26th November 2021

Book in Focus

Exploring Practical Perspectives of Emotional Intelligence

Harnessing the Power Within

By Lesley Gill

Academics and educators very successfully impart their technical expertise to their students, theory, knowledge and practice that teach, inform and prepare students well in specific disciplines. The endgame for students is that their qualification leads to employment in their chosen field. Thus, the technical knowledge, skills and abilities are a vital teaching focus. Some may choose to continue in academia to add to that field of knowledge through future research endeavours.

However, that is not enough today. I have seen too many talented people who succeed academically and rise to the top of their professions, but then fall because they do not have the moral and/or emotional strength to support the dizzying heights to which they have risen. These are the leaders, managers, academics, sports people, politicians, lawyers and police; indeed, all of us. It doesn’t have to be that way.

While academic focus is on the development of technical skills, which is important, there is a worrying and increasing gap between what the graduating student knows to do the job, and how well they are emotionally prepared to handle the challenges, adversity and chaos of the world of work—and life. The ability to work independently, work in teams, navigate politics and manage interpersonal relationships and leadership roles needs a development focus in our educational institutions.

It starts with our academics, our current lecturers. Exploring Practical Perspectives of Emotional Intelligence introduces the concepts of emotional intelligence that will undoubtedly address the socio-emotional knowledge acquisition that is needed and that goes towards addressing the human side of training and development. In so doing, we can harness the power of emotion and emotional data within us to help us navigate success and failure well.

Each chapter presents an area related to our emotional strengths and frailties. Chapter One introduces the purpose of the book and why developing our human skills is important. Chapter Two focuses on self-awareness, a key concept that is the door we must enter to develop our emotional intelligence, and without which we will not be able to “see” what is going on in us, or how we might decide to grow and change. Ensuing chapters present meaningful topics of resilience, rejection, grief and loss, empathy, spiritual wellbeing and emotion management. Each topic encourages readers to dig deep reflectively and to become the best version of themselves.

Academics have a significant role in shaping the next generation of world leaders, politicians, medics, lawyers, teachers, parents and everyone, no matter in what direction one’s passion takes them. 

We do not exist in isolation (though we might like to think we do). Each of us impacts and influences people in our personal and professional lives either positively or negatively—including ourselves. This book will help you connect with your humanity, which shapes your potential for greatness and success. Every action we take (or don’t take when it is needed) has an impact on others. Your intellect and intelligence will help you on this challenging journey of emotion management.

There has never been an age like the times in which we are living now. As we face economic and environmental challenges, pandemics, war and political unrest, we do so on a global stage; the world’s humanity is inextricably interconnected. What is your place and contribution to others—and yourself—in this world family?


Dr Lesley Gill is an Associate Professor in the School of Business at Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand. Her teaching and research focuses on personal development training, as well as formal teaching in Organisational Behaviour, Leadership, Business Transformation, Strategic Management and Human Resource Management. She also supervises Masters and PhD students. Dr Gill specialises in personal development training, which has emerged from her considerable experience meeting with and training people from all walks of life. She was also the Chief Editor and a contributor to Collective Voices of COVID-19: Otago Polytechnic Experiences, a book that captures the diverse perspectives of Otago Polytechnic staff during New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown experiences in 2020. She also co-edited and co-authored Organisations and Management, a textbook for business students.


Exploring Practical Perspectives of Emotional Intelligence: Harnessing the Power Within is available now in Hardback at a 25% discount. Enter PROMO25 at checkout to redeem.

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