Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Book Title: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
Book Author: Daniel Goleman
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I decided to read this book after it had been recommended to me by my boss. He has been trying to increase his own "EQ" to improve his performance as a manager and local business owner. I generally don't read a lot of non-fiction, so this book took me a bit longer to read than I had planned. It wasn't that it was a difficult read, but there were some parts that were very information dense. I also felt like some parts got a bit repetitive, and I tended to just put the book down and not pick it up again for a day when this happened. Despite all this, I think the book was easy to read in that the language was approachable. Granted, I do have a strong science background, but I don't think it would be too hard to follow even if you don't have a masters in biology. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars because above all, I found the topic very interesting and could see myself rereading this book.

The book is divided into 5 parts: an introduction to emotions and the brain, an introduction to emotional intelligence, personal applications of emotional intelligence, interpersonal applications of emotional intelligence, and teaching emotional intelligence. The first part has a large focus on neuroscience and definitions of emotions. The second, third and fourth parts are the real meat of the book where you get into what emotional intelligence is and how it can be applied and beneficial to someone through out their lives and in their various relationships. The final part is mainly just prose advocating for emotional intelligence education becoming a larger part of our education system.

The edition that I was reading was the tenth anniversary edition, published in 2005. The benefit of this was that the introduction was able to give some perspective on how the book has effected change since it's original publication. Also, there is a resources section in the back that has information on ways to educate yourself more about emotional intelligence.

This is not a book about how to increase your emotional intelligence, it is an introductory text about what emotional intelligence is and its history. It does have some advice on how to be more emotionally intelligent, but it is not an educational text or self-help/instructional text by any means. The main detraction for me in this book was that the author does spend a lot of time focusing on how important emotional intelligence is in child development and in child education. This can get a bit tedious if you don't have kids or just aren't that interested in child development. Not to say that I'm opposed to learning about child development and parenting techniques, but as a childless adult, I found it wasn't relevant to me other than being interesting to know.

As previously mentioned, overall I enjoyed this book and found the topic very interesting. I would definitely recommend this book.

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