In the early 1990s, publishers told science journalist Daniel Goleman not to use the word “emotion” in a business book. The popular conception was that emotions had little role in the workplace. When HBR was founded in October 1922, the practice of management focused on workers’ physical productivity, not their feelings.
Daniel Goleman popularized the idea in his 1995 book, and companies came to hire for “EI” and teach it. It’s now widely seen as a key ingredient in engaged teams, empathetic leadership, and inclusive organizations. However, critics question whether emotional intelligence operates can be meaningfully measured and contend that it acts as a catchall term for personality traits and values.