Another Q: The Decency Quotient

The 21-C Student
2 min readApr 21, 2021


Decency Quotient (image credit: Harvard Business Review)

I stumbled onto this in a LinkedIn post I read once with an article that made reference to the CEO of Mastercard, Ajay Banga, as an individual who applies the DQ in his organization. We know IQ — intellect; EQ — self-awareness of one’s emotions and others; CQ, SQ, AQ. Now is DQ which takes a step further than EQ. Personally, I’d say this quotient received a recent recognition.

Decency Quotient, basically, is deeply interwoven with empathy. It involves not just understanding people but also having and expressing a genuine desire to help them. It’s putting yourself in their shoes. And, when we put ourselves in other people’s shoes, we’d criticize them less, we’d be slow to assume. Rather, we understand why they are the way they are and don’t judge them for it. We can even take a step further and gain some insight on how to help to them in that situation or help them get out of it, whatever the case may be.

It is about treating people in a humane way. Possessing the decency quotient also means having qualities ranging from ethics to compassion to composure; it means having the ability to recognize people’s strengths and acknowledge them. It also involves understanding people a bit better and deeper — making that effort to understand them a bit deeper and better. It might be strenuous and testing sometimes but the rewards are richly-rewarding. It also involves shifting your mindset and seeing the beauty within an individual, a beauty which is inborn and comes with every person in this world. Frankly, in the wake of the global crisis, I think its awareness could not have come at a better time.

Possessing the DQ is crucial to good leadership, business and management, relationships, at any stage of your life you’re in. Why? because it involves connecting with people on deeper levels that most would be reluctant to share and making them feel safe and less ashamed about opening up. And that is the foundation of relationships and associations. By understanding people and training ourselves — I emphasize specifically on “training” as it is a deliberate effort and comes with its difficulty — to see things from their perspectives, we act on that awareness and are better driven to help out and put our best feet forward. By applying the DQ in our commutes, in our interactions with different people, with family, with friends, with strangers, we recreate beautiful relationships and sustain them with our deliberateness to understand and build them.

It is never an easy journey for anyone so today, I encourage you to be nice to everyone you come across. I also encourage you to reach out to that person and help out. Let’s be kind towards ourselves.

Sending Love and Light. ❤️😃