Daniel Goleman

American psychologist & journalist

Daniel Jay Goleman (born March 7, 1946) is an American author, psychologist, and science journalist. For twelve years, he wrote for The New York Times, specializing in psychology and brain sciences. He is the author of more than 10 books on psychology, education, science, ecological crisis, and leadership.

Goleman, 2011


  • If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.
    • Daniel Goleman (1995) cited in: John O. Dozier (2010) The Weeping, the Window, the Way. p. 130
  • There are many leaders, not just one. Leadership is distributed. It resides not solely in the individual at the top, but in every person at every level who, in one way or another, acts as a leader to a group of followers — wherever in the organization that person is, whether shop steward, team head, or CEO.
    • Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee (2002) Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. p. xiii-xiv
  • … a psychological system (was) at the heart of Buddhism … absolutely unknown in Western psychology. … I started to write about it, and the way it worked with the mind, the way it conceived of what you could do to transform the mind, … meditation was very much at the heart of that. … Western psychology did not understand that … meditation did transform the mind, and now we know, the brain. No one had ever heard of the word, neuroplasticity in the 1970s, … repeated experiences change the structure and function of the brain was implicit in Buddhist psychology and unknown in Western psychology. … you could transform the mind, to the point where, … your inner emotional state was not at the whim of external conditions, but was an ongoing, …equanimous state that was one of kindness. This was inconceivable. … I would say psychologists in the 2010s don’t think about it that much as whole.
    • quoted from Malhotra, R. & Viswanathan V. (2022). Snakes in the Ganga : Breaking India 2.0.
  • transcendental meditation (sic) as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the one I’ve practiced longest, am most thoroughly familiar with theoretically, and about which I hypothesize here. Transcendental meditation (sic), or TM, like most yoga systems taught in the US, traces its roots back to the tradition of which Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is the classic statement.
    • quoted from Malhotra, R. & Viswanathan V. (2022). Snakes in the Ganga : Breaking India 2.0.
  • ‘My hypotheses are generated from experience with TM but are framed in terms of meditation in general in the hope that they will be tested on a variety of different systems’.
    • quoted from Malhotra, R. & Viswanathan V. (2022). Snakes in the Ganga : Breaking India 2.0.
  • … I discovered … an alternate psychological system. … Abhidharma, which is the Sanskrit term for this model of mind. Then I started writing about it in psychology journals, albeit very obscure psychology journals, because they were the only ones that were interested. … it was important to bring this news to Western psychology because … it …extend(ed) the horizon line of the potential of being human. … if psychology’s about anything, it’s about the mind and what are it’s (sic) upper limits; what are the worst places we can go, what are the best places we can go? And this described some best places that we hadn’t heard of yet…
    • quoted from Malhotra, R. & Viswanathan V. (2022). Snakes in the Ganga : Breaking India 2.0.

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (1995)Edit

Daniel Goleman (1995/1996), Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
  • IQ is a genetic given that cannot be changed by life experience, and that our destiny in life is largely fixed by these aptitudes.
    • p. xi
  • In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels. These two fundamentally different ways of knowing interact to construct our mental life.
    • p. 8
  • People who are emotionally adapt — who know and manage their feelings well, and who read and deal effectively with other people's feelings — are at an advantage in any domain in life, whether in romance and intimate relationships or picking up the unspoken rules that govern success in organizational politics.
    • p. 36
  • There is an old-fashioned word for the body of skills that emotional intelligence represents: character.
    • p. 285
  • Feelings are self-justifying, with a set of perceptions and "proofs" all their own.
    • p. 295

Working with Emotional Intelligence (1998)Edit

Daniel Goleman (1998), Working with Emotional Intelligence
  • Our emotional intelligence determines our potential for learning the practical skills that are based on its five elements: self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationships
    • p. 24
  • Emotional Intelligence' refers to the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. It describes abilities distinct from, but complementary to, academic intelligence, the purely cognitive capacities measured by IQ.
    • p. 317

IQ and technical skills are important, but emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership (1998)Edit

D. Goleman (1998), "IQ and technical skills are important, but emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership". Harvard business review.
  • Every businessperson knows a story about a highly intelligent, highly skilled executive who was promoted into a leadership position only to fail at the job. And they also know a story about someone with solid—but not extraordinary—intellectual abilities and technical skills who was promoted into a similar position and then soared.
    Such anecdotes support the widespread belief that identifying individuals with the “right stuff” to be leaders is more art than science. After all, the personal styles of superb leaders vary: Some leaders are subdued and analytical; others shout their manifestos from the mountaintops. And just as important, different situations call for different types of leadership. Most mergers need a sensitive negotiator at the helm, whereas many turnarounds require a more forceful authority.
    • p. 93-94
  • Effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but mainly as “threshold capabilities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership.
    • p. 94

Quotes about GolemanEdit

  • Goleman deserves credit for systematically testing the Indian systems using the scientific method and establishing their credibility. But this need not erase the source tradition in the process. When knowledge is appropriated from ancient Greece, for instance, it is duly acknowledged as such, and the same standard must apply in the case of Indian knowledge. Such acknowledgment keeps the knowledge system alive in its native form so it can enrich us further.
    • Malhotra, R. & Viswanathan V. (2022). Snakes in the Ganga : Breaking India 2.0.

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