I recently had a very in-depth philosophical discussion with a good friend and associate, Douglas, this was a fascinating discussion, one that could have easily progressed through the day and not the hour.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behaviour and relationships.
I have written on the subject of the balance between IQ vs EI and more recently ‘why emotional intelligence is leadership, team spirit and company culture’ and Emotional Intelligence and Your Survival through the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with a tremendous result. TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills, and found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs.
Of all the people I have studied at work, I found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. On the flip side, just 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence. You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but the chances are slim.
The WEF (World Economic Forum) published a report, Future of Work 2020-2030, no big surprise that in the skills categories EI was identified as one of the key categories of skills to save your job in the decade.
The questions I am sure you are thinking:
1. What is Emotional Intelligence (EI) and why it matters?
2. What is Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and why it matters?
3. What is Spiritual Intelligence (SI) and why it matters?
4. Is there a signiﬁcant relationship between EI and SI?
5. What is Decency Intelligence (DI)?
6. How does Wisdom Intelligence (WI) have a place in society?
It is clear that today’s executives are more diverse in terms of their wellbeing, age, culture, nationality and several other factors.
EI is the ability to sense, understand and eﬀectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection and inﬂuence.
SI is the set of abilities that individuals use to apply, manifest and embody spiritual resources, values and qualities in ways that enhance their daily functioning and wellbeing.
With both these intelligences happening in the workplace, the environment will be more conducive. A better working environment relates to a higher level of productivity and wellbeing of both individual as well as organizational wellbeing.
Intelligence quotient (IQ)
Total score derived from a set of standardized tests or subtests designed to assess human intelligence. The abbreviation “IQ” was coined by the psychologist William Stern for the German term Intelligenzquotient, his term for a scoring method for intelligence tests at the University of Breslau he advocated in a 1912 book.
Historically, IQ was a score obtained by dividing a person’s mental age score, obtained by administering an intelligence test, by the person’s chronological age, both expressed in terms of years and months.
The resulting fraction (quotient) is multiplied by 100 to obtain the IQ score. For modern IQ tests, the median raw score of the norming sample is defined as IQ 100 and scores each standard deviation (SD) up or down are defined as 15 IQ points greater or less. By this definition, approximately two-thirds of the population scores are between IQ 85 and IQ 115. About 2.5 percent of the population scores above 130, and 2.5 percent below 70.
If you take an IQ test, you will be presented with questions to assess the following competence:
• spatial ability, a person’s capacity to visualise space and shapes
• mathematical ability, how a person uses logic in solving problems
• language ability, the recognition of meaning from incomplete sentences and jumbled letters
• memory ability, how a person recalls information
Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Daniel Goleman in 1998, deﬁned emotional intelligence as ‘the capacity to recognize our own feelings and those of others, for motivating our-selves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.’ EI is essential for the accomplishment of day-to-day objectives of life, which is a challenge to everyone. EI is increasingly relevant to organizational development and developing people because EI provides a new way to understand and assess people’s behaviours, management styles, attitudes, interpersonal skills, and potential.
EI is an important consideration in human resources planning, job proﬁling, recruitment interviewing and selection, management development, customer relations and customer service, and more. EI determines the potential for learning practical skills viz. personal skills and social skills. These skills lead to superior performance at work which is based on the ﬁve elements: self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationships.
Spiritual Intelligence is the ability to act with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the circumstances. Spiritual intelligence is the way we assign meaning and feel connected to the power of larger than ourselves.
It has been identiﬁed as a key component of leadership by bestselling business author Stephen (2004), who observes that Spiritual Intelligence is the central and most fundamental of all the intelligences, because it becomes the source of guidance for others. Spiritual intelligence is one of the several types of intelligence that can be developed independently and contributes to psychological wellbeing and overall healthy human development (Vaughan, 2003).
The four components of spiritual intelligence are critical existential thinking, personal meaning production, transcendental awareness and conscious state expansion.
Critical existential thinking is best described as the capacity an individual to critically contemplate meaning, purpose, and other existential/metaphysical issues; to come to original existential conclusions or philosophies, and to contemplate non-existential issues in relation to one’s existence. An ability to derive personal meaning and purpose from all physical and mental experiences, including the capacity to create and master a life purpose is regarded as personal meaning production.
Transcendental awareness is the capacity to identify transcendent dimensions/patterns of the self, of others, and of the physical world during normal states of consciousness, accompanied by the capacity to identify their relationship to one’s self and to the physical world. Conscious State Expansion is deﬁned as an ability to enter and exit higher/spiritual states of consciousness at one’s own discretion.
Decency quotient (DI)
Bill Boulding is dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business who goes on to say that DI goes a step further than EI and IQ and combines SI. DQ means that a leader has a genuine desire to do the right thing for employees and colleagues. DQ means wanting something positive for everyone in the workplace and ensuring everyone feels respected and valued. DQ is evident in a manager’s daily interactions with others, as well as in setting goals for the company that meet fiscal objectives and improve lives. DQ implies your focus is on doing right by others.
Decency quotient has to start at the top. It’s essential that leaders and managers model this type of behaviour more than ever, because outside forces of polarization are working against us. The world feels like an ugly place for many people. It’s impossible for employees to check their feelings at the door, and naïve to think they can.
Leaders with DQ will better navigate what’s bleeding in from outside the office to instil a sense of common purpose and shared values at work. Employees will know the leader always has their best interest at heart. People want to work for decent people, and they will give those leaders their best. Decency is at its core a moral obligation, but it can also be key to a winning business strategy.
If business becomes intentional about decency, it can become the healing force our world so badly needs. It can be the model for how people who are very different come together to work with common purpose. It can demonstrate respect and caring that transcends difference and polarization. It can solve some of the world’s toughest problems by uniting people to find solutions.
If you were to look up the word wisdom in the dictionary, you would find a simple definition: a person’s ability to act sensibly, reasonably, and correctly. Of course, that raises some questions. Doesn’t intelligence give you the ability to act reasonably in day to day life? Surely a high IQ guarantee’s the power to make good decisions?
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
Of course, it can, but there are also different types of intelligence. A brilliant person’s success might be influenced by their personality and maturity, as well as their own ability to care for their own well-being and that of others.
Well, intelligence and wisdom need to be broken down and analyzed to gain a clearer and useful understanding. We have to recognize what’s really important. Beyond a high IQ, becoming exceptionally wise and developing clear values that go beyond cognitive or emotional reasoning is imperative.
It is very strange to know that universities and professors around the world have just started studying the difference between intelligence and wisdom. The concept of wisdom has often been associated with philosophical or spiritual disciplines. It was considered something that the great Greek masters or Buddhist monks studied.
However, a few psychologists investigated wisdom in the last few decades. These studies, like the one led by two University of California psychiatrists, Dr. Dilip V. Jeste and Dr. Thomas W. Meeks, uncovered quite a few interesting ideas.
Some of the findings:
Exploring minds say that ‘Wisdom’ doesn’t come from personal experience.
This important idea creates a common myth. Many people think that experience grants wisdom. However, there’s not a strong and direct association between the length of someone’s life and how wise they are. This quality doesn’t always naturally come with age.
Moreover, many researchers in the fields of psychology and sociology are trying to understand the social, emotional, and cognitive processes that transform experience into wisdom. There are many other mediating variables between the two, such as the ability to reflect on one’s actions. That ability may have created the experience/wisdom myth in the first place.
Intelligence makes you more efficient and competent
Intelligent people are efficient and have high standards. Because of this, they may get frustrated when things don’t meet their expectations. They are often goal-orientated and seek concrete results.
This viewpoint can often make them anxious. This is because people with high IQs often have poor tolerance for uncertainty. That’s precisely what sets them apart from wise people. Wise people are better able to accept the unexpected and unplanned. They know how to step back and take a patient, relaxed, and insightful look at reality.
Wise people make better decisions
Of course, there are huge individual differences between people with a high IQ. While some make reasonable, responsible decisions, others might get carried away by goals and statistics, failing to take other factors into account.
However, if there’s one clear difference between people with high intelligence or deep wisdom, it’s that the second group is often more open-minded. This is because wisdom is more than just factual knowledge. Wise people have experience, are able to reason clearly, and are able to accept life’s ups and downs.
Wise people are also usually more cognizant of how situations develop over time, which helps them stay balanced.
High intelligence can be used for noble ends or, on the contrary, to manipulate, conspire, betray, or create sophisticated plans for bad reasons. However, people also use their intelligence for unselfish and noble purposes.
Wisdom, on the other hand, is connected to an authentic sense of goodness. The word itself has connotations of goodness, humanity, and a sense of spirituality that inspires others to do good as well.
There’s one more interesting difference between intelligence and wisdom. Wisdom almost always gives you a more positive view of life, your situation, and other people. This hopeful yet resolute attitude is related to the factors mentioned above, and to kindness. Looking at a situation with wisdom can give us the energy and the motivation to move forward.
At this point, you may ask yourself which is better, being very intelligent or very wise. But neither quality is better than the other. There are plenty of wise, successful people who might not be very intelligent. However, they’re still happy and effective in their day to day life.
Therefore, aspire (as much as possible) to have both qualities. Train your cognitive abilities, improve in emotional intelligence, and integrate each experience to form a more reasonable, relaxed, and optimistic perspective.
Final thought, wisdom is the art of knowing what really matters and making good decisions to improve our own well-being and, more importantly, that of others. There lies the real key.
The quest for wisdom is an age-old effort. It’s one many have recommended.
It’s been said to be as useful for finding inner contentment as it for fueling external successes. It’s a more prudent way of interacting with reality.
While not everyone’s definition of wisdom is the same, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to distinguish it by a mode of deeper understanding. One that goes beyond just the knowing we commonly associate with the range of intelligence’s; IQ,EI, SI, DI.
When we think of the acquisition of intelligence, we think of new information inspired by a perspective-shift that tells us a truth about one aspect of reality.
Wisdom goes further than that. It strips that same information down to its essence so that it can relate the underlying principle of that knowledge to the existing information network that exists in the mind.
It’s the connectedness of this network that separates it from mere intelligence.
The more links between each pocket of information, the more valuable the whole network will be when tackling any other problem. It adds an extra dimension to each mental model contained in the mind.
Simply knowing this doesn’t make a person more equipped to soak in wisdom, but with awareness and practice, new thinking patterns and imagination can be created.
The great Aristotle once stated when discussing Metaphysics :
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”