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Books: Not for those lacking in emotional intelligence

This is not a book for those who come to the subject of emotional intelligence cold, says Lyndsay Rockey, HR director of LoveFilm. But it is useful as a refresher and provides interesting pointers.

Understanding Emotional Intelligence in 90 Minutes

Author: Jan Childs
Publisher: Management Books
Price: £9.99
Rating 3 out of 5

As a relatively new organisation that doesn't have the kind of legacy an established organisation has and where all employees have an entrepreneurial spirit, we value concepts like emotional intelligence very highly. We want to grow our company without being bogged down by bureaucracy, and we believe that this could be a part of it.

The subject matter is not new to me. I've read lots of books on this subject - Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman, for example - and I've also received specific training it in. So, how did I find this addition to the pile?

Well, I certainly 'got' the content, and it lived up to its title of being something you can read in 90 minutes. However, I think I'm slightly biased. I'm not sure whether I would have grasped as much of the subject matter if I had come to the book completely cold. I also wonder whether just reading this alone would spark an interest in emotional intelligence. The upside is that if you do buy into this book, it has chapters that make you want to go in deeper. It refreshes elements you may already know, and in the second half of the book it provides interesting pointers and tips.

A slight criticism is that it tends to stray into the virtues of emotional intelligence a bit too much - as if this was the answer to everything. That would probably be an exaggeration. I also feel that this is probably not a great book to read if you do not have high emotional intelligence yourself.

Would I give it to my managers to read? Yes, probably, but only if they expressed an interest in knowing more about it. It does not provide all the answers to how to be a good manager. Overall, it does what it says on the tin, so for that, I applaud it. And if it gets more people interested in the subject, then it can't be a bad thing.