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Emotional Intelligence v. Cognitive Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence v. Cognitive Intelligence by
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Emotional Intelligence - Understanding your own emotions and those of others, and being able to use this information to bring about the best outcome for all concerned. Knowing where emotions come from and being able to manage yours and those of others. Knowing what emotions mean; what information they are giving you. Being able to work well with others as well as alone. Being able to combine cognitive knowledge with emotional knowledge and use them in tandem.

Cognitive Intelligence - Intellectual abilities such as logic, reason, reading, writing, analyzing and prioritizing. These go on in your own head and utilize only the neocortez, not the emotional centers of the brain. These do not involve any people skills per se, i.e., you can solve a math equation by yourself, or write an essay by yourself.


  • Being effective both alone and as a team player vs. Only effective when working alone
  • Being able to manage your own emotions vs. Having temper tantrums, sulking or withdrawing
  • Being able to empathize with others and knowing where they're coming from vs. Not being able to grasp the feelings of others and understand how the emotions are affecting the situation
  • Using an emotional appeal to convince someone of somethingv. Using an intellectual appeal to convince someone of something
  • Knowing that motivation is a feeling word v. Thinking that motivation is a thinking word


    Bill was brilliant in his field and the best IT person in the office as to technical skills, but his people skills were very low. He was abrasive, arrogant, short-tempered, and a perfectionist. Other people didn't like to work with him, and he was unable to explain things in terms other people could understand.

    Mary, who was also in the IT department, had good technical skills and a good education, though it was less than Bill’s. However, her emotional intelligence more than made up for this. She was able to handle herself and other people well and to explain things calmly and clearly. People loved to work with her and requested her by name. She received promotion after promotion because of her technical expertise and her high emotional intelligence.


    Many people with very high IQs (cognitive intelligence) do poorly in work and relationships because they have low EQs (emotional intelligence). They sabotage themselves because they can't manage their own emotions or those of other people, and they sabotage projects because they may have all the logical, rational and analytical “answers,” but they don’t have the “soft” skills to move a project forward.


    Emotional intelligence accounts for more success and happiness in life than intellectual intelligence.


  • Soft skills plus hard skills vs. Hard skills only
  • Knowing people v. Knowing facts
  • Thinking and feeling v. Thinking only

    Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, , Coaching, Internet courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional success. Coach Certification Program - fast, affordable, no-residency, training coaches worldwide. Email for free ezine.

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    Susan Dunn
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