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Emotional Intelligence For Dummies® by Steven J. Stein

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Chapter 1. Feeling Smart

In This Chapter

  • Getting a feel for emotional intelligence

  • Knowing how to manage your emotions

  • Connecting with the emotions of others

  • Bringing emotional intelligence into the workplace

  • Practicing emotional intelligence at home

When most people think about what makes a smart person, they think of the school valedictorian — someone who's a whiz at math, flies through chemistry class, masters French and German, aces English literature, and tops the debating club. Being book smart means you can compute, retain, reformulate, and regurgitate all kinds of information.

Although being smart in these ways can help you get through school with flying colors, it may not be all it's cracked up to be. Smart people do get ahead in many ways, often finding academic success and opportunities for good jobs. You need to be book smart, for example, to get into most professional schools, such as medical, law, and engineering schools. But being book smart doesn't guarantee success and happiness in life.

Being emotionally intelligent, as described in this chapter and throughout this book, brings you much closer to achieving personal and even professional fulfillment.

Defining Emotional Intelligence

Psychologists have proposed several definitions of emotional intelligence (EI), but the original intent was to understand how some people who are so smart in some ways (have book smarts) can be so dumb in other ways (lack street smarts). A person can have book smarts, but not street smarts, because ...

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