From IQ to EQ to SQ… The World Has Moved

From IQ to EQ to SQ… The World Has Moved

Gaurav Goel spearheads people management at Awfis Space Solutions. Apart from overseeing the HR operations, people, culture, and engagement, he leaves no stone unturned to make Awfis a happy workplace. Gaurav comes with around 13 years of work experience across various verticals of Human Resource. Prior to Awfis, he has been associated with companies like Tencent, The Times Group and Yatra.

With the world evolving at a fast pace and the ever-growing intervention of technology in all spheres of life, the ‘life & work’ of a whole generation of people is taking a new course. Keeping up with these shifts, HR professionals need to blend their professional excellence along with the right dosage of the quotients- IQ, EQ and SQ- to grow and be ready for the future.


Some years back, I was reading a journal presented by Physicists. It was all about evolution that sets us humans apart in our capacity to evolve over a period of time. You don’t need to be a scientist to understand this evolution from homo-sapiens to current modern humans over the past seven million years.

The reason to take you through this journey, in a nutshell, was to apprise you of the current environment which is again volatile and evolving.

The world is changing fast and unless we adapt to the current shift, we wouldn’t be able to adapt to the future. This applies to all beings and we are no exception when we look at ourselves as people leaders.

Some 100 years back when Professor Stern coined the term IQ or Intelligence Quotient, the world was bemused as if the only thing that matters for a human being is intelligence. There’s no reason to demean the value of analyzing the IQ while hiring or promoting the individuals since it is the most objective tool that establishes whether the subject would be able to deploy the right kind of intelligence needed for the role.

Some 40 years later, the world has realized that IQ is not enough to evaluate us. We are more evolved and complicated for the way we understand others, feel the emotions and can express ourselves. This is when the concept of EQ or Emotional Quotient started gaining popularity.

We realized that EQ has an equal, if not more, importance to climb the ladder in the corporate hierarchy in the longer run. Though, we need to take the final scores with a pinch of salt as the requirements may differ with respect to role. A high IQ for a junior executive in sales function may not be the need of the hour as compared to the same for a finance executive. Similarly, a high EQ may be the innate requirement for an HR executive as a part of his/ her job, but a high EQ score may not be good for a collections executive.

The world is evolving at a fast pace and in the past 15 years, people now are more focused on their social image and connections as compared to their earlier generation. With the advent of the Internet and the evolution of social media, the world has been captured by a storm to make presence felt on social media.

Postulated by psychologist Edward Thorndike, later reinvented and popularised by psychologists like Howard Gardner and Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence (SQ) has emerged as a major skill deciding success at the workplace.

Now with the advent of SQ or Social Quotient, the need is being catered to 24/7, since people have realized it as their innate requirement as well as a reason to exist. In an organization, the onus ideally lies in the HR department much more than anyone else, since we are dealing with people day in and day out. Employees are spending 8 to 12 hours in an office environment and if we channelize their SQ in the right direction, the same can reap fruits both for the individual and for the organisation in the long term. For example, channelizing employees to discuss how they feel in the organization on social media and invite their friends to work can have constructive results. Moreover, HR is now doing background checks not only using the traditional methods but also social media checks to evaluate the personality and attitude of prospective talent.

The discussion can be endless as the possibilities to understand the right quotient for potential or in-house talent can be endless. However, as an HR professional, if we keep ourselves abreast with not only the knowledge required to understand and support people to succeed but also by being a part of their success by understanding various dimensions affecting their success and well-being at the workplace, we can truly establish ourselves as their success partners.

Fundamentally, everyone wants to come to work, do a good job and get recognized, it’s up to the HR how to transmit it into productive success stories.


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