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am 19. April 2000
No commentary of mine on Daniel Goleman's contributions to ourunderstanding of human nature can possibly do full justice to them. Hegained well-deserved praise for his previously published EmotionalIntelligence in which his focus was primarily on education. Only briefly in one chapter of that pioneering work did he suggest that his insights could perhaps have broader implications for any workplace; indeed, for organizational life throughout our entire society. How fortunate that he then began a two-year study to explore those broader implications. The results of his efforts are shared in Working with Emotional Intelligence. It is a stunning achievement.
In the first chapter, Goleman observes: "The rules for work are changing. We're being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other. This yardstick is increasingly applied in choosing who will be hired and who will not, who will be let go and who will be retained, who passed over and who promoted." As explained by Goleman, emotional intelligence is not simply "being nice" nor does it mean giving free rein to feelings -- "letting it all hang out." Rather, "it means managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goals." For many persons, perhaps, the descriptives "emotional" and "intelligent" are mutually exclusive. As does Howard Gardner in Intelligence Reframed, Goleman explains that each of us is blessed with a multiple of intelligences. They must be developed and nourished differently. All are needed. A mature person, therefore, is one who has her or his multiple intelligences (MI) is proper balance, who manages and expresses each in appropriate (hence effective) ways. All of us know highly analytical adults whose emotional development seems to have stopped in the "Terrible Two" phase. We also know other adults who possess exceptional sensitivities but are unable to complete the simplest of calculations.
Goleman organizes his material in five parts: Beyond Expertise, Self-Mastery, People Skills, A New Model of Learning, and The Emotionally Intelligent Organization. Goleman's purpose is to explain the importance of having "the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships." If indeed any organization's "most valuable assets walk out the door at the end of each day", it stands to reason that every effort should be made to integrate and coordinate the multiple intelligences of those human assets.
For Goleman, the "good news" is that emotional intelligence can be learned. Therefore, at the individual level, elements of emotional intelligence must be identified, assessed, and upgraded. Only then can the "emotionally intelligent organization" be established and sustained. In his final remarks, Goleman observes: "But apart from the emotional intelligence of the organizations we work for, having these capabilities offers each of us a way to survive with our humanity and sanity intact, no matter where we work. And as work changes, these human capacities can help us not just to compete, but also nurture the capacity for pleasure, even joy, in our work."
Even if your organization is unwilling and/or unable to become "emotionally intelligent", this book can be of incalculable value to your efforts to recognize and understand your feelings as well as those of others, to motivate yourself, and to manage your emotions more effectively...especially in your relationships with others, whoever and wherever they may be.
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am 13. Mai 2000
This book presents much interesting (but not startlingly original) material supporting the importance of soft skills in modern business.
Evidence from hundreds of anecdotes and studies in business span sections and chapters addressing:
* Beyond expertise- new measures, competencies of stars (e.g. self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation), and the hard case for soft skills.
* Self mastery- the inner rudder, self-control, and what moves us.
* People skills- social radar, the arts of influence, and collaboration, teams and the group IQ.
* A new model of learning- the billion dollar mistake, and best practices.
* The emotionally intelligent organisation- taking the organisational pulse, the heart of performance, and some final thoughts.
Strengths include the attractive engaging writing style, the attempt at use of global examples (not just US), the occasional foray into neuroscience's/ psychology; the many business examples across sectors and organisation size/life-cycle; the fully supported assertions and reference materials; and the great summary tables on pages 26-27 (the framework) and 251-253 (training guidelines).
Weaknesses include: a lack of use of appropriate illustrations and figures; occasional anecdotes could have usefully been shorter (or as a sidebar); and perhaps the need for a fuller theoretical/scientific framework to structure the book. I felt the section addressing cybernetic organisations should have come much sooner, with more depth (Stafford Beer has much to offer here)- which could itself strengthen the EQ framework, which arguably lacks both direction and performance benchmarking. Further gaps included lack of mention of emotional dissonance when talking about managing emotions in staff, and lack of mention of artificial neural networks when discussing intuition and (non-linear) pattern matching (including emotions or states).
Overall, an interesting book that read somewhat like someone defending a lucrative territory of consulting and training programmes, from those joining the bandwagon later. There's definitely much substance, but not presented in a way immediately useful for typical consultants, business executives or researchers. Use with a good industrial psychology change text, to add value to your organisation or clients.
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am 28. Dezember 1998
Working With Emotional Intelligence ought to be taught in High Schools and Universities. It is definately text book material, but easy to read and understand even for our typical reading grade level deprived teenagers. I have read everything Goleman has written in the last few years and am convinced of his insightful genius. When asked how could someone bottle the attributes of success, creativness, stress control, etc., into a dummy proof product, He replied, 'a neurosync mesmeric inference and mnemonic evocation processor would be nice. And then someone must have been listening, they invented a whole new type of behavior modification you could use on your computer. This is a perfect example of his myriad of annecdotes on intelligence, inventiveness, and creative genius. If you can conceive it, you can do it. I can't possibly say enough good about this book or the author.
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I couldn't help thinking as I read this book that this is a guide for what parents should teach their children and how parents should act to be good role models for their children. I agree that emotional intelligence can be learned and that the most successful leaders "have it". In fact, perhaps the high turnover that we see in senior executives today is that we are no longer willing to tolerate those without emotional intelligence. Many of the 25 emotional competencies are values that we see during interviews where we match the candidate' value to those of the company's. In effect, we are valuing their ability to work together at an emotional level. The good news is that based on this book and the many case studies, you do not have to be strong in all of the areas. WORKING WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE also stresses the success of the optimistic, and goes beyond other books in explaining why this occurs. Finally, one critical strength of the emotionally intelligent is the ability to communicate with many people in many ways. I have just read THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION, by Donald Mitchell, Carol Coles, and Robert Metz. Their chapter on The Communications Stall describes the inability to make progress without good communications and what good communications requires. Their other stalls also complement WORKING WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by describing the problems of not being able to accept new ideas or adapt to change or do what must be done. Combine learning how to increase your emotional intelligence with THE 2,000 PERCENT SOLUTION'S identification of where you are "Stalled" and how to make rapid progress and you are well on the path to being a successful leader in family and business.
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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.
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am 16. März 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.
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am 1. Oktober 1999
Poor Daniel, reviews to this particular book are between the extremes. On the other hand I believe it is highly beneficial to read what each has said. From my point of view, I believe Daniel has developed more wisdom with this book. As I remember reading through his first book, I got the feeling that he was overwhelmed with the facts in his hands, at the time. His first book was the work of an astonished researcher. With this book however the voice of an assertive authority is much louder. Daniel has rearranged his thoughts in this book, though couldn't help getting rid of his original examples. I felt more comfortable reading through this book as it has a very clear structure. As a professional trainer, I needed no explanations on how to develop the competencies listed. As an author also, I highly empathize with the comments that were against the book's focus or content as I learned from them that one has to be extremely careful about defining the target reader for a specific book. As a reader, however, I felt completely at ease with this book, the way it is.
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am 9. Oktober 1998
The study of emotional intelligence in relationship to fire and emergency services is going to be historic. Having high emotional intelligence for our emergecny response personnel is far more important to our professions than just a high IQ. After having spent thirty-two years in the fire service with eleven different organizations, five times as a fire chief, I have found an individual with high emotional intelligence is more important to quality customer service. This book reflects what emergency service professionals have known for some time now. This book now makes it more acceptable to have emotional intelligence testing performed during pre-employment testing and promotional evaluations for law enforcement, fire, EMS, correctional and managers. More video testing programs are needed to help managers, supervisors and leaders to accurately measure emotional intelligence. At last, we now have a book that validates what we have long known but have been unable to prove.
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am 12. Juni 1999
A friend of mine brought this book along on a recent vacation we took together and I ended up reading it over the course of a couple days. The author's claim that emotional intelligence is more important than raw smarts for effectiveness at work (a point that many other reviewers griped about) rung very true as I considered the many people I've worked with and managed.
Several other reviewers complained that the book does not offer any fresh or new ideas from his previous or other books. This may be true, but this book was my first reading on the topic of emotional intelligence. I found it pretty well done and quite thought provoking. If you're looking for a self-help type book that will show you how to gain emotional intelligence for your job, this book will probably disappoint you. I don't think that's the intent of the book.
The amount of selling for his consulting company seemed harmless and minimal to me.
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am 12. April 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.
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