WORKING WITH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

The author of the bestseller Emotional Intelligence (1995) expands on his earlier work by documenting the significance of emotional intelligence in the world of work at both the individual and organizational levels. Goleman, formerly a brain sciences editor for the New York Times and now the CEO of a consulting firm, Emotional Intelligence Services, asserts that emotional intelligence, more than IQ and technical knowhow, gives a valuable competitive edge to organizations and is crucial to the success of individuals, and he buttressed this assertion by citing both research studies and anecdotal evidence.(For newcomers to the concept, a summary of emotional intelligence is included in Appendix 1.) Emotional intelligence encompasses both personal and social competencies. Among the personal competencies are self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation, while the social competencies include empathy and the various skills for inducing desirable responses in others. Goleman analyzes the various aspects of each skill and has a seemingly bottomless cache of stories demonstrating how people with and without these skills operate. For his examples, he draws heavily on corporate America—Ford, Intel, IBM, Xerox, etc.—but with a sprinkling of more esoteric subjects: Mike Tyson, WWII’s Manhattan Project , and a generous sprinkling of foreign and multinational concerns. Happily, emotional intelligence is a quality that can be acquired. While not claiming to offer a self-help manual, Goleman presents specific guidelines for teaching emotional intelligence within an organization. Those wanting to set up such a training program and wishing more guidance than the basic principles offered here are invited to contact Goleman’s firm for practical assistance. While the various qualities making up emotional intelligence occasionally tend to overlap and blur into each other, and the many case histories come to have a certain sameness, Goleman’s essential message comes through loud and clear.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 1998

ISBN: 0-553-10462-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Bantam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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