Communication quotient

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Communication quotient, communication intelligence, or CQ is a theory that communication is a behaviour based skill that can be measured and trained. CQ measures the ability of people to communicate effectively with one another. The first scholarly article referring to CQ was by Robert Service in CQ: the Communication Quotient for IS professionals. The article was published in 2005 in the Journal of Information Science.[1] In 2010 at TED Women, Clare Munn spoke about the importance of our Communication Quotient in an increasingly digital world.[2]


The development of CQ as a theory and a concept can be traced back to the challenging of IQ as fully explaining cognitive ability in 1983, by Howard Gardner with his Theory of multiple intelligences.[3] In Gardner's view, traditional types of intelligence, such as IQ, fail to fully explain cognitive ability. The development of CQ is part of the trend to analyse and fully understand human intelligence, a trend led by Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence and social intelligence.


The Times of India in 2005 , in an article entitled A Shift from IQ, referred to CQ as an ability multi-national corporations were testing for amongst Indian graduates.[4] In 2005 Craig Harrison in Improving Your Communication Quotient described CQ skills specifically in terms of workplace communication.[5] In 2007 Clare Munn and Maria Bello defined CQ as "Expressive & Receptive Intelligence" the communication bridge between IQ and EQ.[6] In 2011 Alistair Gordon and Steve Kimmens in The CQ Manifesto defined CQ as "saying the right thing in the right way to the right people at the right time in a such a way that the message is received and understood as it was intended".[7]

In Robert Service’s 2005 article he presented the communication quotient as a measurable and improvable type of intelligence, specifically for IT and IS professionals. Service argues that the improvement of communication ability will allow individuals the opportunity to move up in the organisational ranks. The article presents two models to explain communication, the first is the model of two-way communications and the second is the CQ measurement and improvement matrix.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Service, Robert. "CQ: the Communication Quotient for IS professionals". CQ: the Communication Quotient for IS professionals. Journal of Information Science. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Munn, Clare. "Clare Munn at TEDWomen". Clare Munn at TEDWomen. TEDWomen. Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Gardner, Howard. "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences". Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "A Shift from IQ". A Shift from IQ. The Times of India. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Harrison, Craig. "Improving Your Communication Quotient". Improving Your Communication Quotient. Expressions of Excellence. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Munn, Clare. "Social Media's Value Proposition Might Just be CQ". CQ: Expressive and Receptive Intelligence. Clare Munn. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "CQ Institute - What is CQ?". The CQ Manifesto - Communication Intelligence: the 5 professional personas that will transform your work life and super-charge your organisation. CQ Institute. Retrieved 18 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Service, Robert. "CQ: the Communication Quotient for IS professionals". CQ: the Communication Quotient for IS professionals. Journal of Information Science. Retrieved 26 April 2011.