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On Emotional Intelligence (HBR's 10 Must Reads)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,658 ratings  ·  134 reviews
In his defining work on emotional intelligence, bestselling author Daniel Goleman found that it is twice as important as other competencies in determining outstanding leadership.

If you read nothing else on emotional intelligence, read these 10 articles by experts in the field. We’ve combed through hundreds of articles in the Harvard Business Review archive and selected the
Paperback, 166 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published April 14th 2015)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Jenn "JR"
This compact volume contains 10 articles on EI intended as a primer for those new to the subject matter -- published in 2013, it includes some items that were actually quite old at the time (published in 1996, for example)

1. What Makes a Leader? by Daniel Goleman (1996)
2. Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee (2001)

In the first article, Goleman resents the theme of the book: emotional intelligence is the most important ski
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There is no doubt now that having a well-honed emotional intelligence will make it easy for an individual to succeed, especially during this time when every opportunity to connect is available. This maybe one of the reasons why organizations such as Harvard Business Review continuously devote time, effort and financial resources to help our leaders all around the globe regardless of industry or occupation develop these sets of competencies.

In this book, HBR compiles the best collections of its m
Daniel Allen
Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it
TL;DR: Don’t be a dick.
Min Soo Choi
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The essential collection of articles on the subject of emotional intelligence. Read this if you want to understand the components of emotional intelligence and most importantly, how to practice growing in it! Emotional intelligence for the last 20+ years has had huge explanatory power in identifying and building great leaders of organizations and businesses.
Raman K
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A really insightful book about how to behave in both personal and professional life. I liked a lot of what was mentioned in how to motivate yourself and the people on your team. Although it can seem a little dry, its worth the little bits of knowledge you pick up.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lot of points in the book looked familiar and I've come to realize I've taken for granted the fact that EI is considered important and is cultivated in modern age tech companies (even if not labeled as EI specifically). Some things were new for me: importance of emotions projected by leaders, sources of motivation as predictor of leadership potential, Ego-defense vs self-awareness balance and importance of resilience. Some pieces were rather funny though and sounded outdated though, like
He mad
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was ok. Nothing I didnt already know. Each chapter is a new article ( that likely appeared in the Harvard Review itself at one point). Within each chapter/ article is a one page synopsis of the key points. I could have been satisfied with just those pages. The full articles seemed to be too dry and while only 10 pages long, felt like an agonizing eternity. I hope the "Managing Yourself" book is better as i just got that at the airport on a recent business trip. Fingees crossed! ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
The first business book I’ve read that couldn’t be reduced down to a notecard. This is definitely a four-notecard book.
JJ ONeal
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I purchased this book for the wrong reason and didn't find it as compelling or insightful as I thought I would. I wanted to learn more about accurately identifying/labeling emotions as well as emotional regulation. I should have expected this, but HBR focuses more on the leadership and management skills needed to run a business successfully. This book contains 10 essays about different topics related to emotional intelligence, and I found myself skipping around looking for the highlights or indi ...more
Ethan Hulbert
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book contains multiple essays on emotional intelligence in leadership and business. And let me tell you, it's absolutely invaluable. This is the book you should be reading on how to lead with your mind, soul, heart, and feelings. I really love this book.

The only reason I'm taking one star off (really it's a 4.5/5 rounded down) is because due to the essay-collection nature of the book, there did seem to be some repetition between some of the content between different essays. Just how it goes
Deniz Whittier
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: career
This was a very exciting literature review for me as I began it right when I was promoted into a new position and ended it right when I a trying to find means to request feedback from the new management structure in front of me. The articles focus on maintaining dignity within the workplace through 360 feedback, developing emotional capacity + interpersonal goals as part of an employees abilities.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book! Concise, straight to the point, and filled with insights. I took one star off because a few articles weren't as engaging and seemed incomplete in their execution practices, but the vast majority were interesting and helpful. What's also nice is that it covered multiple angles of leadership, whereas most books plow to the end with one thesis. Highly recommend! ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Picked this up in the airport, thought I'd update the latest on EI.

Has applications to "group" emotional intelligence ie teams, developing team chemistry. A Richard Feynmann example of "bricoleur" on page 116-117 in "How Resilience Works."
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Has some good ideas in it but way to focused on corporate business, especially in the USA. I found lots of the articles to be way too geared towards changing your behavior so you can climb the ladder faster vs. changing yourself to just be a better, emotionally aware individual who will also benefit from corporate success.
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
The first article is the best. Excellent overall.
Shikhar Bansal
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
An entirely different perspective on the not-so-popular topic of Emotional Intelligence. Fun and Thughtlful Read.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this an enlightening and important read, and hope to review my notes often.
Gayatri Vaidya
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was a fascinating read. It is never enough for a manager to master people's skills. Also, people do sense when they are managed emotionally vs. understood with emotional intelligence.

I found it a powerful read overall.
Peter Krol
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Didn’t read every essay, but those I did read were great. Covered how emotional intelligence affects leaders, groups, organizations, and young adults.
I made the mistake of complimenting my mid-teen on her emotional intelligence, which built within her a desire to study and understand this kind of intelligence. So, this teen wanted me to buy this book by Harvard Business Review. Shrug.

The book defined emotional intelligence as being self-aware, self-regulating, self-motivating, empathetic, and having the social skills for rapport.

As the title stated, the book was about using emotional intelligence in the business world, not about using it in
Andreas Bodemer
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Zack needs to read this.
Helena Tan
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Different from other psychology books on this topic, this book provides great real life examples with less emphasis on theory. It turns out to be a lot more relatable and actionable.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
There were some articles that I thought droned on, but most were good and gave me things to think about as far as how I manage myself and others.
Hannes Gasteiger
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and complete introduction from some of the leading researchers on the topic of emotional intelligence.
Brian Nwokedi
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
On Emotional Intelligence is a collection of ten essays originally published in the Harvard Business Review on you guessed it, emotional intelligence. Each of these ten articles have been hand selected to create a collection of impactful readings on building your capacity for emotional intelligence in your professional and personal lives. When it comes right down to it, research has proven time and again the emotional intelligence is a key ingredient of exceptional performance on the
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“On Emotional Intelligence”, a book endorsed by the Harvard Business Review, wouldn't have been my first choice as a foray into this subject, but a friend who works in government as a city manager recommended it and loaned his copy to me. It's specificity may not have seemed copacetic for someone such as myself- it's a compendium of articles aimed at managerial and leadership levels in corporations, which I'm not a part of –but I trusted my friend's recommendation, and ended up finding this book ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
"How Resilience Works" is the first article I read in this collection of articles by emotional intelligence experts (these are standalone articles that can be read in any order). Resilience is built on three main pillars: the ability to accept reality (no matter how harsh it might be); finding meaning in one's life (including finding meaning in one's own difficulties); and having a knack for improvising, that is, finding ways to make the most of what one has (I learned a new word 'bricolage', wh ...more
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
This book is more in the 3.5 range. I found it to be helpful in thinking about what makes an emotionally health and successful workplace environment. I hesitate to rate higher simply because of my preference for long-term narratives rather than small vignettes. Each paper also seemed to be focusing on different variations of EI rather than being distinctly unique. I found the ending chapters to be more helpful, especially the ones on feedback and young professionals. It'll be a while to see how ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
A wonderful compilation of articles addressing LEADERSHIP and MANAGEMENT which would have been more interesting to me while I was working, than now that I am retired. All of the articles had good substance, wonderful explanatory examples and methods to improve/enhance the emotional intelligence of your management employees OR yourself if in that position yourself.

Self-awareness, I feel is the most difficult to master. We all tend to think that we are better than we are, but that isn't always th
Shobhit M
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

There are 10 essays in the book and each of the essays' immaculately rings a bell. I highly recommend this book to everyone - to read, understand, acknowledge, and incorporate the lessons from this book, both in personal and professional life.

I read the essays 'What Makes a Leader?' and 'Fear of Feedback' multiple times and learnt something new every time. The book has the power to change one's impression. At the end of it, I had a huge sense of satisfaction and understanding of wher
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