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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence." A Review

HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence (with featured article HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence by Harvard Business Review
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are good ideas, and then there are really good ideas. Harvard Business Review Press compiling 10 of the "Must Reads" on Emotional Intelligence (EI) was a really good idea. The articles range from 1996 to 2013, though they are not in chronological order. These 208 readable pages will soon be in both Kindle format, and  paperback.

Each chapter is a different article dealing with a number of aspects related to EI, not only as it applies to an individual leader, but also to teams and organizations. Daniel Goleman's "What Makes a Leader?" heads the line-up. If you've read his book on EI, then you will already know much of what is contained in this article, but reading it is a nice refresher. Goleman also co-authors the second chapter, along with Boyatzis and McKee, as they describe the important ways a leader's moods and behaviors infect an organization.Joel Brockner draws attention to translating EI into difficult organizational situations to breed a sense of fairness among employees. Campbell, Whitehead and Finkelstein do a masterful job showing the reasons leaders make poor decisions and how to remedy this problem. Druskat and Wolff bring out the ways groups exhibit, and fail to exhibit, EI. They also demonstrate practices for helping teams to learn how to employ EI effectively as a group. Porath and Pearson show the cost of incivility in an organization. Diane Coutu looks into personal and corporate resilience, and how it is "a reflex, a way of facing and understanding the world, that is deeply etched into a person's mind and soul. Resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair, and improvise solutions from thin air" (116). David and Congleton tackle the value of, and ways to gain, emotional agility. Jackman and Strober diagnose the reasons we find feedback distasteful, and how to personally turn feedback into fertile soil for genuine improvement. Finally, Bunker, Kram and Ting show the pitfalls in promoting the "young and clueless" too fast, how it hurts them and the organization.

Each chapter has an overview "breakout" of the subject of the chapter. There are also other pieces set apart to help a skimmer remember what an article covers and to jog their memories on important aspects of the subject. Some of these breakout sections could even be used to share with others during a briefing, or in meetings to help whet the appetite of others. Harvard Business Review Press has made this whole product to be used and usable.

All in all, "HBR's 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence" was an instructive read that displayed the various ways and means of EI for an individual leader, team and organization. Not only would this material make for a good discussion starter at any corporation, company or Mom-and-Pop business, I can see it facilitating some clearheaded thinking in the not for profit sector including religious organizations and churches. This is a manual I hope to share with our congregation's leadership, and will happily recommend to others.

Thanks to Harvard Business Review Press and Net Galley for the temporary e-copy of the book used for this review.


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