Cognitive Intelligence vs Emotional Intelligtence in Modern Organizations

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General intelligence can be defined as “the general efficacy of intellectual processes” (Ackerman, Beier, and Boyle, 2005). In relation to modern organizations, it is generally believed that individuals with higher intelligence are more desirable as they will have higher task performance; this belief has been held for more than 90 years (Viswesvaran and Ones, 2002). Furthermore, general intelligence can be divided into two different sets of abilities as Cognitive Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence (Cote and Miners, 2006). As mentioned by Brody (2004), there are quite different models of testing cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence. It is important that both these aspects of intelligence are considered in organisations.

Cognitive Intelligence is what is usually being referred to when talking about IQ. It is the ability to think and reason logically without using the part of the brain concerned with feelings or emotions. Cognitive intelligence does not involve social skills but rather analytical, reading and writing skills.

According to Mayer and Salovey (1997), “Emotional Intelligence involves the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth”. It should also be considered that this set of abilities apply both inwards to the individual themselves and outwards to other people and their emotions, feelings and thoughts; even the ability to regulate others. As expanded on by Mayer and Salovey (1997), this definition suggests that somebody who is emotionally intelligent would be highly empathic, be able to reflect on and monitor their emotions in order to manage them effectively, understand the meaning behind complex emotions and have control over their emotions. Furthermore they would encourage their feelings to help thought processes concerning judgement and problem solving and be able to accurately express emotions and identify emotions in people and the mediums through which they convey their emotions (Cherniss, 2010).

One strength of cognitive intelligence in relation to modern organisations is that in most professions, if not all professions, the higher cognitive intelligence is the higher task performance and organizational citizenship behaviour is (Cote and Miners, 2006). This means that an individual’s expected responsibilities and tasks that are outlined in their job description will be highly satisfied and they will have a positive impact on the achievement of the collective objectives of a modern organisation, regardless of whether or not it is part of their official duties.

In regards to modern organisations, emotions are directly related to increasing (or adversely, decreasing) motivation and consistency in motivation (Barsade and Gibson, 2007). One strength of emotional intelligence in regards to modern organisations pertains to recognising and processing the emotions of peers, co-workers or superiors. Individuals with high emotional intelligence can correctly identify and react appropriately to verbal and non-verbal communication cues such as facial expressions, body language, voice tone and volume and the actual content of what is being conveyed (Cote and Miners, 2006). In an example used by Barsade and Gibson (2007), a manager telling his best salesman that he will be getting a smaller raise than he was expecting would benefit from emotional intelligence. In this scenario, the manager would have to regulate his own emotions as well as the disgruntled employee, who may threaten to resign if the situation is not contained or controlled. The manager has to be tentative in his approach and empathise with his employee to handle a delicate situation such as this. In this case, emotional intelligence would help the manager improve his actual task performance...
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