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September 29, 2005

News & Opinion: Is there a difference between moral intelligence and emotional intelligence?

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 9:00 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

There is a difference between moral intelligence and emotional intelligence. Moral intelligence involes the mental capacity to determine how to apply universal moral principles--like integrity, responsibility, compassion and forgiveness--to our personal values, goals and actions. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is about decision making and performance in the presence of competing emotions.
Although both emotional intelligence and moral intelligence come into play when moral decisions are at stake, they are not the same. Emotional intelligence is values free. Moral intelligence is not. Emotional skills can be applied for good or evil. Moral skills, by definition, are directed toward doing good.
Emotional intelligence and moral intelligence, though distinct, are partners. Neither works in a truly effective way without the other.