Daniel Goleman speaks at Fresno State. Darlene Wendels/ The Collegian
Many students, faculty and staff — including Fresno State President Joseph Castro — gathered Monday in the Satellite Student Union for Pulitzer Prize nominee Daniel Goleman’s seminar on the connection between success and emotional intelligence.
Goleman, a psychologist and author of more than 10 books, promoted his latest project, “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence,” in a passionate speech centered on people’s ability to focus.
Emotional intelligence, the ability to monitor emotions and how they guide thinking and behavior, is directly linked to success, Goleman said. He added that while an IQ is used to measure intellect, emotional intelligence can measure leadership qualities. People’s cognitive abilities help land them a job, and IQ can accurately predict the job a person is suited for, Goleman said, but it “doesn’t predict if you can be a leader.”
Eight to 10 percent of abilities that distinguish the leaders are related to emotional intelligence.
“You need the emotional intelligence to actively lead,” Goleman said.
A person can pass his or her feelings to others, one of the main reasons leadership qualities and emotional intelligence directly correlate, Goleman said. He used this example: If a leader is upbeat, others in the groups will be happy as well.
“People pay attention to the most powerful person in that group,” Goleman said.
He described emotional intelligence as the inner feelings you give off. When people are bored, their performance tends to suffer.
“There’s a joy in being in the flow state,” Goleman said.
Goleman’s seminar also spotlighted a Harvard study that found people are distracted 50 percent of the time and the occasions people are least distracted are often during romantic moments.
“Attention is the final common pathway in everything we do,” he said.
The seminar also touched on attention span — a quality diminished by technology.
Goleman said cellphones are a prime example of how distractions — such as texting on a date — can deteriorate an emotional connection.
“If you’re texting, the emotional connection is not going to happen,” he said.
When asked during an audience Q&A if he would recommend laptops for all children in elementary schools, Goleman said he feels it is “a recipe for disaster.”
“I’m going into teaching, and I’m interested to see how technology will affect students in the future,” said Pa Vang, a Fresno State transfer student who attended Goleman’s seminar.
Goleman was named one of the 10 most influential business thinkers by the Wall Street Journal. Goleman is also co-director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.