Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Bantam, 2006
First Edition: 1995




  • Innovative
  • Applicable


In this seminal work, Daniel Goleman introduced millions of readers to the concept of emotional intelligence - the amalgamation of psychological skills and traits that he claims is crucial for life success. Skills like self-awareness and self-motivation are instilled (or destroyed) in childhood, but Goleman claims that adults still can learn and apply them. This book is at its best when Goleman makes his overall case for emotional intelligence, including its sound biological underpinning. Although the later sections on real-world applications are not as insightful as the earlier sections, getAbstract strongly recommends this important book, which is relevant not only to business, but to life itself.


Emotional Intelligence

Recent years have seen a surge of research into the biology of personality and emotion. These studies clearly indicate that some of human intelligence and personality is determined by genetics. But this raises two questions: What can you change about yourself? And, why do some intelligent people flounder in life, while less intelligent people prosper? The answers reside within a set of abilities called emotional intelligence.

Evolution gave humankind emotions to help people cope with dangerous situations and to act in the face of peril. Modern people retain the emotional system of their cave-dwelling ancestors, who regularly faced life-and-death situations. In modern society, those emotions often overwhelm logical thought. In a real sense, each person has two minds, one that thinks and one that feels. The rational mind lets a person ponder and reflect. But the emotional mind is impulsive and powerful. Usually, the two work in harmony, but intense feelings sometimes allow the emotional mind to dominate the rational mind.

The brain’s centers of emotion evolved first. The limbic system surrounds the brainstem, the center of passionate emotion...

About the Author

Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., covers the behavioral sciences for the New York Times. He taught at Harvard and was formerly editor of Psychology Today. His other books include: Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, Working with Emotional Intelligence and The Meditative Mind. He is the co-author of The Creative Spirit.

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