There are varying definitions of the word intelligence, but the most commonly used definition is; the ability to successfully obtain knowledge, think, reason, and apply it in real life situations and tasks (Sternberg & Sternberg, 2012). Aspects such as verbal intelligence, mathematical intelligence, memory, motoric intelligence, and three-dimensional orientation characterize intelligence. The way intelligence is measured also argued and controversial.

Psychologists have always debated on conceptualizing and measuring intelligence accurately. As such, there are various ways of testing and measuring intelligence. Personally, I believe that emotional intelligence is a success factor in measuring intelligence. The pioneers of emotional intelligence define it as the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ emotions and applying the information to guide one’s actions and thinking (Staudinger et al. 1998). Research indicates that individuals with high emotional intelligence have greater leadership skills, job performance and mental health (Sternberg & Sternberg, 2012). In reality, high levels of emotional intelligence can predict healthy thinking, reasoning, and functioning. Such factors are greatly attributable to the general intelligence. In this sense, some people can engage in complex information processing about emotions, reason with, and use their emotions as a guide to think and behave more effectively than others.

A person needs a higher emotional intelligence to guarantee that he/she will be outstanding regarding performance or to emerge as a leader (Staudinger et al. 1998). The primary reason emotional intelligence is a predictor of general intelligence is that not everyone can manage their own and others’ emotions and to use this information to guide their thinking and actions (Gottfredson & Saklofske, 2009). For this reason, emotional intelligence adds great value to a person. In the corporate world, the competencies that have been identified as distinguishing outstanding leaders and performers from the average are based on emotional intelligence. Moreover, as one goes higher the corporate ladder, their value increases. Therefore, the pioneers of emotional intelligence perceive that this construct meets the criteria for measuring human intelligence.


Gottfredson, L., & Saklofske, D. H. (2009). Intelligence: Foundations and issues in assessment. Canadian Psychology, 50(3), 183–195.

Staudinger, U. M., Maciel, A. G., Smith, J., & Baltes, P. B. (1998). What predicts wisdom-related performance? A first look at personality, intelligence, and facilitative experiential contexts. European Journal of Personality, 12(1), 1–17.

Sternberg, R. J., & Sternberg K. (2012). Cognition and intelligence. In Cognitive psychology (6th ed., pp. 17–22). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.