The Fundamental Differences between IQ and EQ Explained

what is emotional intelligence Nov 14, 2022
the difference between iq and eq

Do you ever find yourself saying things like "I'm too old to change, it's not worth it" or "I've always been like this, and I won't change now"?

These common beliefs often prevent us from fully leveraging the potential of combining IQ and EQ.

It's not easy to change our mindset, especially when we have deeply ingrained beliefs about how we should experience the world. However, if you want to get your team aligned and ultimately achieve success, you need to overcome resistance to change.

In my last position at the NATO Communications Information Agency, I was responsible for changing mindsets as Senior Stakeholder Engagement Executive Coordinator (fancy title, I know!).

Changing mindsets of the political community, whose main focus is on the next ministerial or summit to demonstrate progress on the implementation of political policies, plans, and decisions.

Changing the mindset of the military community whose eyes rolled at the sight of Nadja walking into their office wearing her flower-print dress, heels, and of course her pair of brains.

Changing the mindsets of the resources community whose job was to minimize funding as much as possible, especially for IT projects.

Aside from being an afterthought, IT was not always perceived as the basis for all political, military, and budgetary decisions. In the same way that our nervous system controls and operates our bodies, so does the IT infrastructure control the operational aspect of your business.

Today, more than half of the world's population is connected to digital devices and engaged in online activities.

In order to get our General Manager a seat at the highest political decision-making authority in NATO, when discussing cyber and IT matters, I had to change perceptions of some key political decision-makers.

What did I do to earn the respect of military generals who sought my input during their decision-making process for NATO interoperable software acquisitions?

And how did I manage to get more funding for key IT projects which were not considered of political importance at first?

I have one word for you:

Emotional Intelligence


How Our Brain Works and Affects Our Behaviors

Unlike Einstein, our brain is not designed to make us geniuses. Neuroscientists such as Lisa Feldman Barrett and others have backed up, researched, and widely discussed this bold statement. Procreation and safety are the primary functions of the brain. Quite primitive, but that's how it's designed in a nutshell.

The external challenges we face from working in the VUCA world are causing a stress reaction similar to what was perceived as danger during the Stone Age.

During normal reaction mode, for example, when there is no threat or danger, we are able to focus more and make rational decisions that drive our behaviors.

You feel more focused while working from home when you have your favorite music playing, no one to disturb you, and no one to distract you. Or when you are with your friends, eating dinner and laughing - you are experiencing positive emotions, so your brain believes there is no danger.



Unpacking the Role of Beliefs in Shaping Our Behavior and Decisions

 We feel a sense of danger when we are in the stress response mode and our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode. In this case, we are using the hippocampus part of our brain to perform our critical functions. As a result, survival mode kicks in and our brain only uses critical functions. Because these are familiar mental models, on which we apply our biases on. Known as heuristics, these are the concepts we learn in our formative years, based on our experiences, memories and what we perceive and sense at the time.


The Power of Understanding and Shaping Our Responses to Stressful Situations

ave you ever noticed how you respond when faced with a threatening or dangerous situation? Do you feel angry and want to attack, or do you freeze and only think of a response in retrospect? Or maybe you try to escape? These responses are influenced by our beliefs, which are shaped by a complicated neurological pathway that forms the foundation of our personal beliefs.

Understanding how our minds work and how our beliefs drive our behavior most of the time, especially when we feel stressed, can help us choose to no longer be controlled by our thoughts. It's important to remember that we are much more than our minds, and we can change our mindsets through connections, rapport, and relationships.

While changing our mindset is not a shortcut to increasing the quality of our work or compromising our core values, it can help us thrive in life and at work. By shifting our mindset, we can evolve, grow, and become stronger during challenging times.

In practice, it's essential to build trust, rapport, integrity, and respect when engaging with stakeholders in various settings. Whether it's political, military, or resources-related, we need to understand how to trigger stress responses in a different intensity and communicate effectively.

By recognizing the power of our brain and how our beliefs drive our behaviors, we can lead from a place of calmness and not chaos, even in the face of stressful situations.


In conclusion, understanding how our brain works, how our beliefs shape our behavior, and how we can shift our mindset is essential for thriving in life and at work. If you want to learn more about how to apply these principles to your life and business, let's connect. Together, we can explore strategies and techniques for building emotional intelligence, improving communication, and achieving success.

Let's take the first step towards growth and transformation today!

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