Beyond IQ

The psychologist William Stern coined the abbreviation IQ, Intelligence Quotient, and IQ tests and scores – although not as popular as they were say 30 or 40 years ago – are still widely regarded as an accurate measure of intelligence and of potential performance today.

It may be true that IQ continues to be a useful reference, but many people are now persuaded by the argument that an IQ score by itself is restrictive, and falls woefully short of measuring the numerous other aspects of human intelligence – aspects such as interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical, spatial and linguistic – that are often a more reliable indicator for success in both business and life.

Howard Gardner’s writing on the theory of multiple intelligences is worth revisiting, and there are many interesting concomitant studies available to research. Carol Dweck is also a name worth exploring, alongside her compelling argument that intelligence is not ‘fixed’ (implied by the score system of IQ) and the importance of having a ‘growth mindset’ when developing any skill or approaching a difficult task. See her book ‘Mindset’ (2006). Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence (1995) and his later work Social Intelligence are also enlightening reads.

Emotional Intelligence is a popular theme for our experiential training programmes as more businesses find that having high levels of EQ within their workforce is far more productive than simply focusing on recruiting those with high IQ.

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