I’m frequently asked about the difference between emotional intelligence (EI) and intuition. Essentially, EI is a head thing, intuition a heart thing. EI is being “intelligent” about emotions; it’s not about feeling. If you look at EI’s definition of empathy according to Daniel Goleman, this distinction becomes clear:
In my work with intuition, I define empathy as a feeling (or collection of feelings):
Ability to feel what the other person is feeling
Just because we understand someone’s emotions, it doesn’t mean we feel what he feels. If a truly totally empathic person existed, she would not be able to kill anyone because she would die too from intense pain and sorrow. The closest real example is a mother losing her child; that bond is so empathic, that mothers never really recover from this. A part of them dies with their child. EI understands this but wouldn’t necessarily feel it.
This head/heart difference between EI and intuition shows up in two other areas besides empathy: the unconscious and problem solving.
EI is about intelligence; therefore, it’s concerned with conscious activity (the head). On the other hand, since intuition is about the acquisition of knowledge and the making of decisions through emotions, unconscious activity plays a vital role because emotions emanate from there.
As for problem solving, EI doesn’t play if you’re alone in the woods. It requires a social or interpersonal context. However, intuition plays in social, interpersonal and solitary contexts. Thus, while an inventor would not need a high EI, he would definitely benefit from keen intuition.
Therefore, EI and intuition differ when it comes to empathy, the unconscious and problem solving. Symbolically, EI is a matter of the head while intuition a matter of the heart.
- Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition: The Difference
- Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition (Pt 2): Distinct as Head and Heart
- Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition (Pt 3): Problem Solving
- Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition (Pt 4): Conscious vs. Unconscious
- Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition (Pt 5): Group vs. Individual
- Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition (Pt 6): Music Analogy