Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence 2.0
Author: Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves
Publisher: Talent Smart
RRP: £16.99

The strength of this book lies in its simplicity. If you are looking for an in-depth study of Emotional Intelligence (EI), and an analysis of all the various approaches to the topic then this probably is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a practical guide to actually measure and improve your EI, then this book could be of real value.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 takes a similar approach to that of other researchers such as Boyatzis and Goleman by defining four dimensions to EI (in this book it is called Emotional Quotient or EQ); self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. EI has its critics (for example, how can you measure ‘self awareness’?), but it is undeniably a hot topic in organisations and there are many who claim that it is a better predictor of leadership performance than IQ.

As stated previously, the book keeps things simple and instead of getting bogged down in definitions of specific behaviours that might fit into each of the dimensions, it concentrates on hints and tips for developing each of them. For example developing Self Awareness might be achieved through taking control of ‘self talk’ (a well known intervention in sports psychology), while effective relationship management can be attained through acknowledging others.

There is always a balance to be achieved in making things accessible to the lay person (who is generally more concerned with application than theory) and making things so simple that they lose their power. At times, for me, this book is over-simplistic, so some of the advice sounds like ‘common sense’. It does provide some general points for developing each of the dimensions, but I wonder whether there is enough detail for each individual to explore their own EI profile in detail. However, the authors have sought to meet this need by providing free access to their own online EI profiling tool. The reader can then receive feedback on their own level of EI, while the authors simultaneously build an extensive population of participants for research purposes. The book contains summaries of a variety of research projects with some very large sample sizes, which highlight various aspects of EI, for example the difference in levels of EI between middle managers and business leaders. (You may be surprised at their findings!)

We’ve seen the information contained in this book used successfully in a results-driven private sector company as a means for developing management talent. (And those people can take some convincing!) So, it’s one for the busy manager, not the researcher. Let go of the idea that there might be better sources of information out there and treat it more as a ‘how to’ guide and you will get something from it.

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