Welcome to First Person Plural: Emotional Intelligence & Beyond!

S1E0 Welcome to First Person Plural: Emotional Intelligence & Beyond!

January 26, 2021

In this introductory episode, Dan and his co-host (and son), Hanuman Goleman, begin to explore Emotional Intelligence in all of its depth and complexity, including how this work has evolved in relationship to mindfulness, neuroscience, and the growing need for social change. Learn a bit more about who we are, what you can expect from our first season, and how we plan to look at the theory of emotional intelligence when it’s applied to our lives and the systems we are a part of.

Our Guests

Hanuman Goleman

Hanuman Goleman

Co-host & Key Step Media CEO

Fascinated with the importance of stories, Hanuman began his career recording audio for cultural preservation. Since founding More Than Sound, LLC (dba Key Step Media) in 2005, one story has risen to the top in terms of importance: ‘WE CAN AND MUST DEVELOP EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.’ This story is one of how we as individuals and communities cultivate more self-awareness and empathy — how we develop and leverage the competencies of emotional intelligence in order to make more intentional and thoughtful decisions and become more effective leaders in every area of our lives.

Over the years, Vipassana meditation practice has been an important guide for Hanuman’s development. He sat his first mindfulness retreat at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts in 1989. And in 2004, he developed and participated in The Wisdom Preservation Project, recording interviews with Buddhist masters in Myanmar.

A graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, Hanuman received his M.A. in Media Arts from Emerson College. He lives, works, records, and tells the story of emotional intelligence from his little, yellow house in Western Massachusetts, which he shares with his wife and two young kids.

Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman

Co-host and Author

Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses. As a science journalist Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half, with more than 5,000,000 copies in print worldwide in 40 languages, and has been a best seller in many countries. Apart from his books on emotional intelligence, Goleman has written books on  topics including self-deception, creativity, transparency, meditation, social and emotional learning, ecoliteracy and the ecological crisis.


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View Transcript

Jonah 00:01

If we didn’t have feelings then you didn’t know what feelings feel like.

Ari 00:07

Emotions, like, help you cry. Like if you’re sad that’s emotion.


Sometimes when I get mad at Theo, like really mad, I just want to push him or something, but I actually don’t want to because I think he’ll actually feel more angry at me.

Elizabeth Solomon 00:30

Have you ever wondered how our feelings affect our lives? What our emotions anyways? Or what distinguishes a good leader from a toxic leader? These are just some of the questions answered by emotional intelligence, a term popularized by Daniel Goleman, the best-selling author of the book by the same name. When emotional intelligence came out in 1995, it was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year and a half. Called a revolutionary paradigm shattering idea by the Harvard Business Review, it was named one of the 25 most influential Business Management books by Time Magazine. Over the years, EI has been translated into more than 40 languages, and we estimate that over 20 million people have been inspired and transformed by this work. EI has influenced the way the world educates children relates to family and friends and conducts business. Over the course of this podcast, Dan and his son Hanuman Goleman, explore emotional intelligence and all of its depth and complexity, including how this work has evolved in relationship to mindfulness, neuroscience, and the growing need for social change.


Hanuman Goleman  01:45

How do we want to address the father son relationship do I call Dan Dan, do I call Dan pop?


Daniel Goleman  01:53

I think Dan, in this context,


Hanuman Goleman  01:56

I call you pop in in normal life. So I might slip into that.


Daniel Goleman  02:03

Hi, I’m Daniel Goleman.


Hanuman Goleman  02:05

And I’m Hanuman Goleman. And you’re listening to first person plural, emotional intelligence and beyond. At the top of this episode, after the adorable children, you heard the voice of Elizabeth Solomon, our senior producer here, Elizabeth, as well as our executive producer Gabriela Acosta will be correspondence with first person plural. Gabriella and Elizabeth will be regular contributors to this podcast. And I’d like to take a moment to thank my team. Gabby, Liz Bryant, thank you so much, this wouldn’t be anything without you.


Hanuman Goleman  02:43


Dan since ‘95, when this book came out, the the reception was overwhelming. It touched on an implicit understanding that people had but had never been articulated quite so clearly. I mean, it was like a breath of fresh air or a drop of water in the desert for a lot of people. Finally, there is a way to talk about these things that we all understand, are so impactful in our basic everyday world, that were never even taken seriously before your book came out.


Daniel Goleman  03:18


I think one of my main motives writing emotional intelligence was my observation, that there was something somehow taboo about emotional life, although it was utterly compelling. It was tabbo in in ways that might be surprising today, I remember someone saying, when I started to give talks, keynotes to business groups, he said, You can’t use the word emotion in business. That was the attitude then that was the kind of cultural assumption.


Hanuman Goleman  03:51

Over the last decade and a half, we’ve done things through my publishing business more than sound and Key Step Media. But this is the first time that we are actively collaborating on looking at what emotional intelligence is in the world. And with this podcast, one of the things that’s most interesting to me is the the possibility of looking at how does emotional intelligence manifest? What does it look like when it’s at a personal level? What does it look like when it’s on a systems level? Because we’ve talked a lot about the theory of it. But when you look at the application, it’s not often as clean as the theory sounds. And when you bring it into the human realm. How does it look and what are the impediments? So the theory, the systems and the personal, I love those three lenses.


Daniel Goleman  04:49

Systems are so important because they’re a little invisible, but they determine the choices we’re given. We’re knocking up against systems constantly. I think that we’ve been blindsided by the negative effects, environmental effects of our economic system, for example, and we’ll explore that in a podcast. So I think all three of those levels are really, really important. And actually, Hanuman, I’m delighted to be able to do this with you because another thing I like about you so much is it’s fun to do things with you. That’s why I’m really looking forward to this.


Hanuman Goleman  05:27

It’s true, we have a good time, since emotional intelligence came out in ’95, you’ve been jet setting about the world talking to people about it. And I’ve had the opportunity to go on those trips with you a number of times, and it’s always a real pleasure, such an adventure.


Daniel Goleman  05:46

One of the best ones actually was in Romania.


Hanuman Goleman  05:50



Daniel Goleman  05:51

Remember Romania?


Hanuman Goleman  05:52

That building was frickin unbelievable, man. It was. The bummer trip was Serbia because you had the wrong passport.


Daniel Goleman  06:02

That’s true.  You got turned away. And so we’ve had some times and some downtimes on those trips.


Hanuman Goleman  06:11

is always an adventure,


Daniel Goleman  06:12

always adventure, yeah. And this is just another kind of adventure.


Hanuman Goleman  06:17

That’s right.  Let’s name some of the areas we are going into and some that we might want to go into in future episodes. One of them is just our own sense of well being or happiness. Another is the divide that has become rather explosive around social justice or injustice. Another is the environment and our individual impact and collective impact on it. And then there are other areas I’d like to look at, for example, collective trauma. That’s something that we’re all going through because of the virus because of the economic meltdown, for many, many reasons. And there is a science of trauma. And it has a lot to do with emotional intelligence, with resilience with how you bounce back from after being put through a very, very difficult time. For me, this podcast is a real opportunity for a couple of things. One, there’s the exploration that we talked about, what does emotional intelligence look like when it’s applied in the first person? You know, what does this actually look like when somebody is doing their best with it or not taking it into account, both of those sides of the spectrum are really important information. I also love that this gives us a chance to offer a podium to people whose voices we are interested in, in raising up. EI and beyond as a focus. Like you were saying, you’re very interested in things that are not just emotional intelligence, it happens that emotional intelligence was the best seller that really ran away for you, but but you since then have written about other things. And I certainly have interests that are not emotional intelligence related, however, emotional intelligence can be applied to any human endeavor. Yeah, people know me best as the author of emotional intelligence and several books related to the topic from my work on leadership articles in the Harvard Business Review. That’s my best known professional face. But I’ve actually been doing many other things along with it. I’ve been a lifelong meditator, at least my adult life. I’ve written a couple of books on it. A while ago, I wrote a book on creativity. I’m very interested in environment. I’ve written a book on that. I apparently I write books on things I’m interested in. I did a book with the Dalai Lama on his vision for our future collective future, which I found very simpatico with my own feelings about what matters and where we can go and what we need to do.  There are so many people who understand the importance of this work. And if those people want to have this work, continue in the world and really investigate what is emotional intelligence throughout our life?


Daniel Goleman  09:31

Yeah, emotional intelligence operates well as a theory, but when the rubber hits the road, when people are actually applying it, What’s that like? And I’m kind of curious myself because it’s being applied in many domains, or it has potential applications in many areas like social justice, implicit bias in our in the systems that we operate in how How does being emotionally intelligent help? or How could it help?


Hanuman Goleman  10:06

I love that you were talking about the areas that emotional intelligence could apply but has not yet necessarily been explored in relation to. Because I feel like anything that humans are doing anything that we endeavor towards emotional intelligence is fully applicable because we are driven by emotions, we are driven by, by these things that are not necessarily checked. Well, I think that the interplay between our own needs, wants desires, systems, and others, itself could be explored many, many, many ways. For example, for marriage, for relationships of all kinds, you know, how we handle our relationships depends a lot on whether we actually tune into the other person, we can go into the different kinds of empathy. I’d love to explore that in one of our podcasts to look at how each of them might have implications for our closest relationships or for us in them thinking, which is one of the problems that I think really plagues us. It’s a leftover from a very ancient evolutionary heritage. But it’s palpable today and very powerful. And what can we do to counter that?  Yeah, us and them is becoming more and more enlivened, it feels like it’s going in the wrong direction right now. Yeah. And it’s extremely divisive. But is there a counterweight? Is there a way we could apply some of the aspects of emotional intelligence to lessen that divide to bridge the divide even? I think this podcast is particularly meaningful for me now, because I’m looking at the end of my career, I’ve had a long career 25 years, the 25th anniversary of the book, emotional intelligence. And that’s when the podcast is starting. And I feel it’s just the perfect way to keep going. So for me, it offers the chance to fine tune a legacy as it were.

Elizabeth Solomon  12:31

Thank you for listening to first person plural EI and beyond. For a brief overview of the theory of motional intelligence, be sure to listen to the upcoming episode titled “Emotional Intelligence 101: The Basics of EI”. Subscribe now and sign up for our newsletter to get notified as new episodes are released every two weeks. For transcripts and resources mentioned in today’s episode, check out our episode notes on our website firstpersonplural.com. Thank you to kids, Jonah, Ari and Pippa for sharing your voices with us. This show would not be possible without the support of Key Step Media and our co-hosts Daniel Goleman and Hanuman Goleman. This episode was written and produced by Gabriela Acosta and me Elizabeth Solomon. Episode art and production support by Bryant Johnson. Theme Music by Amber Ojeda. Until next time, be well.