Review “Working with Emotional Intelligence Essay”
The book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman deals with the emotional assets and liabilities of individuals in organizations. Emotional intelligence is traits that go beyond academic achievement or IQ. As a matter of fact he points out that high academic intelligence can sometimes stand in the way of emotional intelligence. Broadly speaking, emotional intelligence determines how well we handle difficult situation, which cannot be solved by logic, but more by a “feel” for the situation. These attributes are very hard to measure, which is why many standardized tests, whether academic or for employment, fail to measure these attributes, even though these are the one which determine to a large part how successful individuals will be in an organization.
Goleman divides his book into several chapters. At first he examines the attributes of successful people. What is it that sets them apart? How do they do it? He examines the “soft skills” of several people who exhibit exceptional emotional intelligence and also what others fail to do, which ultimately makes them unsuccessful. He also points out the difference a single individual who possesses these skills can make to an organization. These skills are particularly important in diplomatic services, but also to the average salesperson. However, he also notes that the higher one climbs on the job ladder, the more important these skills become, and the less important technical skills are.
He divides emotional intelligence into five areas.
1.Self-Awareness, which can be subdivided into emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment and self-confidence.
2.Self-Regulation, divided into self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability and innovation.
Motivation, which consists of achievement drive, commitment, initiative and optimism.
The preceding attributes are classified as Personal competence, while the next two are classified as social competence.
1.Empathy divided into understanding others, developing others, service orientation, and leveraging diversity and political awareness.
2.Social Skills, consisting of influence, communication, conflict management, leadership, change catalyst, building bonds, collaboration and cooperation as well as team capabilities.
Goleman then goes on explaining how self-mastery is a part of emotional intelligence. It is the art of being able to control ones emotions. The ability to listen to ones inner feelings, using and controlling them, without letting them control you.
Feelings often get in the way of even the most gifted people. They can be a liability in any position when they cannot be used in a constructive way. This can be apparent in many situations where group work is required or in sales situations for example.
The third major chapter deals with people skills, which is the art of anticipating how others feel, how to influence their emotions and how to works together with others. These are the skills necessary for performing well in group situations. Being able to anticipate, what others want and how to use this to reach one’s own goals.
The fourth chapter then deals with the task of actually trying to improve corporate training and assessment programs. The challenge here is to find a way to determine which current or potential employees have the necessary skills to succeed in an organization. As mentioned before, these skills are not easy to measure and so assessing employees is not easy and the recommended steps are only guidelines to help in this process.
The fifth and last chapter deals with how organizations themselves can improve to actually facilitate more emotional intelligence among their employees. This starts with the corporate mission statement as well as the attitude and behavior that is displayed and supported by the organization. It is the organization’s duty and also in its best interest to promote practices that enhance emotional intelligence, because it enhances teamwork and the general operating climate. These skills start with the company itself, all the way from top management through all the ranks of the operation. The goal is to engage all employees to share their emotional competence in a constructive way, enabling better teamwork and overall performance.
Overall I think that Daniel Goleman’s book is very well written and makes a lot of sense.
Emotional intelligence is definitely becoming more and more important in organizations and life in general. However, I also think that measuring and developing these skills is a lot more difficult as being presented in the book. Many of .