Friday, 11 February 2011

IQ or EQ?

I was listening to the Today programme this morning at and Dr Mahmoud Hamza, commenting on President Mubarak of Egypt said 'I think the president, with his very low IQ does not understand the people'.
Now it occurred to me that Dr Hamza in fact meant EQ - Emotional Quotient - which measure people's ability to read other people, recognise how they impact you and respond accordingly. IQ on the other hand, measures left brain, rational, analytical ability of the type favoured in a our schools and universities.

Dr Hamza then went on to say that the president, far from being concerned about the impact of his behaviour, may well be enjoying the discomfort and unease of his citizens and his latest speech may even have been designed to exacerbate it. So he does have great Emotional Intelligence (EI). It's commonly thought that EI is a good thing, that those with high EI area compassionate and empathic. Not so. In my experience of working with boards of directors and personal relationships, there are those with high EI who use their ability to pick up what makes their colleagues or partner's tick, their triggers and sensibilities to intimitidate, embarrass and hurt them.

On the MBTI questionnaire, these people tend to score NTJ. They pick up the information with their intuition or gut feel (N), they think (T) about what to do with it and once they decide, they stick with this decision (J) not matter what. They can have a very destructive impact on a team or family - and now, apparently, we're seeing someone with high EI, potentially have a very destructive impact on an entire country.

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