Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.
The best news is that “emotional literacy” is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.
Praise for Emotional Intelligence
“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
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About the Author
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.
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.
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.
Table of Contents
- Part One: The Emotional Brain
- Chapter 1: What Are Emotions For? ..... 3
Chapter 2: Anatomy of an Emotional Hijacking ..... 13
- Part Two: The Nature of Emotional Intelligence
- Chapter 3: When Smart is Dumb ..... 33
Chapter 4: Know Thyself ..... 46
Chapter 5: Passion's Slaves ..... 56
Chapter 6: The Master Aptitude ..... 78
Chapter 7: The Roots of Empathy ..... 96
Chapter 8: The Social Arts ..... 111
- Part Three: Emotional Intelligence Applied
- Chapter 9: Intimate Enemies ..... 129
Chapter 10: Managing with Heart ..... 148
Chapter 11: Mind and Medicine ..... 164
- Part Four: Windows of Opportunity
- Chapter 12: The Family Crucible ..... 189
Chapter 13: Trauma and Emotional Relearning ..... 200
Chapter 14: Temperament Is Not Destiny ..... 215
- Part Five: Emotional Literacy
- Chapter 15: The Cost of Emotional Illiteracy ..... 231
Chapter 16: Schooling the Emotions ..... 261
- Appendix A: What is Emotion? ..... 289
Appendix B: Hallmarks of the Emotional Mind ..... 291
Appendix C: The Neural Circuitry of Fear ..... 297
Appendix D: W.T. Grant Consortium: Active Ingredients of Prevention Programs ..... 301
Appendix E: The Self Science Curriculum ..... 303
Appendix F: Social and Emotional Learning: Results ..... 305
Notes ..... 311
Acknowledgements ..... 341
Index ..... 343
Reading Group Guide
1. Emotional Intelligence proposes that empathy and other emotional skills can be taught--and that schools should teach students how to handle and express their emotions appropriately. However, a Time magazine cover story about emotional intelligence argued that, "The danger is that any campaign to hone emotional skills in children will end up teaching that there is a 'right' emotional response for any given situation." Do you believe it's appropriate--or possible--for schools to teach emotional skills to students? If parents don't teach these skills, and schools shouldn't, who should?
2. The book portrays a society suffering from a breakdown of emotional intelligence. It cites the following statistics: Violent crimes by young people are up by a factor of four over the past 20 years. Suicides have tripled among young people in the same period, and forcible rape has doubled. Though he acknowledges that factors such as poverty play a role in the creation of violent criminals, Dr. Goleman says, "Every time we read about another senseless murder, it's a sign of emotional intelligence gone awry." What current or recent events in the news strike you as possible examples of emotional illiteracy? Do you believe there's hope for improving our collective social life by teaching emotional skills to individuals?
3. Are women more emotionally intelligent than men? Dr. Goleman doesn't believe so. He finds that each gender has its emotional strengths and weaknesses. Women are trained to be more empathetic--thus, they are often better than men are at picking up "the subtle, unspoken emotional dimension" of communication. On the other hand, women are treated for depression at twice therate men are. Men are often better at managing their moods--a key component of emotional intelligence. What other patterns of strength and weakness might be attributed to the sexes, respectively? Do you believe boys should be trained to be more aware of others' moods? Do you think girls could be given skills that would help them be more optimistic? Do you believe there are innate differences in the emotional capacities of the genders?
4. Contrary to popular wisdom, Emotional Intelligence argues that venting anger--by yelling, for instance--can cause more harm than good. The author believes catharsis has an undeserved popularity as a method of handling anger. He cites studies which show that the net effect of lashing out is to prolong rage rather than to end it. Do you think it's desirable--or possible--to avoid emotional displays of anger? In what other ways can extreme frustration be expressed? Have you ever regretted an unplanned outburst of rage? Ever seen a tantrum produce a desired result?
5. According to the author, emotions are impulses which compel us toward--or away from--various courses of action. "Formal logic alone can never work as the basis for deciding who to marry or trust or even what job to take; these are the realms where reason without feeling is blind." He believes that gut reactions and intuitions are more than mere momentary whims, that they are sophisticated calculations based on a quick-but-careful review of past experience. Are your important life decisions based more on rationality, or on an emotion-based "gut instinct?" Can you recall any occasion when an instantaneous decision reached by your emotional circuitry steered you right ... or wrong?
6. A previous bestselling book, The Bell Curve, asserts that one's intellectual capacities are fixed: The Bell Curve's authors claim there's no way to transcend the IQ you were born with. Emotional Intelligence defines intelligence more broadly, positing that there is an emotional brain which greatly influences the workings of the rational brain, that both contribute to one's level of intelligence, and that emotional skills can be improved on. Which view of intelligence do you find more valid, and why?
7. Tests of aspects of emotional intelligence, such as "The Marshmallow Test, " have proven to be strong predictors of future success. Some four-year-olds who took "The Marshmallow Test" were able to restrain their desire for a treat in favor of a greater reward later. This triumph over the urge for immediate gratification turned out to have a far-reaching impact later in life. As high-school seniors, those who had "passed" the test "were more academically competent: better able to put their ideas into words, to use and respond to reason, to concentrate, to make plans and follow through on them, and more eager to learn. Most astonishingly, they had dramatically higher scores on their SAT tests." Given such evidence that emotional skills affect one's capacity for success, do you believe children should be given standardized tests which measure not just IQ, but also emotional intelligence?
8. The book offers compelling evidence that parents' degree of emotional skill goes far toward determining their childrens' level of emotional intelligence. Can you recall ways in which your parents enhanced or deterred the development of any of the five components of emotional intelligence (self-awareness; emotional control; self-motivation; empathy; handling relationships) in you or your siblings?
9. Empathy is a key component of emotional intelligence; sensitivity to others' feelings is a prerequisite to developing strong relationships. Researchers believe that 90% of emotional communication is non-verbal. What are some examples of unspoken cues people use to express their feelings?
10. Dr. Goleman says modern medical care often lacks emotional intelligence. "Medicine's inattention to the impact of emotions on illness neglects a growing body of evidence which indicates that emotional states can play a significant role in vulnerability to disease and in the course of their recovery." He claims that "there are many ways medicine can incorporate new knowledge about the impact of emotions on health into its view of patient care." Have you, or has someone you know, experienced emotional insensitivity at the hands of medical professionals? How far should the health-care delivery system go in concerning itself with patients' emotion?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As a university professor of early childhood education with background in counseling psychology, I was ecstatic to discover this monumental book. I am now reading it for the third time, still marking informative bits of information to use in my lectures on child development. If all parents knew the information in this book when they first take their newborn babies home from the hospital, our world would be a much brighter place. If all teachers knew what is REALLY happening in children's minds, they would change their own behavior dramatically. The really good news is that even though our emotional learning is established in the very early years (and at this time we do not know how to alter the physiology of the emotional brain), WE CAN learn how to handle those emotional triggers. Thank you, Mr. Goleman, for giving us this power packed book.
Great insight into emotions & how to deal with them & how they can work 'for' you & help you understand yourself & others, especially if you're having trouble or issues with others at work (or in general). Amazing relief. Good to know I'm not crazy & don't need to pay for counselor.
Emotional Intelligence - by Daniel Goleman - One of the best books I have ever read! I had the pleasure and the honor to translate into Spanish the original Emotional Intelligence scientific documents of Harvard University's Project Zero, way back when these concepts were totally foreign to most people. I have re-read the book several times and it is still fantastic. "Daniel Goleman's brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our "two minds"—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny."
I love this book. It really shows you how the emotional response is achieved and the ingredients for emotional intelligence. read it!
The book has good information but you have to dig for it though a lot of data about how the brain works and education systems, which are interesting, but really distracting from what the main scope of the book should be, and that is how to improve your emotional intelligence.
A very good reference about emotional intelligence
Emotional and Social Intelligence have been the topic of many books in the past decade. Like all seminal books, Daniel Goleman's "Emotional Intelligence" contains many interesting ideas, though in this case they are not entirely developed. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is different than normal "IQ" intelligence in that it concerns reading people, managing emotions, communicating effectively and generally being empathetic. The stereotype of the rocket scientist who can't relate to people (or get a date) comes to mind as illustrative of this difference. People with high EI, the book explains, do better in social relationships, have more friends, are better able to manage through life's challenges and perform better in school and the workplace (if IQ is held as a constant). The lack of EI education in schools is an increasing problem, Goleman explains, because the traditional social and familial roles and relationships that taught the skills to previous generations are changing (or more accurately, degrading). Those with low EI have less impulse control and are quicker to anger and acting out. This goes for children fighting in schools, to gang violence to domestic abuse. There is a fair amount of neuroscience talk in the book, focusing on the connections between different parts of the brain and how the different roles developed in the course of evolution and how many of these roles, once critical to our survival are no counterproductive. Acting without thinking would have saved your life in the days of the sabretooth tiger, but it can be a problem in the office. One major issue I had with this book was the lack of "how". There is a great deal of discussion regarding 'what' emotional intelligence is, 'when' it should be taught (younger is better), 'who' should learn it (everyone), and 'why' it should be taught (prevent violence, get better grades, be a better manager), but there is little more than the occasional anecdote regarding *HOW* to teach EI, to others or how to harness the lessons for yourself. For all the talk of the amygdala and its role in emotional life, there is little way for a person to control how this almond sized piece of the brain actually functions. Yet Goleman stresses repeatedly that EI an absolutely crucial skill. I found this very frustrating. Another issue with the book was that it seemed very clearly written for critics of the thesis. The repeated assurances that "no, really, EI is important!" became rather tiresome. Those of us who are reading the book already accept that, or at least are willing to suspend our disbelief for the time being, can we please move on? All in all, it's a good book with interesting ideas about an extremely important topic. However, it was not exactly what I was looking for and as such, I was quite disappointed. Goleman has other books that may be more practical regarding this topic, but other authors might be more up my alley. If you aren't familiar with what EI is, or you'd like to flesh out your understanding of it, I would recommend this book. If you have a fair understanding of it conceptually and would like exercises to improve your EI or teach someone else, this is not the right choice for you.
I'm pleased to see this book has held up rather well over the years: I was afraid that it might've become dated. I'd been told the book was all about how it was more important to be emotionally savvy than to have a high IQ, but that wasn't really Goleman's point. He talks about the brain chemistry behind emotions and how imbalances there affect us. He also examines how "emotional literacy" - teaching children to identify and handle their emotions - can help one handle life's pressures as a teenager and an adult. While I see why he focused on children, I wish he'd talked more about how emotionally illiterate adults can do to help themselves and what can be done to help them.
Well it's a great idea, but it's not "self help" he gives no solution to the problem!Luckily I found a couple of books that do have solutions: "Crucial Conversations" and "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Dummies". Both teach the skills you need if you don't have natural "emotional intelligence"
AWESOME... especially liked the section on page 210 about emotional relearning and recovery from trauma. This should be taught in every school system at all grades and in preschool. It brings great hope for a better future and better world.
I'm wondering if there is a production problem with the audio CD. It genuinely sounds as if it's being read by a computer, with an odd separation between the words. It makes it very difficult to focus on 'what' is being said.
This is a very good book to read. Recommended at least once for everyone.
* she puts her face in her hands*