Friday, March 26, 2010

Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Bantam Books, 1998

Working with Emotional Intelligence struck my as a hybrid of Blink and Outliers, both by Malcom Gladwell, but WWEI didn't interest me as much as Gladwell's books.

As part of my company goals for this year, I agreed to read two books from a selected list and implement two ideas from each one. I read WWEI first and struggled to find two concrete ideas to implement.

Goleman's main point is that IQ and intellect are just a baseline to getting into a company. Think of it as one of those "You must me this tall to ride this ride" sign. But to reach career stardom, people must be able to react and make sound judgements based on experience and interactions. This is what he calls Emotional Intelligence.

He breaks Emotional Intelligence into two competencies: Personal and Social.

He breaks Personal Competence into Self-Awarness, Self-Regulation and Motivation and further breaks these down into subcategories.

He break Social Competence into Empathy and Social Skills, which, again are broken down further.

Goleman spends the majority of the book descending this latter, examining each subcategory with detail and real-world examples.

This is great for someone who needs to be convinced. However, for someone like me, whose employer recommended this book to the book falls short of helpful because it doesn't offer many tips or tools for growing in these areas.

See my employer told me to read it, so I don't need to be convinced of Emotional Intelligence's importance. I was tasked with implementing something from it.

I managed to pull two things to implement from it, but neither are ground shaking. I'm going to spent 15 minutes each day in reflective silence and turn off external distractions such as Twitter, Google Reader, e-mail and instant messenger and only check it periodically.

As for the book, if you want examples of why Emotional Intelligence is worth while, read the whole book. If not, read Appendix 1, and you'll get 90% of the book's worth.
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