Daniel Goleman: Develop Your Inner Radar to Control Turbulent Emotions!!

While we can’t control when we feel anger or fear—or how strongly—we can gain some control over what we do while in its grip. If we can develop inner radar for emotional danger, we gain a choice point.

To find this inner choice point, start by questioning destructive mental habits. Even though there may be a bit of legitimacy to our grievances, are the disturbing emotions we feel way out of proportion? Are such feelings familiar? Are you ruminating? If so, we would do well to gain more control over those self-defeating habits of mind.

This approach takes advantage of an effect studied by Kevin Ochsner, a neuroscientist at Columbia University.»

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Daniel Goleman: Are You Aware of Your Self-Defeating Habits?

“When I was little my father would yell at me and call me stupid when I made a mistake. I knew he loved me, but it left me feeling I had some deadly, hidden flaw,” the head of a successful family-owned business in southern Europe confided.

And, I heard from someone who works for that company president, that’s just what he does when he has to give negative feedback: he shouts, blames, and criticizes people. It leaves them feeling as he felt: incompetent.


Such self-defeating work habits often stem from our learning early in life, and are so deeply ingrained that we repeat them over and over, despite the sometimes obvious ways in which they do not work.»

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Daniel Goleman: How Self-Awareness Impacts Your Work

Through my research in emotional intelligence and brain function, I’ve developed a model of the mind as a three-tiered building. The first tier is the foundation and where you’ll find the brain, the control center. The second tier contains the four realms of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skill.

And above that, at the top tier, are leadership competencies. These come from a methodology called Competency Modeling, one of the main developers of which was my mentor at Harvard, David McClelland. Following this model, we identify who will be best in a specific role by evaluating those who have excelled in that position—using whatever metric applies—and then comparing them with people in the same role with mediocre success.»

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Daniel Goleman: Help Young Talent Develop a Professional Mindset


There is a chasm between what business leaders expect from recent graduates, and what these new hires offer. In a Hay Group study of 450 business leaders and 450 recent graduates based in India, the US, and China… a massive 76% of business leaders reported that entry-level workers and recent grads are not ready for their jobs.

In most cases, these hires are intelligent, ambitious, and technically savvy. They have proven their ability to accomplish the work. They’re committed and passionate about rising through the ranks. So what are these new professionals missing?

They’re lacking soft skills. These are the traits and behaviors that characterize our relationships with others.»

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Daniel Goleman: How to Overcome Communication Breakdowns

A leader’s role can get a bit messy. We all know it’s not just about leading by example, living your values, and giving pep talks. A leader must also be able to identify her team’s weaknesses and find practical solutions. In my experience with organizations, a very common vulnerability is the frequent breakdown of dialogue. Why can’t we connect? Why is there so much conflict? How will this project ever move forward?

I spoke with my colleague George Kohlrieser—Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at one of the world’s leading business schools, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland—about what gets in the way of healthy, worthwhile dialogue.»

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Daniel Goleman: How to Negotiate with Yourself

Erica Ariel Fox is a New York Times bestselling author, a negotiation lecturer at Harvard Law School, and a senior advisor to Fortune 500 companies. Foxs essay is featured in The Executive Edge: An Insider’s Guide to Outstanding Leadership, and Im adapting it here to highlight her research on self-awareness in leadership.

Accessing Your Inner World

Understanding the diverse nature of your inner world takes a lot of work. And business leaders operate in an environment of incredible complexity, uncertainty, and pressure… so they usually don’t have time to study the underpinnings of this inner world.»

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Daniel Goleman: How Leaders Build Trust

I spoke with my friend Bill George, Senior Fellow and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, about what it means to lead ethically. His responses struck me as especially salient in our current business landscape, so I’ve paraphrased them below. (You can read the entire conversation in The Executive Edge: An Insider’s Guide to Outstanding Leadership.)

Trust can be fleeting – especially the trust we instill in leaders. A leader might spend 30 years building trust, and then watch it disappear in 30 minutes if he’s not careful. And when leaders flagrantly violate trust, it’s often never recovered.»

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Daniel Goleman: What it Takes to Become a Socially Intelligent Leader

The Enraged Employee

When a workshop organized by an HR department drew an unexpected standing-room-only turnout, they acted quickly to move the meeting to a larger space. The trouble with the new space was that it wasn’t well equipped for easy viewing and clear acoustics. Some had trouble seeing and hearing the speaker, in particular a woman who spoke up during a break. She approached the head of HR in a rage, explained how she hadn’t heard or seen a thing, and declared the workshop a total failure.

The head of HR quickly realized that her best option was to listen, acknowledge the woman’s frustrations, and express empathy.»

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Daniel Goleman: Self-Regulation: A Star Leader’s Secret Weapon

Our emotions are driven by biological impulses. These biological impulses are beyond our control, but the resulting emotions are not. When emotions are running high, they certainly cannot be ignored – but they can be carefully managed. This is called self-regulation, and it’s the quality of emotional intelligence that liberates us from living like hostages to our impulses.

The signifiers of emotional self-regulation are easily identified. A person who knows how to self-regulate possesses:

Self-regulation is a pretty underrated skill.»

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Daniel Goleman: Four Strategies to Renew Your Career Passion

The search for personal meaning can be an ongoing quest. It’s a difficult process but it usually results in a very healthy and necessary awakening. Leaders, for example, need to work on this regularly in order to replenish their energy, solidify their commitment, heighten their creativity, and rediscover their passion.

But they cannot do so without first re-calibrating to focus on their goals and dreams.

Certain signals can trigger the need to take stock or adjust your perspective. Examples of these signals are feeling trapped, feeling bored, feeling like life is passing you by, or that your personal ethics have been compromised.»

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