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22 Nov 2012

Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition (Pt 6): Music Analogy

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition

A music analogy can help explain how emotional intelligence and intuition differ.

We can use a music analogy to explain the difference between emotional intelligence and intuition.

Long ago, a boss of mine, who played an instrument professionally, discussed with me the playing of musical instruments. I had played the violin and viola in my teens, so since then the difference between those who could play an instrument and those who could play fascinated me.

Anyway, my boss related a story of his college music professor who played the flute. For one class lecture, he simply played the notes from a song. Then, he replayed the notes with feeling. The difference – for us who don’t understand what this difference really entails – is akin to reading the words from a book without any expression at first and then reading them with expression the second time. In many ways, this is also the difference between Emotional Intelligence (playing music) and Intuition (playing music with feeling).

While Part 2 talked about EI and Intuition being as different as head and heart, this music analogy helps us feel and appreciate that difference. There is a difference between knowing something and feeling it, between knowing love and feeling love.

For non-musicians, a sports analogy works too. There is a difference between knowing how to hit a baseball such as a hitting coach would need to know and actually hitting it, which requires feel. We often hear, “She has a feel for the game.” In sports, events are happening much faster than any athlete can consciously grasp. Feel is critical.

Moreover, EI is learnable. Therefore, a psychopath could drastically improve his EI. Has he become sensitive, empathetic? Analogously, he can play the notes, but can he with feeling? The same holds true for the rest of us. Something innate distinguishes just knowing someone is happy and actually feeling someone’s happiness, just playing the notes and playing them with feeling.


Series Navigation<< Emotional Intelligence vs. Intuition (Pt 4): Conscious vs. Unconscious

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