Emotional Intelligence versus Cognitive Intelligence

by  Susan  G  Dunn  M.A.


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 your own and those of others. Knowing what emotions mean and what information they are providing. 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 neocortex, not the emotional centers of the brain which also provide crucial information. These abilities do not require any social skills per se, i.e., you can solve a math equation by yourself, or write an essay, or balance a business' books 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 something v. 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

Learn to develop your emotional intelligence as well as your skills and technical expertise and you'll do better in your career. Developing your emotional intelligence is also crucial for personal and family relationships. Hire a certified emotional intelligence coach and get started today. Your career and relationships could depend upon it.

Susan Dunn, http://www.susandunn.cc , MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach. I teach individuals to master change and transform their lives through the power of emotional intelligence. Individual coaching, Internet courses, and ebooks -- a total program for your personal and professional development. EQ matters more to your health, success and happiness than IQ, and it can be learned. I teach it. I also train and certify EQ coaches (http://www.eqcoach.net ). I am the author of "How to Live Your Life with Emotional Intelligence," and a regular speaker on cruise lines. sdunn@susandunn.cc for FREE ezine or more information.