Skip to main content

Balancing EQ and IQ - Developing the Leader’s Capabilities

A well-balanced toolkit

You need a complementary set of tools to do your job well as a senior leader. Recently, studies of emotional intelligence in management have shown that this can influence organisational effectiveness. However, emotional intelligence alone is not enough – a balance of leadership tools, which includes a focus on cognitive development, can help you become an experienced communicator and strategist.

UK and international corporate failures and scandals demonstrate that something is missing in leadership education. So too do the continued low levels of productivity and equally poor employee engagement that organisations are experiencing. Do executives lack the capabilities to manage the complex issues facing them, particularly in an ever-changing and highly competitive environment?

Perhaps as a consequence, there has been an intensified focus on emotional intelligence (often referred to as EQ), with business schools emphasising leadership and coaching courses to address this. However, this type of training may not go all the way in equipping executives and should be combined with other capabilities (or risk contributing to some of the issues that businesses are experiencing).

Job satisfaction

In the absence of a business strategy and well-developed business goals, EQ is arguably, by itself, ineffective. For example, performance management programmes can fail to gain traction or deliver performance if the fundamentals of the business strategy are absent or flawed. This leads to an inability to set effective team and individual goals that deliver the goals of the business, resulting in lower job satisfaction, attrition and recruitment problems.

A clear direction

A strategy that provides a clear purpose to an organisation (and can ensure a line of sight for all employees) will improve the chance of it achieving its goals and provides the base upon which the organisation can succeed. Of course, executives with well-developed EQ can make considerable contributions to the development of strategy, but this must be in combination with their intellectual capability (or cognitive intelligence), which should be developed in parallel.

The toolkit

The development of emotional intelligence can enhance an individual’s understanding of emotions and will help facilitate social communication and influence; cognitive intelligence can improve the processing of knowledge, development of insight, systems thinking and qualitative and quantitative reasoning – all needed to create direction for the organisation. It is the marriage of these two complementary skills that will offer the greatest benefit to an individual and the organisation.

Competitive edge

As an executive, The Strategy Programme at Henley looks to address this imbalance and will help you to become more influential within your organisation, and an experienced communicator and key contributor to strategy conversations – ultimately, enhancing your career prospects.

Article by Jeff Callander, Programme Director of The Strategy Programme

Published 5 March 2020

You might also like

Latest news in the world of Coaching - Autumn 2017

28 September 2017

Leaders as coaches and the value of the ‘safe space’

29 April 2022
This is a precis of an article by Dr Rebecca Jones, Associate Professor in Coaching and Behavioural Change

Performance under pressure - Controlling your physiology to optimise your performance

19 May 2017