Daniel Goleman: The Secret Antidote to Apathy

My recent post about apathy in the workplace struck a nerve. So let’s look more closely at the leader’s role in motivating a team or organization.

Self-awareness drives self-management. If you’re tuned out, you can’t manage your internal world well. Self-awareness also drives empathy. If you don’t attune to yourself, you won’t be able to attune well to others.

These competencies allow a leader to create resonance and move people with a compelling, authentic vision. A shared common purpose makes work exciting and engaging.

The Power of We

I spoke with Dr. Dan Siegel for my Leadership: A Master Class series about the importance of community in organizations.»

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Daniel Goleman: Big Idea 2015: More Companies Can Do Good While Doing Well

In this series of posts, Influencers and members predict the ideas and trends that will shape 2015. Read all the stories here and write your own (please include the hashtag #BigIdeas2015 in the body of your post).

The Dalai Lama recently spoke with a group of CEOs about “positive capitalism.” This concept illustrates companies who move forward but also make it possible for others to move forward.

“The global economy is like a roof over all of us,” said the Dalai Lama. “But it depends on individual pillars for support. Business needs a sense of responsibility to work together more cooperatively.»

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Daniel Goleman: The Number One Demotivator at Work

Apathy in organizations is often a result of a disconnection between what matters to the person and what they’re asked to do. Yet apathy isn’t always easy to gauge at work. A team member’s performance may not be up to snuff for any number of reasons: personal stress, burnout, office strife, etc.

Sometimes the best way to gauge if someone isn’t engaged is to simply ask: Do you enjoy what you’re doing?

Moods Matter at Work

There’s still a dated mentality around work: it’s not supposed to be “fun.” We have a job to do. But after speaking with Dr.»

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Daniel Goleman: Research: The Key Ingredient to Genuine Happiness

We would all like to be happier in our personal and professional lives, even those of us who already love what we do, or are content with personal accomplishments. As the year comes to a close, we often become more introspective: what do we want to do more/less of next year? What worked, and what didn’t?

Richard Davidson of The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds is a research pioneer on the benefits of meditation. One positive outcome of meditation that’s piqued his interest is happiness.

Mirabai Bush spoke with Richard for the series Working with Mindfulness: Research and Practice of Mindful Techniques in Organizations.»

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Daniel Goleman: The First Step to Success? Admit Failure

When former Medtronic CEO, Bill George, interviewed leadership candidates, he was interested in learning about both their failures and successes. After all, everyone has made mistakes on the job. But in George’s mind, the best leaders are humble enough to recognize that they messed up, learn what not to do in the future, and develop resilience.

I spoke with Bill in my Leadership: A Master Class series about authentic leadership. Below is a portion of our conversation about the benefits of getting leaders to discuss and grow from their failures.

Daniel Goleman: There’s a kind of norm that you’re valued for telling a story of success about yourself, and yet you value someone who was candid about their failures.»

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Daniel Goleman: Do you perform better in high-pressure meetings?

People are often pressured in meetings to come up with incredible solutions on the spot. Some high-performing teams thrive in that environment. It’s also a good approach to stimulate new thinking.

However, a constant dose of pressure-cooker meetings can stifle creative, thoughtful employees from contributing valuable insights. Perhaps they’re reacting to the tension in the room, or are fearful their idea will get publicly – and aggressively – shot down too soon. Some of you might say, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” That attitude may apply to some, but why set up a potential star performer to fail?»

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Daniel Goleman: Why Self-Improvement Begins with Self-Reflection

When people feel a need to transition into a new phase in their lives, they often think the shift needs to be external: new job, new house, new relationship. While those changes are often warranted, I recommend taking stock of your inner world to help guide your decisions. You may discover that you don’t need to change jobs; you just want to move to a different division. Or you would prefer downsizing into an apartment versus owning a two-family unit.

But finding clarity takes some effort. It requires asking the right questions that invite us to consider what really matters to us.»

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Daniel Goleman: Three Ingredients for Sales Success

“We have a brilliant systems analyst, but we’re afraid to put him in front of clients,” an IBM executive told me. “He’s rude and arrogant. The minute he sits down he starts telling the client what he thinks they need – never asks what they think, or even listens.”

As anyone in sales will tell you, the best sales people take the time to listen to what a customer or client needs, and then offers a solution. That takes a combination of IQ and emotional intelligence.

Any effective sales person needs enough basic smarts to understand what she is selling – psychologists call this a “floor effect” for IQ.»

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Daniel Goleman: The Chemistry of Connection

Two European telecoms had an agreement to jointly develop a new product. Each had its teams of engineers working hard on the project, and they coordinated by email.

But something went wrong. The emails degenerated into heated “flame wars,” and the project stalled.

A consultant was summoned, and came up with a remedy: he asked both teams to get together for a weekend offsite, just to get to know each other. Soon there were no more heated emails.

“We couldn’t connect.” You hear that simple explanation over and over for why a relationship failed – at work, dating, just about anywhere.»

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Daniel Goleman: Let’s Not Underrate Emotional Intelligence

  • “Passionate engineers or myopic entrepreneurs often lack certain EQ, but EQ is an indispensable trait of leaders that grow and scale companies,” observes a seasoned executive.
  • “Normally agree with you, but you couldn’t be any more wrong on this. The LACK of emotional intelligence by management is a huge gap right now,” says a marketing consultant.
  • “Don’t ignore the negative effect on teams of a leader with low emotional intelligence,” objects a web designer.

All these comments are responses to an acerbic take-down of emotional intelligence on LinkedIn by Adam Grant. To be sure, many commentators agree with his points. But I don’t take Grant’s arguments very seriously.»

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