Emotional Intelligence

An amazing piece of scholarship which has been influential in initiating and progressing the entire field of work on Emotional Intelligence
Author: Daniel Goleman
Book Year: 2007
Publisher: Random House, US
ISBN: 9780553383713
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Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman is an academic, psychologist, science journalist and author of more than 10 books on psychology, education, science, the ecological crisis, and leadership. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and a contributor to the Greater Good magazine from the Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley.

Goleman has pursued a life-long interest in how people develop empathy to help each other. Many of the values and actions he promotes have a lot in common with those of the Mental Health Foundation.

Emotional Intelligence covers subjects such as the emotional brain, looking at the physical make-up of the brain with the inter-relationship between the cortex and the limbic system.

Goleman portrays emotional intelligence as the moderation of primitive emotional impulses by a person’s rational mind. He then goes on to look at the relationship between IQ and emotional intelligence as well as focusing on disturbances where the emotional intelligence is unrestrained and there is consequential anger or depression.

Emotionally intelligent people who practice self-awareness and empathy and can articulate their feelings achieve greater success across life.

Goleman discusses different situations where a person’s emotional responses are shaped such as traumatic situations, early child development and parenting styles as well as temperament. He puts forward education programmes which have been shown to improve a person’s emotional intelligence.

So is this a book you need to read? Emotional Intelligence is an influential, watershed and best-selling book that changed people’s ideas about the importance of emotions in everyday life and therefore it is well worth reading. It comes from a scientific base and I agree it is important to promote evidence-based solutions to social and emotional issues. I think it appeals to a wide-ranging audience interested in psychology, education, child development and self-development.  

However, not everyone will enjoy it. I found it was not written in an easily accessible style and it felt old-fashioned and American in its focus. There is now a range of more easily-read literature available on emotional growth and regulation which is also mirrored in the therapy field with the development of DBT and other approaches.

However, it needs emphasising that Goleman’s amazing piece of scholarship outlined in Emotional Intelligence has been influential in initiating and progressing this whole field of work.

Reviewed by Dale Little, Mental Health Promoter with the Mental Health Foundation

Emotional Intelligence

Disclaimer: Please note these reviews are not intended as endorsements or recommendations from the Mental Health Foundation. This feature introduces resources that may be useful for individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing topics.