Fourth Age Communiqué - Leadership for the rest of us

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Why EI matters

Book Review

Aristotle observed, “Anyone can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, in the right way — this is not easy.”

What is it about some people we encounter, who have wonderful technical skills and abilities, but lack basic social skills? Why does it seem so few understand — or take heed to — Aristotle’s admonishment?

Such are the questions Daniel Goleman seeks to answer in his landmark, Emotional Intelligence. Beginning with Aristotle’s challenge to the masses, Goleman proceeds on a journey into self, to explore our unconscious and find there the hidden answers to some of what Goleman refers to as life’s most perplexing moments. The journey, Goleman says, is to understand what it means to bring intelligence to emotions. Along the way, Goleman sets out to equip us to face our own inner toxic emotional demons. Using insightful stories of real life emotional “hijackings” and plumbing the depths of human empathy, Goleman points out the habit patterns that ensnare us in emotional illiteracy.

Uniting cutting edge research into the neurological function of the brain with well-known psychology findings, Dr. Goleman sheds light on how human emotions can negatively affect our own well-being and that of those with whom we interact.

This book is a fabulous extension of Dale Carnegie’s classic on winning friends and influencing people: it is chock full of useful data and anecdotes that draw out the intrinsic value of knowing thyself and how it affects the world around us.


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