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10 Books Which Can Effectively Increase Our Emotional Quotient

10 Books Which Can Effectively Increase Our Emotional Quotient

People pay a lot of attention to the intelligence quotient, or IQ, which can be a determinant for a successful career. Nevertheless, this score does not reflect the overall intelligence of a particular person. Emotional intelligence is just as important for maintaining successful relationships, working in teams, and adapting to different social and business environments.

Fortunately, there are proven strategies that help people boost their emotional know-how. What’s the best place to start? There are plenty of popular books focused on this matter. You should start by learning the fundamentals of the emotional intelligence concept. Once you have a solid base of emotional education, you will notice how your life is improved from different points of view.

Mark the following 10 books as “to read”; they offer great tips that will help you increase your EQ.

1. Go Suck a Lemon: Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence – Michael Cornwall

1. Go Suck a Lemon: Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence by Michael Cornwall

    This author wrote an amazing guide that helps people improve their emotional intelligence through practical exercises. Dr. Cornwall suggests that the process of boosting your EQ starts with commitment to self-development, as well as a complete transformation of the way you think and behave. Emotionally healthy people think before reacting. They are open-minded and independent. This book teaches you how to achieve that state.

    2. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – Travis Bradberry, Patrick Lencioni and Jean Greaves

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    2. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Patrick Lencioni and Jean Greaves

      Bradberry, Lencioni and Greaves associate emotional intelligence with today’s stressful economic conditions and demanding workplaces. They suggest several tools that help people adapt to such environments and channel the negative emotions that result from them.

      The biggest advantage of this book is the program that enables people to boost their emotional wellbeing by following clear steps focused on foundational skills: social awareness, self-awareness, relationship management, and self-management.

      3. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ – Daniel Goleman

      3.	Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

        Dr. Goleman offers a direct face-off between EQ and IQ, explaining that intellectual intelligence doesn’t help us achieve self-improvement without the boost of a high EQ. Supporting his arguments with facts from neuroscience and psychology, the author helps us understand the crucial skills for success.

        The book is not abstract at all; Goleman also offers ideas on how people can improve their EQ, which will lead to better relationships, work performance, and physical well-being.

        4. The EQ Difference: A Powerful Plan for Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work – Adele B. Lynn

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        4.	The EQ Difference: A Powerful Plan for Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work

          You can find tons of information on emotional intelligence online. However, many of those articles are based on abstract terms that may help you to understand the concept of emotional wellbeing, but won’t help you actually to achieve it. That’s why it’s important to find a more elaborate book that guides you through the specific steps you can take towards your personal growth.

          Adele B. Lynn provides effective guidance for professionals at all levels. Her practical examples and tips help the readers understand the effects different emotions have on our values, relations, and performance in the workplace. Once you learn how to recognize those effects, you will be able to achieve greater professional success.

          5. The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success – Steven J. Stein and Howard E. Book

          5.	The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success

            This book may easily become your long-term companion. Highly-developed intellect and creativity are truly necessary for successful performance on multiple levels, but the role of emotional intelligence is just as powerful. The EQ Edge teaches us why EQ is of crucial meaning when people are trying to progress at work, strengthen their relationships, boost their confidence, and become leaders.

            The book also includes a practical guide that enables all of us to improve relationships with other people, but with ourselves as well.

            6. The New Psycho-Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz

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            6.	The New Psycho-Cybernetics

              This is an updated version of the influential book that Maxwell Maltz published in 1960. The concept of emotional intelligence is nothing new; people have been aware of its importance throughout the last century. The theory of psycho-cybernetics examines the process of controlling thoughts and emotions. This book will teach you how to transform them from negative to positive.

              With time, you will reprogram the way your mind processes information. That will enable you to achieve your career goals and improve your overall lifestyle.

              7. Building Emotional Intelligence – Linda Lantieri

              7.	Building Emotional Intelligence by Linda Lantieri

                If you are a parent, it’s important to help your children develop the foundations of EQ at an early age. The most important part of children’s development is not reading, science, or math. Rather, it’s the capacity that Linda Lantieri defines as inner resilience. The approach elaborated in this book can also be useful for adults interested in boosting their emotional intelligence.

                With the step-by-step guide, the author enables people to improve their focus and awareness, increase self-esteem and empathy, and improve their ability for effective communication.

                8. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen R. Covey

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                8.	The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

                  This author presents a holistic approach for solving professional and personal problems. Although the book isn’t focused on emotional intelligence per se, it is an essential guide for everyone who wants to gain control over their emotions. Many of the 7 habits of effective people are closely linked to awareness of their inner state. Through anecdotes and penetrating insights, Covey teaches people how to live with integrity, dignity, and fairness.

                  9. The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book – Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

                  The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

                    This is one of the most accessible guides for achieving higher EQ. The authors of the book are renowned researchers of the phenomenon of emotional intelligence. In The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book, they offer effective tools that help people bring their chaotic personal and professional lives to balance.

                    This edition may seem short for such a deep concept, but it’s very effective because it gets straight to the point. It will help you assess your own EQ and build your “emotional immunity” at home and at work.

                    10. The Language of Emotional Intelligence: The Five Essential Tools for Building Powerful and Effective Relationships – Jeanne Segal

                    The Language of Emotional Intelligence: The Five Essential Tools for Building Powerful and Effective Relationships

                      This author doesn’t spend much time trying to convince you how important emotional intelligence is for the wellbeing of your relationships; you are supposed to know that already. The value of this book is in the fact that it enables you to apply the things you know in your everyday life. Jeanne Segal offers a practical guide based on research and real-life examples.

                      The five basic tools elaborated in the book will help you enhance your relationships by improving your skills at diffusing arguments and conflicts, reading non-verbal signs, and boosting your capacity for clear communication.

                      Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                      The Neurology of Ownership

                      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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                      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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