An analysis of our emotions and the skills required to understand them.
We all have emotions, but how many of us have the vocabulary to accurately describe our experiences or to understand how our emotions affect the way we act? In this guide to help readers with their emotions, Brackett, the founding director of Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, presents a five-step method he calls R.U.L.E.R.: We need to recognize our emotions, understand what has caused them, be able to label them with precise terms and descriptions, know how to safely and effectively express them, and be able to regulate them in productive ways. The author walks readers through each step and provides an intriguing tool to use to help identify a specific emotion. Brackett introduces a four-square grid called a Mood Meter, which allows one to define where an emotion falls based on pleasantness and energy. He also uses four colors for each quadrant: yellow for high pleasantness and high energy, red for low pleasantness and high energy, green for high pleasantness and low energy, and blue for low pleasantness and low energy. The idea is to identify where an emotion lies in this grid in order to put the R.U.L.E.R. method to good use. The author’s research is wide-ranging, and his interweaving of his personal story with the data helps make the book less academic and more accessible to general readers. It’s particularly useful for parents and teachers who want to help children learn to handle difficult emotions so that they can thrive rather than be overwhelmed by them. The author’s system will also find use in the workplace. “Emotions are the most powerful force inside the workplace—as they are in every human endeavor,” writes Brackett. “They influence everything from leadership effectiveness to building and maintaining complex relationships, from innovation to customer relations.”
An intriguing approach to identifying and relating to one’s emotions.