiritual information to facilitate everyday problem solving and goal attainment.”(Robert Emmons (2000) )  Emmons proposed 5 components of spiritual intelligence:

  •    The capacity to transcend the physical and material.
  •     The ability to experience heightened states of consciousness.
  •     The ability to sanctify everyday experience.
  •     The ability to utilize spiritual resources to solve problems.
  •     The capacity to be virtuous.

Increasingly, companies are paying attention to spiritual intelligence among their leaders.

So What?

Each of us has certain strengths and natural styles.  We have all met (and perhaps are) the person who is incredibly book smart, but who has absolutely no common sense.  We all know the incredibly smart arrogant emotional bully.  Being too much of one of these, and not enough of the others makes you a “flat tire.”  You can be successful–up to a point.  Depending on your job (scientist, lawyer, teacher, executive) you need more of one and less of the others.  To be successful in almost any job, however, you need some of all of these.

There are tools for each of these that purport to measure these ‘Q’s.’  There are books on each of them.  Check them out.  Start working on developing some of your ‘flat’ spots.

Books That Will Help


Filed under Personal Change, Reframe, Success

2 responses to “Multiple Intelligences: IQ, EQ, SQ and the other SQ

  1. Tammy Xu

    It is really interesting me regarding SQ on how utilize spiritual resources to solve problems — this must depend on a strong heart & powerful mentality

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