An emotional intelligent leader is critical to the success of any organization. Therefore, an emotional intelligent leader must continue to sharpen their emotional intelligence or EQ through lifelong learning and application. Emotional intelligence plays a huge part in our personal emotional growth but is also vital in leading teams effectively.

There are various ways to increase your emotional intelligence. I list some of those methods in my blog article, “4 Tips to Increase your Emotional Intelligence Skills”. However, for most of us, the easiest way is to learn from books. As an emotional intelligent leader, you should think out of the box, especially when it comes to your intelligence applied to many situations such as home life, relationships, parenting, work-life balance, and so much more. Therefore, I’ve listed 8 “Must Reads” for the emotional intelligent leader.

8 Books for the emotional intelligent leader

As an experienced leader, there is a great chance you are looking for information on EQ development, or you want to know how the concept of emotional intelligence works. If that is the case, I would suggest that you start by reading the books that I have recommended below.

Become a More Emotional Intelligent Leader
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1. Applied Empathy: The New Language of Leadership

Have you ever heard about being an empath? The author, Michael Ventura, is the CEO and entrepreneur of the award-winning design firm Sub Rosa. He talks about how you can overcome certain situations in your daily work-life and drive yourself to be a better leader by seeing things from different perspectives.

The author talks about how empathy can take you places. If you happen to be someone who wants to get better at communicating things and want to succeed by genuinely understanding people, then this is the book for you.

2. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

If you have been researching EQ for some time, then it is a sure shot that you have come across Daniel Goleman’s work. He is known as the founder of emotional intelligence and has done extensive research in the field.

His book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” is the first book Daniel Goleman wrote on the topic that scored the title of being the bestseller across the globe. Though it wasn’t the first book that Daniel Goleman wrote, it was the first piece that gave recognition to the EQ concept.

In this book, he talks about cognitive intelligence not being the sole predictor of workplace success. Emotional intelligence plays just an important role. He discusses how EQ is a set of skills and not just a single trait.

I highly recommend this book by the author. It is going to give you extensive insight into the topic.

3. Emotional Judo

Emotional Judo is a book that compiles various techniques and tools to manage your emotions and others’ emotions in multiple situations. It helps you communicate better, understand what to say and when you should say it.

The author, Tim Higgs, discusses emotion management skills. He also offers you case studies of different people who have used the Emotional Judo to manage their emotions and how it has helped them overcome heart-wrenching situations in their lifetime.

4. Wait: The Art & Science of Delay

Author Frank Partnoy writes the book, and he puts together research from numerous scientific studies and interviews with a range of experts. He talks about our EQ and how it brings delays in our effective decision-making. He talks about how we encounter millions of circumstances in this fast-paced world and how our EQ helps us through all of it.

5. Emotional Intelligence 2.0

The Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is another incredible book that is quite popular among emotional intelligent leaders. Many people also consider this book to be the most thorough and best book on the topic.

Jean Greaves and Drs Travis Bradberry write this book. Both are also the founders of EQ assessment providers TalentSmart, so they have been very thorough in conveying their EQ approach to their readers.

The best thing about Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is that it covers the topic from a research angle. The book contains data through the collection from 500 individuals and provides answers to most of your questions regarding EQ.

6. Working With Emotional Intelligence

Working With Emotional Intelligence is another book by Daniel Goleman in which he compiles research from more than 500 organizations and how they were able to manage disastrous situations through EQ.

This book explores triumphs throughout history and how people managed the situations by using skillsets belonging to EQ. “Working with Emotional Intelligence” is famous for being one of the author’s best literary works.

7. EQ Applied: The Real-World Guide to Emotional Intelligence

Justin Bariso is the author of EQ Applied, and he combines some very personal stories with compelling research and practical examples to make readers understand the concept of emotional intelligence. If you have ever felt challenged after learning about EQ and how you can apply its rules to handle situations better, then this is a must-read for you.

Bariso is famous for offering the latest insights on people’s challenges and how emotional intelligence can help them sort through these challenges.

8. The Leader’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence

Author Drew Bird writes the Leader’s Guide To Emotional Intelligence, and it breaks down EQ as a process and concept phenomenally well. He has described EQ in great detail offers some convenient tips for developing emotional intelligence with various tools, worksheets, and resources.


An emotional intelligent leader must continue to hone their skills as they gain more experience. Learning about and understanding emotional intelligence is not a one-time act. As with any endeavor to increase a skillset, it takes continuous research, patience, and resilience to sharpen your emotional intelligence skills. I hope I was able to share some insight on the books you should read about emotional intelligence.

I look forward to reading your feedback, so be sure to comment below.


I am an everyday leader, consistently self-evaluating and reshaping myself as I gain better self-awareness. I count time in my head, and I strive on processes. I love anything to do with technology, Star Trek (especially The Next Generation), and I've recently begun collecting comics (at the age of 40!).

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