Emotional Intelligence Theory & Book Review

According to the authors, if you fall short of IQ or are unsuccessfully using your intelligence, you can increase your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and live a happier more productive life.

When the concept was groundbreaking, I read Daniel Goleman’s ‘Emotional Intelligence.’ Goleman’s book is perhaps more informative, while Bradberry and Greaves’ version is a more interactive tutorial approach.

 In fact, when you buy ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0’ you receive a passcode to their website where you can test your EQ and if necessary, learn to increase it.  For many, this hands-on learning approach could be wonderfully therapeutic. In my meager opinion, the website is more interesting than the book, but keep in mind, the concept is not new to me, because I read Daniel Goleman’s book several years ago.

In reality, emotional intelligence is a theory developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer.

"Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth."
- Mayer & Salovey, 1997

Keeping that in mind, Daniel Goleman used the Mayer & Salovey theory to develop the five components of emotional intelligence. The purpose of the theory and the five components are awareness and to learn to use this self-awareness proactively to make positive changes in your behavior for you and those around you. This ultimately leads to a happier, more productive, life.

The five components in paraphrase…

Self-awareness is the cornerstone as the other four rely heavily on an individual’s ability to master this one. Self-awareness is all about understanding and recognizing how your mood affects you and perhaps more importantly, how it affects those people around you.

Self-regulation- which is your ability to control your urges, impulses and mood, Goleman claims this is about a person’s ability to suspend judgement and be trustworthy.

Internal motivation-this is passion and Goleman points out that it is the motivation to do a job or task without money as a factor.

Empathy- understanding others on an emotional level, and mastering the ability to recognize and imagine how another person might feel in general and/or due to a given circumstance and finally, treating and interacting with them accordingly.

Social-skills- making friends, having healthy relationships with other people, in the end, I believe this is the prize and maybe proof that an individual mastered the other four. On the contrary, if this is a problematic area in your life, one of these books and possibly the interactive website is a great idea.

Be that as it may, it is important to understand that many people are masters at emotional intelligence, yet use it in a negative way. These people tend to lack empathy and suffer from emotional and/or mental illness. Consequently, sociopaths fall into this category along with anyone that enjoys or craves the negative results they can obtain with the same knowledge. Of course, these individuals likely developed this knowledge early in life without the help of Daniel Goleman or Mayer & Salovey. 

In any event, emotional intelligence is an important attribute and deserves attention from anyone willing to take the time to make changes or simply understand self and other humans. ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0’ by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves is a more tutorial interactive choice with access to the website.  ‘Emotional Intelligence’ by Daniel Goleman delves deeper and more academically into the theory.

Whatever your choice might be, I suggest a bound edition as this is a subject to read, and learn and eventually being able to shuffle through the pages for later reference is nice. I absolutely did not enjoy the audio version of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and would definitely advise against that version.

Review by Sammy Sutton


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