Last Updated Jan 28, 2009 6:20 PM EST
- Emotion is information and ignoring it does not work.
- You may try to hide emotions but other people are able to pick them up.
- Decisions must incorporate emotions to be effective.
I went to Amazon.com and discovered there were 37 reviews of the book. Nineteen were favourable and gave it five stars while 14 gave it one star with comments like "utter rubbish". Talk about manic-depressive! I don't think I have ever seen such a bi-polar distribution of opinion. Somewhat relieved to find myself in step with half the management population, I wondered: why does the book fail?
First, while I totally agree with the underlying principles, I do disagree with the concept that there is a separate intelligence called Emotional Intelligence (EI). The theory of multiple intelligences was first proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983. While widely adopted by educators, the theory has been widely criticised by experimental psychologists who argue that the model is based on Gardner's intuition rather than empirical data. Indeed, Gardner himself has stated there were no validating studies and he would be delighted for such evidence to accrue.
I agree with the Caruso-Salovey book title: Emotional Intelligence is a skill that can be developed through training and experience --- just like learning to play golf. I disagree with the idea that EI is an innate talent. Yes, there are some people who will be born with the talent to better read and control their emotions. Nevertheless, you can improve your EI. General intelligence (known as g) is what you are born with and effectively immutable; EI is a skill that all of us can dramatically improve.
I'd be interested to hear what literature you have come across regarding Emotional Intelligence. Please feel free to leave a comment.