The 5 Best Books on Emotional Intelligence for Mastering Your Psychology

Emotional intelligence is crucial when navigating human relationships.

At work, in our personal lives, and everywhere in between, we constantly interact with other people.

And how we treat those people – especially when we’re under stress – can mean the difference between success and failure.

That’s why managing our emotions is so important.

By definition, emotional intelligence is “the capacity to be aware of and manage one’s own emotions, and the emotions of others.”

In other words, it’s the ability to understand and control ourselves, as well as the ability to interpret and influence the emotions of others.

If you’re looking to improve your emotional intelligence (EI), there are a number of great books out there on the topic. Let’s take a look.

The Best Books on Emotional Intelligence

1. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

In this book Daniel Goleman posits that emotional intelligence (EI) is a better predictor of success than IQ, supporting this claim with research from various fields, including psychology, neuroscience, and organizational behavior.

Goleman defines EI as the ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions; including both one’s own emotions and those of others.

EI is important for two reasons; first, it allows people to navigate their own lives effectively, and second, it enables them to work effectively with others.

People with high EI are good at regulating their emotions.

They don’t get overwhelmed by their feelings or let their emotions dictate their behavior, making them more effective in both their personal and professional lives.

People with high EI are also good at perceiving the emotions of others, reading other people’s body language and facial expressions to understand what they’re feeling.

This makes them better communicators and more successful in negotiations and social interactions.

Goleman presents a number of case studies to illustrate how EI has helped people achieve success in various domains.

For example, he discusses how a high-EI CEO was able to re-invigorate a struggling company and how a high-EI basketball coach was able to create a winning team.

Overall, Goleman’s book provides convincing evidence that emotional intelligence is an important predictor of success.

It should be read by anyone who wants to understand why some people are more successful than others.

2. Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

In this complimentary installment on the topic, Daniel Goleman provides a comprehensive guide to understanding and utilizing emotional intelligence in the workplace.

The book is divided into four sections: (1) Understanding emotional intelligence, (2) Applying emotional intelligence, (3) Developing emotional intelligence, and (4) Measuring emotional intelligence. 

Goleman discusses the five components of this psychological skill: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

He explains that people with high EI are better able to understand their own emotions and those of others, regulate their emotions, be productive and achieve goals, empathize with others, and build relationships. 

Goleman provides examples of how emotional intelligence can be applied in the workplace, discussing how salespeople can use empathy to connect with customers, how managers can use self-awareness to motivate employees, and how leaders can use social skills to build teams. 

Goleman offers tips for assessing one’s own abilities, while including exercises for readers to develop their skills, with particular emphasis on a professional context.

3. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry

The book is divided into four sections: (1) Understanding emotional intelligence, (2) Improving emotional intelligence, (3) Using emotional intelligence, and (4) The future of emotional intelligence.

Understand EI

According to the authors, emotional intelligence is the “single most important skill you can possess” for success in life.

Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions.

People with high EI are better able to regulate their emotions, set goals, solve problems, and communicate effectively.

The first section of the book discusses the history of emotional intelligence and how it has been studied over the years.

The authors note that emotional intelligence has been linked to a variety of positive outcomes, including better mental health, more successful relationships, and greater career success.

Improve EI

The second section of the book discusses ways to improve your skills.

The authors note that emotional intelligence can be improved through practice and by learning new skills. They offer a variety of tips for improving emotional intelligence, including:

  • Recognizing your emotions
  • Understanding your emotions
  • Managing your emotions
  • Expressing your emotions
  • Building relationships
  • Thinking differently
  • Improving self-awareness
  • Managing stress
  • Cultivating optimism
  • Developing empathy

Use EI

The third section of the book discusses how to use emotional intelligence in everyday life.

The authors note that people with high emotional intelligence are better able to manage their own emotions and also understand and empathize with the emotions of others.

They offer a variety of tips for using emotional intelligence, including:

  • Communicating effectively 
  • Managing conflict 
  • Leading others  
  • Motivating others  

The Future of EI

Finally, the fourth section of the book looks at the future of emotional intelligence.

The authors note that as our world becomes increasingly complex, the importance of emotional intelligence will continue to grow.

They offer a number of predictions for the future of emotional intelligence, including: 

-“emotional intelligent machines” that can read and respond to human emotion -“emotionally intelligent cities” that use technology to regulate traffic and pollution based on emotion -“emotionally intelligent workplaces” that use technology to monitor employee well-being

4. Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child by Joan DeClaire

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by Joan DeClaire is a parenting book that focuses on the psychological development of children.

The author stresses the importance of parents being emotionally intelligent in order to help their children develop their own abilities.

DeClaire provides helpful tips for parents on how to set limits and discipline their children in a way that is respectful and constructive, as well as how to communicate effectively with them.

She also discusses the importance of play and how it can help children learn about their emotions and relationships.

Throughout the book, DeClaire provides case studies of families who have successfully implemented her techniques.

One of the main points that DeClaire makes is that parents should be role models for their children.

They should not only exhibit emotional intelligence themselves, but also be responsive to their children’s needs.

When children feel understood and supported by their parents, they are more likely to develop healthy self-esteem and be emotionally resilient.

DeClaire also emphasizes the importance of parental involvement in their children’s lives, both at home and at school.

By setting high standards and being actively involved in their education, parents can help ensure that their children reach their full potential.

Overall, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child is an informative and helpful guide for parents who want to help their children grow into emotionally healthy adults.

The author provides clear instructions and plenty of real-world examples, making it easy for parents to apply her advice to their own families.

5. Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David

In this popular book Susan David discusses the importance of being emotionally agile in order to succeed in both work and life.

According to David, emotional agility is the ability to be open to change and new experiences, while also being able to regulate one’s emotions.

The text discusses how to cultivate emotional agility through four main strategies: self-awareness, self-regulation, mindfulness, and purpose.

David provides a number of case studies and real-world examples to illustrate how emotional agility can be used to overcome various challenges.

For example, she discusses how a CEO was able to use emotional agility to manage a difficult merger, and how a woman was able to use mindfulness to cope with the death of her husband.

The book also includes exercises and prompts for readers who want to start practicing emotional agility themselves.

Overall, the book is well written and easy to read, and it provides a wealth of information on how to overcome common challenges.

Summary

Enhancing your emotional intelligence is a personal development activity of unparalleled ROI, helping to understand and regulate your emotions, set boundaries, communicate effectively, and resolve conflicts.

It is also associated with improved mental health, better relationships, and greater success in both work and life.

The five books book recommendations above are the best place to start to gain a better understanding of the topic.