This book was originally published in 1995, and teaches you everything you want to know about emotional intelligence, though the book doesn't show you how to improve your EQ.
Goleman, a psychologist and former science writer for The New York Times, explains how the rational and emotional work together shape intelligence, using information from neuroscience and psychology of the brain, and why IQ is not the sole predictor of success.
Goleman shows how the brain can succumb to an emotional hijacking, using data from studies based on brain imaging technologies, and summarises much of the best psychological work of the previous few decades (the importance of learned optimism, the theory of multiple intelligences, the role of innate temperamental differences, and the importance of emotional intelligence in marriage, management, and medicine).
Even though one can learn a lot from Goleman's work, the overriding theme seems to me to be that nurturing (rather than aptitude) is more likely to produce exceptional humans; bad nurturing creates people with problems.
Part One looks at what happens in the brain at the molecular level under all sorts of emotional experiences.
Parts Two through Five focuses on feelings, personality, upbringing, aptitude, and treatment citing several studies to show that today's children are most decidedly a product of how they were treated.
Goleman believes we can cultivate emotional intelligence, and improve not only the I.Q., but the general life performances of children who suffer because of unbalanced emphasis on the intellectual at the expense of the affective dimension of personality. In his final section, he offers a plan for schooling to restore our badly neglected "emotional literacy", proposing greater attention to classes in "social development," "life skills" and "social and emotional learning".
This book is considered a classic in its genre and, whatever one agrees or not with his theories, is one that should be read at least once or twice for reference.