The tests on intelligence were first developed to select those candidates whose mental alertness was of much higher level than of other people. Another debate that has been going on for a long time discussed whether human’s intelligence can be equated with the IQ scores or not, as the overwhelming majority of very successful people has average scores in IQ tests. Mental alertness is undoubtedly very important, but, in most cases, it is definitely not the main way to success. Then how to lead a successful life?
The book by Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence seeks to answer this question as well as hundreds of other people. The difference of Goleman’s approach lies in his innovative perception of the intelligence. The author rejects the common concepts of intelligence, the reliability of IQ scores, and thinking that mental alertness has anything to do with the successful life at all.
The main objective of the report of Emotional Intelligence is to outline Goleman’s main ideas.
The title of the book presupposes new, striking way of looking at the intelligence as the book redefines what it actually means to be a smart person. The subtitle is quite ground-breaking, telling the reader that IQ is less important than emotional intelligence.
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A special attention should be paid to the introductory chapter, which is called “Aristotle Challenge”. It begins with a direct quotation by Aristotle addressing aggressive emotions. “Aristotle Challenge” means that all those, who think that single intelligence is enough to make someone successful in life, are deeply deceived by their own thoughts. All hereditary intelligence theories are deeply criticized.
Daniel Goleman discusses the topical importance of the emotional intelligence, stating that it is closely related with the human and organizational development. Principals of emotional intelligence help understand and evaluate people’s attitudes, management styles, behaviors, potential, and interpersonal skills.
Emotional intelligence is closely bound with such significant concepts as spirituality and love, encouraging humanity and compassion in any work, measuring all capabilities that people possess.
In the following two chapters, the author researches the neurological basis of emotions and their adaptive values. In “What Are Emotions For?” and “Anatomy of an Emotional Hijacking” Goleman tells us about the close interrelation of the limbic system with the cortex. The author names the cortex the place of rationality, whereas the limbic system is the place in the brains, where all emotions are processed. Daniel Goleman depicts emotional intelligence as the moderation of the most primitive emotional impulses by always rational mind. According to the author, emotional intelligence can be learnt if practicing enough.
The non-adaptive emotionality is attributed to the constant alterations of the human environment in the contemporary epoch.
In Chapter 3, “When Smart Is Dumb”, Goleman refers to a number of studies, which help him to prove that a lot of students scoring high in IQ tests have failed in lives, while a lot of average people have reached impressive successes. The author claims that if the high scores in IQ tests have to play any role in people’s success, it cannot be more than 20 %. He adds that 80 % of people’s success in life is based strictly on the emotional intelligence.
The Chapter 4, “Know Thyself”, relates about experience reflexive mode, which Goleman calls “self-observation” or “self-awareness”. He equates self-awareness to Freud’s “evenly hovering attention”. Unfortunately, Goleman fails to draw the difference between thought and consciousness, like Freud. The author states that people must know themselves and their strengths, and not pay too much attention to the IQ tests and their results.
Chapter 5 is called “Passion’s Slaves” and tells the reader that the majority of emotional disorders have to be treated pharmacologically. However, there are some disorders (manic-depression), when patients do not feel the need for medication. Goleman states that such bad emotional disorders can hinder one’s success if not treated properly. When people feel depressed, they should avoid tragic movies, stories and novels, which can spoil mood even more. He offers irritated people to assume that the anger belongs to someone else and not them.
“The Master Aptitude,” Chapter 6, highlights significance of such emotional traits as persistence and enthusiasm. Goleman points out that the majority of students from Asia show better records of success than people from Europe or America, and it is not for their IQ scores but persistence to defeat their weaknesses.
Chapter 7 is named “The Roots of Empathy” and presents emotional intelligence according to the gender distribution. The author considers women to be better in empathy than men. He suggests that empathy assists in romantic life, too.
Chapter 8, “The Social Arts”, continues the previous idea.
“Intimate Enemies”, Chapter 9, outlines the role of emotions in marital life. Various studies prove that women can express emotions better than men. The reason is in the girls’ ability to learn languages faster than boys. Daniel Goleman shows that men are more reluctant to talk about their relationship. Wives are generally more open in their complaints than the husbands, especially among unhappy couples. In the end of Chapter 9, the author offers his view of marital discords suggesting certain ways of solving such problems.
In Chapter 10, “Managing with Heart,” Daniel Goleman talks about a study conducted on a group of people, in which each member has outstanding results in IQ test results. The outcome was astonishing. Some were still excellent; however, others went down to average or, worse, below average. The further study showed that the professionals in these tests were those people who always finished their work. The thing is that this is one of the main features of the successful people. On the other hand, the average and below average people were those who usually started many tasks at the same time and left most of them not finished. This is one of the most important reasons why people are unsuccessful.
Chapter 11, “Mind and Medicine”, summarizes a certain research concerning the relationship between the emotions and health. One of the most interesting findings of this chapter goes about a group of researchers. They have found that the chemical messengers, which act most extensively in both immune system and brains, are those with the largest density in neural areas that defines emotions. Those people, who are inclined to experience chronic anxiety, incessant hostility or unremitting tension, long periods of pessimism and sadness, suspiciousness or relentless cynicism, face double risk of various diseases, such as asthma, peptic ulcers, headaches, arthritis, and heart disease.
In Chapter 12, “The Family Crucible,” the author writes about those children who often suffer from being beaten by their parents and that they react in the same way when in distress. Such children lose empathy if they are subject to face such negative situations too frequently.
Chapter 13, “Trauma and Emotional Relearning”, observes that when people face different traumas, they may end up with biological problems. These problems become severe when people are submitted to an uncontrollable stress.
In Chapter 14, “Temperament is not Destiny”, Daniel Goleman refers to an interesting study. He talks about people who have strong left and right frontal activity and who were tested on one of the personality tests. The first group of people revealed a distinctive behavior. These people were inclined to become suspicious of the world, moody, and worried on minor problems. On the other hand, the other group of people showed completely different inclinations. They were much lower in their depression, quite confident and well-engaged into life’s activities revealing interest to everything.
In the next to last Chapter 15, “The Cost of Emotional Illiteracy,” Daniel Goleman says that some people have such disorders when they are unable to tell the difference whether they are being angry and scared. These people feel a strong hunger in negatively depressing situations and eat a lot, which leads to putting on weight. Moreover, the author indicates that people with just few friends or those who prefer loneliness are facing a great risk of serious medical diseases and even early death.
The Chapter 16, “Schooling the Emotions”, concludes the Emotional Intelligence. Here Goleman ends up his book adding some training programs that educate people “Self Science”. The author mentions special emotional coaching including “Resolving Conflict Creatively Program” due in the public schools of New York City. Children are taught there to “be assertive” and talk about their feelings in those situations, which may involve conflict with others.
Goleman states that the emotional intelligence can be learnt. However, lectures are not enough. Instead, ethics in practice should be widely applied. Moreover, different ethical models should be used to develop people’s individual value conclusions.
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