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Is having High IQ or High EQ more important right now?

28 April

NinetyThousandHours hosted an interactive webinar with guest speaker, Jane Viljoen talking about Emotional Intelligence and how to harness it's power to maximise leadership performance. 







What is the difference between Emotional Intelligence and EQ? 

  • EQ - is the measure of Emotional Intelligence. Unlike IQ, it can be developed using tools and techniques. 

  • EQ is vitally important especially during the high-stress situation we now find ourselves in with COVID-19. This is because it helps us to control our behaviours and perform better in our roles as leaders and within teams. 

  • In 70% of the time high performers in business have higher EQ scores than average performers. 

EQ is not just about self-awareness 

It is ONLY one component. There is a bit missing - what else is involved?

  • Core attitudes - these have been instilled in us since childhood and they can influence how we regard others.

  • Feelings - How people behave and express themselves can make you feel a certain way - for example lower your self-esteem. Self-awareness is understanding why we feel a certain way in certain situation. 

  • Actions - this is about learning how to manage your own actions as well as empathise with others. The ability to recognise triggers in yourself and others and reacting in the right way to control our behaviour.

How does having low EQ affect us?

  • Having low EQ can mean we hold back our emotions for fear of seeming weak

  • People can view us as being aggressive or volatile in certain situations

  • It can lead to low personal power and trigger a fight or flight response 

Practicing the WHY? 

We often learn about EQ, but we miss the opportunity to learn how to apply it in a business sense. 

Often leaders with high IQ can find it difficult to gain trust from colleagues, especially if they have low particularly low EQ. However, we can train this. It is in our interest to train ourselves as; on average people with high EQ earn 30% more than those with lower EQ. Those with High EQ often outperform and become the best in their field. 

What are the building blocks of EQ?

  • Value of self and others 

  • Awareness of self and others 

  • Resilience 

  • Flexibility and Adaptability

  • Goal Directedness

  • Personal Power

  • Connection

  • Authenticity

How can we gain control?

  • We can focus on what we can control and not dwell on what we cannot control

  • We can use positive self-talk to help us control our triggers and fight or flight response

Where your focus goes the energy flows...

How can you help yourself and others during COVID-19 

Right now we are all united by COVID-19, lockdown situation and a lack of control and security, possibly even fear. 

  • Focus on what we can control. We can’t change the impact the virus is having on our business, but we can control our response to it

  • Do a Body scan if you start to notice triggers - do you feel hungry? Tired? Why am I feeling this way?

  • Move away from instinct and and into intuition by monitoring our ‘self-talk’ in a positive way

  • Choose language that is appropriate in a business sense. Rather than say ‘that makes me upset’, say ‘I feel overwhelmed when x happens and I could do with a break’ separate it from emotions which may make others feel uncomfortable.

The neuroscience bit....

Sip those green cocktails - and generate calm hormones Oxytocin and Serotonin 

Our brain operates in a different way when we are feeling under pressure - the primitive brain gets activated. Using the traffic light analogy - If someone is low in EQ they are easily ‘activated’ and they move into the brains ‘Amber’ Limbic system very quickly, often due to reminders of what has happened to them previously - from here they go into ‘Red’ protection mode or fight or flight. 

We want to avoid being activated - get ourselves into the safer ‘green’ part of brain, where we are in control. To help do this whilst in the Limbic Amber part of the brain we can ask ourselves questions such as - What else can I do? What choices do I have and what outcome do I want? 

By using collaborative language we can also help others move out of their limbic system (Amber) by asking questions such as, How can we can help? - what can I do? What do you need? How can we make this happen? Using ‘we’ to collaborate -using language to build trust. 


If you would like to go through the process of measuring your EQ you can obtain an affordable intervention from Jane in a group session let Jane know at

Jane viljoen

Executive Coach | CEO & Leadership | Neuroscience Based Leadership | Psychology of Success | Expert in Human Performance

Founder and Head Coach of 'Best Hopes Coaching and Consulting', Jane is a highly skilled, experienced and dynamic coach and occupational psychologist. She offers leadership, team and organisational development.

A Registered Psychologist and Conversational Intelligence Enhanced Practioner™, Jane combines principles from the fields of Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Solution Focus and Emotional Intelligence to enable you and your organisation realise its potential.

Jane offers individual coaching, development coaching, executive coaching, career coaching and help yourself be happier coaching

Connect with Jane on LinkedIn here 

Email Jane:

Book in your FREE 30-minute Emotional Intelligence measurement session with Jane HERE

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