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Working with Emotional People


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Applying the lessons of his bestselling study Emotional Intelligence, Goleman has found that business success stems primarily from a workforce displaying initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness‘i.e., key aspects of what he defines as emotional intelligence. He presents studies that show that IQ accounts for only between 4% and 25% of an individual's job success, whereas emotional competence (self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation) is twice as important as purely cognitive abilities in the workplace. These findings alone should shake up human resource departments that hire based on how good someone looks on paper. In sections like "Self-Mastery," "People Skills" and "Social Radar," Goleman uses anecdotes from the corporate trenches (and from his lecture tours) to isolate qualities, such as "trustworthiness" that are central to displays of emotional intelligence. These qualities, in turn, are broken down into sets of practices‘"Act ethically and... above reproach"; "respect and relate well to people from other backgrounds"‘that can be internalized for improved emotional intelligence quotients by individuals looking to get ahead, or managers seeking to revitalize the staff. These repetitive-sounding checklists can at times give the book the flavor of an overworked seminar presentation. Still, embedded within the linear format that emerges are many truly illuminating facts‘that the real cost of employee turnover to a company is the equivalent of one full year of employee pay, for example‘that show how critically important Goleman's thesis is to today's workplace. (Oct.)

Author Goleman now applies in the workplace the ideas in his prior best seller Emotional Intelligence (Bantam, 1995), contending that success and ability in a career cannot be determined solely by intelligence or other skills. Emotional traits making up "EI," and now played out in the corporate world in this follow-up, include self-awareness, motivation, self-control, influence, altruism, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved by others. Real-life examples abound in this serious attempt to relate what the author admits are soft skills in the hard-nosed world of business. With the landscape already carved out in the first work, this sequel is long on interviews, observations, and other attempts to indicate the value of understanding "EI" in business, but it could have benefited from serious editing. The excellent narration by Aaron Meza cannot make up for the listener's need to review the hard copy in order to follow the author's highly complex outline of ideas. Recommended only on demand in larger public libraries.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX

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