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Emotional Intelligence Summary

Here’s the Emotional Intelligence summary. The full title is Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Learn how emotional intelligence affects your work, relationships, and well-being.


Emotional Intelligence author Daniel Goleman explains that it’s not just about being smart (IQ) so people can be happy and successful. It’s also about emotional intelligence.

Why? Because we actually have two minds: the rational and the emotional. In this summary we’ll touch on a few key lessons that will help you improve your emotional intelligence.

About the Author

Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist who has written books on social and emotional learning, self-deception, creativity, meditation, and emotional intelligence.

His Emotional Intelligence book has been translated to over 40 languages. His book maintained its The New York Times bestselling status for about a year and a half. You can learn more about him through his website.

Main takeaways: Emotional Intelligence Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from his book:

  1. We have a rational mind and an emotional mind.
  2. A high emotional intelligence can translate to more happiness and success.
  3. Improve your emotional intelligence by mirroring other people’s body language.

We have a rational mind and an emotional mind

It’s not all the rational mind that makes all the decisions. Emotions also affect how we talk and act. Emotions can often override our rational mind. It can even dominate our whole decision making process.

Why? It’s our instinct. Our emotional mind is automatic. It takes less energy. On the other hand, our rational mind takes more energy. We should be consciously aware whenever we make a decision with our rational mind.

In other words, our IQ is not the only determinant in our decisions. Our IQ might not even be involved in the most decisions we made for the past several years. We often might be using our EQ (emotional intelligence) to make everyday decisions.

How do they decide differently? For example you’re buying food from the grocery store. Your rational mind says you’ve got to eat healthy. But your emotional mind says that you deserve the sweets. If you’re tired and hungry, you will follow the sweets.

It also happens in other areas such as relationships and career. Our emotional mind can dominate how we decide on those things. But it’s not that reliable. That happens especially if we didn’t develop our emotional intelligence. The consequences might be disastrous.

That’s why you also need to prioritize your emotional intelligence. This way you’ll achieve more happiness and success. You’ll also make better decisions along the way.

A high emotional intelligence can translate to more happiness and success

This is true. You can finish at the top of your class and get a bunch of scholarships. But your whole life would still be miserable because of low emotional intelligence.

Why? Because as we go out in the world, we need to deal with people. We’ll start forming meaningful relationships. We’ll deal with our co-workers and superiors. We’ll start experiencing real setbacks.

Reading lots of books won’t do much when we go out there. It becomes more complex. And we won’t be using much of what we learned from school to deal with everyday things.

Our emotional mind will take over. It can also complement our rational mind in various situations. For example we always feel bored. But we know how to manage or fight boredom because of our high emotional intelligence. The result is we still get to work or study.

Despite the boredom, we still manage to do something productive. But if we can’t fight it, our intelligence won’t matter. We won’t study or work. Our intelligence is just sitting there doing nothing.

If we can manage our emotions, we can get more happiness and success. We won’t let our negative emotions rule us. We will still work to achieve our goals. We’ll still remain happy because we know that’s good for us.

Improve your emotional intelligence by mirroring other people’s body language

One key of emotional intelligence is by exercising empathy. That will help you to connect better with the other person. You can communicate better. With better communication, you can improve the relationship or encourage the other to do something.

One way to exercise empathy and improve your emotional intelligence is by mirroring the other person’s body language. Why? If you have the same body language, you stand a greater chance of understanding his or her feelings.

Also we somehow prefer talking with people who are similar to us. Having the same body language signals similarity. The other person will be more open. You will also somehow feel the same emotions she has. This way you demonstrate empathy and you build a better connection with her.

You’ve learned the importance of emotional intelligence and how to improve it. You now know that EQ can matter as much as IQ. Aside from those, you’ll also learn the following from the Emotional Intelligence book:

  • Why you should practice optimism
  • How to build better habits
  • How parents and business leaders can benefit from a higher emotional intelligence
  • How to manage with your heart
  • What it means to be smart

My personal takeaways

I’ve realized that it’s not all about having more knowledge. It’s also about managing my emotions. My emotions dictate what I’ll be doing. Also, my emotions help me communicate better with other people.

Better communication leads to better relationships. That leads to more happiness for personal relationships. In work settings better communication results to improved management and a less stressful work environment. Emotional intelligence does matter in getting more success and happiness.

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