On the cusp of the release of the 25th-anniversary edition of his New York Times best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Dr. Daniel Goleman is launching the First Person Plural: EI & Beyond podcast. The podcast promises to go beyond the theory of emotional intelligence, presenting an array of stories that illuminate how emotional intelligence is being put into action.
“A key component of emotional intelligence that is so particularly relevant these days, with crisis on top of crisis is resilience, or what we call emotional balance,” said Dr. Goleman. “It’s handling your upsetting emotions so that you can think clearly and stay calm, despite the craziness that’s going on.”
Beginning November 24, Key Step Media is launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to curve the production costs for the first season, which will serve as a resource to those experiencing heightened levels of stress and uncertainty.
Daniel Goleman will be co-hosting with his son Hanuman Goleman. This will be the father and son duo’s podcasting debut, propelled by their desire to share the emotional intelligence tools with as many people as possible and help them meet the challenges of the day.
“I believe that a lot of the crises that are happening are a result of or have a direct line back to a lack of emotional intelligence—a lack of empathy, self awareness and understanding of the ways that we impact the world,” said Co-host and producer Hanuman Goleman. “If this podcast can be a part of spreading the urgency of the need for emotional intelligence, then I’ll be very happy.”
The first few episodes will address a range of subjects from the social-emotional implications of online learning, to understanding the role of constructive anger when addressing racial injustice, and how to foster wellness and resilience through change.
“I started out as a teacher,” said Dr. Goleman. “I later went into journalism, which I thought of as adult education, bringing information from a place where it was sequestered. My job was to translate for the general audience what was interesting, new, important, and might help improve lives.” Dr. Goleman continued, “I don’t think writing is enough these days. Podcasts are the new format for news, so I’m starting this podcast to continue educating the public on these topics.”
The 25th-anniversary edition of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ will be available on December 8, 2020. The First Person Plural: EI & Beyond podcast, brought to you by Key Step Media, is scheduled to launch in early 2021.
Please direct press inquiries to:
Gabriela Acosta, Communications Lead and Executive Producer.
For the last few months, I’ve been working with a team of creative, passionate, and talented folks to conceptualize and develop a podcast about emotional intelligence and the systems we are all a part of. Hosted by Daniel Goleman and his son Hanuman Goleman, the First Person Plural: EI & Beyond podcastwill encourage us to be more self-aware and deepen our understanding of how our actions influence others at a time when we need it the most.
Emotional intelligence is personal for me.
Serving as an Executive Producer for this podcast is particularly meaningful because as a queer bi-racial Latina immigrant born at the tail end of a civil war in El Salvador (a tiny country in Central America), I’ve witnessed first-hand the aftermath of trauma. I’ve seen what it does to people and communities feeding disconnection, conflict, and violence. Trauma can also cause us to lose our sense of self and our ability to regulate our own emotions, often leading to challenging relationships with ourselves and others.
However, the skills of emotional intelligence serve as a countermeasure in trauma recovery teaching us to become more self-aware and attune to our emotions and inevitably enabling us to become more resilient over time. My experience has shaped me into a highly curious person, fascinated by people’s stories and the unique ways we each experience the world.
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the events of the last year have left me mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.
We’ve all had to adjust to life in quarantine during a global pandemic. Racial violence and injustice are playing out on the global stage. We’re experiencing the devastating consequences of climate change in real-time. Oh, and did I mention that we’re amidst one of the most intense Presidential election cycles in U.S. history?
Still, contrary to what I expected, in the past six months, these events have motivated me. More than ever, I feel called to openly discuss the complex realities of 2020—to tell the stories of those suffering and thriving at the forefront of change to bring us all into the conversation.
Here is what I know from my own experiences with trauma: the societal tumult and volatility we’re experiencing can trigger old pain, causing deep anxiety and stress. All of us have a response to this stress: fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. Personally, when I reach my stress threshold, I tend to go into hibernation mode—I shut down or sleep to escape it all. As an adult with responsibilities, this response is not a viable solution. It’s also contradictory to my deep want to be part of creating change.
To stay rooted, calm, and focused and override my automatic stress response, I always rely on the tools of emotional intelligence.
If you’re new to the concept, finding emotional intelligence is like putting on a pair of glasses for the first time. EI offers us the tools to see ourselves and the world around us more clearly. These new lenses adjust our focus and improve the way we navigate and engage with our surroundings. At the end of the day, this newfound clarity allows us to make better choices—we are better able to manage what enters our field of vision and decide how we want to proceed.
While I can’t control what’s happening in the world or my visceral emotional responses to current events, emotional intelligence has helped me find healthier coping mechanisms. As of late, I’ve doubled down on a regular mindfulness practice to strengthen my resilience and vitality. Rather than run away from my emotions, I acknowledge how they show up in my heart, mind, and body. I also lean more heavily on my relationships and community for moral and emotional support.
Because of the role EI plays in my life, I could not be more excited to be a part of this podcast and I am energized to share the wisdom that Dan, Hanuman, and all of our guests can offer. I believe this podcast has real potential to help people process what’s been happening in the world and to develop healthy tools that will support their wellbeing. We’ll address some highly-pertinent topics such as the challenges of social-emotional learning in the age of zoom schooling, how we can leverage constructive anger to create social change, and how our systems influence the environment.
I believe that emotional intelligence is the antidote to some of today’s biggest challenges like extreme isolation, animosity, and polarization. Author Robert Jones Jr. explains it beautifully when he said, “we can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.” Our society would go a long way if we could all remember that we are all deserving of empathy, understanding, and human decency.
As I type this (well, not literally), I’m putting the finishing touches on a promotional video for First Person Plural: EI & Beyond, a new podcast from Key Step Media. While my brain is awash in keyframes, masking layers, and animated warp deformations, I thought I’d take a moment to introduce myself, and my role in bringing you First Person Plural.
My name is Bryant Johnson. I’m a graphic designer, illustrator, and lately, an associate producer on First Person Plural. I’ve been working with Key Step Media (né More Than Sound) for seven years, designing the visual look for books, videos, pamphlets, and online trainings.
This spring, as I hunkered down in the pandemic bunker with my partner, my cats, and more streaming video than one could reasonably expect to consume in a lifetime (actually, I should have written “more books”—pretend I typed that instead), Hanuman reached out to me with the idea of creating a podcast on emotional intelligence with his father Daniel Goleman. He wanted to do a more freeform exploration of the subject, emphasizing lived human experiences. And, he asked if I’d be interested in working on it.
Of course I said yes.
Audio isn’t exactly my medium—I’ve spent most of my life working in visual media: first in print, then video and board games, and later graphic design. But the subject is one I hold dearly.
It’s a vocabulary to describe the dynamics we’ve observed and experienced for our entire lives, but didn’t know how to express. And when everything feels like it’s on fire, it’s a bucket of cool water within grabbing distance.
In the weeks since I first wrote this, much has changed in the world. We will have the opportunity to work towards a future without hate; without fear; without a cynical and mortally willful ignorance of reality.
What excites me is the chance to combine my experience in visual storytelling with a new [to me] medium: to craft new ways to make the material accessible, educational, and fun. To build an equitable future, we need more compassion. I hope that First Person Plural will make that abundantly clear, and give listeners a chance to build the skills of emotional intelligence—the vernacular of compassion—in themselves.
We have some exciting episodes in production, and I can’t wait to have you all join us in this endeavor!
Over the last few years, we turned our attention to widening access to practical emotional intelligence development by launching the training and coaching certification programs now housed under the company “Goleman EI” — programs which offer top notch EI programming for businesses and individuals.
Doing that work, we learned a lot: we reaffirmed the importance of EI; we watched hundreds of people benefit from concentrated EI training and coaching; and we connected to a deeper mission, which is to take this work as far as we can, well beyond the realm of leadership development and business.
This is why we are launching a podcast — First Person Plural: Emotional Intelligence and Beyond. Each episode will explore conscious and unconscious ways that our beliefs and ideas create the systems we are a part of. And in turn, we will look at the impact of those systems are on our daily lives. This podcast will go beyond EI theory, diving deep into the waters of how EI is lived and applied across cultures, industries, and communities of interest.
From a growing annual fire season to widening income inequalities — from racism to a divided political landscape — the conditions we find ourselves in did not come out of nowhere. When I look at the world these days, much of what I see is the result of acting without self-awareness or regard for others. We are living the results of decisions, actions, and inactions that we, collectively, have either taken or tacitly endorsed.
This leads me to believe that now, more than ever, emotional intelligence must be integrated into the fabric of our life. If there is going to be change, we must first widen our understanding of ourselves and one another.
What’s the podcast going to be like?
My team and I are putting together a three-part podcast. In each episode you will hear from experts, game-changers and community members who will offer their thoughts on topics crucial to reinforcing EI in society. The structure for this podcast reflects my belief that it is imperative for us to have a clear conversation about the systems we are a part of — the networks and circumstances we live in willingly and unwillingly.
Systems dictate our choices. We must understand them and our role within them to create a more sustainable and just world.
When I reflect on the rise of an authoritarian mindset today in the US and around the world, I remember what my ancestors faced during the rise of fascism and Nazism in Europe.
I remember what marginalized communities have faced in the US all of their lives with the ongoing violations of their dignity and their rights.
Like so many others, I wonder “What can I do?” The scope of the situation is daunting.
Creating An Emotionally Intelligent Future
If emotional intelligence has taught me anything it is not to underestimate the power of shifting our mindset, even a little. From our mindset we begin to shift our behavior, allowing ourselves to take new actions in service of our deepest values — in service of our community!
Social change is a tall order for a podcast. But I do hope that First Person Plural can further the conversation, instill a sense of hope, and inspire action. I trust that, together, we can create a more emotionally intelligent future — one in which everyone is recognized and treated as valuable and given the resources to thrive.
I believe in humanity. I believe that we all want to thrive. When we pay attention, we can learn. We can find new ways to uplift us all.
As I write this I can hear my two children — home every day now — laughing in the background. Five and three, they bring tears to my eyes. I cannot do this podcast without thinking about the state of the world I want to see them grow up in.
There is hope. It is not over. We are still making decisions.
We are still creating the world that will become our future.
Thank you for being a part of this journey towards a wiser, kinder world.
Starting in November, keep an eye out for details about our podcast’s Kickstarter campaign. Scheduled to launch in early 2021, the first season will largely be funded by our incredible community supporters, like you. To learn more about the podcast, sign up for email notifications here.
How many voices chatter inside your head—especially during moments of stress? How often do they speak over each other—over you? All these voices, like guests who pop up unexpectedly to your house, demand attention. At times they are useful, for example, these voices help us intentionally look at a problem and come up with creative solutions, such as how best to navigate a difficult relationship with a new client. Sometimes they’re not helpful, and can keep us caught in a loop of repeating thoughts—we might relive a conversation from the previous day over and over again. In other words, productive mind wandering is different than what often happens—mindless chatter and unhelpful rumination.
Particularly in moments of stress, or in the face of a setback or unexpected news, unplanned guests may storm the various rooms inside our heads, each voicing their opinions about what we should feel and how we might respond to a difficult situation. Be upset. Be generous. Be angry. Be elated. Without emotional awareness or regulation, the guests in our heads can easily turn a civilized tea party into an out-of-control rager.
These guests in our head often mill about unattended, and sometimes, undisciplined. Matt Killingsworth’s study found that 47% of the time our minds wander, mostly worried about and anticipating what’s to come, or ruminating about the past and what we coulda/shoulda/woulda. The good news: there is increasingly substantive research on how mindfulness can help us to focus on the present moment rather than get stuck in what was or what might be. Some of this research is documented in Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson’s book,Altered Traits.
Mindfulness certainly helps in situations in which the unexpected guests in our head demand so much attention that we become overwhelmed. It enables us to reduce mind wandering and focus better. We can also more effectively manage our triggers. However, as Matt Lippincott and Goleman note, we need more than awareness of our triggers. Otherwise, while we might be fully aware of these guests in our heads, we don’t know how to contain their energy. Without the other competencies of Emotional Intelligence, such as emotional balance and empathy, these guests can overwhelm us.
Whether at work or at home, practicing EI in real life is not easy. Yet without EI, the unexpected guests might overstay their welcome, causing disruption or longer-term harm to the integrity of the house. Mindfulness can encourage awareness and non-judgmental curiosity about the guests and allow us to observe them without falling down a rabbit hole of rumination. With greater self-awareness and self-management, we become more able to attend to each guest without pretending they don’t exist or trying to deny them entry. As studies have shown, suppression or avoidance of emotions and feelings generally result in the opposite of what we want—they eventually surface with even greater fury and demand for attention.
Contrary to some misconceptions, mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence don’t require that we “forgive and forget” when we are negatively impacted or triggered. The impact is still an impact. Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence offer us the tools to better manage how much we are impacted. Self-awareness helps us pay attention to the guests inside our heads without being held captive by them. Self-management enables us to not get carried away such that we forget that we are in control of which voices get to stay. Social awareness and relationship management offer us the capacity to navigate challenging dynamics with others. By practicing these competencies, we can intentionally shift from fruitless rumination to self-reflection.
We have the capacity to choose which guests inside our heads get to stay and which we release so they don’t occupy unnecessary real estate inside our heads. Then we can allow our own inner voice to speak with greater clarity and calm.
TW: This article includes a brief mention of sexual abuse.
As the fields of coaching and counseling continue to grow and evolve, there is increasing overlap and influence between them. Clear objectives, homework assignments, and even Emotional Intelligence assessments have become more common in therapy, while coaching is increasingly open to the importance of unconscious bias and triggers. Yet it remains vital that ethical coaches understand the purview of their work and the line between coaching and counseling.
I recently spoke with Michele Nevarez, Head of the Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching and Training Programs, and Nora Infante, a licensed psychologist and senior executive coach, about the distinctions between coaching and counseling as well as their advice for new coaches. As Nora eloquently put it, “This topic as a whole comes from identifying coaches’ need to better understand how these two worlds come together and what keeps them apart.”
How these worlds come together
In addition to increasing overlaps in the goal orientated nature of coaching and counseling and common tools and timeframes, the root of a client’s need for coaching or counseling often overlap. Nora shared: “The reason someone goes to therapy or counseling is because they have a situation in their lives that is painful or not useful that they want to move beyond. The goal is working toward a different experience. Both therapy and coaching begin with the client in a present state that is less than perfect and hopefully advance to a future state that will be improved.”
What keeps them apart
Usually, the gravity of clients’ situations as well as the extent to which their past is explored differ between coaching and counseling. Nora observed: “Coaching clients are generally in less serious situations, while counseling is more likely to come at a moment of crisis. Most coaching engagements begin with someone who is already functioning well but really needs to develop some self-awareness and insights to help them maximize their skills and develop new ones. It’s very behavior focused. Whereas in therapy you will delve more deeply into some of the root causes of triggers than in coaching.”
While coaches identify triggers with their clients and help develop ways to move forward effectively, they don’t spend time exploring the root causes of triggers. Substantive exploration of the past remains the domain of therapy. Coaches may touch on the past, but only in a very focused way—to gain context for the present and to help their clients identify strategies to move forward.
It is important that coaching clients have the “ego strength” to receive constructive criticism and even negative feedback and make use of it. If feedback itself is a trigger for a client, making them overly reactive and emotional, it can be a sign to the coach that coaching may not be the right fit for the client.
Additionally, feeling particularly concerned or protective of a client and/or having a client who continually returns to the same chronic issues can represent red flags. Nora elaborated: “If you find yourself feeling excessively preoccupied or protective of a client, it’s an important sign to you as a coach that you’re in an area of emotional vulnerability for the client that probably requires a deeper level of work than is appropriate for a coach. It is also a red flag if you find yourself having the same thematic conversation over and over again with your client—despite their receiving feedback, having clear coaching goals, and giving homework assignments.”
Particularly for new coaches without clinical training, the line between coaching and counseling is often blurry and intimidating. “Anybody who’s an ethical coach should know how to walk that line,” Michele said, “Because if they are so scared of that line that they don’t actually know the difference between coaching and therapy then they won’t even be a good coach. They may overlook the things they should be paying attention to that enable them to get to the heart of a client’s belief structure and mindset that fuel their current behavior and outcomes.”
When new coaches do identify a client who would be better served by therapy, there is often fear around saying so and ending an engagement. “They might be afraid of a client’s reaction, need the business, or don’t want to burn bridges,” Nora explained.
How can new coaches navigate the line between coaching and counseling?
Find a mentor
For new coaches, the insight of a psychologist mentor or a seasoned coach who understands the nuances between coaching and counseling can help tremendously. The guidance of a mentor was extremely beneficial for Michele early in her coaching career: “Having a mentor was vital for me as a new coach because I didn’t want to shut down and stop coaching in the areas that are appropriate and would allow me to do my job well. Nor did I want to traverse a step ethically. Sharing situations anecdotally (as to maintain confidentiality) with a mentor can make a huge difference in making those discernments.”
We discussed a story of an early client with whom this outside advice was crucial: “One of my very first coaching engagements was with someone who unfortunately had experienced sexual abuse. I remember at the time when they shared that with me I was so nervous. So, I went to two of my psychotherapist friends—of course while keeping my client’s confidentiality—and asked for advice. For me, it was super helpful to have a mentor. Someone who is more experienced and understands the nuances.
“As it turned out, the client had been in years of therapy and had substantially worked through their trauma. So even though it was initially a red flag to me, it ended up not being an issue at all. They already understood the source of past triggers and were able to take a forward focus in their work with me.
“That forward focus is the simplest way I’ve found to describe the line between coaching and counseling to new coaches. If you go back it’s only to gain context that informs the present—but coaches don’t spend time exploring the past. And of course, if the past becomes too intractable or repetitive that’s a critical warning sign.”
Coaches are likely to encounter clients with personality disorders including narcissism, OCD, histrionic, and borderline, even among top-level executives. Nora encouraged coaches without a clinical background to familiarize themselves with personality disorders:
“Knowledge is power. You may not have clinical training, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t gain valuable practical knowledge with basic and ever-continuing education. The chances of a new coach running into something complicated in the person they’re working with are quite significant. I really encourage formal coaching programs to spend meaningful time helping coaches identify when they may be dealing with a personality disorder and helping them to recognize when to seek appropriate collegial consultation for issues that are beyond the scope of routine coaching. Coaches can prepare for those important conversations, which unfortunately might ultimately include extricating themselves from an engagement. It’s important that coaches not be naïve about the complexities of the human mind and behavior. Coaching is rarely going to be easy and straightforward.”
Pair coaching with therapy
While some clients’ situations unfortunately necessitate that the coach end the engagement, many others can benefit from pairing coaching with therapy. Both Michele and Nora shared that they are always prepared to work with therapists in conjunction with a client.
Even clients who have not experienced trauma may benefit from the pairing of coaching and therapy. Nora shared the story of a client for whom this was effective: “A C-suite client who I’ve worked with for a couple years identified early on that her stress resulted from being a ‘people pleaser.’ She believed that she achieved her success just from being easy to get along with. She had a much harder time owning her intelligence. She saw her success as a result of her being a nice person—a bit of imposter syndrome. It turns out that during her whole life she had been the one taking care of everything for everyone and wanting to please all the people all the time—an impossible task.
Nora continued: “Six months into our engagement this remained an overarching issue. I assigned homework, she understood it well, and was in control of her emotions, but we continued to come up against this bedrock problem. After about nine months, the stress of her need to make everybody happy so over shadowed our work that I recognized the need to refer her to a therapist. And this a good example of where the client continued coaching and started important therapy. In therapy, she was really able to deep dive into the root of her need to please, convert those important insights, and return to the tools that I could use to effectively support positive change.” In this way, helping a client pair coaching with therapy—or even knowing that a client is already in therapy—can benefit both client and coach.
Above all, it is crucial that coaches learn to navigate the line between coaching and counseling. The guidance of a mentor, training on identifying personality disorders and ending engagements, and the ability to work in conjunction with a therapist can all make this often-intimidating line far easier to navigate.
Strengthen your Emotional Intelligence alongside like minded peers with our online courses. You’ll utilize our application-based model to create positive changes throughout your life from anywhere in the world. Click here to learn more and register to begin your learning journey this fall.
The number of programs and certifications and courses on mindfulness, compassion, and Emotional Intelligence seem to grow each year. In a time in which the pressure to chase externally-induced goals is heightened, people are increasingly desperate to rediscover meaning and purpose in their lives. Whether through an app or at a retreat, people often feel encouraged and energized to incorporate greater awareness, balance, and empathy into their lives.
Yet after the buzz of time spent amongst like-minded, well-intentioned, deeply-passionate peers wears off, how many actually practice regularly?
Not many of us, at least not always. In one famous study, psychologists John Darley and Daniel Batson told seminary students to prepare to deliver a talk on the meaning of a calling in the ministry. Half the group were told to incorporate the story of the Good Samaritan. As the students were preparing their remarks, the researchers told groups they had to walk to another building to deliver the talk. To half the group, they told them “hurry up, you’re late!;” to other, “take your time.” On the way to the other location an actor slumped in a doorway, coughing and evidently ill. Did the students, particularly those talking about the Good Samaritan, stop to help? Only if they weren’t in a rush. It didn’t matter the subject of their talk. In fact, students would literally step over the evidently ill man in a rush to deliver a talk about the Good Samaritan.
Recently, I was headed to dinner with three friends. Three of us have been immersed in the work of mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence, and compassion. The fourth, my friend’s wife, Gwen, listened patiently and quietly as we talked about our shared passion for creating a better world through self-awareness.
At a red light, as I was admiring a frozen yogurt shop, Gwen blurted out, “Stop the car!” She bolted out of the running car. We couldn’t figure out why until we saw Gwen chatting with an elderly man, who looked like he had been living on the streets for quite some time. We then saw her flag down a delivery truck driver and slowly accompany the sick man to a nearby drugstore. When we finally reached her at the drugstore, Gwen was chatting with the store manager while the truck driver was on the phone with emergency medical services. After the CVS store manager assured Gwen the man would be watched over until the ambulance arrived, we left the store.
In a community where homeless folks were not uncommon, Gwen noticed that this elderly man needed help. “NBD,” she said. No big deal. She simply saw someone in need and did something about it. Calling on an unsuspecting UPS driver and staying by this elderly man as he urinated on the short way to the CVS was just something anyone would do.
Except that not everyone would.
Here we were, teachers of mindfulness chatting away about yogurt shops without noticing the people quietly calling for help. Here Gwen was, noticing and acting.
In AForce for Good, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Daniel Goleman share how each of us can take action like Gwen: 1) check into and manage our own emotional states; 2) practice compassion towards self and others; and 3) help those in need. In other words, it’s not enough for our inner world to feel calm and collected. We can talk and share all the research behind compassion and Emotional Intelligence we want. But if we don’t practice it, it remains words on a page. We need to muscularize compassion.
Easier said than done. The good news is that EI is something we can train and cultivate. Practicing the EI competencies, such as empathy, can help us to recognize those in need, whether obviously visible or deeply submerged. Influence can help us motivate others to live more intentionally. In the immersive EICC program, participants are coached first so that they can experience and build empathy for their clients, as well as gain insights into their own barriers. Above all, the EI competencies give us more tools to bring compassion to life as a force for good.