Book by Daniel P. Goleman: This is the book which put EQ on the map. It makes a good case for what Emotional Intelligence is, why it's important, and some of the brain science backing it up (along with scientific support for NLP concepts like rapport). No clues given as to how to develop it though! I found the book readable and fascinating (though as I teach EQ development courses I have a professional interest). It's a good summary of much of the research in this area. (Andy Smith, London England, from

At it's most basic level, emotional intelligence is about cultivating one's perceptions of emotions--that is, to learn to percieve emotion. In yourself (introspection) and others (empathy). From there, it's relatively straightforward to start reasoning with this information.

The next level may be more of a conceptual leap, and that is that emotions are not necessarily rational, but they are nevertheless valid. In fact, the more unreasonable they are, the more important it is to take a peek at what's going on with them.

It seems to me that a lot of marketing departments use this term to describe deviousness. When managers talk about emotional intelligence quotients they mean BQ - the ability to manipulate other people. People with high EQs are the kind of people you want to avoid: they can sell you anything.

I just took one of those internet EQ (Emotional Quotient) tests and I scored 90% when the average person scores 50%. This must mean I have high emotional intelligence, right? Not quite. You see, I was trying to get a high score. If I had been honest, I probably would get 50% or worse, depending on how much of a bastard I felt like being today. But the question becomes, if I know the right answers to the test, why don't I try to live my life according to these answers so I can be emotionally intelligent? Do I want to be emotionally stupid? The truth is, the "right" answers are determined by people, who are inherently subjective and have no authority in saying their belief system is the best for the rest of us by claiming that it represents some sort of intelligence!

To have true emotional intelligence, I take it, means that you are able to monitor your feelings as they arise and are less likely to be ruled by them. This means you take into account your long-term goals in the decisions you make. And voila, success! If this were the only definition of emotional intelligence the inventors of the term use, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But wait, there's a lot more. One example that comes up a lot is that emotionally intelligent people are self-motivated and resist the temptation to act on impulse. In other words, a highly emotionally intelligent person is extremely ambitious and lacks spontaneity. These traits may help one achieve success in the materialistic sense, but by many other definitions of success these people would fall far short. Are all the other definitions of success simply incorrect? Are all the fun-loving spontaneous people emotionally stupid just because they listen to the beat of a different drummer?

No, emotional intelligence is a phony "intelligence" term used primarily by business leaders in order to train those of us who score low on traditional IQ tests (which have their own problems) into becoming good productive workers. Everyone wants to be intelligent, well you can be intelligent too! Simply put everyone else's feelings before your own, repress your impulses and act not like a normal human being but rather a robotic company pet, and we'll call you intelligent! This is not quite what is meant by the emotional intelligence theorists, but this is how ordinary people often feel pressured to behave at work these days, trying to be emotionally intelligent to impress their bosses so they won't get fired. Companies operate so much smoother when everyone acts this way, only exhibiting proper emotions at proper times. At least they're called intelligent. It must be good for business, but is it good for you? I suppose a truly "emotionally intelligent" person would have an answer to that - of course it is! Are you stupid or something?

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