The hospitality field is an ever-changing industry with new skills needed all of the time. Looking to the future, some may say that the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) plays a significant role in adapting to these coming changes. Hospitality skills are essential to meeting the demands of the evolving hospitality industry. 

In this article, we will look at how IQ and EQ differ, how they’re measured, and why emotional intelligence is a rising need in the hospitality industry.  

What is the difference between IQ and EQ?

In the last few decades, emotional intelligence (EQ) has emerged as an additional set of thinking and processing skills. While Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests have been relied on to measure problem-solving, reasoning, and what people know, these tests don’t paint the most accurate picture. There are aspects of human intelligence that are left out with the IQ test alone. Enter EQ tests.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

  • Visual processing
  • Working memory
  • Fluid and quantitative reasoning

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

  • Identifying emotions 
  • Relating to others 
  • Social communication

Emotional intelligence can be broken down into two different categories:

Personal Skills

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Self-motivation

Social Skills 

  1. Empathy
  2. Social skills: leadership, conflict management, interpersonal communication

How are IQ and EQ measured?

It is challenging to find accuracy in IQ and EQ measurements because many factors influence results. Some variances may be due to economic status, social inequalities, access to education, childhood nutrition and trauma, or other environmental factors. 

Common IQ tests:

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults (WAIS)
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale 
  • Differential Ability Scales (DAS)
  • Peabody Individual Achievement Test

Common EQ tests:

  • The Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 (EQ-i-2.0)
  • Profile of Emotional Competence (PEC)
  • The Trait of Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue)
  • Wong’s Emotional Intelligence Scale (WEIS)

Crucial for Hospitality Success

Staff must possess emotional intelligence to deliver top-notch customer experiences in the hospitality business. Of course, soft skills and traditional service industry skills are also needed.

LinkedIn writer Stephen Sawyers discusses why emotional intelligence is crucial for success working in a hotel. “Hotel managers with higher emotional intelligence are better at understanding their own psychological state, which can include managing stress in the hotel effectively and being less likely to suffer from depression because of hotel work.” Sawyers also describes that it is easier to form interpersonal relationships with higher EQ.

Frank Giannotti of EHL Insights states that soft skills and EQ will be needed in the hospitality industry well into the future. Investing in an education in the hospitality field is a primary way of eliminating the skills gap. 


According to Giannotti, some examples of scenarios EQ will help prepare for future hospitality needs include:

  • Working in heterogeneous teams.
  • Understanding cultures and designing memorable guest experiences.
  • Working in a flexible and agile manner.
  • Applying an entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving. 

How do you improve your EQ?

Studies have shown that you can learn and strengthen emotional intelligence. Verywell Mind talks about basic strategies for teaching these skills, such as character education, modeling positive behaviors, encouraging people to think about how others are feeling, and finding ways to be more empathetic towards others. 

Start Growing Your Hospitality Skills 

By working in the hospitality industry, you can begin to grow your soft skills and your EQ. Contact Elite Staffing for a part-time or full-time experience in the hospitality industry!

Let’s find a job together.