understanding emotional intelligence

When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion. – Dale Carnegie

I constantly get asked about Emotional Intelligence and if it’s really “that” important to develop. The short answer is yes. Developing your EQ is important.

In fact, so much has been written on this topic – you only have to google the word and over 180 million items will emerge before your eyes. I even wrote about the topic myself last year which you can read here.

There’s no denying the importance of increasing your EQ. There are some great articles out there on developing your EQ, like these two from Psychology Today or Inc. that are worth reading.

After reading 17 books on this topic in 2016, I thought it was finally time to share what I learned in an effort to help you navigate the best choices out there.

Here are my findings (in no particular order):

  1. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Dr. Daniel Goleman.Touching on psychology and neuroscience, the expert on brain and behavioral sciences, Dr. Goleman explains the crucial skills for success offered by emotional intelligence that can determine your success in relationships and work and may impact your overall health. His ideas on how you can improve your emotional intelligence are definitely worth the read.
  2. Go Suck a Lemon: Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence by Michael Cornwall. Another great guide where he focuses on aspects of EQ like controlling emotions, being open-minded, breaking out of emotional co-dependence, and thinking before acting. The book has a somewhat no-nonsense style which looks to provide you a process you can use when approaching any task with more careful and well thought-out emotional problem solving.
  3. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, and Patrick M. Lencioni. One of the most famous on this topic, this book is focused more on ways to use EQ to improve your life. You’ll find a step-by-step program for increasing your emotional intelligence that focuses on four core skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management, along with activities that will help you boost each of these areas.
  4. The EQ Difference: A Powerful Plan for Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work by Adele B. Lynn. This particular books deals directly with applying your EQ in the workplace (as the title aptly states). Through practice examples and useful exercises, she showcases the profound effect your emotions can have on your life at work, from performance to coworker relationships. This is achieved through simple (and practical) changes in your thoughts and actions.
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Not always mentioned in the same breath as the others when it comes to increasing your EQ but there is a reason this book remains a top seller and go-to for millions around the world. Taking a less conventional approach to the subject, he isn’t focused on emotional intelligence the way others on this list are, but rather presents a guide for anyone looking to better understand and control their emotions. The seven habits described in his book all require an awareness and control of emotional intelligence while teaching people how to become more proactive, a big-picture thinker, manage various interaction while building more effective communication.
  6. The Language of Emotional Intelligence: The Five Essential Tools for Building Powerful and Effective Relationships by Jeanne Segal. This book is on everyones list and for good reason. It’s an excellent resource for finding information on using emotional intelligence to build better relationships with just about everyone in your life. Segal lays out a simple step-by-step program on how to use five basic tools of emotional intelligence to enhance your relationships through better communication, reading non-verbal cues, and gaining skills at diffusing arguments and conflicts before they get out of hand.
  7. Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children by Linda Lantieri and Daniel Goleman: As a parent and someone in the learning space, this is one of my favorites. Although the focus is on children and building their inner resilience – the materials can be applied to adults as well. From handling stress to dealing with disappointment, the step-by-step guide they provide will enable you to improve your focus and awareness, increase your self-esteem and empathy, and provide you better control of your emotions and wellbeing.


The floor is yours: What book would you add to this list?

Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.

With leadership,

Joshua / www.JoshHMiller.com

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