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Working with Emotional Intelligence [Summary & Takeaways]

by The Quick Book Summary Team
3 minutes read

Main Topic

Daniel Goleman’s “Working with Emotional Intelligence” explores the importance of emotional intelligence in professional success and leadership.

Key Ideas or Arguments

  1. Definition of Emotional Intelligence (EI): Goleman defines EI as the ability to recognize, understand, manage, and influence one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.
  2. EI in the Workplace: The book emphasizes the significance of EI in the workplace, indicating that it is often a more critical factor for success than cognitive intelligence.
  3. Components of EI: Goleman identifies key components of EI, including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Chapter Titles or Main Sections

  1. Introduction to Emotional Intelligence: Goleman introduces the concept and its relevance.
  2. The Nature of Emotional Intelligence: Explores the components and dynamics of EI.
  3. Emotional Intelligence Applied: Provides practical insights on applying EI in professional settings.
  4. Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: Examines the role of EI in effective leadership.
  5. EI in Organizations: Focuses on implementing EI strategies in organizational culture.

Working with Emotional Intelligence

by Daniel Goleman


Key Takeaways

  1. EI Over IQ: Goleman argues that EI often surpasses traditional intelligence (IQ) in predicting success in various aspects of life.
  2. Learnable Skills: The book asserts that the skills associated with EI can be developed and improved over time.
  3. Crucial for Leadership: Effective leadership requires a high level of emotional intelligence, including the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions and those of others.

Author’s Background and Qualifications

Daniel Goleman is a psychologist and science journalist, best known for his work on emotional intelligence and leadership. He has a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University and has authored multiple books on psychology and leadership.

Comparison to Other Books

Compared to other books on emotional intelligence, Goleman’s work stands out for its combination of scientific research, practical applications, and emphasis on leadership.

Target Audience

The book is targeted at professionals, leaders, and anyone interested in personal and professional development, particularly in understanding and harnessing the power of emotions.

Reception or Critical Response

“Working with Emotional Intelligence” received positive reviews for its practical insights and relevance in the business world. Critics appreciate Goleman’s ability to bridge psychological research with real-world applications.

Publisher and First Published Date

Published by Bantam Books, the first edition of “Working with Emotional Intelligence” was released in 1998.


  1. “Emotional Intelligence” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.
  2. “Primal Leadership” by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee.

To Sum Up

The biggest takeaway from “Working with Emotional Intelligence” is that success in the professional realm is often more dependent on emotional intelligence than cognitive intelligence, and these skills are crucially important for effective leadership.

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