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November 2010


The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book: Everything You Need to Know to Put Your EQ to Work


by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves (Simon & Shuster, 2005)


What are the big take-aways?


Ever since internationally-renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman first presented his research in the best-seller Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books) in 1995, the world has had a vocabulary for describing the non-cognitive forms of intelligence which are now widely accepted as more vital to effective leadership than raw I.Q. is. The Quick Book is written by other researchers who put Goleman’s ideas in a simple, practical light. In it, the reader is offered accessible descriptions and uses of the authors’ four skills of emotional intelligence (or “E.Q.”), and how to develop them: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.


Why did I like it?


The book comes with a code to access the authors’ free online E.Q. assessment self-test which delivers an E.Q. profile. Although this is a sales tactic, it also produces a genuinely useful document that allows the reader to interact with the book in a purposeful, meaningful and customized way. The assessment offers an overall E.Q. score, a score for each of the authors’ four E.Q. skills, information about where the test-taker’s score ranks among others in the same demographic (age, sex and job title), and an action plan for identifying areas of concern and for building on strengths. That said, the reader needn’t take the assessment to get a lot out of the book.


In what situations would this be useful?


In my experience, most leaders know if they want to improve how they manage their emotions, respond to others’ emotions, listen to people, or be heard. That’s what this book is designed to do. The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book is not a “deep dive” into E.Q., but a summary of what it’s all about, coupled with real-life examples and suggested strategies for strengthening E.Q. It is the perfect length for an extremely busy professional looking for a basic introduction to the concept of E.Q. and a few ideas about how to use it. Reading the book and/or taking the self-assessment would be a great starting-place for engaging with a leadership coach to work on strengthening E.Q.; it would help a leader to articulate more clearly what skills s/he wants to further develop.


What other resources might “pair” well with it?


For an even quicker read than this book, I strongly recommend the 1998 Harvard Business Review article by Daniel Goleman, “What Makes a Leader?”, in which he identifies five E.Q. competencies and how they are put into practice: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. For more in-depth discussion by Goleman and his co-researchers, I recommend Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance (Harvard Business Press, 2001).


I have used fingerpaint meditation in two primary ways.  Initially, I used it to sharpen my skills, deepen my “presence,” and draw more clarity and meaning out of my transition to becoming a leadership coach.  During that time, I also shared the practice with a few adventuresome coaching clients and friends.  Since then, I have


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