Cognitive thinking, emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence

Current managers need to focus on 4 elements

- financial assets (bricks and mortar, etc)

- intellectual capital (databases, business processes, etc)

- emotional capital (energy, enthusiasm, commitment, etc)

- spiritual intelligence (social responsibility, etc)

As a manager climbs the organisational hierarchy, emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) becomes more important than IQ (cognitive thinking). There are 4 elements to EQ: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management

i) self-awareness involves emotional self-awareness, accurate self-assessment, complete self-reliance and self-belief, achieving self actualisation and self-confidence. It is the ability to read our own emotions. It allows us to know our strengths and limitations and feel confident about our self-worth. If used effectively, self-awareness helps us accurately gauge our own moods and how we are affecting others

ii) self-management involves self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, achievement orientation and initiative. It is the ability to control our emotions with honesty and integrity in reliable and adaptive ways. When this element is operating effectively, we know where our own emotions are coming from and how long a bad mood might last

iii) social awareness involves empathy, organisational awareness and service orientation. It comprises the key capabilities of empathy and organisational intuition, so that we demonstrate awareness of other people's emotions and understand how the organisation works. Socially-aware executives show that they care about other people's emotions; they are experts at reading the currents of office politics; they understand how their words and actions make others feel, and are sensitive enough to change them when the impact is negative

iv) relationship management or social skill involves visionary leadership, influence, developing others, communications, being a change catalyst, conflict management, building bonds, and teamwork and collaboration. It is the ability to communicate clearly and convincingly, disarm conflict and build strong personal relationships with others in the organisation. These skills are used to spread enthusiasm and settle disagreements, often with humour and kindness


(source: Ush Dhanak, 2017)

It has been ascertained that, in management positions, emotional competencies are twice as important as technical skills and purely cognitive abilities combined. While an IQ score can help predict what profession or type of job an individual should hold, EQ is a more powerful predictor of who will succeed and who will not.

" general, the higher a position in an organisation, the more EI mattered; for individuals in leadership positions, 85 percent of their competencies were in the EI domain..."

Daniel Goleman as quoted by Tim Wallace, 2004


"...about 15% of one's financial success is due to one's technical knowledge and about 85% is due to skills in human engineering - personality and the ability to lead people......The person who has the technical knowledge plus the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm amongst people - that person is headed for higher earning power..."

Dale Carnegie, 2003

"...research shows convincingly that EQ is more important than IQ in almost every role and many times more important in leadership roles. This finding is accentuated as we moved from the control philosophy of the industrial age to an empowering release philosophy of the knowledge worker age..."

Stephen Covey as quoted by Martyn Newman, 2007

"...a leader's intelligence has to have a strong emotional component..."

Jack Welch has quoted by Martyn Newman, 2007

It has been suggested that people with a high EQ exhibit the following characteristics:

"- more realistic in assessing their strengths and weaknesses

- take ownership of their own problems

- create stronger interpersonal relationships

- are better in motivating themselves and others

- are more proactive, innovative and creative

- function better under pressure

- cope better with change

- are superior leaders

- will have better results"

Manfred Kets de Vries, (2006)

On the other hand, until recently there has been scepticism about EQ, owing to the lack of empirical evidence to prove the link between EQ and performance. Recent evidence (Stephane Cote et al, 2006) points to EQ as an important predictor of task performance and shows that it can relate to cognitive intelligence in a compensatory way, ie individuals with low cognitive intelligence can perform acceptably if they have high emotional intelligence, such as passion and self-belief.

Furthermore, research (Fiona Smith, 2009) has shown conscientiousness is a better indicator than IQ of success at work. On the other hand, there is a dark side to conscientiousness, ie perfectionism, workaholism and compulsiveness plus being risk averse and poor at delegating. Really conscientious people are not good at collaboration as they prefer to do everything themselves.

The brain's pathways are important in emotional intelligence. Messages start at the base the brain and the limbic system where emotions are experienced; then travel to the front of the brain before you can think rationally about your experiences. Emotional intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain so that we can form judgments and make choices.

Furthermore, there are 3 basic ideas involved

i) effective leadership is the byproduct of emotions, such as self-confidence, optimism, independence and enthusiasm

ii) emotions are valuable to forming the basis of strong relationships between different stakeholders so that you can create real competitive advantage

iii) emotions and associated behaviours can be used to solve problems, create products, deliver superior service, etc

Comparing IQ and EQ

IQ (cognitive)

EQ (emotional)


Intuitive & impressionistic

Logically affective (what is sensible)

Pleasure/pain barrier (what feels good)

Use of abstract symbols, words, narrative & numbers

Use of metaphors & images

Slower processing of information

More rapid processing of information

More specific statements

Sweeping statements

(source: Manfred Kets de Vries, 2006)

Martyn Newman (2007) has claimed that EQ improves with age

Linked with EQ is intuition. It is claimed that Einstein stated that intuition is more important than IQ and he never discovered anything with his rational mind!!!!!!!! In fact,

"...He was famous for his "gedanken" (thought) experiments, experiments based on his remarkable imaginative capabilities. His basic insights leading to relativity theory, he said, had been discovered imagining himself "travelling on a light beam..."

Peter Senge et al, 2005

Sometimes intuition is called business feel and is linked with the term 'street smart'. Intuition is an important practice of management, ie

For "...Intel's CEO Andy Grove......the primary form of business feel that underpins his technical expertise in a number of areas......maverick investor George Soros......talks of the central role of anxiety in his management style; the Body Shop's Anita Roddick says she has the passion of an obsessive person; management guru Ricardo Semler has written of the role of stress in transforming his understanding of organisations; Mort Meyerson, former CEO of Perot Systems Corp, analyses the role of uncertainty and despair in leading him to rethink leadership; and Lou Gerstner, in his time at IBM, came to recognise the role of emotions in feel that cannot be learnt in a cognitive way. It relies on a feeling for the situation, only able to make instinctive or intuitive judgments in which we feel we are doing the correct thing without necessarily being able to justify our decision in abstract terms or according to the rules. If we try to follow the principles of business feel in a conscious and rational way, we lose the very thing that is its most vital element..."

Steven Segal, 2005


"...Intuition is not some paranormal ability to see the future, but that technique of learning what to look for in a given environment, and of doing so without a conscious brain getting in the way......intuition - the ability to direct a behaviour according to some unconscious cues..."

Robert Winston, 2003

Emotional reasoning is part of the EQ.

In addition to IQ (cognitive intelligence) and EQ (emotional intelligence), spiritual intelligence (SQ) is becoming important in management. SQ is described as being

"...about the depth and quality of moral and ethical choices, our sense of what is right, and applying it to our workplace. We use spiritual intelligence to work in awareness of our inner being, to apply workplace values, and build connections in the workplace so that people belong and can feel those values..."

Robyn Henderson, 2006

Spirituality can be defined as things

"...of significance that give meaning and direction to a person's life and helps them deal with adversity. It is broader than religion but may be inclusive of religion. It includes the quest for meaning, purpose, meaningful relationships and love and commitment. Spirituality is shaped and directed by the experience of individuals and of communities in which they live out their lives..."

Sharon Bicknell, 2009


"...success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for 21 minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after 30 seconds..."

Alan Schoenfeld as quoted by Malcolm Gladwell, 2008

Need to be an opportunist, and have the strength and presence of mind to seize opportunities as they present themselves


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