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Why can Emotional Intelligence (EQ) mean more than IQ?
What are the requirements for a successful life?
Daniel Goleman presents “Emotional Intelligence” as the answer to these two questions. EQ is increasingly being measured as one of the tools to choose leaders. Goleman did not accept the conventional concepts of intelligence, IQ scoring reliability and alertness of mind as elements of success. He maintained that self-control, zeal and persistence are the main features of success.
In the introductory chapter, Goleman challenges those who consider that intelligence is offered to those who consider that intelligence alone is sufficient to make their life successful. He criticizes the hereditary theories of intelligence are criticized.
The first part of the book, “The Emotional Brain” discusses What are Emotions For and Anatomy of Emotional Hijacking.
Goleman describes the dynamic interrelation of the cortex and the limbic system were the cortex is considered a seat of rationality while the limbic system is the part of brain where your emotions are processed. Emotional intelligence is presented in the sense of moderation of primitive emotional impulses by the rational mind. With practice, he suggests that the emotional intelligence can be learned.
“The Nature of Emotional Intelligence” is the next part of the book with six chapters.
Goleman quotes a number of studies to prove that many high IQ scoring students have failed in their practical lives while many average people have enjoyed many successes. He suggests that 80% of your success is based on your intelligence and if IQ scoring plays any role in your success, it can’t be more than 20%.
Chapter 4 focuses on a reflexive mode of experience which the author calls “self-awareness” or “self-observation”. Goleman says that you should know yourself and your strengths instead of your IQ test and its results.
In a section called “Plumbing the Unconscious,” Goleman writes that you may be more attuned to emotional mind’s special symbols such as metaphors, similes, poetry, songs and fables. If so then you may want to try your success in these fields instead of following predictions made by the IQ tests. Such inner attunements make you more gifted then others.
Chapter 5, “Passion’s Slaves”, states that emotional disorders need pharmacological help. There are certain disorders like manic-depression where the patient never feels any need for medication. Goleman suggests that such severe emotional disorders can hamper your success if not handled properly.
Goleman suggested that when you are depressed, you need to focus your attention to some upbeat activity while avoiding things such as tragic movies, novels and stories which shall drag your mood further down.
Goleman recognizes that anger is the most difficult emotional impulse to resist. He rejects the popular myth that “ventilating” is an effective way of reducing anger. He does not support pushing the anger out of awareness. Instead, he suggests a third option and suggests – you should experience anger by assuming that anger belongs to some other person.
Goleman notes the importance of emotional traits such as enthusiasm and persistence. He says that most of the Asian students show a better record of success than their white counterparts, not for their IQ level but persistence to improve their weaknesses.
“The Roots of Empathy” is the chapter where Goleman presents emotional intelligence in gender distribution. He suggests that women are better than men in empathy. He also suggests that empathy helps with romantic life. He appreciates emotions as an instrument of knowledge.
The next part of the book, “Emotional Intelligence Applied”, considers Intimate Enemies, Managing with Heart and Mind and Medicine.
Intimate Enemies considers the role of emotion in marital life. It focuses upon the amount of expressive emotions that each sex makes during different times of their lives. They have good friends from the opposite sexes in their early lives but slowly lose their interest until they achieve puberty and start dating.
Different studies are used to prove that girls can express their emotions better than boys. The reason lies in the fact that girls learn languages more quickly than boys do.
Goleman notes that men are reluctant to talk with their wives about their relationship. He also notes that men may have a rosier view than their wives of just about everything in relationship—lovemaking, finances, ties with in-laws, how well they listened to each other, how much their flaws mattered. Particularly among unhappy couples, in general, wives are more vocal about their complaints than their husbands.
In this chapter, Goleman offers a view of marital discord and suggests “mirroring” which is used often on marital therapy. It is repetition of the same sentences in the same tone by the opposite sex. This technique may be dangerous, especially, if your partner is covertly-hostile and he or she may find a fault in your fair comments. It could turn out to be another reason to continue the argument.
In “Managing with Heart,” Goleman quotes a study conducted on a group where each member is a star in the academic IQ test results. The results were astonishing. Some proved excellent and others yielded average or even below average results in an emotional intelligence test.
The ultimate study proved that the stars in the emotional intelligence tests were the people who get their work finished. Interestingly, it is one of the main characteristics of the successful people.
However, the average or the below average scorers in the emotional intelligence people were those who start many tasks at a time and leave most of them unfinished. It is one of the reasons behind most of the unsuccessful people.
In “Mind and Medicine,” Goleman summarizes a recent research on the relationship between health and the emotions. One interesting finding discussed in this chapter is: “A network of researchers is finding that the chemical messengers that operate most extensively in both brain and immune system are those that are most dense in neural areas that regulate emotion.”
People who experience chronic anxiety, long periods of sadness and pessimism, unremitting tension or incessant hostility, relentless cynicism or suspiciousness, face double the risk of disease—including asthma, arthritis, headaches, peptic ulcers, and heart disease.
The next part of the book, “Windows of Opportunity”, discusses The Family Crucible, Trauma and Emotional Relearning and Temperament is not Destiny.
In “The Family Crucible,” Goleman notes that the children who are often subject of beating by their parents react with the same way in distress. They lose empathy if they have to face such situations frequently.
Goleman observes in “Trauma and Emotional Relearning” that when you face trauma you may end in biological problems. But the problem becomes severe when you are put in an uncontrollable stress.
“Temperament is not Destiny,” quotes a study. The people having strong right and left frontal activity were tested on a personality test. The first group showed a distinctive behavior. They were prone to be moody, suspicious of the world and worried on small problems. The second group showed entirely different trends. They were lower in depression, more confident and rewardingly engaged in life.
The last part of the book focuses on the Cost of Emotional Literacy and Schooling the Emotions.
Golesman writes in “The Cost of Emotional Illiteracy,” that some people are unable to differentiate between being scared and angry. They feel more hunger in depressing situations and eat more to gain weight. He goes on to indicate that the people with few friends or with extreme tendencies for loneliness are at great risk of medical diseases and early death.
“Schooling the Emotions” is the final chapter of the book and Goleman concludes with training programs to educate you in “Self Science”. He points out emotional coaching such as “Resolving Conflict Creatively Program” in the New York public schools, in which children are encouraged to “be assertive” and articulate their feelings in situations involving conflict with others.
Goleman suggests that emotional intelligence can be taught. He suggests it is not enough to lecture children – they need to see ethics in motion. Providing them with different models of ethics will increase the likelihood that they may develop their own value conclusions.
WHO WILL WANT TO READ: Emotional Intelligence?
Is it time to disrupt your approach to success…is it time to shift your mental model from a focus on IQ to Emotional Intelligence…go for it, you won’t be disappointed!
Why am I glad that I read this book…
I want to be successful…how can I do this? I have changed my mind…success is not about IQ, it’s about EQ. I hope you will look for Emotional Intelligence after you read this book!!
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