Emotional Intelligence (EQ) A Leadership Imperative. Management Briefs

Authors: Daire Coffey & Deirdre Murray

This book, written by Irish authors, provides the reader with a very useful and accessible text on Emotional Intelligence (EQ). It is divided into three sections, the first introducing the concept of Emotional Intelligence; the second introducing us to the two pillars of EQ – Personal and Interpersonal Effectiveness and the third section which helps the reader to enhance their own leadership skills by creating a practical EQ development plan. This is a very practical workbook, in which the authors provide the reader with a practical and easily accessible toolkit to assess and enhance their Emotional Intelligence.

To get the best from this book, it is recommended that the reader takes their time and actually works through it, stopping to think about and indeed complete the exercises. The development of EQ is presented by the authors as a journey and as such they recognise that while on a journey, the reader may meet with some challenges that will effectively curtail that journey. However, they give some very useful insights into how the reader can help themselves to stay on track when they meet with these challenges.

It is a short book and easy to read, however, the real value is in how well the reader embraces the practical toolkit provided.

Section 1

In chapter 1, the authors introduce the reader to the concept of emotional intelligence, stating why EQ is important and dispelling some of the myths – such as EQ is about being nice all the time or that negative emotions are bad. They finish the first chapter by raising our hopes in confirming that while IQ is a relatively stable concept, EQ on the other hand, can be acquired. In chapter 2 they address the emotions and take us through an easy to read guide on the emotions and just how powerful they are, citing the body of research that tells us that emotions in the workplace are contagious. They finish chapter two by quoting Dan Siegal ‘positive behaviours and experiences can actually alter the structure of the brain, rewiring it to establish new behaviours’. In the final chapter in section 1 they provide convincing evidence of the importance of EQ for today’s leaders.

Section 2

They begin chapter 4 by taking the reader through some practical exercises on self-awareness and managing themselves, an important skill of effective leadership. They identify some star performers to illustrate their points. The exercises are designed to help the reader to enhance their self-management skills before going on to address their Intrapersonal skills, which they can work through in the following chapter.

Section 3

Chapter 6 addresses how the reader can make some EQ development plans and offers some very useful advice to help the reader to stay with their development and continuing to practice new behaviours having identified them in the previous section. Chapter 7 provides some further practical exercises and resources, together with a reading list of further resources in this area.

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