This 20-minute video interview with Daniel Goleman was posted last year, 25 years after the publication of his seminal book: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. It is an interesting interview as Goleman reflects on the growth and current state of Emotional Intelligence.
Among the key points that Goleman makes are the following:
- Unlike IQ which is genetic, EQ is learned and learnable and can be improved.
- Of the 4 EQ skills (Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Empathy and Skilful Relationships) Self- Awareness is perhaps the most important,
- Emotions are contagious.
- ‘Emotional Intelligence is identifying what emotion you are feeling and why’
The first question the interviewer asks is are we meant to monitor all our emotions? Goleman’s reply is, “Don’t worry about small emotions just the big ones such as anger and anxiety.”
This raises two interesting questions: How many emotions do we have in a day? And how many emotions are there?
Marc Brackett, who is the Director of the Centre for Emotional Intelligence at Yale University, estimates that we all under go 3-5 emotional shifts/minute or around 4000 different emotions/day. Another estimate was provided by Joshua Freedman, CEO of Six Seconds, who says that 90% of our waking hours we are experiencing an emotion and six seconds is the length of time an emotion lasts. This works out at 8000 emotional shifts per day.
How many emotions can a human experience? Robert Plutchik, the inventor of the emotion wheel, estimates there are 34,000. Plutchik’s wheel has 8 emotions at the core level of highest intensity but two circles out you are already up to 80 different emotions. No wonder Goleman suggested that you should focus on the big ones.
With so many emotions and emotional shifts, how can one navigate the turbulent waters of feelings, without getting lost?
My suggestion is that you forget about emotions and focus instead on temperament, which I define as your genetic emotional predisposition. Temperament, in psychology, is the aspect of personality concerned with emotional dispositions and reactions and their speed and intensity; the term often is used to refer to the prevailing mood or mood pattern of a person. While many EQ practitioners quote the mantra “People drive performance, emotions drive people.” I add a third clause “temperament drives emotions.” Having a model of temperament allows you work out what are the big emotions you should focus on.
The model of temperament I like is the 7MTF. If you want to learn more about the 7MTF watch this short 4-minute explainer video. If that awakens your appetite to lift your emotional intelligence this online-video course: Introduction to Practical Emotional Intelligence: The 7MTF is now available.
This blog was first posted on LinkedIn on 13 October 2021
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