Daniel Goleman: Are You a Great Multitasker?

Probably not. CNN recently posted an interesting video of Dr. Sanjay Gupta explaining what happens to the brain while multitasking. Gupta argues that we’re not actually doing two tasks at once; we’re diverting our attention from one task to work on another, and giving each just partial attention.

He references a study done on multitasking while driving. It showed that listening to sentences while driving decreased the driver’s attention to operating the car by 37%. So rather than listening and driving simultaneously, you’re offering each activity your reduced attention, resulting in substandard performance.

Now think of how often this happens at work.»

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Daniel Goleman: The Secret to Time Management

Do you wish there were more hours in a day? Does it seem like you have more tasks than time? I think we’ve all felt time-starved at some point, and unfortunately many of us experience this on a daily basis. I recently had an interesting conversation about this problem with my colleague, Elad Levinson, instructor for the upcoming Praxis You course, Thriving on Change.

Elad asked me, “Is there someplace where leaders should not focus their attention? You’ve talked about some of the ways in which leaders should focus. But are there places where the attention of leaders shouldn’t go, because it just doesn’t help?”

It got me thinking how leaders today are saddled with back-to-back meetings, conversations, phone calls, emails, texts… and it’s all happening at once!»

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Daniel Goleman: Find Strength in Admitting Your Weakness

The willingness to admit your weaknesses and your vulnerabilities is actually very powerful. You can gain strength by admitting your faults to yourself and your peers. When you admit it, you make it a part of what we share as information about ourselves. It makes it okay for me to bring it up, which is crucial for working through conflict. You can even joke about it to ease tension. “You’re doing that thing again.”

But if you keep it to yourself or worse, are unaware of your own faults, then people don’t know what to do. You become the elephant in the room.»

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Daniel Goleman: Thinking and Feeling Go Hand in Hand in the Classroom

Cognitive empathy means understanding people’s perspective the world. It goes hand in hand with emotional empathy, which is “feeling with”. In a discussion I had with Peter Senge, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Sustainability at the MIT Sloan School of Management, I wanted to know how feelings and emotions were addressed in systems education. Here’s what he had to say.

SEL and Systems Thinking

Educators who have been leading this systems revolution encourage students to really inquire into the social systems they find themselves in. I would say that the accelerating confluence of the social and emotional learning and systems thinking gives educators a repertoire of pedagogical strategies.»

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Daniel Goleman: The One Reason Why People Don't Want to Work For You

The higher up the ranks you climb in an organization, the less honest feedback you receive from peers. And one common bit of advice many leaders could benefit from is, ironically, how to effectively deliver feedback to their team. I spoke with Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic, for my Leadership: A Master Class about authentic leadership. Below is a snapshot of our conversation around cultivating a motivational culture versus a fear-inducing workplace.

Daniel Goleman: Many executives and managers are fixated on the idea that feedback only means negative feedback. You have to give people bad news. Tell them how they screwed up.»

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Daniel Goleman: Not All Leaders Are Created Equal

I’ve always been interested in self-awareness as a leader’s capacity to take stock, to reflect, and to look at things defining a bigger perspective. But after I spoke with Claudio Fernández-Aráoz for my video series Leadership: A Master Class, I learned another reason why self-awareness is crucial for effective leadership. Here’s what Claudio had to say.

“We often think about self-awareness as the basis for developing our self-control, self-regulation, and social awareness. Our relationship management is based on those three clusters.

But self-awareness is also crucial for job allocation. Some people are outstanding for some jobs, and they are lousy for others.»

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Daniel Goleman: A Relaxed Mind is a Productive Mind

Last week’s Harvard Business Review article, Help Your Overwhelmed, Stressed-Out Team, offered some useful, practical approaches to help a leader keep her team calm and focused.

But one key element was missing from the mix: the leader’s mindset. If a leader is filled with stress, conflict, anxiety, and negative emotions, it spreads like a virus. A steady dose of toxic energy from higher-ups will encourage valuable team members to update their résumés rather than their to-do lists.

Our Brain on Stress

When we’re under stress, the brain secretes hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that in the best scenario mobilize us to handle a short-term emergency, but in the worst scenario create an ongoing hazard for performance.»

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Daniel Goleman: China: Emotional Intelligence Isn't Enough

What leadership skills make a country’s economy vibrant? There’s no doubt that high emotional intelligence among executives boost a company’s success.

So when I read in Inc. that China has a “secret weapon” – strengths among business leaders in self-management and in interpersonal skills – I thought, those abilities are necessary, for sure. But in the world’s competitive economy, they are not sufficient.

Before I get into China’s missing ingredient among executives, let’s look at the impact of East Asian culture on business.

Self-Management: A Strength and a Weakness?

Since Confucian times Chinese culture has put high value on self-control and group harmony.»

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Daniel Goleman: Creativity and Innovation: What's the Difference?

The terms “creativity” and “innovation” are often used interchangeably. But how similar – or different – are they? I spoke with my colleague, Teresa Amabile, an expert on workplace innovation, for my Leadership: A Master Class video series. Here’s her take on the connection between these commonly used terms – and what it means for business.

It all starts with creativity

According to Teresa, creativity is essentially responsible for all of human progress. That’s a phenomenal force. Perhaps that’s why some people tend to think that it’s very mysterious. But they shouldn’t.

The research over the past 50 or 60 years illuminates how creativity happens.»

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Daniel Goleman: 3 Secrets to Habit Change

With the new year comes an opportunity to reboot our habits – drop the negative ones and start better ones.

It doesn’t matter if the habit in question is for your health – say eating better – or getting on more effectively with folks on the job – say, listening better. The basic steps are the same.

The first fact to face is that our habits are largely invisible to us. That is, though we may know we need to eat or listen better, our repertoire of habit resides in a part of the brain that is ordinarily off-limits to our awareness.»

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