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Anna Schosser14.04.202313 min read

Behavioral Intelligence vs Emotional Intelligence

Behavioral Intelligence vs Emotional Intelligence


The American Psychological Association states that 90% of top performers possess high levels of both BI and EI skills.

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, it is essential to understand the differences between behavioral intelligence (BI) and emotional intelligence (EI).

BI focuses on understanding how we think and act in response to our environment while EI concentrates on understanding our emotions, motivations, and interpersonal relationships.

Both are important skills for successful leaders in any organization. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two types of intelligence, which are more important, how they are measured, and how they can. potentially improved. We will also share tips on how you can use them together to maximize your success in the workplace.


What's in this post?

What is Behavioral Intelligence?

Behavioral intelligence encompasses more, than comprehending behavior. It involves the ability to interpret others behavior and adapt your own accordingly to achieve desired outcomes. The core concept of intelligence is the interconnection between emotions, thoughts, intentions and actions which can be effectively utilized to influence our surroundings.

In essence behavioral intelligence can be likened to a superpower that enables you to comprehend and influence the behavior of those around you. It grants you the capacity to discern how people think, feel and act—. Subsequently leverage this knowledge in situations. By acquiring knowledge about intelligence you can become an adept at navigating dynamics both in professional and personal realms.

For instance when attempting to persuade someone towards a course of action having an understanding of their state and leveraging that understanding to construct a compelling argument can yield remarkable results.

By developing an understanding of intelligence you can master dynamics in both your personal and professional life. This valuable skill has the potential to contribute significantly towards achieving success, across circumstances.
Moreover by acknowledging the potential of business intelligence and leveraging it to your benefit you can evolve into a leader who possesses the ability to inspire and positively impact both your team and those, in your vicinity.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand, use, and manage emotions. It's about recognizing and understanding your own feelings as well as those of others so you can use this knowledge to make more informed decisions. Unlike behavioral intelligence, emotional intelligence doesn’t involve predicting or manipulating behavior; instead, it means connecting with people on a deeper level by being aware of both their thoughts and feelings. Emotional intelligence enables us to have meaningful conversations and relationships based on trust, respect, and empathy.

Emotional intelligence goes beyond emotions; it encompasses the ability to utilize that understanding, in effectively controlling and handling them. This entails responding to the requirements of both ourselves and others while also acknowledging and accepting these emotions without passing judgment. By leveraging this knowledge we can make decisions.

Emotional intelligence is an essential skill for anyone in a leadership role. It helps leaders better understand their teams and how to motivate them effectively. It also allows them to create a safe environment where everyone can work together productively, without fear of judgment or criticism.

A leader who demonstrates intelligence can effectively manage situations by remaining calm and collected. This leader prioritizes listening to their teams thoughts and perspectives while also taking into account their emotions before reaching conclusions. They show empathy, towards their team members emotions. Acknowledge that different individuals may respond diversely in circumstances.

To read more about emotional intelligence and get more insights into what it is all about, click here


What is the difference between behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence?

Though they may appear similar, at glance, behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence are actually sets of skills. Behavioral intelligence enables us to anticipate the actions of others while emotional intelligence enables us to establish connections based on trust and empathy.

Having a grasp of both intelligence and emotional intelligence is crucial for success, in environments and everyday situations. It equips leaders with strategies, fosters teamwork and collaboration enhances morale within organizations builds successful teams and increases the likelihood of creating healthier relationships.

Developing proficiency in both intelligence and emotional intelligence demands practice, self awareness, focus and dedication. However the effort invested pays off in the term as an understanding of these skills offers significant advantages that make individual or collective goals more attainable.

How are behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence measured?

Behavioral intelligence is commonly evaluated by observing and interpreting interactions. This involves analyzing both cues, such, as body language and verbal communication. By comprehending an individuals behavior in circumstances we can gauge their level of intelligence. Furthermore conducting surveys and questionnaires, about someones behavior can also serve as a means to assess their intelligence.

Some behavioral intelligence tests are: 

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)  Assesses an individual’s personality traits such as how they interact with others, how well they handle stress, and their overall approach to problem-solving.
The Cognitive Ability Test  Evaluates an individual’s cognitive abilities such as their logic, math skills, and ability to learn new information quickly.
The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal  Evaluates an individual's ability to think analytically and make decisions.
The Emotional Quotient (EQ) test  Measures an individual's emotional intelligence which includes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, communication skills, etc.


When it comes to intelligence it is usually evaluated using self report surveys, psycho motor activities or performance based assessments. Self report surveys are the used method and involve filling out a questionnaire that asks about emotions and feelings. For example participants may be asked to identify their emotions or those of others, in situations. Psycho motor activities require individuals to physically express their responses to stimuli while performance based assessments focus on cues, like facial expressions or vocalizations.

Tools such as the Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) are designed to measure both emotional and social skills related to emotional intelligence. The MSCEIT consists of a series of questions that ask for the participant's perception of the importance of certain emotions when faced with different scenarios and provides feedback about how those emotions are affecting their behavior.

In general assessing intelligence and emotional intelligence can offer insights, into how individuals engage in relationships and their overall interaction, with their environment. It can offer individuals an understanding of how they can enhance their conduct in different circumstances leading to increased self assurance when dealing with interpersonal connections and effectively navigating challenging conversations or situations.

You can also read more about behavioral intelligence tests here! 


Why are behavioral Intelligence & emotional Intelligence important?

Both behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence play roles, in achieving success in both personal situations. Behavioral intelligence allows us to effectively understand and anticipate how others behave giving us an advantage in aspects such as communication, relationships and negotiations. It provides us with insights, into peoples thoughts, emotions and actions which we can leverage to our benefit. On the hand emotional intelligence helps us meaningful relationships built on trust and empathy by not only acknowledging our own emotions but also understanding the feelings of others.

Having a strong understanding of behavioral and emotional intelligence is essential for effective leadership. Leaders who have these skills are better equipped to foster collaboration among their team members and create a productive working environment. They also have an easier time developing strategies that will help their teams reach common goals since they can anticipate any behavioral issues that could arise while leading. In addition, they’re able to provide feedback that is both constructive and encouraging which leads to stronger morale among employees.

Knowing how to use both behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence also increases the likelihood of creating successful teams because it allows managers to create connections between team members that aren’t just based on job roles or responsibilities but also on understanding each other emotionally. This encourages:

  • Honest communication.
  • Healthy conflict resolution.
  • Loyalty.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Respect for each other’s ideas.
  • Higher productivity levels within the organization as a whole.
  • Better customer service from everyone involved.

Having an understanding of intelligence and emotional intelligence is crucial not only, in professional environments but also in personal aspects of life such as maintaining healthy relationships, with family members or managing personal projects at home.

behavioral intelligence versus emotional intelligence with two women sitting at office desk discussing together

How can behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence be improved?

Improving intelligence and emotional intelligence involves understanding how others behave and recognizing our emotions. It's essential to practice empathy and strive to comprehend the reasons, behind peoples actions. Being mindful of how our behavior impacts those around us is also crucial. Meaningful conversations with others can be beneficial for learning from their experiences. Lastly taking some time for self reflection can enhance our understanding of ourselves leading to communication with others.

To enhance intelligence it's valuable to reflect on peoples actions and their motivations. Consider how your own behavior influences others. Engaging in conversations with people and gaining insights from their experiences is advantageous. Furthermore dedicating time for introspection allows for an understanding of oneself ultimately facilitating more effective communication with others.

To improve intelligence it's important to be aware of both our emotions and the emotions of those around us. Strive for openness and honesty within ourselves to better understand why we may react a way, in situations. Additionally reflecting on how our behavior impacts those nearby enables us to act with compassion and empathy.


Behavioral intelligence vs. emotional intelligence: which is more important?

The ongoing debate regarding the significance of intelligence, versus intelligence has persisted for many years. In the workplace both behavioral and emotional intelligence are crucial for communication, problem solving and decision making. While both have their merits there are scenarios where one may prove advantageous than the other.

Behavioral Intelligence primarily focuses on analyzing individual and group behaviors to gain insights, into patterns. How they interact with one another. It aids in predicting events based on behaviors using data driven models. For instance it can be utilized to identify customer behavior trends or sales cycles enabling better resource allocation and formulation of strategies to optimize performance.

Emotional Intelligence, on the other hand, focuses on understanding one’s own emotions as well as those of others. It is about being aware and respectful of different feelings which allows us to respond more appropriately to situations that arise throughout our day-to-day lives. This is incredibly helpful in forming meaningful relationships with coworkers and customers as it requires a deep understanding of individuals' values, beliefs, motivations, etc. instead of simply relying on rules or facts alone.

In the workplace both behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence are vital, for achieving success. However their roles may vary depending on the situation.

When faced with decision making or problems involving individuals it is crucial to possess a balanced combination of these two skills. This allows for the development of solutions that everyone can agree upon. Additionally understanding oneself and others is key in establishing relationships with colleagues and customers. Such relationships foster communication within teams. Contribute to long term high morale. Ultimately both behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence significantly contribute to achieving success, at work. Therefore it is important not to underestimate the value of investing time in refining these skills.

Tips: How to implement behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence for workplace success

  • Use behavioral intelligence to track and analyze data on customer behaviors, employee performance, or company trends
  • Leverage emotional intelligence to build meaningful relationships with customers and coworkers
  • Focus on understanding each person’s motivations in order to create clear communication between all parties involved
  • Set clear expectations of behavior for employees and hold them accountable when necessary
  • Incorporate self-reflection into team activities so that everyone can better understand how their actions affect others
  • Take the initiative to improve behavioral intelligence and emotional intelligence skills in order to stand out among peers and colleagues

Ultimately it is essential to have both intelligence and emotional intelligence in order to thrive in an environment. Although they may appear distinct these two facets are. Should be employed in tandem, for outcomes. Devoting time to refining these abilities will yield long term benefits. Establish a basis for fruitful relationships both within a team and, with external clients.

Retorio has a learning and development product that can help you understand how to train your employees by using behavior intelligence. Behavioral intelligence tests measure an individual's cognitive abilities like problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision making as well as personality traits like assertiveness, flexibility, and empathy. With our product, you can learn how to use behavior intelligence effectively for employee development programs that get the best results! Click on the button below to get try it out! 


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Key Takeaways

  • Behavioral Intelligence focuses on analyzing the behaviors of individuals and groups to better understand patterns and how they interact with each other.
  • Emotional Intelligence is about being aware and respectful of different feelings which allow us to respond more appropriately to situations that arise throughout our day-to-day lives.
  • Both BI and EI are necessary for success in the workplace but each plays a slightly different role depending on the situation.
  • Having an understanding of oneself as well as others is key when it comes to creating meaningful relationships with coworkers or customers which further promotes healthy communication among team members and leads to higher morale over time.
  • Investing time into honing these skills should not be overlooked as it is a great way to stand out among your peers or colleagues.




1. What is an example of behavioral intelligence?

Behavioral intelligence refers to the capacity to utilize abilities, problem solving skills and interpersonal aptitudes in decision making processes. It entails examining situations from angles and making choices that align with ones objectives. Instances of intelligence encompass thinking, emotional intelligence, creativity, problem solving capabilities decision making skills and effective communication. Employers frequently employ Behavioral Intelligence Tests as a tool, for assessing an individuals thinking and decision making competencies.

These tests evaluate abilities like problem solving alongside personality traits such as adaptability and empathy to gain insights into how employees approach tasks from a emotional and behavioral standpoint. By evaluating an employees existing skill set through a BI Test with guidance from Talent Development experts companies can tailor their training programs for outcomes while keeping pace with the latest e learning platforms and practices, within budget constraints.

2. What is behavioral intelligence?

Behavioral intelligence is the ability to use cognitive, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills to make decisions. It involves analyzing situations from multiple perspectives and making decisions that best align with an individual's goals.

3. What are some examples of behavioral skills?

Critical thinking, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, creativity, flexibility, assertiveness, and empathy are some examples of behavioral skills in everyday life. 

4. What are the 4 types of emotional intelligence? 

Emotional intelligence plays a role, in intelligence and can be divided into four distinct categories. These four categories encompass self awareness, self regulation, skills and empathy.

Self awareness refers to the ability to recognize and comprehend ones emotions and reactions. This skill allows individuals to gain insight into their responses, in situations and identify areas where they can grow or face challenges.

Self regulation involves managing and controlling emotions to make informed decisions under pressure. It entails identifying challenging situations and developing effective strategies to handle them when necessary.

Social skills encompass a range of abilities related to interacting with others, including communication, collaboration, negotiation and conflict resolution.

Lastly empathy is the capacity to understand how others feel without having experienced circumstances.



Anna Schosser

I create engaging and informative content about the importance of artificial intelligence and video-based AI technology for recruitment. I discuss cutting-edge AI developments and new technology with storytelling skills.