Developing Spiritual Quotient At Workplace

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“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”, said Aristotle.  

The meaning of ‘knowing yourself’ has changed over the past few decades. It began with Intelligence Quotient (IQ) which is associated with learning, acquiring knowledge and rational thinking. It progressed to possessing Emotional Intelligence, which is the ability to be empathetic, manage emotions or be in control during challenging times and vicissitudes of life.  

Studies have shown that people with higher EQ (Emotional Quotient) are good at interpersonal relationships and lead a better life. So, why is there a need for another dimension called Spiritual Quotient (SQ)?

Gaining knowledge is important and so is emotional stability. Yet, to make life fulfilling and wholesome, there is a need for something more without which one cannot be at their peak of contentment, even with the best of IQ and EQ. Let us say that SQ discovers the right path, while IQ and EQ are vehicles to reach the destination.  

Steady Progress Of SQ At Workplace

Workplaces are getting challenging and competitive. There are targets and goals to achieve, enhance revenues, profits, capture market shares, complete projects on time and be ahead in the race.  Amidst all this, there is also a constant desire to sprint through the career ladder and rush to the top. 

SQ provides the much-needed respite in this VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) world for a balanced understanding of what is happening around, what life is all about and helps in better decision making in all aspects.

Taking a leaf from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, if we look at the layers in an organizational context, one attains a higher gratification in career, relationships and life with a high SQ.


Physical Quotient is the basic one and appears at the bottom of the pyramid.   Good physical health brings resilience and confidence to face anything.   It is also essential in every profession and has to be maintained at an optimal level to move to the next levels. 

Intelligence Quotient measures the level of intelligence of a person. The meritocracy attributed to domain knowledge, reasoning ability and other facets of academic intelligence is the minimum requirement to perform a job.   It also forms a part of recruitment for initial screening and shortlisting of candidates. 

Emotional Quotient is a person’s ability to manage feelings and relationships. The innate qualities of a person are considered non-negotiable and some of the crucial hiring decisions are based on EQ than IQ.  

Social Quotient indicates social maturity and mostly are managing social changes, knowing societal norms, responding to the social environment, etc. Some roles that need high social quotient is about customer interactions, negotiations, corporate relations, CSR, and every other role involving people interactions.

Spiritual Quotient (SQ) is at the peak of the pyramid and indicates the spiritual acumen of a person. Maslow’s Theory also speaks about ‘Self-actualization’ which is the stage of self-fulfillment or realizing one’s full potential.  

We may look at it as a ‘supreme form of intelligence’ because it provides a higher sense of purpose, self-awareness, resets the thought process and transforms the overall personality of a person. 

Danah Zoher and Ian Marshal in their book Spiritual Intelligence – The Ultimate Intelligence have said that “While computers have IQ and animals can have EQ, it is essentially an SQ that sets human beings apart”

Developing SQ has become a corporate mantra. Whether manufacturing, service or IT industry, eminent personalities are invited to give awareness sessions to employees on improving the spiritual quotient. Values, Beliefs, Ethics, and Attitudes are given importance not just in vision or mission statements, but also carry weightage in the performance appraisals of the employees. 

Tata Group is known for its Values, Purpose and Ethical Leadership. GMR Group is driven by values like Humility, Entrepreneurship, Learning and inner excellence amongst a few others. The program on Inner Engineering offered by Isha Foundation is attended by many professionals from various organizations.  

The reason for giving SQ so much importance is that organizations want success, improve productivity, encourage innovation and creating a niche in the marketplace.  All this is possible when employees feel engaged and fulfilled in the relationships, self, and others, as well as in their careers. SQ plays a major role in organizations to create that edge, which is otherwise not possible with other types of quotients.  

SQ – A key Differentiator At Workplace:

To Develop Outstanding Leadership

Being a leader in the present context is not just about being intellectually and emotionally smart, but going way beyond. SQ makes for an outstanding leader who brings inclusivity in the vision, mission, and values of the organization by being mindful about the triple bottom line (People, Profit, and Planet), It fosters a good culture and drives positive change. Leaders with high SQ create success stories that inspire others.

To Drive Performance

An environment of trust, strong work ethics, robust code of conduct not only help employees to perform better but helps an organization gain a competitive advantage in the market place. Happy employees are more productive, have high commitment levels and job satisfaction, which is a win-win situation. 

To Enhance Employee Engagement

Organizations that integrate values and business practices bring families of employees together, invest in people behaviors like integrity, self-discipline or transparency in interactions and help employees to find meaning or higher purpose in their work, score better in Employee Engagement. 

To Bring A Greater Sense Of Balance

Some amount of tussle and turmoil in our personal and professional lives is inevitable.  Planning interventions that improve the overall quality of life and also bring happiness creates more harmony and balance.  The effort is to create a life that looks good not just from outside, but also inside.

Organizations are no more a place to gather only intellectual wisdom but also to develop spiritual insight. Therefore, SQ is becoming a part of the corporate world by appearing more in the forefront than remaining in the background. It encompasses cognitive and emotional skills, makes one reflect on higher possibilities in the grandeur of life, provides values that fuel the journey and creates an overall blissful experience.   



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