IQ. EQ. Now XQ?

Don’t tell anyone, but as a community futurist, I might just have an advantage over others.

That advantage comes as the result of having worked with more rural than urban communities over the past 15 years and learning there is a great deal of strategic foresight to be gained by paying attention to what’s happening at the grassroots of Canada. 

One of the most interesting ‘edge’ or ‘weak’ signals we’re sensing in small, rural and remote communities is the increasing number of ‘empty-nest’ females who have chosen to become involved in local politics.

With few exceptions, these women have been extraordinary. For the most part they were cognitively smart (IQ) and emotionally intelligent (EQ). However, there also seems to be an elusive ‘something else’ among the community leaders that has been difficult to articulate - until now.

The reason, in part, has been made clearer as the result of a new publication by Soren Kaplan called Experiential Intelligence: Harness the Power of Experience for Personal and Business Breakthroughs.

In the book, he acknowledges the importance of IQ as our primary way of evaluating general intelligence and, EQ as being about recognizing, understanding, and managing our own emotions – meaning what we’re feeling and why – as well as appreciating how they affect those around us.

However, Soren has expanded on a third kind of intelligence different from IQ or EQ that better explains the edge signal we’re seeing among the empty-nester women stepping into politics.

He defines it as XQ or Experiential Intelligence. This new broader definition describes XQ as “one’s personal assets developed from their unique experiences that positively shaped their (1) mindset, (2) abilities, and (3) know-how”.

Kaplan describes Mindsets as your attitudes and beliefs about yourself, other people, your community, and the world beyond.

Abilities are the competencies you’ve developed that allow you to respond to often complex situations by integrating your knowledge, skills, and experiences.

He defines Know-How as your knowledge and skills.

The concept of XQ appears to be the missing piece of the puzzle not only for the women taking on leadership roles in rural communities, but for many others as well.

Experiential intelligence is brilliant in that it is a simple concept that in many ways can augment our abilities to respond to complexity. In part this is because, as reinforced in the Wizard of Oz, just as Dorothy had powerful assets and always had the ‘ruby slippers’, so too do we have our own strengths.

We all have XQ and can tap into our individual and community intelligence to transform ourselves, our families, workplaces, communities and the world beyond.

IQ (cognitive intelligence), EQ (emotional intelligence), and XQ (experiential intelligence) contribute to success and well-being in different ways. However, it can be argued that in the future, XQ may become more critical as the world continues to evolve and become more complex.

Posted on 02-13-23

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