Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won.
New York Times science writer Goleman argues that our emotions play a much greater role in thought, decision making and individual success than is commonly acknowledged. He defines "emotional intelligence"?a trait not measured by IQ tests?as a set of skills, including control of one's impulses, self-motivation, empathy and social competence in interpersonal relationships. Although his highly accessible survey of research into cognitive and emotional development may not convince readers that this grab bag of faculties comprise a clearly recognizable, well-defined aptitude, his report is nevertheless an intriguing and practical guide to emotional mastery. In marriage, emotional intelligence means listening well and being able to calm down. In the workplace, it manifests when bosses give subordinates constructive feedback regarding their performance. Goleman also looks at pilot programs in schools from New York City to Oakland, Calif., where kids are taught conflict resolution, impulse control and social skills.