The Best Books on Emotional Intelligence

February 16, 2021

As professional coaches, we get asked about the importance of Emotional Intelligence all the time, and the short answer is: developing your emotional intelligence (EI) is incredibly important.

So much has been written on this topic — in fact, a quick Google search will turn up over 180 million results! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best books on Emotional Intelligence to get you started on your development journey:

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ 

By Dr. Daniel Goleman

Dr. Goleman is often credited with bringing the concept of Emotional Intelligence into the mainstream, and this book, which touches on psychology and neuroscience, explains the critical skills for success offered by developing a person’s EQ.

The book delves into how EQ can determine your success in both personal and professional relationships, and how adopting a positive mindset can impact your overall health. The book also includes strategies to improve your Emotional Intelligence, and is a great “starting point”

Becoming a Resonant Leader: Develop Your Emotional Intelligence, Renew Your Relationships, Sustain Your Effectiveness

By Annie McKee, Richard Boyatzis, and Teleos Leadership Institute co-founder Frances Johnston

This book introduces the concept of a “Resonant Leader” and explores how leaders who use Emotional Intelligence can inspire others, build meaningful relationships, and manage others in a variety of environments.

Becoming a Resonant Leader includes a variety of interactive exercises to understand your own leadership values and strengths, as well as suggestions to develop an action plan for intentional change. This practical guide is a helpful resource for coaches, therapists, and leaders alike.

We’ve got more ways to improve your EQ in our book “Emotional Intelligence: Your Foundation for Success”. Order yours today! 

The Language of Emotional Intelligence: The Five Essential Tools for Building Powerful and Effective Relationships 

by Jeanne Segal

This book is an excellent resource for using Emotional Intelligence to build better relationships with everyone in your life.

Segel lays out a simple, step-by-step program on how to use the five basic tools of Emotional Intelligence to become a better communicator, how to read non-verbal cues, and build your skills to diffuse arguments and conflicts in ways that are respectful and constructive. 

Whether you’re interested in developing better professional relationships, personal relationships, or both, this book is a must-read.

Emotional Intelligence: Your Foundation for Success

By Hayley Hesseln and Janice Gair

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include our book in this list! Packed with research-based insights and exercises, Emotional Intelligence: Your Foundation for Success will take you through a wide range of hands-on activities related to the five realms of emotional intelligence. 

The 45 exercises in this book will help you improve your emotional intelligence while setting realistic and achievable goals to build confidence in your abilities.

Go Suck a Lemon: Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence 

by Michael Cornwall

This guide from EQ expert Michael Cornwall focuses on specific aspects of EQ, such as controlling your emotions, breaking out of emotional co-dependence, becoming more open-minded, and thinking before acting.

As you may be able to infer from the title, the book’s tone could easily be described as “no nonsense” and delivers a process and suggestions in a straightforward manner, giving you a framework to approach new tasks with more care and emotional-based problem solving than before.

The Emotionally Intelligent Manager: How to Develop and Use the Four Key Emotional Skills of Leadership

By Peter Salovey, David Caruso, and John Mayer

The Emotionally Intelligent Manager delves into the various ways leaders can understand, develop, and apply the four abilities outlined in the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) to measure Emotional Intelligence.

The book offers a variety of approaches to develop your EQ, starting with an appreciation for how these abilities present themselves in the day-to-day activities within an organization, and is a useful and research-driven resource for professionals interested in applying the concepts of Emotional Intelligence to their leadership strategies.

Interested in taking a hands-on approach to developing your Emotional Intelligence in a friendly, welcoming group setting? Register for our next EQ-i2.0 / EQ360 Online Certification!