Sternberg came up with practical intelligence in the 1980s, which refers to the ability of a person to cope with issues and events arising from everyday activities. Other scholars refer to this type of intelligence as common sense or intuition. Lay people term practical intelligence as street smart, which is different from book smart, a term used to refer to emotional intelligence. Practical intelligence is characterized by implicit knowledge as Sternberg defined it as an action-oriented form of knowledge, which is obtained naturally meaning that it does not need any assistance from other people.
Through practical intelligence, individuals are in a position to realize their valuable objectives. An individual would encounter some difficulties trying to articulate tacit knowledge since it is never formalized in precise procedures and regulations. Additionally, practical intelligence is classically bureaucratic knowledge meaning that it helps people in making decisions based on situations and events (Amelang, & Steinmayr, 2006). Apart from its procedural nature, practical intelligence is acquired through experience whereby individuals internalize it as they go on with their everyday activities. This means that it does not need any effort, such as going to class. In this regard, it is realistic given the fact that it allows an individual to realize his or her goals.
Emotional intelligence on the other hand is related to cognitive ability whereby it is measured based on the performance of an individual. It entails the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and those of others. The information gained through learning constitutes emotional intelligence, which is very different from practical intelligence. Emotional intelligence is understood in three different ways meaning that it has three models.
The first model conceives intelligence as a cognitive ability meaning that an individual perceives emotions in others through verbal and non-verbal codes. The second model consists of the thought process, which refers to the capability of an individual to utilize emotions when it comes to thinking and problem-solving. The third model delves into issues related to feelings meaning that an individual decided on whom to relate with before making any decision.
The three models of emotional intelligence show that it differs from practical intelligence in three major ways. One of them is emotional intelligence is a relational concept meaning that another person must exist for it to be proven. Secondly, it is applied to realize results, particularly in academics. Thirdly, it must be learned in school or any other place meaning that it is formal.
The two forms of intelligence play critical roles in the everyday life of an individual, including work life. While practical intelligence enables an individual to accomplish organizational goals and objectives through the application of tact, emotional intelligence provides adequate mechanisms of problem-solving. Some situations are usually tempting to an extent that established rules and regulations in the organization cannot be applied in resolving them. This would call for the application of practical intelligence, which is related to leadership skills. Emotional intelligence on the other hand is associated with managers or managerial skills because it entails competence (Barchard, 2003).
Tyra Lynne Banks is one of the media personalities who can be cited as having emotional intelligence while Oprah Winfrey can be cited as having practical intelligence. The two media personalities have varying qualities given the fact that Tyra Banks has the ability to sensitize or inciting women to realize their objectives. On the contrary, Oprah encourages women to come together to realize their dreams through resource mobilization.
Amelang, M., & Steinmayr, R. (2006). Is there a validity increment for tests of emotional intelligence in explaining the variance of performance criteria? Intelligence, 34(1), 459–468.
Barchard, K. A. (2003). Does emotional intelligence assist in the prediction of academic success? Educational and Psychological Measurement, 63(2), 840–858.