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Emotional Quotient Versus Intelligence Quotient 08 August 2016


What is Emotional Intelligence? Also known as EQ (Emotional Quotient), it is described as a person’s ability to:

“recognise their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour” (Wikipedia)

Intelligence Quotient is defined as:

“a number representing a person's reasoning ability (measured using problem-solving tests) as compared to the statistical norm or average for their age, taken as 100.” (Wikipedia)

Historically, significant store has been set in the value of IQ whereas EQ has been viewed as ‘fluffy female stuff’ – not important for the workplace. However, successful sales people, team leaders and managers have been using it for years without realising it and without having a label for it. As Procurement evolves from a cost-saving, buying culture to one of a more holistic nature, the importance of EQ has never been more relevant. With supply chains becoming more diverse, involving more people and potentially from a range of cultures, having the ability to apply EQ to a situation is more essential now than ever before.

Why is it so important? Because it directly relates to our ability to understand why either we are acting a certain way, or someone else is reacting a certain way. Understanding our own emotional quotient unlocks key drivers for our own behaviour. It affects our ability to form relationships with colleagues as well as with third parties involved with our business. Once we understand what causes us to react or behave in a certain way, we are better able to control the results. Having the highest IQ in the office may mean you’re best able to apply reason and logic to resolve a problem, but without a high level of EQ, you’ll likely be on your own trying to implement the solution!

Modern Procurement professionals are not bean counters, hiding away in offices with abacus sets, focus fixed firmly on the bottom line. Modern Procurement Officers are ‘out there’, promoting themselves, showing internal partners how they can help streamline processes and build resilience into supply chains They’re ‘out there’, networking with other Procurement professionals, getting involved with new ideas and technologies. All of these activities are quite difficult to carry out without a healthy dose of EQ.
Other regular activities directly affected by the ability to apply EQ rather than IQ include:

    •    Internal promotion of procurement
    •    Networking with colleagues, suppliers, peers
    •    Negotiating with suppliers
    •    Building long-term relationships with suppliers
    •    Managing expectations of department heads and stakeholders
    •    Leading a procurement team


For some people, their natural EQ may be high, but those for whom it doesn’t come naturally shouldn’t despair. Unlike IQ, EQ can be learned given the right training. Even those with higher EQ can benefit from shining a spotlight on themselves in order to hone their instincts. These days more than ever, our ability to be effective in the workplace has never been more governed by the relationships we build. EQ is the tool for the job.

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