Is IQ destiny? Perhaps not nearly as much as humans think. This text argues that our view of human intelligence is far too narrow, ignoring a crucial range of abilities that matter immensely in terms of how we do in life. Drawing on brain and behavioural research, the author shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well.
These factors add up to a different way of succeeding in life - one the author terms "emotional intelligence".
Emotional intelligence includes self-awareness and impulse control, persistence, zeal and self-motivation, empathy and social deftness. These are the qualities that mark people that excel.
They are also the hallmarks of character and self-discipline, of altruism and compassion.
As Goleman demonstrates, the personal costs of deficits in emotional intelligence can range from problems in marriage and poor physical health in adults to eating disorders and depression in children. But the news is hopeful. Emotional intelligence is not fixed at birth. Goleman's argument gives insights into the brain architecture underlying emotion and rationality.
He shows how emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened in all of us.
Since the emotional lessons a child learns actually sculpt the brain's circuitry, Goleman provides detailed guidance as to how parents and schools can benefit from this.