7 Books to Boost Your eQ & Emotional Intelligence Literacy

Whether you are new to eQ or looking to broaden your knowledge for your own personal development, you'll be glad you picked up one of these informative, insightful reads.


Emotional Intelligence - Why It Can Matter More than IQ


Author (Daniel Goleman) believes that we should not define people by their iQ.

iQ is often considered fixed can “predestine” young people by categorizing them into capable versus incapable groups.


It has been proven that a high iQ promises very little in terms of success beyond school. Unlike iQ, eQ can be cultivated. The skills associated with eQ can be taught and learned.


In Goleman’s research, he shows that people with more highly developed eQ are more successful than those with only high iQ. Therefore, it is important that we take the time to include instructional programming in these very essential skills. He challenges us to redefine what it means to be “smart”


Emotional Intelligence 2.0


Once you have a foundation of what eQ is, this book offers you - the reader - the opportunity to investigate your own eQ status. The author then helps you to use practical eQ skills and develop your strengths.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 also helps you identify emotional challenges with a free online test that accompanies the book. Taking this assessment helps you to determine your current eQ skill set. The results will help you understand what you need to do to improve and maximize your eQ skills.


The authors (Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves) blend statistics and common sense, practical stories to supplement the lessons. It reinforces that emotional intelligence is a learned set of skills (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management) not a fixed ability.


Dare to Lead


Although not touted as an emotional intelligence expert, Brene Brown captures the power of emotional intelligence in many of her TedTalks and books.


She highlights that to be a successful leader:

1. we must be vulnerable and

2. we must cultivate the ability to truly listen, that is, to listen with intent without interruption.


These two traits can not exist without high eQ. She also says that successful leaders must have empathy, or the ability to connect to the emotions of others and to manage their responses to events and situations.


Best of all, the book is filled with stories and personal accounts that we can all connect with - she weaves fact with what we know in our hearts.


Permission to Feel

This powerful book captures the author’s life work in the field of trauma, healing, and wellbeing.


In the Permission to Feel book, Marc Brackett outlines a simple and effective plan to improve the lives of children and adults. This, he asserts, is accomplished by understanding our emotions and using them discerningly to support our success and well-being rather than derail our and others' goals. He offers a guide on how to do this using what he refers to as the RULER method.


Start Where You Are


Pema Chodron is a guru of mindfulness and this practice is at the core of taking the time to pause and understand yourself and where you are at any given moment of time.


It is a must-read for anybody hoping to nurture their own emotional intelligence - and in turn - support the notion that we, as a society if we all manage ourselves better, we are all better managed.


Chodron keeps it simple and doesn’t ask that we focus on multiple aspects of ourselves, but simply to work toward being present and knowing your emotions and your emotional response.

Chodron says that to live a mindful life, we must “start where we are”.



eQ Applied

The extended title "The Real-World Guide to Emotional Intelligence" says it all.


This book offers a fresh and up-to-date review on eQ as well as providing real-world strategies on how to integrate eQ in our day-to-day interactions and in particular when our emotions are heightened.


Author Justin Bariso weaves in specific strategies with examples from real-life events that we can all relate to.


Thinking Fast and Slow


This not-so-easy read seeks to explain how we can use emotion to think and make better decisions.


Author Daniel Kahneman goes deep with how our brains battle with "System 1" (fast thinking) and "System 2" (slow thinking) and how these play out in our day-to-day decisions.

He highlights how assumptions, social media, biases, facts, misrepresentation of facts, experiences, etc all play a part in how we make decisions.


Kahneman notes that we are generally lazy and more readily turn toward system 1 response to decision-making. He notes that when faced with high-stakes decisions we often get stuck in system 2 - slow thinking which can be equally as detrimental. I believe his underlying message is to stay clear of making decisions based solely on either and that knowing your emotional stance on an issue and maintaining emotional balance is essential.


Looking to learn more about eQ and how emotional intelligence can accelerate learning potential? Let's chat! We'd love to explore how eQ Innovative Learning Solutions can help bring out the best in you, your child, or your organization.