Spiritual Intelligence

by Cindy Wigglesworth

Introduction

It’s now generally accepted that, while a high IQ may get you the job, you also need to be emotionally intelligent if you are to be able to build and lead teams effectively, handle disputes well and so on. But what qualities make the difference between being a good manager and being a leader?

A major ingredient may well be spiritual intelligence. Spiritual intelligence takes emotional intelligence to the next level: it allows leaders to go beyond merely controlling anger and negative emotions and actually dissolve the source of the upset. Instead of spending energy on drama and ego-reactions, spiritually intelligent leaders can direct their attention in more productive ways.

In addition to a mature self-orientation, having a strong spiritual ‘centre’ gives most people a sense of purpose and meaning, an ethical base, a desire to help others, and resilience (the capacity to manage through hard times).

Perhaps most importantly, spiritually intelligent leaders can handle uncertainty, rapid change and differing perspectives far more easily than those who have not developed this capacity. In today’s diverse and complex global economy, this skill set is critically important.

In this topic, we will explain the difference between spiritual intelligence (your SQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ), show how higher levels of SQ can help you, as a manager, build your potential to become a leader and create a more productive and inspiring environment for your team. We also suggest ways in which you can develop your personal spiritual intelligence and introduce the concept at work, while avoiding such pitfalls as religious disputes and proselytising.