Book Review: Working With Emotional Intelligence, Author Daniel Goleman

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¶ … Working with Emotional Intelligence, author Daniel Goleman expands on his groundbreaking work on what it means to be smart published in Emotional Intelligence. In Working with Emotional Intelligence, Goleman focuses on how the concept of emotional intelligence applies to the workplace in the form of what he calls "emotional competence." According to Goleman's theory, in today's rapidly evolving business world, emotional intelligence plays a more and more important role in predicting and achieving performance and success. Goleman even goes as far as to claim that emotional intelligence, at least when applied to the workplace, actually plays a more important role than both one's IQ and technical competence. (Goleman: 2000).

Using this theory, Goleman uses his book to offer the business executive, corporate leaders and individual employees advice on how one can learn to improve their levels of emotional competence. Goleman states that for business leaders, emotional intelligence is ninety percent of what sets one apart from a mediocre individual and thus emotional intelligence is an "essential ingredient for reaching and staying at the top in any field, even high-tech careers." Further, Goleman claims that organizations that "learn to operate in emotionally intelligent ways are the companies that will remain vital and dynamic in the competitive marketplace of today- and the future." (Goleman: 2000).

The book itself is based on Goleman's personal research of over 500 business organizations. His findings show that there are particular human attributes that indicate one's level of emotional intelligence. For example, trustworthiness is considered to be a central display of emotional intelligence. Further, Goleman offers a set of practices that assist with capturing these emotional intelligence traits, including: Act ethically, Respect and relate to well to people from other backgrounds." (Goleman: 2000).

Goleman is qualified to write this book because he is a Harvard Ph.D. graduate with an emphasis on the brain and behavioral sciences. He is the author of numerous best selling books on the topic, including being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize twice. He was previously awarded the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. Currently, he serves as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The overarching theme of Goleman's book is the role that emotional intelligence plays in the workplace. His approach is well researched and well rounded. Not only does he examine the benefits of emotional intelligence, he also examines the potential criticisms of his theory. The result is that the reader comes away with an in-depth understanding of the important and complicated role emotional intelligence plays in the business world. Further, many of the concepts discussed in Goleman's book are also touched upon and discussed, usually in similar ways, in the book entitled Organizational Behavior. (Kreitner: 2005).

According to both Goleman and Kreitner, emotional intelligence describes the skill, capacity or ability to assess, perceive and manage the emotions of one's self, along with those of others and of groups. Many researches believe that emotional intelligence is a cognitive ability and therefore measurable, just like intelligence. (Goleman: 2000; Kreitner: 2005).

To measure emotional intelligence, the researches and studies utilized in both texts talk in terms of an emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ. One form of measuring EQ is the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal, as developed by Bradberry and Greaves. This assessment measures self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. (Stein: 1999).

On the other hand, the Genos EI model, which is more fully discussed in Goleman's text, measures behavioral components and is used as a workplace-specific emotional intelligence assessment. According to Goleman, this model measures seven dimensions in a 360 assessment, focusing on perceived behavior by self and by others. The seven dimensions include: emotional self-awareness, emotional expression, emotional understanding of others, emotional reasoning, emotional self-management, emotional management of others and emotional self-control. (Goleman: 2000).

In terms of emotional intelligence's use in the business world, Goleman argues that it is highly beneficial when emotional intelligence scores are used for performance appraisals and sales outcomes. Goleman augments this argument with data that demonstrate a solid correlation between emotional intelligence scores and performance levels and sales outcomes. For example, Goleman points to a case study involving Hallmark Communities. In this study it was found that sales staff who developed emotional intelligence were, on average, 25% more productive than their low EQ counterparts. Further, it was found the EQ was more important to executive job performance that character, strategic thinking and overall focus. (Goleman: 2000; Stein: 1999).

In another case study alluded to in Kreitner… [END OF PREVIEW]

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