The “Q” Uprising

If it’s not one Q, it’s another. Just how many Qs are there? Quite a few is the answer. You may or may not be familiar with all of the Qs — AQ, EQ, and IQ. At a glance, it looks like someone just started with the vowels and added a Q. But it’s not that simple. The Qs are moving to the forefront as skills in high demand for leaders and workers at various levels in organizations. It’s an uprising of the Qs.

But what are these Qs exactly?

IQ is the intelligence quotient that most of us know since it has been around the longest. Albert Einstein is an excellent example of someone who is known for having a high IQ. An IQ score results from one of several standardized tests that measures intelligence. In layman’s terms…IQ just indicates how smart you are.

AQ is the adaptability quotient…sometimes referenced as the adversity quotient. This is essentially how well you’re able to adapt or thrive in a fast-changing environment. Steve Jobs is a great example of someone who had a high AQ. He was able to continuously adjust so Apple was able to respond to technology trends. In essence, AQ pertains to your resilience.

EQ is the emotional quotient also known as emotional intelligence or the emotional intelligence quotient. A simple definition was provided by Professor Lakshmi Kavya, who defined EQ as “the process or ability by which we can understand, influence, and stabilize our emotions as well as others.” An example of this is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Bezos exhibits a high EQ, which is evident in his sincere concern for the hearts and minds of his customers.

As predictors, the Qs represent how successful a person is likely to be in business and even life in general. According to a Harvard Business Review article — “Can You Really Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?” — your IQ is hard to change, but training and practice can help you improve your EQ. A 2018 Fast Company article — “Screw Emotional Intelligence — Here’s the Key to the Future of Work” — discusses the increasing demand for humans who can learn quickly and adapt to rampant changes in technology. In other words, business needs people who have a high AQ.

Now, the question is how does all of the “Q” stuff play into training and performance?

Not only are AQ and EQ key skills for successful performers, but they’re also areas to target for training and development. The Qs could very well become a component in a custom leadership development program, which would include creating learning paths by leadership role. While ILG doesn’t sell off-the-shelf leadership programs or this content specifically, we’ve developed custom leadership programs for many of our clients interested in offering a development opportunity that fits their business, their culture, and their specific needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Qs and custom leadership programs, I hosted an ILG webinar on the topic. Organizations that respond to this “Q uprising” in their talent development offerings will see the greatest success.

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