Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Review: The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights, by Daniel Goleman

Dr Daniel Goleman, a scholar and a scientist, with a passion for emotional intelligence and applying it to different disciplines has published an update on some of the research that is being done in the field of emotional intelligence.
Goleman has posted the question: “Is emotional intelligence distinct from IQ?”  “Now brain researchers have identified distinct circuitry for emotional intelligence in a landmark study” by Reuven Bar-on. This study provides convincing proof that EI is located in a distinct area in the brain, different from IQ (Goleman, 2011).
Social Brain
Goleman (2011) also wrote about the social brain.  A study was done between doctors and their patients during psychotherapy sessions. What was found was that there is a physiology of rapport.  Three elements of rapport exist:  1) “paying full attention” (p. 57), 2) “being in synch non-verbally” (p. 57), and 3) “micro-flow, an interpersonal high” or a positive feeling (p. 57). “These moments of interpersonal chemistry, or simpatico, are when things happen at their best – no matter the specifics of what we’re doing together” (Goleman, 2011, p. 57). Further, the Harvard Business Review calls this interaction a human moment.
Gender Differences
Of all the studies that have been done on gender differences and EI, it appears that overall women have better EI scores than men on average.  However, there is conflicting data out there on this. Scientist Ruth Malloy reviewed “gender differences on the Emotional and Social Competence Inventory” (Goleman, 2011, p. 65).  Malloy’s study resulted in gender differences exist, but when you reach the top 10% of business performers there seems to be no differences.  “The men are as good as the women, the women as good as the men, across the board” (Goleman, 2011, p. 65).
This is a very easy read and a light summary of the research that is going on regarding emotional intelligence and the brain.  Very interesting.  Just the right reading level for a 30-minute ride on the light rail!

Author: Dr. Andree Swanson
Goleman, D. (2011). The brain and emotional intelligence: New insights. Northhampton, MA: More than Sound LLC.
Human moment: Edward Hallowell (1999). The human moment at work. Harvard Business Review.

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