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Top 5 Books on Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence is generating a lot of buzz as of late. Also known as EQ, it is a measure of how one manages oneself personally as well as interpersonally. Studies show there is no statistical correlation between IQ and EQ.

In other words, there are people with high IQs with low, average and high EQs.

There are people with low IQs with low, average and high EQs

Unlike IQ which is more or less fixed, EQ is highly elastic and can be developed. The importance of developing a high EQ cannot be understated. People with a high EQ posses a high level of self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness and relationship management.

As an example of low emotional intelligence in action in life, people with low EQs will often judge others based on “IQ capacity.” On the Internet, this is often observed between people complaining about the “authority” or “expertise” of another person. These people will demonstrate their own poor self-image by trying to compartmentalize others in a way to appear superior.

I’ve been studying EQ for several years (though certainly not a master of it) and these 5 books top my list of resources for learning about emotional intelligence as well as how to develop it.

Emotional Intelligence Quickbook: Travis Bradberry

Seems like anything with “Quickbook” in the title, is worth reading first…though I read this one most recently. The Emotional Intelligence Quickbook is a great starting reference, filled with great real-world examples. As a bonus, the book includes a code which can be used on the web site. The 29 question quiz accurately assesses EQ and provides a custom PDF with actions for further developing each quality of EQ.

Emotional Intelligence: Daniel Goleman

This is easily the best book written specifically on the topic of Emotional Intelligence with over 5 million copies in circulation. Author Daniel Goleman, packs a lot of reading into this guide which shows how IQ is not the end-all for professional, personal, and leadership development. Many failures and frustrations are experienced by those who believe they can simply “reason out” the equation for a problem.

The New Psycho-Cybernetics: Maxwell Maltz

One concept that really hit me while reading The New Psycho-Cybernetics is that self-image and self-confidence are not the same thing. A person can have complete confidence in a destructive self-image which can lead to even greater hardship and stress. For example, a person can have absolute confidence in their inability to love or be loved, being too fat or too skinny and not having enough money, time, resources, etc., to get what he or she wants in life.

The New Psycho-Cybernetics provides the resources and know-how to put EQ development into motion and also explains the roadblocks and issues which will arise as anyone attempts to further develop them self.

The Compassionate Samurai: Brian Klemmer

An improved level of emotional intelligence is all well and good, but those with a self-image tied up in scarcity and a non-productive self-image will be…well, self-aware of how unproductive they are. In this book, author Brian Klemmer illustrates some important concepts about how to get out of your own way but also how to deal with the requirements behind building momentum from none.

A great concept in The Compassionate Samurai is about how “excuses” and “context” have nothing to do with accountability. The typical M.O. of “the world” is to demand or provide excuses and stories which somehow justify where someone currently is or why they aren’t getting results. This false accountability provides ammunition for amateur psycho-analysis and the person providing the excuses or context descriptions may believe they justify their current location. The point of The Compassionate Samurai is that your current location is your current location and until you’re able to stand in that spot, and admit it without the slightest need to provide an excuse, you’re not being accountable at all.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Stephen Covey

If you haven’t read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, where have you been for the past 15 years? The framework for this book is 7 timeless principals which span the aspects of emotional intelligence.

The principal-centered approach of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a great framework for people who are uncomfortable being out of their IQ for solving all of life’s problems. I’m not sure if this was Dr Covey’s intention, but following the 7 habits probably fools many into developing a higher EQ without realizing it.

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