compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
was the title of the international bestseller by author Daniel Goleman
In this particularly insightful interview with Laura Flanders, linguist and
political analyst Noam Chomsky discusses how the events in Ferguson,
Missouri and the protests that followed demonstrate just how little race
relations in the United States have advanced since the end of the Civil War.
Noam Chomsky discusses the recent climate agreement between the US
and China, the rise of ISIL, and the the movement in Ferguson against
racism and police violence. Chomsky is the author of more than a hundred
books and the subject of several films about his ideas. He is a political
theorist and philosopher who has dissected the contradictions of US empire
and inspired several generations of activists. This episode also features a
special report on successful worker organizing among low-wage workers in
New York City.
What is emotional intelligence?
Daniel Goleman: Emotional intelligence refers to how well we handle
ourselves and our relationships, the 4 domains. Self-awareness, knowing
what we’re feeling, why we’re feeling it, which is a basis of, for example,
good intuition, good decision-making. Also, it’s a moral compass. Say,
in part, is self-management, which means handling your distressing
emotions in effective ways so that they don’t cripple you, they don’t get in
the way of what you’re doing, and yet, attuning them… to them when you
need to so that you learn what you must. Every emotion has a function.
Also, [marshalling] positive emotions, getting ourselves, you know,
involved, enthused about what we’re doing, aligning our actions with our
passions. The third is empathy, knowing what someone else is feeling.
And the fourth is putting that altogether in skilled relationship. So that’s
what I mean by emotional intelligence. There’re many definitions out there.
The part of the brain, it turns out, that supports emotional and social
intelligence is actually the last circuitry of the brain to become anatomically
mature. And because the neuroplasticity of the brain shapes itself
according to repeated experiences, so my argument is, hey, we should
be teaching kids regularly overtime, in a systematic way, self-awareness,
self-management, empathy, and social skill. In fact, there, now, enough
programs and they’ve been around enough in schools that they’re about
to publish a huge meta analysis, looking at hundreds of schools and kids
that had the program versus those that don’t. Guess what? All anti-social
behaviour, you know, disruption in class, find that… it goes down 10%.
Pro-social behavior, liking school, well-behave, up 10%. Academic
achievement scores, up 11%. So it really pays. Executive function, which
is mediated by the prefrontal lobe, both helps you manage your emotions
and helps you pay attention. So as kids learn these skills, they also learn
learning… basic learning skills. I think that the fact that that was an
argument was one thing that caught people’s attention. Then, there was
a little chapter on… called managing with heart, which argued that leaders
who were sons of a bitch were actually defeating the company’s own
mission. And I think that made a lot of people happy because they work
for people like that. I don’t know… Some people gave it to other people
because they thought they needed help in this domain. I’m sure there’re
a zillion reasons why people like the book.
Question: Are we becoming more emotionally intelligent?
Daniel Goleman: I hope more. I know IQ has been going up for a hundred
years as children encounter more sophisticated cognitive environment as
they grow. I don’t know that we’re becoming more emotionally intelligent.
I like to hope we would but I think that the number of intergroup wars
going on, the intergroup hatred going on, the, you know, levels of familial
abuse, in other words, indicators of emotions out of control in dangerous
ways don’t look that great, which is why I’m a very strong proponent of
getting these social, emotional learning programs in every school
Question: Are women more emotionally intelligent than men?
Daniel Goleman: Well, I get asked that question in a different way, which is,
are women more emotionally intelligent than men? And you have to
remember that emotion intelligence is a range of abilities, self-awareness,
emotional self-management, empathy, social skills. Women tend to be
better than men on average at empathy, particularly emotional empathy,
sensing in the moment how the other person is feeling and also, at social
skills, at keeping things feeling good between people in a group. Men, on
the other hand, tend to be better on average at self-confidence, particularly
in group, and at managing distressing emotions. But what’s very interesting
is if you look at leaders who were in the top 10%, there’s no difference
between the men and the women on any of those variables. In other words,
you have a whole human being. So I would say that on average, there
probably are differences men and women in this domain of ability. But as
people develop their skills, as people become more effective, they pick up
strengths in areas that they need.
In March 2000 a week-long discussion took place between the Dalai Lama
and a panel of distinguished scientists and philosophers about human
behaviour. Daniel Goleman’s illuminating account of this meeting offers
fresh insights into how we can recognise and change the emotions that
pose grave danger to our individual and collective fate.
The Dalai Lama travels the world and spreads his message of peace,
compassion and interdependence.
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