on August 13, 2001
Like many reviewers before me, I bought this book thinking that it will suggest ways one can go about improving one's emotional intelligence. However, what I ended up getting is endless anecdotes.
Goleman spends the entire book, listing anecdotes after anecdotes, explaining "why" emotional intelligence is important, but not "how" to become more emotionally intelligent.
I do not need to know "why" EI is important; I bought the book, I know it is important.
on April 12, 1999
This book was extremely disappointing. I read Goleman's original book on emotional intelligence and found it interesting. I purchased this book based on its title about working with emotional intelligence. I expected some guidance about how to work with people (employees) to improve aspects of their emotional intelligence. For example, how to help a person who is weak in self-confidence. This book, however, simply repeats the same thing over and over - company A instituted some training in emotional intelligence and it really helped them. Then, company B instituted some training ... Just like politics, helping people is 'local' or person-to-person. It appears that Goleman's answer to problems that people have is 'hire people who don't have those problems.' This book seems to be an attempt to profit from the success of his first book when he has nothing more to say.
on January 2, 2003
Since the publication of Daniel Goleman's first book, Emotional Intelligence he has generated a remarkable industry around the topic. In this book from 2000, Goleman applies the ideas of his previous book to the workplace. Why should executives bother with this soft stuff? According to research cited by Goleman (see the summary in Appendix 2) almost all of the abilities that distinguished stars from average performers were emotional competencies. While pattern recognition and "big picture" thinking were correlated with outstanding performance, cognitive abilities in general - above a certain threshold - did not have significant correlation. "Emotional intelligence" refers to a set of competencies that characterizes how people manage feelings, interact, and communicate. Building on previous work by others, Goleman characterizes emotional intelligence as being founded on five personal and social competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills. Each of these five is further analyzed into 12 personal and 13 social competencies such as Accurate Self-Assessment, Self-Control, Initiative, Developing Others, Influence, Conflict Management, and Building Bonds.
Unlike IQ, we can continue to improve emotional intelligence. Working With Emotional Intelligence is not a how-to book in the usual sense. It will help any executive understand the importance of EI in all its diverse aspects as well as showing examples of strong and weak EI in individual and organizational contexts. Improving is not easy work. Goleman explains the neurological basis of much of EI, including the role of the amygdala (which can make us impulsive and which affects our resilience under stress) and its interaction with the prefrontal lobes (which together also affect the ability to adapt to change), and the role of the catecholamines adrenaline and noradrenaline (which allow us to distinguish good stress from bad stress). Goleman looks at "empathic design" (p.139ff) and the contagious effects of emotions on groups, among other important applications in the workplace. He also provides a three-page list of "Guidelines for Emotional Competence Training". Although parts of Working With Emotional Intelligence will strike you as the obvious dressed up with stories, you can extract some important information by scanning through this book. In an age of record levels of job stress (according to an October 2002 study), any words of wisdom on this subject deserve a hearing.
on March 6, 2004
This is a wonderful book, and is truly an insightful look at what helps us to be successful in leadership positions in the workplace. The old model of senior management was based on owning all the information and knowledge and being able to understand what everyone does in fine detail, and was often the "promoted-up-through-the-ranks" type of leader. But with modern business involving so much change, and constantly shifting market demands and organizational structures, what worked well yesterday will not move the organization or your career ahead tomorrow.
The author uses as a platform the work on Emotional Intelligence, which unlike typically defined intelligence, focuses on the ability to apply emotional and inspirational information in a variety of social settings and through a vast array of relationships. It is this ability he concludes that predicts success in today's workplace.
Among the areas of discussion are five competencies in which our ability is revealed. The first is "Self Awareness" which includes emotional awareness, self-assessment, and self-confidence. How many times have we worked for or with someone who could not control their emotions and lacked the self awareness to understand how their actions impacted those around them? The importance of balancing performance while exhibiting the values of the organization through a positive culture has never been more in need. Many who have the intelligence to do the work, lack the emotional intelligence to build the relationships and culture needed to get the work done through others. The book explores these pitfalls and discusses suggestions for change.
The other areas are similar: "Self Regulation" (self-control, trustworthiness, adaptability, innovation), "Motivation" (achievement driven, commitment, initiative, and optimism), "Empathy" (understanding others, developing others, service oriented, politically aware), and "Social Skills" (influence, conflict management, leadership, catalyst, building bonds, collaboration and cooperation, and teamwork).
All of the five competencies are presented well, with examples and suggestions for improvement. Some reviewers have noted the lack of "scientific" type of analysis, but I feel that misses the point. The first hurdle to overcome if one wants to be as successful as possible is a basic awareness of the importance of interpersonal skills, and building strong working relationships with others. The opportunity for a purely autocratic style to operate in today's business is rare and therefore the majority of those leading businesses will need to focus on how they apply their EQ, not just their IQ.
This book does an excellent job at presenting what EQ success looks like and why it is important. It is not a step by step manual for improving one's business success, as that would ironically be an IQ approach. The book instead is a great eye-opener of the importance of emotions, and how we read others and interact with them. Highly recommended, and a great starting point for improving your ability to lead others in today's business environment.
on January 26, 2001
"More and more companies are seeing that encouraging emotional intelligence skills is a vital component of any organization's management philosophy. 'You don't compete with products alone anymore, but how well you use your people,' a manager at Telia, the Swedish telecommunications company, put it to me. And Linda Keegan, vice president for executive development at Citibank, told me, 'Emotional intelligence is the underlying premise for all management training'...A 1997 survey of benchmark practices among major corporations, done by the American Society for Training and Development, found that four out of five companies are trying to promote emotional intelligence in their employees through training and development, when evaluating performance, and in hiring...If so, why write this book? Because many or most organizations' efforts to encourage emotional intelligence have been poor, wasting vast amounts of time, energy, and money...My mission in writing this book is to act as a guide to the scientific case for working with emotional intelligence-as individuals, in groups, as organizations. At every step I have sought to validate the science with the testimony of people in jobs and organizations of all kinds, and their voices will be heard all along the way" (pp.7-13).
In this context, Daniel Goleman firstly defines emotional competence as a learned capability based on emotional intelligence that results in outstanding performance at work, and emotional intelligence as a potential for learning the practical skills that are based on its elements. Thus, throughout this invaluable book, he discusses the relationship between the five dimensions of emotional intelligence and the twenty-five emotional competencies as listed below:
A. Personal Competence- These competencies determine how we manage ourselves.
I- Self-Awareness- Knowing one's internal states, preferences, resources, and intuitions.
1. Emotional awareness: Recognizing one's emotions and their effects.
2. Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one's strengths and limits.
3. Self-confidence: A strong sense of one's self-worth and capabilities.
II- Self-Regulation- Managing one's internal states, impulses, and resources.
4. Self-control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check.
5. Trustworthiness: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity.
6. Conscientiousness: Taking responsibility for personal performance.
7. Adaptability: Flexibility in handling change.
8. Innovation: Being comfortable with novel ideas, approaches, and new information.
III- Motivation- Emotional tendencies that guide or facilitate reaching goals.
9. Achievement drive: Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence.
10. Commitment: Aligning with the goals of the group or organization.
11. Initiative: Readiness to act on opportunities.
12. Optimism: Persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks.
B- Social Competence- These competencies determine how we handle relationships.
IV- Empathy- Awareness of others' feelings, needs, and concerns.
13. Understanding others: Sensing others' feelings, and perspectives, and taking an active interest in their concerns.
14. Developing others: Sensing others' development needs and bolstering their abilities.
15. Service orientation: Anticipating, recognizing, and meeting customers' needs.
16. Leveraging diversity: Cultivating opportunities through different kinds of people.
17. Political awareness: Reading a group's emotional currents and power relationships.
V- Social Skills- Adeptness of inducing desirable responses in others.
18. Influence: Wielding effective tactics for persuasion.
19. Communication: Listening openly and sending convincing messages.
20. Conflict management: Negotiating and resolving disagreements.
21. Leadership: Inspiring and guiding individuals and groups.
22. Change catalyst: Initiating or managing change.
23. Building bonds: Nurturing instrumental relationships.
24. Collaboration and cooperation: Working with others toward shared goals.
25. Team capabilities: Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals.
Daniel Goleman writes that "this list offers a way to inventory our strengths and to pinpoint competencies we may want to bolster. Part 2 and 3 of the book give more detail and insight into each of the competencies, showing how they look when displayed in full power-or when they are lacking. Readers may want to turn directly to the competencies most relevant to their interests; the chapters describing them do build on one another to an extent (as do the competencies they describe), but they need not be read in a fixed order."
on December 19, 1998
Dr. Goleman did an excellent job with his second book on Emotional Intelligence because he gives more detail on how to correct the lack of Emotional Intelligence in the business and professional world. On page 26 he tells us how to do a check up on our missing competences for emotional intelligence( both personal and social competencies) and he also mentions that there must be a continious follow up on this program to achieve a lasting effect over the change of our un-wanted bad habits and he alos mentions the guidelines for emotional competence TRAINING which is very helpful in the seminars to train management executives. Dr. Goleman explains also that it takes months to be able to modify our personality, so that some people will not dispair because they can not get an overnight change, it takes time, perseverance and practice to become a proficient and capable executive with good emotional intelligence. Dr. Goleman also explains the effect that stress has on CORTISOL and how it affects mistakes, memory and health and overall management; so this is an excellent book that should be a required textbook on all the MBA programs and for all the project management personnel. In other words Dr. Goleman is helping everybody to modify their personalities to be able to produce more with less stress and wear (or exhaustion). Good luck to all the readers and see you at the top.
on March 16, 1999
As someone who was hoping to understand how to become more "emotionally intelligent" I was extremely disappointed in this book. The purpose of the book seems to be 1)to convince the reader of the importance of emotional intelligence (I was ready to accept this as a given and get on with it) and 2) to outline at a very high level the components of emotional intelligence (a rather inuitively obvious list including self-confidence, self-awareness, etc). The intended audience seems to toggle between the "corporation," trainers within a corporation, and the corporate individual. As such, the author fails to adequately address any of the above. I found the book needlessly verbose on topics that were not central (such as the importance of emotional intelligence). The author never got to the business of telling me how to gain this emotional intelligence. Instead he described in great detail items like how the brain works & the physiological effect of stress or panic. I was quite willing to take his word on the fact that there simply is a physiological effect of stress or panic (and take his word for other items like this) and wanted instead to get down to the most central & important topic which in this example was to learn how to avoid, minimize or manage stress or panic. This particular chapter ended and the author moved onto another topic without ever covering this most vital point. Likewise with other such topics and chapters. So, as an individual looking to take something useful away from this book, I think it missed the point.
on July 28, 2004
This book is rather long and boring. It presents much of the same information found in "Emotional Intelligence", and fills much of the rest of the space with vague generalization and even some indefensible platitudes like "the bigger the group, the higher the group IQ". However, despite the annoying tendency to run-on and assert vague and pleasant-sounding but questionable filler, the book contained enough "aha!" paragraphs to be a worthwhile read. There are some gems in this one, as long as you don't mind sifting through the sand.
on January 16, 2002
I agree with Daniel in most of what he said, however the title is a bit misleading. The word "Working" seems to be the operative, but I didn't see many examples of "how" to work, but "why" it is important to have emotional intelligence.
If you are looking for answers on how to modify your behavior to enhance your relationships, or working better with people, then you might have to look elsewhere.
In reading the book I felt like Mr. Goleman was trying to fill the pages rather than give concise content. This book would have been better at 1/4 the size.
on August 3, 2001
I began this book with great interest. With his excellent anecdotes, I quickly became fully convinced of the value of working with emotional intelligence. But instead of going on to make suggestions as to how a person could improve their own emotional inteligence, or how to help employees/managers in this area, he continued on and on with more anecdotes, clear until the end of the book. I didn't need any more convincing--I was already convinced by the first third of his book--I wanted him to give some advice about implementation, which he didn't give.