Today I decided to write another special post about intelligence meaning, because I believe it is very important for our personal development to know what intelligence really means.
Most of the people are confused and they often feel discouraged or inferior, because they think they don’t meet “the standards of intelligence”.
After you read this post, you will obtain a new perspective, a realistic one.
So make yourself comfortable and enjoy the reading!
The Best Definition For “Intelligence”
The definition of intelligence is very controversial and so many people have tried, over the years, to offer the best one. However, the concept is still unclear and as you go with the reading you will understand why.
For now, let’s focus on a simple definition. I did so many searches to find the one that is the closest to reality, of course, from my perspective, and I ended up with two definitions.
1. From “Mainstream Science on Intelligence” (1994) – an opinion editorial statement in The Wall Street Journal signed by 52 researches:
“Intelligence is a very general mental capability, that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is nor merely book learning, a narrow academic skill or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings – catching on, making sense of things or figuring out what to do.” – source: Wikipedia
2. From “Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns” (1995) – a report published by The Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association:
“Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought. Although these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent: a given person’s intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains, as judged by different criteria. Concepts of “intelligence” are attempts to clarify and organize this complex set of phenomena. Although considerable clarity has been achieved in some areas, no such conceptualization has yet answered all the important questions and none commands universal assent.” – source: Wikipedia
I found these two definitions the ones that suit better. I also think they somehow complement each other.
Now let’s get closer to the types of intelligence.
There Are Two Main Kinds Of Intelligence
The two main kinds of intelligence are the RATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (IQ) and the EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EQ). I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard about these two.
It is often said that people have more one than the other, depending on their experiences, their education, their interests and even on their inborn “skills”.
It is also believed that women tend to be more emotional intelligent than men, who are more rational intelligent, but, seen that intelligence depends on so many factors, this can’t be a general rule.
On the other side, I believe intelligence is exactly the perfect balance between rational intelligence and emotional intelligence.
We don’t understand each other only because we use the same language. There is another type of connection that creates between two people when they communicate through words. It is called empathy.
And maybe the main reason of why people are confused about intelligence is the fact that almost any type of education we receive (in school, at university etc) is based on rational intelligence. We are too busy to solve problems and accumulate information, so we forget to really understand things and to extend our interests on ourselves, on our emotions and on what others feel. The emotional intelligence is very underrated even if it is actually more important than the first one.
Before any conclusions, let’s have a closer look on their meaning.
Rational Intelligence (IQ)
Rational intelligence represents the ability to solve problems using logical arguments, proofs and information. It can be measured by standardized tests – IQ tests.
Rational intelligence depends on insight, which is the ability to detect, establish, forecast and modulate relationships between things and phenomena. It shows as the ability to recognize the relationship between cause and effect and to solve problems.
According to statistical research, emotional competence is twice as important as technical or intellectual abilities. One who has a high IQ, but a low EQ will not succeed.
The next paragraph will make you understand why.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control and express your emotions, to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success.
Emotional Intelligence contains four elements:
- better understanding of your own emotions
- effective management of your own emotions and a significant increase in quality of life
- better understanding of those around you and a high level of cohabitation
- creating better relationships at all levels with others and increasing productivity and personal image
Components of Emotional Intelligence:
- Self-awareness – determining strengths and limitations; awareness of emotions and their effects on behavior, as well as their impact on others; behavior analysis from an introspective perspective;
- Emotion management – obtaining skills to effectively deal with stress and frustration; to be flexible and want to adapt to change
- Own image and self-motivation – developing a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the ability to meet demands; motivation by internal factors such as the need to achieve and the need for personal development
- active listening
- input in relation to what others feel (to empathize with others)
- preventing a negative influence of emotional factors on listening ability
- the ability to easily express your point of view and interests without anxiety and without denying others
- the ability to manage conflicts
The benefits of Emotional Intelligence:
- increased performance
- improved motivation
- increased innovation
- efficient leadership and management
- excellent teamwork
As you can see, the emotional intelligence is the base of personal and professional success. We often believe that having lots of information and arguments makes us intelligent, but actually this isn’t enough.
Real intelligence consists in the ability to really understand, assimilate and feel that information. It is the competence to take advantage of fails, to be positive, to really understand the others and help them, to create, to be motivated and self-aware.
Real intelligence means to find balance in every aspect of our lives, from what we eat to how we relate to others and how we want to succeed.
I like to say that, in a general form, rational intelligence stands for “what we want to do” and emotional intelligence stands for “how we want to do it” and together, they make a great and invincible team.
Intelligence is life itself and I want to end this post with a great video of Leo. I recommend you to watch until the end. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed my post and if you have anything to add or ask about intelligence, feel free to leave a comment below. Blessings!