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The Brain and Emotional Intelligence
Cover of The Brain and Emotional Intelligence
The Brain and Emotional Intelligence
New Insights
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Over the last decade and a half there has been a steady stream of new insights that further illuminate the dynamics of emotional intelligence.

In this new eBook, Daniel Goleman reviews the latest findings about the brain basis of emotional intelligence.

You will learn the most recent brain findings that explain:

The crucial role of self-awareness in creativity and innovative thinking

Accessing the brain's circuitry for sound decision-making and life wisdom

Gender strengths: The EI advantages of the "male" and "female" brain

The one essential ingredient for drive and motivation

The key ingredients in rapport and personal chemistry

The neural recipe for optimal performance and the pathways to the flow state

The power of mindfulness in developing strengths in the EI domain

Brain tools for more effective coaching

Over the last decade and a half there has been a steady stream of new insights that further illuminate the dynamics of emotional intelligence.

In this new eBook, Daniel Goleman reviews the latest findings about the brain basis of emotional intelligence.

You will learn the most recent brain findings that explain:

The crucial role of self-awareness in creativity and innovative thinking

Accessing the brain's circuitry for sound decision-making and life wisdom

Gender strengths: The EI advantages of the "male" and "female" brain

The one essential ingredient for drive and motivation

The key ingredients in rapport and personal chemistry

The neural recipe for optimal performance and the pathways to the flow state

The power of mindfulness in developing strengths in the EI domain

Brain tools for more effective coaching

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Excerpts-
  • Managing Stress

    Managing Stress

    A friend told me, "My worst time at work was just after a merger when people were disappearing daily, with lying memos about what had happened." She added, "Nobody could focus on their work." These days what was just an episode for her has become a chronic reality in too many businesses.

    Ups and downs of the economy aside, organizational life is rife with toxic moments – impossible directives from headquarters, unreasonable people in positions of power, abrasive workmates, and on and on. So, how can we manage such constant stress, or outright distress? One strategy for managing our reactions to hassles and upsets takes advantage of another dynamic between the prefrontal area and the amygdala circuitry.

    Richard Davidson, who directs the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin, has done seminal research on the left versus right prefrontal areas. His research group has found that when we're in the grip of a hijack or under the sway of distressing emotions, there are relatively high levels of activity in the right prefrontal cortex. But when we're feeling great – enthused, energized, like we could take on anything – the left prefrontal area lights up.

    The Davidson group found that each of us has a left-to-right ratio of prefrontal activity (measured when we're just resting, not doing anything in particular) that accurately predicts our typical mood range day to day. This left-to-right ratio gauges our emotional setpoint.

    People who have more activity on the left than right are more likely to have more positive emotions, and the more positive their emotions day to day. Those with more activity on the right are prone to having more negative emotions.

    There is a "Bell Curve" for this ratio, like the well-known upside-down U curve for IQ. Most of us are in the middle – we have good and bad days. Some people are at the extreme right – they may be clinically depressed or chronically anxious. In contrast, those people at the extreme left on the Bell Curve bounce back from setbacks with extraordinary rapidity.

    Davidson has also done research on what he calls "emotional styles" – which are really brain styles. One brain style tracks how readily we become upset: where we are on the spectrum from a hair-trigger amygdala – people who easily become upset, frustrated or angered – versus people who are unflappable.

    A second style looks at how quickly we recover from our distress. Some people recover quickly once they get upset, while others are very slow. At the extreme of slowness to recover are people who continually ruminate or worry about things – in effect, who suffer from ongoing low-grade amygdala hijacks. Chronic worry keeps the amygdala primed, so you remain in a distress state as long as you ruminate.

    Given the many realistic stresses we face, those first two styles – being unflappable and capable of quick recovery – are the most effective in navigating the troubles of the world of work.

    The third style assesses a person's depth of feeling. Some people experience their feelings quite intensely, some people quite shallowly. Those who have stronger feelings may be better able to authentically communicate them more powerfully – to move people.

About the Author-
  • Daniel Goleman, PhD covered the brain and behavioral sciences at the New York Times for twelve years. He is co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, and co-directs the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. His books include Emotional Intelligence, Primal Leadership, Destructive Emotions, and Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, Ecological Intelligence, and his new eBook The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights.

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    More Than Sound
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The Brain and Emotional Intelligence
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New Insights
Daniel Goleman
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