Appreciating Differences - Jack Falt - Ottawa area, Ontario, Canada

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Book Review by Jack Falt

Lynn, Adele B., The Emotional Intelligence Activity Book: 50 Activities for Promoting EQ at Work, New York, NY: Amacom, 2002, ISBN - 0-8144-7123-4, 278 pp.

Emotional intelligence has always been around but it took Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence to bring it to the forefront of awareness in our relationships and within the world of work. Unlike general intelligence, emotional intelligence can be learned and developed. While Goleman didnít tell describe how to help people become more emotionally intelligent. Lynnís book is a practical answer to that problem.

In simple terms for the author ďemotional intelligence is the dimension of intelligence responsible for our ability to manage ourselves and our relationships with others.Ē Various authors have different categories for the various emotional intelligence skills. Lynn focuses on the following set of talents: self-awareness, empathy, social expertness, personal influence and mastery of vision.

Other than some general comments on emotional intelligence the author goes right to the 50 exercises she has devised. There are two charts in the book that are a guide to the exercises: one lists them in numerical order and indicates which of the talents the exercise relates to; the second lists groups them according to: communication skills, team building, interpersonal skills, and leaders/managers/supervisors.

These exercises are designed to be used in one-on-one coaching situations or with groups of various sizes. There are several workshop outlines given: ½ day, full day, and 2 day formats.

The exercises are well laid out, showing the talents emphasised, the objectives, estimated time, materials needed, risk/difficulty level of the exercise, coaching tips, trainerís notes, and handout sheets of the exercise itself.

EQ is all about awareness of self and others. These exercise help individuals focus on the talents needed to be successful. While these exercises are meant for those in leadership, they are skills that everyone would benefit from. They could be easily adapted to a school curriculum. As I read through the exercises, I wished I could be part of a group to experience the activities. This would help me be more aware of myself and others, and it would help me familiarize myself with the material so that when called upon to come up with a suitable exercise to help someone understand a specific people problem, I would be able to recall having gone through such a process myself.

I would see Jung/Myers facilitators finding these exercises useful in helping clients with a strong thinking preference to be more aware of the feeling dimension to any problem. Of course, those with a preference for feeling also need their skills honed to be successful both on the job and in their interpersonal relationships. This is a valuable resource.

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