Emotional intelligence: the theory of Daniel Goleman

Emotional intelligence: the theory of Daniel Goleman.


Journalist and leading expert in emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman is over seventy years old and a smile is constantly on his lips. With a lot of work behind him concerning his personal sphere of him, he has managed to see much more than what the rest of the people can perceive. The researcher has coined a theory that puts empathy at the center of human qualities. It is much more important than a high IQ and a brilliant brain. If you don’t know how to read emotions, it is almost impossible to achieve happiness.


According to Goleman , empathy means having at heart the so-called social conscience that interconnects human beings with each other. With him, many psychologists and sociologists also focus on the relationships between humans with respect to intelligence according to the definition we all know, namely the one linked to logic and intellectual abilities.

What is intelligence?

First of all, let us clarify that the concept of intelligence is very ephemeral and still today after many centuries none of the specialists shares the definition of the term itself. Professor Goleman , in particular, spoke of emotional intelligence , a concept that has been cited a lot in recent times but which has always been reported in psychology books . Speaking of essays, even the same journalist in 1995 wrote a work entitled “Emotional intelligence” . It was a worldwide success and around 5 million copies were sold . 

Another of his colleagues, Edward L. Thorndike , spoke of a similar concept as early as 1920, when he coined the term social intelligence . This term meant the ” ability to understand others ” and to motivate them in their choices. Other psychologists, during the 1940s, came to understand that intelligence tests involving the IQ could even be invalid if at the same time the individual is empathically  incapable .


And this is precisely the goal of Daniel Goleman , who since the 90s has made his mission to make others understand the great power of emotions , which can radically change the perception that individuals have of themselves and the way in which which they relate to others .

Goleman, who grew up among psychology books

But let’s get to the point, Daniel Goleman’s life fully confirms how important the concept of emotional intelligence is to him. In fact, during his journey in this world, there have been difficult times. Yet, as he himself says, after learning the importance of empathy there is no day in which his serene smile is not the first business card towards others. 

In fact, Goleman seems like an enlightened man and is able to see beyond what others perceive, including the connections that connect human beings to each other. As he recounts during his conferences, he inherited his great passion for psychology from his mother, who was specialized in psychiatry and fed on books on neuroscience 


His mother, like him, was constantly trained on the functioning of the human mind and learned about the behavioral sciences. His childhood was therefore characterized by a high sensitivity towards mental health , a period that he recounts as very fascinating despite often not understanding the more difficult speeches concerning psychiatry.

Emotional intelligence, what is it

We have talked about emotional intelligence up to now , but what is it about? Emotional intelligence is the kind of intelligence that goes beyond cognition . So it’s not about memory computing power or problem solving . Emotional intelligence is the ability to connect with others , with our emotions and impulses. It’s that ability to handle frustrations , to overcome problems with great control and self- awareness 

And awareness is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence theory . Those who manage to know their emotions have an advantage, above all because every human decision is based precisely on the internal feeling that provokes the same thought. The human being is therefore able to think and reason and as a human creature as he is and has learned to manage even the most profound aspects of the emotional sphere .


Motivation and awareness

When we talk about emotional intelligence , we are not just talking about empathy but there are many ingredients that make up this important human sphere. One of the other elements is that of self -awareness , or the ability to understand the interiority and to be connected to our values. In fact, being aware allows us to feel on the right track, a fundamental element for the functioning of human beings who need to orient themselves in a chaotic world full of stimuli and possibilities. 

Other of the most important aspects are self-motivation and social skills . These values ​​are closely linked to the way we communicate with each other and with ourselves, always keeping ourselves motivated through creativity and trust , elements that allow us to achieve success. Optimism and communication are the primary ingredients for building healthy relationships also with regard to the working environment, where the aspect of emotional intelligence allows you to preserve your relationship with others and consequently, to be even more productive .


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