Today, we wanted to introduce you to the work of a prominent psychology, Daniel Goleman. Mr. Goleman is best known for his work on emotional intelligence. Wikipedia defines emotional intelligence as “an ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups.
How do we deal with our emotions? What do we do with our emotions? Do they control us? Overpower us? Do our feelings leave us cowering in the corner afraid to try new things? Mr. Goleman argues that emotional intelligence is often a better predictor of success than our IQ (intelligence quotient). Having a high IQ means that we can solve difficult academic problems, absorb books quickly and logic our way through puzzles. But, it doesn’t mean that we know how to interact with the people around us and build strong relationships. The ability to forge lasting relationships, encourage our peers and build consensus in groups has enormous ramifications for family life, social life and work life!
If we want to equip our children to be truly successful in life we need to focus a lot more attention on developing their emotional capabilities. Take a look at this 7 minute video which summarizes the main findings of Mr. Goleman’s research and will help convince you that we need to focus on emotions:
Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, published in 1997 by Daniel Goleman, is a great starting point if you would like to learn more about emotional intelligence. The Amazon review of this book summarizes it nicely:
Goleman makes the case for “emotional intelligence” being the strongest indicator of human success. He defines emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved by friends, partners, and family members. People who possess high emotional intelligence are the people who truly succeed in work as well as play, building flourishing careers and lasting, meaningful relationships. Because emotional intelligence isn’t fixed at birth, Goleman outlines how adults as well as parents of young children can sow the seeds.
This ties in nicely with our philosophy at Parentology. A large part of what we try to teach at Parentology is to help parents and kids get in touch with each others emotions and develop productive ways of working through and with the emotions. “Working with” emotions is an important concept to ponder! There’s no need to suppress emotions. There’s no such thing as a “bad” emotion. Emotions have a lot to teach us. We encourage people to learn how to listen to their emotions. Ask yourself: “What information is this emotion giving to me? What is it telling me?” In order to do this you have to create a space (literally) between experiencing an emotion and reacting to the emotion with a behavior. Take a deep breath, count to 5 and answer the question (honestly) “Why do I feel this way?” If you can master this, you are well on your way to having high emotional intelligence.
There’s a lot of Daniel Goleman’s work on the web. Look him up on YouTube or Amazon. Or on your next trip to the book store skim through some of his books. They are definitely worth the time and money.
Have a wonderful day!
- Gonan Premfors