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PostMore on Emotional Intelligence; Goleman and Carnegie (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 08/31/15 4:22 am)
In his comments on Rodolfo Neirotti´s post (29 August) about Emotional Intelligence--I appreciate Rodolfo's correction on Goleman´s name; auto correction programs are not always reliable!--John Eipper observed, "I wonder what the substantive difference is here from the Dale Carnegie stuff."
I do not pretend to develop the whole theory, but John might be right in various aspects.
Goleman´s theory, as well as Carnegie´s, is about behaviors, attitudes and human relations, which of course are more than often conditioned by emotions than intellectual intelligence or any other kind.
The distinction might be the emphasis and the structure. Carnegie emphasized social aptitudes by prescribing certain "rules of behavior," particularly empathy-related emotions.
Goleman was more structured in the sense that he prioritize to develop first "personal" aptitudes--self-knowledge of one's own emotions, self-regulation...of emotions, recognition of motivation--and then, consequently, the social aptitudes, such as empathy and social skills.
Among the personal aptitudes are of course, self-confidence, discipline, self-control, resilience, self-fulfillment, etc.; and among the social skills are to be able to "walk in other people´s shoes," influence, leadership, team work, etc.
Goleman asserts that according to his research--it remains to be confirmed if it scientifically rigorous--that IQ is less than 25% responsible for success in professional life. In others words, IQ is not determinant in who is going to succeed or fail. That conclusion is what might explain many of the anecdotes and paradoxical personal experiences we have all encountered in life.
What most impressed me in these theories is that none of them were systematically part of any academic program that I know of--I am not sure if they are now. These are obviously very important skills to develop. They all can be taught and learned by common people.
JE opens a can of worms: it's much easier to teach "content" than attitudes. How, for starters, do you instill self-confidence?
Can Emotional Intelligence be Taught?
(José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela
09/05/15 9:09 AM)
I cannot overlook John E's question on the subject of Emotional Intelligence (31 August). John wrote, "It's much easier to teach ‘content' than attitudes. How, for starters, do you instill self-confidence? "
He might be right again. It is probably more difficult to teach values, attitudes and behavior than content. However, it is not impossible.
It is true that personality features and emotional capabilities are inherent and acquired by individuals from a young age; they are the product of environment, family, friends, culture, education, etc., and perhaps genetics. It must be a challenge for professional psychologists to adjust those behavioral patterns that seem to make people unhappy or unable of living their lives in a successful manner.
Self-confidence must be in fact difficult to "teach," in a traditional sense. I suppose it depends very much on personality. If you are insecure or a shy person, probably it is hard to become confident. However through self-realization and proper recognition, this feature can be controlled.
The interesting question about "teaching" some of those emotional capabilities is that they could be developed and carried out in many practical ways. I have some experience as a business consultant with these skills through in-company training.
For instance, being able to recognize our own and anyone else's emotions before they are out of control or lead to an escalation of negative behavior, should be possible with some training. This skill is crucial for very emotional and sensitive people. Also, communication skills are very important in life, and everybody can learn and practice many ways to improve them. To learn how to listen is a major step to developing empathy. Unfortunately, we are frequently most pleased in listen to ourselves rather than to others.
The same thing happens with leadership and teamwork. These are behaviors that are very much induced by emotional and cultural conditions. Cultures and educational systems where competition is a strong motivation might develop a strong individualistic character, incapable of teamwork. Leadership can be taught, provided it is considered more than an inborn quality of people (the famous notion of "charisma"). Leadership might be structured as a process and then be managed.
There are many other emotional attributes that can be structured in logical, practical ways that can be taught and learned. This is a subject which I believe has not been properly and seriously considered as part of academic programs despite the evidence of their importance.
For those interested in this field, I recommend the article by WAISer Henry Levin on this subject: "Develop a World Class Education. More than Just Test Scores," in which he explain the importance of non-cognitive attributes in education.
JE comments: Here's the link to cuñado Hank Levin's article. I don't recall if it's appeared before on WAIS, but I'll be sure to read it this weekend: