Emotional Intelligence has been identified since the 1990s as one of the key areas influencing our ability to succeed. We are a social species and our relationships help define us. There has been a lot of excellent research in the field — but knowing the theory and knowing how to apply it can be two different things. Emotional intelligence programs are a growing part of training and development for many companies, and TalentSmart has been in the business for a decade. Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, offers TalentSmart’s program for the first time in book form. The book has an accessible and practical self-contained program to identify and improve skills to enhance emotional intelligence, and I recommend it highly.
There are different definitions and models of emotional intelligence, or EQ, and the approach in this book is best described by the emotional competencies (mixed) model, popularized by Daniel Goleman. Goleman identified four critical areas to social competence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Key to this theory is that these traits can be learned and therefore improved. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 offers a very practical approach to evaluating our own levels of competence in these areas and learning strategies to improve.
The first step is to take TalentSmart’s on-line EQ appraisal. I was a little unsure how useful an on-line test would be, but the process was actually very interesting. Because the evaluation gives you a grade for each of the four competencies, based on comparisons to a normed sample, you can compare your grades to different populations. Best of all, having identified your areas of weakness, you get a customized learning program to illustrate how to improve in those areas. The program includes short video clips from films for you to analyze in terms of emotions and then points you to the relevant section of the book to learn more.