There are two essential books about emotions that everyone should read. One is this one, Emotional Intelligence (published in 1996) and the other is Susan David’s Emotional Agility (published 20 years later in 2016). Both books are about understanding and learning to work with our emotions.
Goleman’s book starts with an overview of how our brain experiences emotion, and introduces the concept of an emotional hijack – when our emotions lead us to behave in ways that we later regret. The next part of the book explains the concept of emotional intelligence – how we can become more self-aware. Part three explores applications of emotional intelligence – putting it into action. Part four examines emotions in family contexts, following trauma and the link between emotions and personality. Finally, the book considers emotional literacy – the risks of not developing it, and advice about how we can educate ourselves in it.
Also look out for Daniel Goleman’s follow up book Leadership: The power of emotional intelligence, applying the concepts to those in leadership positions.