Book Reviews

Book by Steven Stein, Howard Book & Korrel Kanoy
Review by Sarah Syversen, M.Ed.
First and Second Year Advising
Loyola University Chicago

Social responsibility, self-regard, self-actualization: we hear these terms frequently in our line of work and maybe even use them ourselves, but what exactly do they mean? And how do they contribute to student success? In The Student EQ Edge (2013), authors Stein, Book, and Kanoy explain in depth what emotional quotient (a.k.a. emotional intelligence) means and how it attributes to success in school, careers, and relationships.

The book is divided into the five realms and sixteen scales of emotional intelligence, as defined by Reuven Bar-On (1988, 1997): self-perception (emotional self-awareness, self-regard, and self-actualization), self-expression (emotional expression, independence, and assertiveness), interpersonal (interpersonal relationships, empathy, and social responsibility), decision-making  (reality testing, problem solving, and impulse control), and stress management (flexibility, stress tolerance, and optimism). The authors begin the book by defining emotional intelligence and explaining how it differs from IQ and personality. Each of the EQ realms and associated scales are detailed in parts two through six of the book by way of examples, case studies, and reflection questions. The final chapters of the book are dedicated to the overview of research regarding using EQ in predicting academic and career success.

As an advisor, I found many of the concepts and research very applicable to further understanding the students I advise. The authors explain that IQ is not necessarily a predictor of success; however emotional intelligence is. Since emotional intelligence can be learned, advisors can teach these concepts to our students. In particular, the chapters on problem solving, stress tolerance, and flexibility are common areas of growth among students. The problem solving chapter identifies steps students can take to overcome a problem and three rules of problem solving. The chapter on stress tolerance encourages putting stressful situations into perspective, tackling feelings of being overwhelmed, and cultivating positive coping techniques. Finally, the chapter on flexibility may help advisors to engage students in conversation on the value of a liberal arts education and/or general education courses. 

Overall, I think advisors and students can benefit from reading this book. The authors use accessible language and humor, making for a quick and easy read. The case studies, reflection questions, charts, and graphs are an excellent way for the reader fully grasp and apply the concepts. The real-life examples are powerful; although the fictional examples are a little corny and may alienate a younger audience. To conclude, as an advisor I enjoyed reading The Student EQ Edge (2013) and would like to see a follow-up to this book wherein we can learn how to properly identify which realm or scale a student may be lacking how to teach these traits.

The Student EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and your Academic and Personal Success. (2013). Book by Steven Stein, Howard Book & Korrel Kanoy. Review by Sarah Syversen, M.Ed. San Francisco, CA: Wiley, 336 pp., $30.00, ISBN # 978-1-1180-9459-4

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