Reading Time: 2 minutes

My book review this week is on Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves – founders of TalentSmart. The book was written as a guide to help people understand how to improve their emotional intelligence. The book includes access to an online test, designed to provide a starting point.

There are four basic competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Much of the book centers on strategies to improve in all four areas.

Several strategies that I thought were noteworthy include:

  • Accept that you will feel things on an emotional level before you will process them on a rational level. That’s the way the brain is physically structured. The authors believe that all emotions stem from five basic feelings – shame, fear, anger, sadness, and happiness. Name the emotion, but don’t judge it. Feelings are not good or bad.
  • Behavior can be a little like a volcano – there can be a lot of rumbling under the surface, whether the lava flows or not.
  • Visualize success – MRI scans now confirm that the brain doesn’t really distinguish between what the eye actually sees and what you are imagining with your mind.
  • When you are in a social situation, be fully present. Remind yourself that you are there to learn, which means listening and observing – not worrying about being impressive and insightful.
  • Different cultures will have different rules. Treat people the way they want to be treated.
  • Explain decisions – rather than keeping people in the dark. Think about how it feels to arrive at a campsite after dark – and how scary the darkness can be. That’s the way employees feel when we keep them in the dark.
  • When you are trying to fix a relationship, ask yourself if you need to be right, or if you really need a resolution. Take the high road. Find agreement. Ask the other person to share their perspective. Avoid a rebuttal. Share your side too. Look for forward movement.