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The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 25, 2012 • Issue 12:06:02

The value of CQ

Communication quotient (CQ) theory holds that communication skills can be quantified and then improved using feedback on CQ test scores.

A CQ test consists of a series of questions, either true/false or multiple choice. After correct answers are tallied, test-takers are scored on a sliding scale, from excellent to abysmal.

Numerous CQ tests can be taken online, each using a different sliding scale, indicating CQ testing isn't rigorously scientific, but rather somewhat arbitrary. So is it worthwhile?

Yes and no. If you are a good communicator, you likely are aware of your strengths in this area, since having good communication skills is integral to personal success. But if you lack communication skills, you may realize your career is lackluster, but you may not know why. A CQ test may therefore provide insight.

Questions from the questions

But what CQ testing really points out is that there is always room for improvement in how individual salespeople - and entire enterprises - communicate.

One CQ test poses several true/false statements, such as:

  • Don't flatter too much.
  • It is important to ask, What do you think?
  • Body language is important to monitor during conversations.

Excessive flattery will come across as insincere, but it is worth asking whether a company is appreciating its customers enough. When was the last time a brand told its customers how intelligent and discerning they were to choose that brand?

Such a message would not only reinforce what a business thought of its customers, but also that the business itself thought highly of its own products - always a positive message to convey.

In the same vein, how often do companies solicit their customers' opinions? Obviously, customer feedback is invaluable in improving products. And what "body language" is a company conveying? Is the website sitting erect or is it slouching, so to speak? And is the sales staff approaching potential clients with positivity and openness?

So, it seems the scores on CQ tests are probably not as important as what arises from the questions the tests pose. end of article

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