Review of ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ is a book by Daniel Goleman where he shares his superior thoughts and insights on why IQ is not a good gauge for excellence or success.

He called for a new metric for measuring success – Emotional Intelligence, otherwise known as emotional quotient (EQ).

Everyone has what it takes to develop emotional skills and improve their lives, but have to be aware they have to improve in the first place.

Being aware you have to improve on something is the key, while you need another skill – motivation to actually put you over on the steps necessary for improvement.

The ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’ book takes you along the path of examples of how to harness your emotional intelligence so you can become effective and productive at home, the workplace, and be competent in relationships as regards effective relationship management.

Daniel Goleman opined that the intelligence quotient (IQ) is not all there is in being successful and is too narrow, shoving aside important abilities that are sacrosanct to doing well in life.

He prefers the use of an emotional quotient or emotional intelligence EQ to measure life’s success as the superior metric.

Lessons from Goleman’s ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’

1. The Ventilation Fallacy

Sometimes expressing your anger would prolong your bad mood and emotions. It is always in good taste to let your bad emotions run out on their own instead of instinctively giving in to it.

Goleman argues that expressing anger would not make you feel any better but elongates and amplifies the negative effect of the situation.

It arouses the emotional region of your brain and makes you angrier which might lead to a loss of self-control.

Loss of self-control caused by emotional hijacking is a dreaded negative attitude that can also lead to a physical altercation and more serious outcomes.

This does not mean however that it’s wrong to get angry because it’s also a way to validate or get your feelings across, though not the best way.

The key is to be fully conscious of the situation to control and know when you are losing it.

Taking a deep breath to slow down your heart rate helps the body to go from high arousal to relaxing.

It’s best to go for a walk or anything that can distract you from the angry feelings. It’s not easy but with constant practice, it becomes a handy skill that you employ each time in such situations.

It would get to a level you will not even find yourself in such a situation because you block it before it comes to your consciousness.

2. Distract yourself from negative feelings when you are sad and not ruminate

Dwelling on the thoughts that made you sad in the first place will aggravate the sadness and keep you deeper and longer in that depressive state.

Purge the negative thoughts and you will be better in no time.

Distraction breaks the chain of sadness occasioned by negative thoughts. It is good to note that this should be a deliberate action initially.

Feelings and emotions are instinctive and happen on their own without control if you lack the skill to control them.

They flow unhindered. So you must take action to be able to have any success with distracting the negative thoughts.

Doing things like watching funny videos or thinking about uplifting activities, and exciting moments can go a long way in helping.

Some might resort to crying which is also a good way to relieve intense tension but it prolongs and reinforces rumination and misery.

Another way to distract yourself is to engage in exercise as it changes your physiological state by putting you into a high arousal state.

3. Criticize the right way

In our day-to-day activities, so far, we come in contact with others, there come times when we criticize people, maybe our subordinates. It is essential and necessary in getting things done right and teaching.

Managing people is a task that needs care and a high level of emotional intelligence because you are also dealing with other people’s emotions.

Empathy, social awareness, and competence should be readily employed.

While criticizing, it is important not to deflate their motivation and make them feel worthless as this would give the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.

Using harsh, sarcastic tones is in excessively bad taste. It does not create a platform for inculcating learning and feedback.

There are parents who lash out at kids for breaking a glass, while there are parents that would show care by checking if the kid is hurt. These are two ways of reacting to breaking a glass by a kid.

The kid of course didn’t intentionally break the glass. Instead of yelling at him, you feel concerned that the pieces of glass might have hurt him.

Then you have a good platform to teach him how to handle the glass, and how to be conscious when handling such delicate objects.

By so doing, you have boosted his mood while having the chance to teach him. This is a better way for the kind to learn. Criticizing the right way is a good way to establish good rapport and relationships.

4. Emotional Contagion

Emotional contagion is a social skill that has to do with the spontaneous infection of emotions and accompanying behaviours.

It is the spread of emotions to people around you while they mirror the emotions. It’s a process of influencing the emotions and behaviours of a person or group by consciously or unconsciously inducing emotional states and attitudes of behaviour.

It can happen from one person to another, or even in an audience. It is possible that emotions can be shared across people in many different ways either implicitly or explicitly.

Emotional contagion is an essential emotional skill because it enhances personal relationships and fosters synchrony of emotions between people.

It can be achieved by automatic mimicry of expressions, vocals, postures or movements of other people.

Kids are very good at this and that is how learning is done. It is also a tool used in gauging emotions.

When you smile at people and they smile back, it shows a higher possibility of rapport and can encourage a man to approach a lady.


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A Personal Development Content Creator and an author. I write about life ethics and love to document and share life hacks and experiences of people to help others make good life decisions.

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