IQ is the most basic kind of intelligence and generally refers to math/verbal skills. While pretty much set at birth and first few years of nutrition and adult interaction/stimulation, IQ is of limited value if not APPLIED. In other words, you may be brilliant but if you do not USE it, if you do not study, learn, and grow, you are like an uncut diamond: all potential, no brilliance.


Emotional Intelligence is the ability to a) be aware of and understand your emotions AND control and direct them in an effective manner and b) sense and respond in a competent manner to the emotions of others i.e., establish rapport, bond, cooperate, influence, persuade, negotiate. While IQ may be fixed, EQ can be nourished and developed to an astonishing degree. However, mental muscles are like physical muscles; they must be continually renewed, or they will degrade and atrophy.


Critical Thinking Skills refers to the ability (the desire?) to analyze information objectively and make a reasoned evaluation of its accuracy and relevancy. CTS is akin to the Scientific Method, which in turn is based upon skepticism: the goal is to find truth, to discern reality, NOT to confirm a particular thought or perspective. Rigorous researching of sources of information, their validity and the degree to which they are based upon disinterested, impartial, open-minded, peer reviewed research of sufficient breadth and depth to have statistical validity.

Furthermore, always consider ways possible bias or backgrounds, experiences or world views might impact various presentations. I’ve found that most every survey or position paper somehow magically seems to reflect the outlook of whomever paid for or commissioned it thus if I cannot find a truly objective one, I fall back to triangulation: obtain at least three sources of input from as widely divergent positions as possible.

In its natural state, the human mind is very protective; we instinctively defend our belief systems and engage in unchecked confirmation bias, seeking out and preferring information and people which conform to and confirm our world view. However, the world is very complex and rapidly changing and if we lack the will to engage in critical thinking, then our internal maps will more and more diverge from the real world AND we will lose the ability to engage constructively with those who see the world differently.

Closing Quotes:

“Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968

“Critical Thinking is simply ‘think about thinking’: identifying, analyzing, and then fixing flaws in the way we think.” – Unknown

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier