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Working with Emotional Intelligence

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Do you have what it takes to succeed in your career?

The secret of success is not what they taught you in school. What matters most is not IQ, not a business school degree, not even technical know-how or years of expertise. The single most important factor in job performance and advancement is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is actually a set of skills that anyone can acquire, and in this practical guide, Daniel Goleman ...

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Overview

Do you have what it takes to succeed in your career?

The secret of success is not what they taught you in school. What matters most is not IQ, not a business school degree, not even technical know-how or years of expertise. The single most important factor in job performance and advancement is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is actually a set of skills that anyone can acquire, and in this practical guide, Daniel Goleman identifies them, explains their importance, and shows how they can be fostered.

For leaders, emotional intelligence is almost 90 percent of what sets stars apart from the mediocre. As Goleman documents, it's the essential ingredient for reaching and staying at the top in any field, even in high-tech careers. And organizations that learn to operate in emotionally intelligent ways are the companies that will remain vital and dynamic in the competitive marketplace of today—and the future.

Comprehensively researched, crisply written, and packed with fascinating case histories of triumphs, disasters, and dramatic turnarounds, Working with Emotional Intelligence may be the most important business book you'll ever read.

Drawing on unparalleled access to business leaders around the world and studies in more than 500 organizations, Goleman documents an astonishing fact: in determining star performance in every field, emotional intelligence matters twice as much as IQ or technical expertise.

Readers also discover how emotional competence can be learned. Goleman analyzes five key sets of skills and vividly shows how they determine who is hired and who is fired in the top corporations in the world. He also provides guidelines for training in the "emotionally intelligent organization," in chapters that no one, from manager to CEO, should miss.

Working with Emotional Intelligence could prove to be the most important reference for bottom-line businesspeople in the first decades of the 21st century.

"...based on interviews and studies with business leaders and organizations...explains what sets star performers apart and how emotional intelligence becomes the most important factor in success."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A thoughtfully written, persuasive account explaining emotional intelligence and why it can be crucial to your career."—USA Today

"Good news to the employee looking for advancement [and] a wake-up call to organizations and corporations."—The Christian Science Monitor

"Anyone interested in leadership...should get a copy of this book. In fact, I recommend it to all readers anywhere who want to see their organizations in the phone book in the year 2001."—Warren Bennis, The New York Times Book Review

"A thoughtfully written, persuasive account explaining emotional intelligence and why it can be crucial to your career." —USA Today

Philadelphia Inquirer
A smart, adventurous book...Goleman strikes a blow for both science and common sense.
San Francisco Chronicle
Goleman's highly readable and wide-ranging exploration of the best research available by modern psychologists and educators provides important insights into the true meaning of intelligence.
Warren Bennis
Anyone interested in leadership. . .should get a copy of this book. In fact, I recommend it to all readers anbywhere who want to see their organizations in the phone book in the year 2001.
New York Times Book Review
NY Times Book Review
Mr. Goleman is a teacher at ease with his subject,...mak[ing] lively connections between the wealth of new understandings and the riches of older wisdom about our affective lives.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Applying the lessons of his bestselling study Emotional Intelligence, Goleman has found that business success stems primarily from a workforce displaying initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness — i.e., key aspects of what he defines as emotional intelligence. He presents studies that show that IQ accounts for only between 4% and 25% of an individual's job success, whereas emotional competence self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation is twice as important as purely cognitive abilities in the workplace. These findings alone should shake up human resource departments that hire based on how good someone looks on paper. In sections like "Self-Mastery," "People Skills" and "Social Radar," Goleman uses anecdotes from the corporate trenches and from his lecture tours to isolate qualities, such as "trustworthiness" that are central to displays of emotional intelligence. These qualities, in turn, are broken down into sets of practices — "Act ethically and... above reproach"; "respect and relate well to people from other backgrounds" — that can be internalized for improved emotional intelligence quotients by individuals looking to get ahead, or managers seeking to revitalize the staff. These repetitive-sounding checklists can at times give the book the flavor of an overworked seminar presentation. Still, embedded within the linear format that emerges are many truly illuminating facts — that the real cost of employee turnover to a company is the equivalent of one full year of employee pay, for example — that show how critically important Goleman's thesis is to today's workplace.
Library Journal
Having explained in Emotional Intelligence that EQ matters as much as IQ in the workplace, Goleman now explains how EQ can be learned.
USA Today
A thoughtfully written, persuasive account explaining emotional intelligence and why it can be crucial to your career.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of the bestseller Emotional Intelligence expands on his earlier work by documenting the significance of emotional intelligence in the world of work at both the individual and organizational levels. Goleman, formerly a brain sciences editor for The New York Times and now the CEO of a consulting firm, Emotional Intelligence Services, asserts that emotional intelligence, more than IQ and technical know how, gives a valuable competitive edge to organizations and is crucial to the success of individuals, and he buttressed this assertion by citing both research studies and anecdotal evidence. (For newcomers to the concept, a summary of emotional intelligence is included in Appendix 1.) Emotional intelligence encompasses both personal and social competencies. Among the personal competencies are self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation, while the social competencies include empathy and the various skills for inducing desirable responses in others. Goleman analyzes the various aspects of each skill and has a seemingly bottomless cache of stories demonstrating how people with and without these skills operate. For his examples, he draws heavily on corporate America: Ford, Intel, IBM, Xerox, etc., but with a sprinkling of more esoteric subjects: Mike Tyson, WWII's Manhattan Project, and a generous sprinkling of foreign and multinational concerns. Happily, emotional intelligence is a quality that can be acquired. While not claiming to offer a self-help manual, Goleman presents specific guidelines for teaching emotional intelligence within an organization. Those wanting to set up such a training program and wishing more guidance than the basic principlesoffered here are invited to contact Goleman's firm for practical assistance. While the various qualities making up emotional intelligence occasionally tend to overlap and blur into each other, and the many case histories come to have a certain sameness, Goleman's essential message comes through loud and clear.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553378580
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/4/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 66,189
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Goleman, PH.D. is also the author of the worldwide bestseller Working with Emotional Intelligence and is co-author of Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence, written with Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee.

Dr. Goleman received his Ph.D. from Harvard and reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for twelve years, where he was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He was awarded the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award and is currently a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science His other books include Destructive Emotions, The Meditative Mind, The Creative Spirit, and Vital Lies, Simple Truths.

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Read an Excerpt

The New Yardstick

The rules for work are changing. We're being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other. This yardstick is increasingly applied in choosing who will be hired and who will not, who will be let go and who retained, who passed over and who promoted.

The new rules predict who is most likely to become a star performer and who is most prone to derailing. And, no matter what field we work in currently, they measure the traits that are crucial to our marketability for future jobs.

These rules have little to do with what we were told was important in school; academic abilities are largely irrelevant to this standard. The new measure takes for granted having enough intellectual ability and technical know-how to do our jobs; it focuses instead on personal qualities, such as initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness.

This is no passing fad, nor just the management nostrum of the moment. The data that argue for taking it seriously are based on studies of tens of thousands of working people, in callings of every kind. The research distills with unprecedented precision which qualities mark a star performer. And it demonstrates which human abilities make up the greater part of the ingredients for excellence at work—most especially for leadership.

If you work in a large organization, even now you are probably being evaluated in terms of these capabilities, though you may not know it. If you are applying for a job, you are likely to be scrutinized through this lens, though, again, no one will tell you so explicitly. Whatever your job, understanding how to cultivate these capabilities can be essential for success in your career.

If you are part of a management team, you need to consider whether your organization fosters these competencies or discourages them. To the degree your organizational climate nourishes these competencies, your organization will be more effective and productive. You will maximize your group's intelligence, the synergistic interaction of every person's best talents.

If you work for a small organization or for yourself, your ability to perform at peak depends to a very great extent on your having these abilities—though almost certainly you were never taught them in school. Even so, your career will depend, to a greater or lesser extent, on how well you have mastered these capacities.

In a time with no guarantees of job security, when the very concept of a "job" is rapidly being replaced by "portable skills," these are prime qualities that make and keep us employable. Talked about loosely for decades under a variety of names, from "character" and "personality" to "soft skills" and "competence," there is at last a more precise understanding of these human talents, and a new name for them: emotional intelligence.

A Different Way of Being Smart

"I had the lowest cumulative grade point average ever in my engineering school," the codirector of a consulting firm tells me. "But when I joined the army and went to officer candidate school, I was number one in my class—it was all about how you handle yourself, get along with people, work in teams, leadership. And that's what I find to be true in the world of work."

In other words, what matters is a different way of being smart. In my book Emotional Intelligence, my focus was primarily on education, though a short chapter dealt with implications for work and organizational life.

What caught me by utter surprise—and delighted me—was the flood of interest from the business community. Responding to a tidal wave of letters and faxes, e-mails and phone calls, requests to speak and consult, I found myself on a global odyssey, talking to thousands of people, from CEOs to secretaries, about what it means to bring emotional intelligence to work.

*
• *

This search has taken me back to research I participated in while a graduate student, and then faculty member, at Harvard University. That research was part of an early challenge to the IQ mystique—the false but widely embraced notion that what matters for success is intellect alone. This work helped spawn what has now become a mini-industry that analyzes the actual competencies that make people successful in jobs and organizations of every kind, and the findings are astonishing: IQ takes second position to emotional intelligence in determining outstanding job performance.

Analyses done by dozens of different experts in close to five hundred corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide have arrived independently at remarkably similar conclusions, and their findings are particularly compelling because they avoid the biases or limits inherent in the work of a single individual or group. Their conclusions all point to the paramount place of emotional intelligence in excellence on the job—in virtually any job.

Some Misconceptions

As I've toured the world talking and consulting with people in business, I've encountered certain widespread misunderstandings about emotional intelligence. Let me clear up some of the most common at the outset. First, emotional intelligence does not mean merely "being nice." At strategic moments it may demand not "being nice," but rather, for example, bluntly confronting someone with an uncomfortable but consequential truth they've been avoiding.

Second, emotional intelligence does not mean giving free rein to feelings—"letting it all hang out." Rather, it means managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goals.

Also, women are not "smarter" than men when it comes to emotional intelligence, nor are men superior to women. Each of us has a personal profile of strengths and weaknesses in these capacities. Some of us may be highly empathic but lack some abilities to handle our own distress; others may be quite aware of the subtlest shift in our own moods, yet be inept socially.

It is true that men and women as groups tend to have a shared, gender-specific profile of strong and weak points. An analysis of emotional intelligence in thousands of men and women found that women, on average, are more aware of their emotions, show more empathy, and are more adept interpersonally. Men, on the other hand, are more self-confident and optimistic, adapt more easily, and handle stress better.

In general, however, there are far more similarities than differences. Some men are as empathic as the most interpersonally sensitive women, while some women are every bit as able to withstand stress as the most emotionally resilient men. Indeed, on average, looking at the overall ratings for men and women, the strengths and weaknesses average out, so that in terms of total emotional intelligence, there are no sex differences.

Finally, our level of emotional intelligence is not fixed genetically, nor does it develop only in early childhood. Unlike IQ, which changes little after our teen years, emotional intelligence seems to be largely learned, and it continues to develop as we go through life and learn from our experiences—our competence in it can keep growing. In fact, studies that have tracked people's level of emotional intelligence through the years show that people get better and better in these capabilities as they grow more adept at handling their own emotions and impulses, at motivating themselves, and at honing their empathy and social adroitness. There is an old-fashioned word for this growth in emotional intelligence: maturity.

Why This Matters Now

At a California biotech start-up, the CEO proudly enumerated the features that made his organization state-of-the-art: No one, including him, had a fixed office; instead, everyone carried a small laptop—their mobile office—and was wired to everyone else. Job titles were irrelevant; employees worked in cross-functional teams and the place bubbled with creative energy. People routinely put in seventy- and eighty-hour work weeks.

"So what's the downside?" I asked him.

"There is no downside," he assured me.

And that was the fallacy. Once I was free to talk with staff members, I heard the truth: The hectic pace had people feeling burned out and robbed of their private lives. And though everyone could talk via computer to everyone else, people felt that no one was truly listening to them.

People desperately felt the need for connection, for empathy, for open communication.

In the new, stripped-down, every-job-counts business climate, these human realities will matter more than ever. Massive change is a constant; technical innovations, global competition, and the pressures of institutional investors are ever-escalating forces for flux.

Another reality makes emotional intelligence ever more crucial: As organizations shrink through waves of downsizing, those people who remain are more accountable—and more visible. Where earlier a midlevel employee might easily hide a hot temper or shyness, now competencies such as managing one's emotions, handling encounters well, teamwork, and leadership, show—and count—more than ever.

The globalization of the workforce puts a particular premium on emotional intelligence in wealthier countries. Higher wages in these countries, if they are to be maintained, will depend on a new kind of productivity. And structural fixes or technological advances alone are not enough: As at the California biotech firm, streamlining or other innovations often create new problems that cry out for even greater emotional intelligence.

As business changes, so do the traits needed to excel. Data tracking the talents of star performers over several decades reveal that two abilities that mattered relatively little for success in the 1970s have become crucially important in the 1990s: team building and adapting to change. And entirely new capabilities have begun to appear as traits of star performers, notably change catalyst and leveraging diversity. New challenges demand new talents.


A Coming Crisis: Rising IQ, Dropping EQ

Since 1918, when World War I brought the first mass use of IQ tests on American army recruits, the average IQ score in the United States has risen 24 points, and there has been a similar rise in developed countries around the world. The reasons include better nutrition, more children completing more schooling, computer games and puzzles that help children master spatial skills, and smaller family size (which generally correlates with higher IQ scores in children).

There is a dangerous paradox at work, however: As children grow ever smarter in IQ, their emotional intelligence is on the decline. Perhaps the most disturbing single piece of data comes from a massive survey of parents and teachers that shows the present generation of children to be more emotionally troubled than the last. On average, children are growing more lonely and depressed, more angry and unruly, more nervous and prone to worry, more impulsive and aggressive.

Two random samples of American children, age seven to sixteen, were evaluated by their parents and teachers—adults who knew them well. The first group was assessed in the mid-1970s, and a comparable group was surveyed in the late 1980s. Over that decade and a half there was a steady worsening of children's emotional intelligence. Although poorer children started out at a lower level on average, the rate of decline was the same across all economic groups—as steep in the wealthiest suburbs as in the poorest inner-city slum.

Dr. Thomas Achenbach, the University of Vermont psychologist who did these studies—and who has collaborated with colleagues on similar assessments in other nations—tells me that the decline in children's basic emotional competencies seems to be worldwide. The most telling signs of this are seen in rising rates among young people of problems such as despair, alienation, drug abuse, crime and violence, depression or eating disorders, unwanted pregnancies, bullying, and dropping out of school.

What this portends for the workplace is quite troubling: growing deficiencies among workers in emotional intelligence, particularly among those newest to the job. Most of the children that Achenbach studied in the late 1980s will be in their twenties by the year 2000. The generation that is falling behind in emotional intelligence is entering the workforce today.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.....................................................ix
Beyond Expertise
Self-Mastery
People Skills
A New Model of Learning
The Emotionally Intelligent Organization
Some Final Thoughts................................................312
Appendix 1 Emotional Intelligence.................................317
Appendix 2 Calculating the Competencies of Stars..................319
Appendix 3 Gender and Empathy.....................................322
Appendix 4 Strategies for Leveraging Diversity....................324
Appendix 5 Further Issues in Training.............................326
Notes..............................................................331
Index..............................................................373
Contacting Daniel Goleman..........................................384
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First Chapter

Chapter One

The New Yardstick

    The rules for work are changing. We're being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other. This yardstick is increasingly applied in choosing who will be hired and who will not, who will be let go and who retained, who passed over and who promoted.

    The new rules predict who is most likely to become a star performer and who is most prone to derailing. And, no matter what field we work in currently, they measure the traits that are crucial to our marketability for future jobs.

    These rules have little to do with what we were told was important in school; academic abilities are largely irrelevant to this standard. The new measure takes for granted having enough intellectual ability and technical know-how to do our jobs; it focuses instead on personal qualities, such as initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness.

    This is no passing fad, nor just the management nostrum of the moment. The data that argue for taking it seriously are based on studies of tens of thousands of working people, in callings of every kind. The research distills with unprecedented precision which qualities mark a star performer. And it demonstrates which human abilities make up the greater part of the ingredients for excellence at work--most especially for leadership.

    If you work in a large organization, even now you are probably being evaluated in terms of these capabilities, though you may not know it. If you are applying for a job, you are likely to be scrutinized through this lens, though, again, no one will tell you so explicitly. Whatever your job, understanding how to cultivate these capabilities can be essential for success in your career.

    If you are part of a management team, you need to consider whether your organization fosters these competencies or discourages them. To the degree your organizational climate nourishes these competencies, your organization will be more effective and productive. You will maximize your group's intelligence, the synergistic interaction of every person's best talents.

    If you work for a small organization or for yourself, your ability to perform at peak depends to a very great extent on your having these abilities--though almost certainly you were never taught them in school. Even so, your career will depend, to a greater or lesser extent, on how well you have mastered these capacities.

    In a time with no guarantees of job security, when the very concept of a "job" is rapidly being replaced by "portable skills," these are prime qualities that make and keep us employable. Talked about loosely for decades under a variety of names, from "character" and "personality" to "soft skills" and "competence," there is at last a more precise understanding of these human talents, and a new name for them: emotional intelligence.

A Different Way of Being Smart

    I had the lowest cumulative grade point average ever in my engineering school," the codirector of a consulting firm tells me. "But when I joined the army and went to officer candidate school, I was number one in my class--it was all about how you handle yourself, get along with people, work in teams, leadership. And that's what I find to be true in the world of work."

    In other words, what matters is a different way of being smart. In my book Emotional Intelligence, my focus was primarily on education, though a short chapter dealt with implications for work and organizational life.

    What caught me by utter surprise--and delighted me--was the flood of interest from the business community. Responding to a tidal wave of letters and faxes, e-mails and phone calls, requests to speak and consult, I found myself on a global odyssey, talking to thousands of people, from CEOs to secretaries, about what it means to bring emotional intelligence to work.

    Over and over I heard what became a familiar litany. People like the high-performing business consultant with the low GPA told me they found emotional intelligence, not technical expertise or book learning, to be what mattered most for excellence. My book, they said, made it safe to speak up about the business costs of emotional ineptitude, and to question a narrow, expertise-is-all view of capabilities. They felt they now had a new way to think about what they wished for in their own workplaces.

    People spoke with extraordinary candor about matters far beyond the reach of corporate PR radar. Many detailed what is not working (such tales of emotional ineptitude are retold here without revealing the person's or organization's identity). But many others told success stories, confirming the practical value of working with emotional intelligence.

    And so began the two-year inquiry that has culminated in this book. The effort has woven together several professional strands from my own life. From the outset, I've relied on the methods of journalism to delve into the facts and to narrate my conclusions. I've also gone back to my professional roots as an academic psychologist, conducting an exhaustive review of the research that illuminates the place of emotional intelligence in high performance for individuals, teams, and organizations. And I've performed or commissioned several new scientific analyses of data from hundreds of companies to establish a precise metric for quantifying the value of emotional intelligence.

    This search has taken me back to research I participated in while a graduate student, and then faculty member, at Harvard University. That research was part of an early challenge to the IQ mystique--the false but widely embraced notion that what matters for success is intellect alone. This work helped spawn what has now become a mini-industry that analyzes the actual competencies that make people successful in jobs and organizations of every kind, and the findings are astonishing: IQ takes second position to emotional intelligence in determining outstanding job performance.

    Analyses done by dozens of different experts in close to five hundred corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide have arrived independently at remarkably similar conclusions, and their findings are particularly compelling because they avoid the biases or limits inherent in the work of a single individual or group. Their conclusions all point to the paramount place of emotional intelligence in excellence on the job--in virtually any job.

   To be sure, these ideas are not new to the workplace; how people manage themselves and relate to those around them is central to much classic management theory. What's new is the data: We now have twenty-five years' worth of empirical studies that tell us with a previously unknown precision just how much emotional intelligence matters for success.

    Another strand: In the decades since my own research in psychobiology, I have been tracking cutting-edge findings in neuroscience. This has allowed me to propose a foundation in brain science for the emotional intelligence model. Many businesspeople are traditionally skeptical of "soft" psychology and wary of the pop theories that come and go, but neuroscience makes crystal clear why emotional intelligence matters so much.

    The ancient brain centers for emotion also harbor the skills needed for managing ourselves effectively and for social adeptness. Thus these skills are grounded in our evolutionary heritage for survival and adaptation.

    This emotional part of the brain, neuroscience tells us, learns differently from the thinking brain. That insight has been pivotal in my development of this book--and leads me to challenge much conventional wisdom in corporate training and development.

    I'm not alone in this challenge. For the last two years I have been working as cochair of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations--a group of researchers from business schools, the federal government, and industry. Our research reveals deplorable weaknesses in how businesses train people in skills from listening and leadership to team building and handling change.

    Most training programs have embraced an academic model--but this has been a drastic mistake, wasting millions of hours and billions of dollars. What's needed is an entirely new way of thinking about what it takes to help people boost their emotional intelligence.

Some Misconceptions

    As I've toured the world talking and consulting with people in business, I've encountered certain widespread misunderstandings about emotional intelligence. Let me clear up some of the most common at the outset. First, emotional intelligence does not mean merely "being nice." At strategic moments it may demand not "being nice," but rather, for example, bluntly confronting someone with an uncomfortable but consequential truth they've been avoiding.

    Second, emotional intelligence does not mean giving free rein to feelings--"letting it all hang out." Rather, it means managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goals.

    Also, women are not "smarter" than men when it comes to emotional intelligence, nor are men superior to women. Each of us has a personal profile of strengths and weaknesses in these capacities. Some of us may be highly empathic but lack some abilities to handle our own distress; others may be quite aware of the subtlest shift in our own moods, yet be inept socially.

    It is true that men and women as groups tend to have a shared, gender-specific profile of strong and weak points. An analysis of emotional intelligence in thousands of men and women found that women, on average, are more aware of their emotions, show more empathy, and are more adept interpersonally. Men, on the other hand, are more self-confident and optimistic, adapt more easily, and handle stress better.

    In general, however, there are far more similarities than differences. Some men are as empathic as the most interpersonally sensitive women, while some women are every bit as able to withstand stress as the most emotionally resilient men. Indeed, on average, looking at the overall ratings for men and women, the strengths and weaknesses average out, so that in terms of total emotional intelligence, there are no sex differences.

    Finally, our level of emotional intelligence is not fixed genetically, nor does it develop only in early childhood. Unlike IQ, which changes little after our teen years, emotional intelligence seems to be largely learned, and it continues to develop as we go through life and learn from our experiences--our competence in it can keep growing. In fact, studies that have tracked people's level of emotional intelligence through the years show that people get better and better in these capabilities as they grow more adept at handling their own emotions and impulses, at motivating themselves, and at honing their empathy and social adroitness. There is an old-fashioned word for this growth in emotional intelligence: maturity.

Emotional Intelligence: The Missing Priority

    More and more companies are seeing that encouraging emotional intelligence skills is a vital component of any organization's management philosophy. "You don't compete with products alone anymore, but how well you use your people," a manager at Telia, the Swedish telecommunications company, put it to me. And Linda Keegan, vice president for executive development at Citibank, told me, "Emotional intelligence is the underlying premise for all management training."

    It's a refrain I hear time and again:

[] The president of a hundred-person job shop in the aerospace industry tells me that one of the main companies he supplies, AlliedSignal, required that he and all his employees be trained in the ubiquitous "quality circle" approach. "They wanted us to work better as a team, which was great" he says. "But we've found it hard--how can you be a team if you're not a group first? And to bond as a group we needed to boost our emotional intelligence."
[] "We've been very effective at increasing profitability through methods like reengineering and speeding up the turnaround cycle for new products. But even with some big successes, our curve of improvement is flattening," a manager at Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, tells me. "We see the need to use our people better--maximize our human assets--to make the curve rise again. So we're trying to make the company more emotionally intelligent."
[] A former project manager at Ford Motor Company recounts how he used the "learning organization" methods developed at MIT's Sloan School of Management in redesigning the Lincoln Continental. He says that learning about emotional intelligence was a kind of epiphany for him: "Those are exactly the abilities we had to build up to make us an effective learning organization."

A 1997 survey of benchmark practices among major corporations, done by the American Society for Training and Development, found that four out of five companies are trying to promote emotional intelligence in their employees through training and development, when evaluating performance, and in hiring.

    If so, why write this book? Because many or most organizations' efforts to encourage emotional intelligence have been poor, wasting vast amounts of time, energy, and money. For instance, the most systematic study ever done of the return on investment in leadership training (as we will see in Part 4) found that one well-respected week-long seminar for top-level executives actually had a slight negative effect on their job performance.

    Businesses are waking up to the fact that even the most expensive training can go awry, and often does. And this ineptness comes at a time when emotional intelligence in individuals and organizations is emerging as a missing ingredient in the recipe for competitiveness.

Why This Matters Now

    At a California biotech start-up, the CEO proudly enumerated the features that made his organization state-of-the-art: No one, including him, had a fixed office; instead, everyone carried a small laptop--their mobile office--and was wired to everyone else. Job titles were irrelevant; employees worked in cross-functional teams and the place bubbled with creative energy. People routinely put in seventy- and eighty-hour work weeks.

    "So what's the downside?" I asked him.

    "There is no downside," he assured me.

    And that was the fallacy. Once I was free to talk with staff members, I heard the truth: The hectic pace had people feeling burned out and robbed of their private lives. And though everyone could talk via computer to everyone else, people felt that no one was truly listening to them.

    People desperately felt the need for connection, for empathy, for open communication.

    In the new, stripped-down, every-job-counts business climate, these human realities will matter more than ever. Massive change is a constant; technical innovations, global competition, and the pressures of institutional investors are ever-escalating forces for flux.

    Another reality makes emotional intelligence ever more crucial: As organizations shrink through waves of downsizing, those people who remain are more accountable--and more visible. Where earlier a midlevel employee might easily hide a hot temper or shyness, now competencies such as managing one's emotions, handling encounters well, teamwork, and leadership, show--and count--more than ever.

    The globalization of the workforce puts a particular premium on emotional intelligence in wealthier countries. Higher wages in these countries, if they are to be maintained, will depend on a new kind of productivity. And structural fixes or technological advances alone are not enough: As at the California biotech firm, streamlining or other innovations often create new problems that cry out for even greater emotional intelligence.

    As business changes, so do the traits needed to excel. Data tracking the talents of star performers over several decades reveal that two abilities that mattered relatively little for success in the 1970s have become crucially important in the 1990s: team building and adapting to change. And entirely new capabilities have begun to appear as traits of star performers, notably change catalyst and leveraging diversity. New challenges demand new talents.

Churning and the New Dread

    A friend at a Fortune 500 company, one that had just downsized, letting thousands of employees go, told me: "It was terrible--so many people I've known for years were booted out, demoted, or transferred. It was hard for everybody. I still have my job, but I'll never feel the same about this place.

    "I've been here thirty years, and over that time we were given the sense that as long as we put in a decent work day, the company would stand by us. Then, out of the blue, we were told, `No one is guaranteed a job here anymore.'"

    It seems no one is guaranteed a job anywhere anymore. These are troubled times for workers. The creeping sense that no one's job is safe, even as the companies they work for are thriving, means the spread of fear, apprehension, and confusion.

    One sign of this growing unease: An American headhunting firm reported that more than half of callers making inquiries about jobs were still employed--but were so fearful of losing those jobs that they had already started to look for another. The day that AT&T began notifying the first of forty thousand workers to be laid off--in a year when its profits were a record $4.7 billion--a poll reported that a third of Americans feared that someone in their household would soon lose a job.

    Such fears persist at a time when the American economy is creating more jobs than it is losing. The churning of jobs--what economists euphemistically call "labor market flexibility"--is now a troubling fact of work life. And it is part of a global tidal wave sweeping through all the leading economies of the developed world, whether in Europe, Asia, or the Americas. Prosperity is no guarantee of jobs; layoffs continue even amidst a booming economy. This paradox, as Paul Krugman, an MIT economist, puts it, is "the unfortunate price we have to pay for having as dynamic an economy as we do."

   There is now a palpable bleakness about the new landscape of work. "We work in what amounts to a quiet war zone" is the way one midlevel executive at a multinational firm put it to me. "There's no way to give your loyalty to a company and expect it to be returned anymore. So each person is becoming their own little shop within the company--you have to be able to be part of a team, but also ready to move on and be self-sufficient."

    For many older workers---children of the meritocracy, who were taught that education and technical skills were a permanent ticket to success--this new way of thinking may come as a shock. People are beginning to realize that success takes more than intellectual excellence or technical prowess, and that we need another sort of skill just to survive--and certainly to thrive--in the increasingly turbulent job market of the future. Internal qualities such as resilience, initiative, optimism, and adaptability are taking on a new valuation.

A Coming Crisis: Rising IQ, Dropping EQ

    Since 1918, when World War I brought the first mass use of IQ tests on American army recruits, the average IQ score in the United States has risen 24 points, and there has been a similar rise in developed countries around the world. The reasons include better nutrition, more children completing more schooling, computer games and puzzles that help children master spatial skills, and smaller family size (which generally correlates with higher IQ scores in children).

    There is a dangerous paradox at work, however: As children grow ever smarter in IQ, their emotional intelligence is on the decline. Perhaps the most disturbing single piece of data comes from a massive survey of parents and teachers that shows the present generation of children to be more emotionally troubled than the last. On average, children are growing more lonely and depressed, more angry and unruly, more nervous and prone to worry, more impulsive and aggressive.

    Two random samples of American children, age seven to sixteen, were evaluated by their parents and teachers--adults who knew them well. The first group was assessed in the mid-1970s, and a comparable group was surveyed in the late 1980s. Over that decade and a half there was a steady worsening of children's emotional intelligence. Although poorer children started out at a lower level on average, the rate of decline was the same across all economic groups--as steep in the wealthiest suburbs as in the poorest inner-city slum.

    Dr. Thomas Achenbach, the University of Vermont psychologist who did these studies--and who has collaborated with colleagues on similar assessments in other nations--tells me that the decline in children's basic emotional competencies seems to be worldwide. The most telling signs of this are seen in rising rates among young people of problems such as despair, alienation, drug abuse, crime and violence, depression or eating disorders, unwanted pregnancies, bullying, and dropping out of school.

    What this portends for the workplace is quite troubling: growing deficiencies among workers in emotional intelligence, particularly among those newest to the job. Most of the children that Achenbach studied in the late 1980s will be in their twenties by the year 2000. The generation that is falling behind in emotional intelligence is entering the workforce today.

What Employers Want

    A survey of American employers reveals that more than half the people who work for them lack the motivation to keep learning and improving in their job. Four in ten are not able to work cooperatively with fellow employees, and just 19 percent of those applying for entry-level jobs have enough self-discipline in their work habits.

    More and more employers are complaining about the lack of social skills in new hires. In the words of an executive at a large restaurant chain: "Too many young people can't take criticism--they get defensive or hostile when people give them feedback on how they're doing. They react to performance feedback as though it were a personal attack."

    The problem is not just in new workers--it's true for some seasoned executives as well. In the world of the 1960s and 1970s, people got ahead by going to the right schools and doing well there. But the world is full of well-trained, once-promising men and women who have plateaued in their careers--or worse, derailed--because of crucial gaps in emotional intelligence.

    In a national survey of what employers are looking for in entry-level workers, specific technical skills are now less important than the underlying ability to learn on the job. After that, employers listed:

[] Listening and oral communication
[] Adaptability and creative responses to setbacks and obstacles
[] Personal management, confidence, motivation to work toward goals, a sense of wanting to develop one's career and take pride in accomplishments
[] Group and interpersonal effectiveness, cooperativeness and teamwork, skills at negotiating disagreements
[] Effectiveness in the organization, wanting to make a contribution, leadership potential

Of seven desired traits, just one was academic: competence in reading, writing, and math.

    A study of what corporations are seeking in the MBAs they hire yields a similar list. The three most desired capabilities are communication skills, interpersonal skills, and initiative. As Jill Fadule, managing director of admissions and financial aid at the Harvard Business School, told me, "empathy, perspective taking, rapport, and cooperation" are among the competencies the school is looking for in those who apply.

Our Journey

    My mission in writing this book is to act as a guide to the scientific case for working with emotional intelligence--as individuals, in groups, as organizations. At every step I have sought to validate the science with the testimony of people in jobs and organizations of all kinds, and their voices will be heard all along the way.

    In Part 1 I make the case that emotional intelligence counts more than IQ or expertise for determining who excels at a job--any job--and that for outstanding leadership it counts for almost everything. The business case is compelling: Companies that leverage this advantage add measurably to their bottom line.

    Part 2 details twelve specific job capabilities, all based on self-mastery--initiative, trustworthiness, self-confidence, and achievement drive among them--and describes the unique contribution each makes to star performance.

    In Part 3 I turn to thirteen key relationship skills--such as empathy and political awareness, leveraging diversity, team capabilities, and leadership. These are the skills that let us, for instance, navigate the currents of an organization effortlessly while others founder.

    Throughout, readers can get a rough sense of where they stand when it comes to working with emotional intelligence. As I will show in Chapter 3, star performance does not require us to excel in all these competencies, but rather that we be strong in enough of them to reach the critical mass for success.

    Part 4 heralds the good news: Whatever competencies we may be weak in, we can always learn to be better. To help readers who want to improve their own emotional intelligence capabilities--and to avoid wasting time and money--I offer practical, scientifically grounded guidelines for the best ways of doing so.

    Finally, Part 5 considers what it means for an organization to be emotionally intelligent. I describe one such company and show why such practices can help not just with business performance but also in making organizations satisfying and desirable to work for. I also show how companies that ignore the emotional realities of their employees do so at their own risk, while those organizations with emotional intelligence are best equipped to survive--and to do well--in the ever more turbulent years ahead.

    Though my aim is to be helpful, this is not a self-help book. There are perhaps too many how-to books promising far too much about improving emotional intelligence. Though these books are no doubt well intended, they typically perpetuate misconceptions about what upgrading these most essential capacities truly demands. Instead of quick fixes, you will find here sound guidelines for the real work of becoming more emotionally competent. These guidelines represent a level-headed survey of new thinking, research findings, and model practices from organizations around the world.

    We live in a time when our prospects for the future increasingly depend on managing ourselves and handling our relationships more artfully. My hope is to offer some practical guidance for the crucial personal and business challenges we all face in the coming century.

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Interviews & Essays


bn.com Interview

Q:  Why did you write Working with Emotional Intelligence?

A:  When I wrote Emotional Intelligence, which mostly focused on children, I was amazed at the global response I got from the business community. People saw the need. It intrigued me. So I started looking into it and found the most amazing data. For effective performance, emotional competence matters twice as much as IQ and expertise. This is true in all kinds of jobs.

Q:  What percentage of people have emotional intelligence?

A:  We all it have it to some extent or another. Emotional intelligence ranges from how self-confident you are to how well you can control your temper and impulses which our president has been having trouble with lately. Emotional intelligence does not mean "being nice." It means managing feelings so they are expressed appropriately and effectively. It's also your motivation and your drive to succeed. It's empathy, how well you can collaborate and work on a team. There's a whole spectrum of skills. People who are truly exceptional have at least six.

Q:  If you're hiring someone, how do you evaluate his or her emotional intelligence?

A:  There's a paradox in trying to ask people to assess themselves. It's best to ask people who know the candidate well. Find people who have worked with him or her. One thing you can do is ask candidates to describe two or three times when they did well and two or three times when they blew it. Listen carefully for their competencies. Were they adaptable? Were they able to use a network? Did they bring any of the collaborative skills into play?

Q:  What if you sense you're deficient?

A:  If you're getting feedback that you're not such a good listener, or that you can't collaborate, the good news is that all of this is learnable. However, it takes some time, effort, and motivation.

Q:  In your book, you are rather critical of corporate programs for instilling emotional competence. What other ways are there to learn?

A:  I have guidelines in the book for what to look for in a program. One key is that you pick a program where they tailor the training to you. Use your network. Get a coach or a buddy to help you. You should also be able to practice for several months. This has to do with habit change, and behavioral change takes time.

Q:  What do you do if you're working for someone who is not emotionally competent?

A:  In a sense, you can lead from anywhere within an organizational hierarchy. Build a network, build bonds for communication, even if it's not the official channel. You also can lead upward. You can coach your boss. Coaching and development are another set of capabilities.

Q:  If you are emotionally intelligent, does this mean you can forgo traditional education and still succeed?

A:  Bill Gates is a dropout, but his drive to achieve is world-class. His ability to regulate his emotions is not so good. He blows up at people. If he didn't own the company, he'd never get to the top.

No matter what the job, you have to have the basic IQ requirements to perform the job. But if you ask what it takes to be a star, then it's emotional intelligence by a two-to-one margin. And at the top levels, it's a factor of 85-90 percent.

Q:  Is it ever appropriate to blow up in the workplace?

A:  Almost never. It may be appropriate to have a strong response, but generally the negative repercussions of a blowup are all on the downside. People just want to avoid you afterward.

Q:  What implications are there for handling emotions through electronic communication, such as for telecommuters? p>A:  If your form of communication is mainly electronic, you need emotional intelligence more than ever. You're disconnected from the everyday fabric of work life. You lose your touch points. You need to make an extra effort. And with electronic communication, there's the danger of flaming because you can't see the immediate reaction the other person is having to what you're saying.

Q:  You talk in your book about following your gut feeling. If your gut feeling tells you you've walked into the wrong situation, how long should you wait before getting out of it?

A:  The gut feeling is a theory that tests itself every day. If the feeling is getting stronger that it's wrong, that's probably right. But maybe with time the feeling will get stronger that you can work it out somehow. Don't act on your first impulse. Gather more data before making a decision.

Q:  What are you reading now?

A:  Future Perfect by Jeff Greenwald. It's about "Star Trek" and its impact on our culture. It's a terrific book.


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Reading Group Guide

1. Working with Emotional Intelligence argues that the business environment has changed radically since the 1970's, producing new challenges, and hence, a demand for new talents. "Data tracking the talents of star performers over several decades reveal that two abilities that mattered relatively little for success in the 1970's have become crucially important in the 1990's: team building and adapting to change. And entirely new capabilities have begun to appear as traits for star performers, notably change catalyst and leveraging diversity." Do you agree? Have you noticed this trend in your own field? How do these changes manifest themselves in the job market?

2. Why do you think businesses and colleges continue to ignore emotional intelligence when assessing an applicant's strengths, and focus almost exclusively on measures of IQ? Is there a way of accurately gauging emotional intelligence? Do you think there should be widespread use of emotional intelligence testing? How might such tests be standardized?

3. Goleman draws a distinction between "good stress" and "bad stress," arguing that they result in different biological responses; producing adrenaline and cortisol, respectively. What are the challenges that you find invigorating, versus those that overwhelm, or paralyze you? Do you believe it's possible to transform your biological response to these challenges through a heightened emotional intelligence? What are some steps you might take to increase your desired emotional competencies?

4. How might businesses use the information in Working with Emotional Intelligence to transform their companies? What are some specific tools that Goleman provides to a CEO, enabling them to cut costs and increase earnings?

5. Each job demands different emotional competencies. Which do you think pertain to your chosen field? How would you rate your own level of ability in those competencies? Do you feel proficient in any emotional competencies that are superfluous to your work? When do these abilities come into play?

6. Goleman describes an integrated program for developing emotional intelligence in the workplace, and notes that optimum success is seen when all of the elements are used in combination. Which of the "best practices" do you think is most difficult to implement? Which ones are you currently using in your own workplace? Which elements present a new challenge for you?

7. Emotional intelligence does not mean, "being nice" or "giving free reign to feelings." When does an excess of social sensitivity become distracting and harmful? When can positive qualities, such as affiliation, initiative, empathy, and gregariousness get in the way of productivity and success? What is it that enables us to strike the desired balance? How does that balance shift according to differing environments and different jobs?

8. The book points out a frequent disparity between how well people fare academically and their subsequent success level upon joining the work force. "Paradoxically, IQ has the least power in predicting success among that pool of people smart enough to handle the most cognitively demanding fields, and the value of emotional intelligence for success grows more powerful the higher the intelligence barriers for entry into a field." Why do you think this is so? Do you know of academic geniuses who failed to measure up to their potential? Do you think their lack of emotional intelligence was at fault?

9. "An emotional competence is a learned capability based on emotional intelligence that results in outstanding performance at work." Our emotional intelligence determines our potential, our emotional competence indicates "how much of that potential has been translated into on-the-job capabilities." Are you living up to your emotional intelligence potential? What emotional intelligence talents do you feel you possess, that remain untapped, or undeveloped?

10. Throughout the book, Goleman links many aspects of emotional intelligence to evolutionary developments that took place hundreds of thousands of years ago. Do you agree that these sensitivities are rooted in our species' development? What are some evolutionarily inherited behaviors that are no longer applicable to modern life?

11. Goleman writes, "The rhythm and pace of modern life give us too little time to assimilate, reflect, and react— We need time to be introspective, but we don't get it - or don't take it." How do you take the time to be introspective, and process your emotions? What form do your moments of quietude take? Meditation? Gardening? Walks? Do you wish you had more such "do nothing" time? How might you find additional opportunities to listen to your "inner voice"?

12. A list of common blind spots that might prevent someone from pursuing self-awareness are: blind ambition, unrealistic goals, relentless striving, drives others, power hungry, insatiable need for recognition, preoccupation with appearances, need to seem perfect. Do any of your co-workers exhibit such tendencies? Does it restrict their emotional competencies? Do any of the above qualities impair your own sense of self? What other blind spots can you think of?

13. Goleman stresses the importance of "team capabilities" and the notion that it is a group's collective emotional intelligence that propels a company's success much more than any individual's talents. In an ideal group, each individual contributes different, complimentary emotional competencies that produce a "critical mass" for success. Have you seen such EQ team work in action and noticed its positive results? In your own work, do you collaborate with individuals whose emotional competencies compliment your own? Or are there certain important deficiencies you all share?

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Goleman is Still the Go-To Guy

    While perhaps not as functional as his ground-breaking book, Emotional Intelligence, this book still adds value to anyone looking to improve their E.Q. Goleman is still the go-to guy on this topic. As one who teaches classes and seminars on this subject, I believe it's well worth checking out all of Goleman's material. You'll find several useful gems along the way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 27, 2009

    Good book

    I liked it and had good info, but not great tools. I would recommend Full Throttle by Dr. Gregg Steinberg for hands on stuff.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2007

    Pompous style detracts from good information

    Good ideas, unfortunately buried in too many references to the author and all his research. I bought this book for my workgroup to read and share -- it was universally agreed that the writing style was really difficult to wade through and made reading the book work, not pleasure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2004

    Packed With Knowledge!

    Daniel Goleman followed up his bestselling classic Emotional Intelligence with this equally classic sequel that focuses on how emotional intelligence is applied in the workplace. Insightful and richly detailed, Goleman¿s work educates and inspires without ever sounding trite or sappy, like some annoying quick-fix scheme. If you are leadership bound and think success is all about strategy and technique, this will provide some very useful insights into what people really think about managing and being managed. The most intriguing sections focus on the application of emotional intelligence at work, but it would be pretty useful at home, too (if we could just get out of the office). If you think that you don¿t need to be more aware of the emotional undercurrents all around you, we warn that you need to read this most of all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent book.

    Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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