059 – Why EQ is better than IQ

How emotional intelligence can improve your business

Emotional intelligence is one of my favourite things to talk about.  It’s something I spend thinking about more than just about any other concept.  Muffy Churches shares my passion for this topic.  She works as an executive coach but she likes to think of herself as a “thought therapist”.  In this episode Muffy and I discuss our belief that emotional intelligence is as important for leaders as athleticism is for sportsman.  Unlike IQ which can’t be changed through one’s life emotional intelligence or EQ can be improved and we discuss how to do just that.

The idea of emotional intelligence didn’t become a mainstream idea until 1995 when Daniel Goleman first wrote about it in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQIn that book Goldman identified five components to EQ.


What is the effect of my actions on other people?  Asking this questions is the key to becoming more aware of how your actions are affecting people around you.  I call it the “leadership shadow” and high EQ means understanding where you’re casting that shadow.


‘The ability to control your emotions be they positive or negative is one of the hardest skills to master.  It comes down to the ability to change your emotions in the moment – especially when the emotion about to come to the surface is a negative one.  Just breathing and thinking about the outcome you want to achieve is the best way to keep the situation healthy.

Social skills

The ability to engage with others in order to achieve your desired outcome is one of the key components to achieving a high EQ.  This may sound manipulative but Muffy doesn’t believe that is always the case especially if you approach this with good intentions.  One useful tool is to identify individual personality-types and then engaging those people on their terms.  Are they very analytical or maybe super-assertive?  Assessing those qualities and matching them is key to developing great social skills.


There are two types of empathy – affective empathy and cognitive empathy.  Affective empathy asks how to deal another’s problem by offering solutions that would work for us.  Cognitive empathy offers solutions that would best work for that person.  Learning to be curious and asking questions is a huge part of becoming a more empathetic person.

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