"We have gone too far in emphasizing the value and import of the purely rational. For better or for worse, intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway."
- Daniel Goleman
When reading quotes from Daniel Goleman, use your EQ and notice his use of "can" and "may." These aren't absolutes ... i.e., when emotions hold sway, your cognitive intelligence MAY or CAN come to nothing. We know this about fear and anger ...both these emotional states shut down our ability to think reasonably, or even well. So can lust. These are the states when we do and say things and later say "What came over me?" or "What was I thinking?" or "That wasn't like me," or "The devil made me do it."
When he's using "can" or "may," he's using it in the putative sense; talking about possibilities.
He's best known for the subtitle of his book, "Emotional Intelligence" which is: "Why It Can Matter More Than IQ". He isn't saying that is DOES matter more than IQ, particularly not that it matters ALL THE TIME more than IQ. As we here at EQ Central are fond of saying, emotional intelligence is not the end-all be-all any more tha cognitive intelligence; it's the interface between thinking and feeling.
Any state of great "excitement" may render our thinking brains inoperable! That's what EQ is all about. Staying in good management, understanding what's going on, and making wise choices.
Strong emotions can also allow us to do tremendous things. Goleman's book begins with the story of the Chaunceys, who were traveling on a train with their 11 year old daughter who was confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy. When the train hit a faulty bridge and crashed into a bayou, they were able to push their daughter out a window to safety before they themselves perished.
We hear of people lifting cars up that have fallen on their loved ones, reacting in split seconds to save their own lives of the lives of someone they love, killing beasts with their bare hands, and even what many of us do all the time -- working long, hard hours at difficult jobs because we care about our families.
Peter Drucker said we knew nothing really about motivation; we just wrote books about it. However, we know the most important thing: motivation is not a thinking word. It's all about feelings.
One small example. Studies over the years have shown what most managers are unable to grasp in the day-to-day workplace: that the number one thing employees care about is being appreciated. It matters in most cases more than the title, more than the money, and more than the prestige.
Now I have a question for you? If you're a manager of people, including around a household, what can you do to let them know you appreciate them?
Emotional intelligence is about self-awareness. Start with yourself. What would make you "feel appreciated"? Send me your examples -- firstname.lastname@example.org . I'll post them!
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