My Oral Presentation of
Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence, pg. 111-128
"The Social Arts"
Spring 2000, 409B
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Instruction to this report
Section 1: Show Some Emotion
Section 2: Expressiveness and Emotional Contagion
Section 3: The Rudiments of Social Intelligence
Section 4: The Making of a Social Incompetent
Section 5: "We Hate You": at the threshold
Section 6: Emotional Brilliance - A case report
Questions and Answers
Nathaniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, which was published by Bantam Books in 1985, will be the topic of discussion in this report, particularly pages 111-126 which covers Chapter 8 - The Social Arts. This chapter introduces the readers to several social etiquette starting with the accepted way to express emotions and feelings followed by a section that talks about how these feelings are transmitted and how a person's display of emotions affect other people. Goleman continues by comparing the qualities that characterizes a socially intelligent individual as opposed to a socially incompetent individual. In addition to this, Goleman describes and explains the attributes of an individual people would love to hate. In his conclusion, Goleman presents a case report that shows the ultimate measure of mastery of the social etiquette.
Goleman opens the chapter by demonstrating in a situation that emotional intelligence can be acquired at an early age. In the example he has given, two siblings, a five-year old and a two-year old, are engaged in a quarrel that led to both boys breaking down in tears. However, of the two, the younger brother is more able to manage his older brother's emotion.The younger brother uses several tactics such as pleading, asking for mom's help, physical comforting, distraction, and direct commands to calm his older brother. According to Goleman, this emotional display at a young age marks the beginning of a socially adept person. To be socially competent, Goleman describes an individual that is able to recognize and read another person's feelings and operate in a way that furthers shapes those feelings. This ability to manage emotions in someone else's is "the core of the art of handling relationships" (p. 112). However, in order to operate these people skills, the development of self-control and management and empathy is essential. These people skills allow an individual to "shape an encounter, to mobilize and inspire others, to thrive in intimate relationships, to persuade and influence, and to put others at ease." (p. 113)
I agree with Goleman's perspective that these social skills can be acquired at an early age. Thus, the importance of a good role model that implements these skills is essential for a child. A child that is exposed to a socially adept caregiver will develop to be emotionally intelligent, therefore, will have better connections with other people and to one's self. This can also be related to driving. An individual who operates on his or her social skills will more likely to be able to tolerate and deal with unexpected encounters with aggressive drivers.
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SECTION 1: SHOW SOME EMOTION
As indicated by Goleman, one of the keys to being socially competent is the ability of an individual to express his or her feelings. In this section, Paul Ekman's display rules will be discussed. Display rules are unspoken social consensus that dictate when and which feelings can be displayed in public. These rules are learned at an early age either through modeling or by given instructions. It is worth to note that these display rules are dependent on culture. Thus, a display of a particular emotion may be acceptable in some parts of the world, yet unacceptable in some. The three display rules that are discussed in this section are minimizing, exaggerating, and substituting. Minimizing is characterized as the holding back of emotion being displayed, such as facial expression. For example, a professor gives out a long and complex homework that needs to be turned the following day. A student minimizing his or her emotion will display a slight reaction against the homework in front of the professor. However, when the professor leaves, this student will increase his or her display of emotions of disapproval and distress. The second display rule is exaggerating. Exaggerating is most evident in children when they magnify their emotional expression, for instance, when being teased by an older brother. Lastly, substituting occurs when an emotion is replaced for another. An example would be a child who receives a present of which he or she does not fancy and still show a positive assurance to the giver. How well an individual employs these strategies is one factor in emotional intelligence.
I agree that an individual's emotional expression is a factor of emotional intelligence. This is because the ability to operate these strategies properly will have a big and positive impact on the people we will encounter. However, I also believe that these display rules have contradicting impacts on the child learning display rules, particularly substituting. I say this because at an early age a child is not able to decipher when substitution should and should not be implemented. A child who is instructed to mask their true feelings when receiving presents that he or she does not fancy is also being taught that lying is okay. Therefore, in my opinion, there is a thin line between substituting and lying that needs to be addressed to the child.
These display rules can also be related to driving. At an early age we already witness and acquire our parents' or caregivers' driving philosophies and tendencies, therefore, it is critical for adults to show proper display of emotions, as this can highly influence the child's later experiences. An individual who has acquired the ability to minimize his or her feelings will be able to hold back or suppress their feelings when provoked by other drivers. This is essentially important because if a driver is unable to control his or her feelings, when provoked by another driver, may lead to a tragic ending. Thus, knowing how to control display of emotions on the road can decrease, if not eliminate, any aggressive behavior that now permeates our roads.
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SECTION 2: EXPRESSIVENESS AND EMOTIONAL CONTAGION
This section discusses how people's emotions are contagious, similar to how airborne viruses are transmitted. For example, how a salesperson welcomes a customer in a shop can lead him or her into feeling ignored, resented, welcomed, or appreciated. As seen from this example, we can send emotional signals in every encounter and these signals affect, to some degree, the people we encounter everyday. According to Goleman, people who are able to transmit charisma, calm, soothing signals are the ones who are liked the most. Therefore, the more socially adroit a person is, the better one controls the signals he or she sends. This emotional transmission occurs through an unconscious and subtle imitation of the emotions we see displayed by someone else, i.e., through their facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and other nonverbal markers of emotion. This is supported by Ulf Dimberg's study. Dimberg is a Swedish researcher at the University of Uppsala who found that when people view a smiling or angry face, their own faces show evidence of that same mood through slight changes in the facial muscles. These changes are evident through electronic sensors but not visible to the naked eye. The direction of mood transfer is from the person who is more forceful in expressing his or her feelings to the one who is more passive. Also, the transfer of emotions to the other person is dependent on the person's innate sensitivity. This transmission of emotions of mood synchrony determines whether an interaction went well or not. Therefore, the inability to receive or send emotions are prone to having problems in their relationships. According to John Cacioppo, a social psychophysiologist at Ohio State University, a high level of synchrony in an interaction means that the people involved like each other. In addition, studies done by Frank Bernieri, a psychologist from Oregon State University, also states that synchrony reflects the depth of engagement between the partners, i.e., if two people are highly engaged, their moods will begin to mesh. In short, an individual who expresses his or her feelings more, is typically the one who influences the other.
I agree that how we express our emotions or feelings have some sort of effect on the people that we encounter. However, the magnitude of this depends on how forceful we are in expressing our emotions. For example, let's say that I walked in a store and was welcomed by a salesperson with a genuine smile and warmth. If I were approached this way, personally, I would be more willing to purchase an item. Also, I would feel appreciated as a person and not only as a customer. However, let's now say that I was welcomed with a pretentious "hello." Personally, I would be more likely not purchase anything in the store because of this. Most of us enjoy the feeling of being "special," of being appreciated. This gives us a sense that we belong and exist.
Emotional contagion also play a role in driving. For instance, a driver who is not having a pleasant day would be more likely frustrated and aggressive on the road. This driver may unconsciously vent all his frustrations on the road by weaving in and out of lanes, unyielding to other drivers, and even aggressively taunting other drivers. This, of course, will have a negative influence on other drivers, which could lead to aggressive confrontations such as tailgating or a high speed chase. On the contrary, a driver who is in a pleasant mood will be more courteous on road and will be more likely to tolerate other drivers. This has a positive effect on the other drivers on the road because it creates a safe environment for everybody.
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SECTION 3: THE RUDIMENTS OF SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE
This section talks about Hatch and Gardner's four components of interpersonal intelligence: (1) organizing groups, (2) negotiating solutions, (3) personal connection, and lastly (4) social analysis. The first component of emotional intelligence, organizing groups, is the essential skill of a leader. This involves the ability to initiate and coordinate meetings, activities or organizations. According to Hatch and Gardner, this component is most seen in theater directors or producers, military officers, and leaders. The second component, negotiating solutions, encompasses people, like mediators, who possess the ability to prevent conflicts and resolve flared up situations. Individuals with this personality usually land a career in either law or managerial positions. The third component mentioned is personal connection. This characterizes an individual who is empathetic and has the ability to react and respond positively to people's feelings. These individuals make good team players, dependable spouses, good friends, or business partners. The last component, social analysis, defines an individual who is able to detect and have insights about people's feelings, motives, and concerns. This quality makes a successful therapist or counselor. The balance of all four components generate a socially intelligent individual,
To some extent, I agree that together, these four components produce a socially adept person who has the ability to connect with other people smoothly. In addition, people with these interpersonal abilities have the tendency to monitor their own expression of emotions. Having a balance of these qualities is idealistic, however, not realistic. Some people may excel in one component and not another. Still, some people can master these four components and use it as a way to get ahead in their field. These people mask their true identity with these components to win social approval, thus deceiving others. Therefore, this generalization of people's qualities does not exactly define the rudiments of social intelligence, in my opinion.
In driving, these components can come into play. For instance, a driver who shows one of the four components will be more likely to be understanding, more yielding, and avoid any confrontations. If a driver has acquired the ability to negotiate solutions, he or she will be more likely to deviate from any aggressive confrontation, thus preventing any further conflicts. A driver who has personal connection, on the other hand, will have similar outcome on the road. He or she will be able to recognize other driver's feelings, thus understanding and tolerating other drivers' aggressiveness. Lastly, a driver who has 'social analysis' will be able to read another driver's feelings, motives, and concerns, thus this driver will be more aware of his or her surrounding and can react positively on the road.
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SECTION 4: THE MAKING OF A SOCIAL INCOMPETENT
This chapter introduces the readers to people who suffer from social disapproval. Psychologists have coined the term dyssemia to define the people who fall in this bracket. Individuals with dyssemia experience poor sense of personal space, have difficulty in interpreting or using body language, misinterpreting or misusing facial expressions, and have difficulty with their speech. This social deficiency starts at a young age. Children who show signs of dyssemia are the ones who feel neglected or rejected, feel constantly frustrated, and suffer academically. If not treated, these children can grow up with the inability to recognize that there are unspoken behavioral rules that we must observe. For instance, most of us have the ability to read body language and facial expression, thus recognizing social cues - knowing when to end conversations or phone calls, knowing when and when not to laugh, or the ability to acknowledge another person's personal space. Unfortunately, not all of us are gifted with this ability.
I find this section interesting because I have never heard of the term dyssemia. When I encounter people who are socially awkward, I did not see this as a disorder. But it is unfortunate that some people suffer from this. I can only imagine the frustrations and aggravations they experience when they feel rejected or neglected. Could this be traced back to another person's failure to teach social cues to a child or just plain inability to learn? In my opinion, I believe that if a child is properly taught social cues, then he or she would not have to suffer from social isolation and rejection.
The concept of dyssemia can also be related to driving. A driver who suffers from this social deficiency will not be to recognize and respect another driver's personal space. Thus this driver may end up weaving in and out of his or her lane without acknowledging that it could be dangerous to one's self and the others. Also, because this type of driver is not able to read social cues, he or she may misinterpret another driver's motives, which may lead to aggressive confrontations.
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SECTION 5: "WE HATE YOU": AT THE THRESHOLD
In this section, Goleman talks about the two cardinal sins that almost always lead to rejection: (1) trying to take the lead too soon, and (2) being out of synch with the frame of reference. These characteristics are usually present in most unpopular children. This is because unpopular children have the tendency to push their way into a group and try to take the lead in a conversation or an activity right away, all for the sake of drawing attention to themselves. On the contrary, popular children tend to observe a group before jumping in. Once the child establishes a signal that he or she is a part of the group, this is then that the child offers his or her opinions or suggestions. According to Goleman, this tactic - observe, imitate, ask, join - is a good method to do before joining a conversation or an activity.
I agree that some people have the tendency to push their way into a group without prior consent or acknowledgment from the group. Personally, I find this behavior quite annoying. I cannot really explain why this is so. Maybe because, in some ways, I feel that my personal space is being invaded. For instance, some organizations such as a fraternity/sorority requires an initiation period before becoming a pledged member. It is one of those unspoken behavior rules that we have all grown up to accept.
In regards to driving, the two social cardinal sins can also come into play. A driver who has no regards for other drivers would automatically change lanes without looking or having the other driver acknowledge your intent of changing lanes. This is a very dangerous behavior because it can lead to an accident or it may provoke the other driver, leading to a negative outcome.
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SECTION 6: EMOTIONAL BRILLIANCE - A CASE REPORT
This chapter ends with a case report about a man named Terry who encounters a deranged, intoxicated man, disturbing the peace. Out of concern for the other passengers of the train, Terry wanted to regulate the situation by applying what he learned in his aikido martial arts classes, when suddenly an old man captures the drunkard's attention with a big, loud 'hey.' This shifted the drunkard's attention and with the old man's soothing and friendly words, he calmed the deranged and intoxicated man. Goleman believes that the ability to handle someone at the 'peak of rage' is the ultimate test of mastery of social skills, similar to how the old man handled the very intense situation. Goleman suggests a strategy to regulate someone at the peak of rage: distract and empathize with the individual then shift his or her focus to something positive. This tactic - emotional brilliance - is a measure of mastery in emotional intelligence, thus practice is essential.
I agree that a good way to measure mastery in emotional intelligence is the ability to regulate other people's emotional expression, especially when the individual is at the peak of rage. There are two ways people can tackle a situation - physical or verbal communication. I believe that the latter alternative is a better method to keep things in control. Many of us, when faced with an intense situation, have the tendency to explode and cause a commotion. The problem with this is that we are not in our right minds. Thus, we might say and do certain things that we will regret after the whole situation is over. To avoid the 'what ifs' of life, we should learn to approach a situation like the old man in the case report.
In driving, an individual who is emotionally brilliant has an advantage. This is because, the person is able to tolerate and understand what is going on in the other driver's mind. Therefore, when an aggressiveness becomes evident from one driver, an emotionally brilliant person can deviate from any retaliation and avoid any fatalistic situations.
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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What are ways that you can be "true to yourself" when driving? Do you think that being true to yourself can help your driving abilities? Is it being true to yourself when you follow your feelings and chase after the guy that cut you off?
I think one of the ways an individual can be true to themselves is acknowledging the fact that accidents happen because of our driving philosophies and aggressive behaviors. By recognizing these weaknesses we are being true to ourselves. By doing so, we are admitting to our own mistakes, and hopefully finding ways to better ourselves - isn't that one of life's challenges - the search for betterment in ourselves and in our society. By eliminating our aggressive behaviors on the road, we can decrease, if not eliminate, accidents. In the situation you have given, following your feelings and chasing after the guy that cut you off is not being 'true to yourself' but instead being impulsive.
How does all of this mood synchrony relate to driving?
According to the book, mood synchrony is an orchestrated physical movement between individuals. For example, a student nods in agreement or acknowledgment as the professor makes a point. This synchrony facilitates the sending and receiving of information and determines whether an interaction went well or not, In this situation, it gives the professor valuable feedback on his lecture materials. In other words, what one individual does, can evoke an emotional or physical exchange from another individual(s). Knowing this, we can say that emotional expression is contagious. This then can be related to driving because on the road, there are many exchanges of hand movements, verbal disputes, and even facial expression. For instance, a driver who is having a bad day will have a frustrated look, which will then be subtly transmitted to the other driver, like a domino effect. Would you like to be on the road where all drivers seem to be aggravated?
Do you think Goleman's ideas on how to master social skills correct? Do you think there are any better ideas?
In my opinion, I think Goleman brings up really interesting ideas on how to master social skills, one of which is on how to handle individuals who are at the peak of rage. This is a valuable skill that we should all acquire. However, I also believe that there are other techniques that can be utilized to master social skills. Personally, I do not think the method is as important as what is acquired in the whole learning process.
Why does it matter in a social setting if emotions transfer if you can't detect it with the naked eye? Their personality just changes but their expression?
Although emotional transfer may not be detectable with our naked eyes, I still believe that it matters in a social setting because how we express our feelings can evoke moods from the people around us. By acknowledging this, we can be more aware and cautious of the emotions or signals that we send out because even subtle facial expressions can influence the moods of the people we encounter.
How do you learn to send and receive the correct emotional cues?
In my opinion, before we can learn how to send and receive the correct emotional cues depend whether or not we have learned self-management, self-control, and empathy. Learning these attributes makes us more cautious, sensitive and tolerating to other people.
On the subject of "organizing group" ability, are these attributes that any one can develop, or is it a genetic "gift" limited to only a select few?
There are times when we describe people as 'born leaders.' However, I believe that how an individual is brought up plays a bigger role in determining whether or not a person will become an exceptional leader. I have not heard of any study done on this, but genetics can possibly be a factor.
How can children and adults learn to be more proficient in the social arts?
Children and adults can learn to be more proficient in the social arts by being aware of their own actions. That is, by acquiring skills in self-management, self-control, and empathy, we can be more socially adept, thus, making it easier for us to relate or understand the other person's perspectives and motives.
Are children or adults more adept (efficient) in learning social skills?
I think that learning social skills or any other skill is better if taught at a younger age. I believe that In a person's lifetime, there is a critical period in which the learning of the fundamentals of life is captured and retained by the individual.
Do social skills vary across different cultures or can they be generalized to the different cultures?
In my opinion, some social skills can be generalized, that is, accepted in various cultures. However, others can be misconstrued as rudeness or an insult. This is why, when traveling abroad, one of the more important suggestions is not only to learn what places should be visited, but also to learn their culture and accepted norms.
Have you personally experienced utilizing "minimizing" and/or "substituting" while driving? If applicable, which was easier for you to do?
There are times when I am in one of my better moods and see myself implementing Goleman's display rules in my driving. In situations wherein I encounter aggressive drivers, I intertwine minimizing and substituting at the same time. For instance, a driver aggressively cuts me off, usually, I would retaliate, but other times I would make myself calm down (minimizing) and replace my anger and frustration with happy thoughts (substituting). Both are not easy to utilize, but it takes practice and getting used to it.
Do you agree with Goleman that by distracting an angry person it could be beneficial for the angry person?
To a certain extent, I agree that distraction could be a way to handle an angry person. However, this could also pose a danger because the aggravated individual has shifted its focus and found another 'target.' Sometimes, when we are angry, we would like to stay angry until all the frustrations are completely released and we find ourselves calming down, eventually. Handling an angry person takes skill and practice and the way we deal with people in this state is dependent on the person and the situation.
Do you agree with him, where he mentions all the different characteristics and predicts the type of people they will turn out to be?
In this chapter, Goleman identifies Hatch and Gardner's components of interpersonal intelligence. In my own opinion, it is a good way to predict what occupations certain people will end up with. But the key word here is 'prediction.' It is not a guarantee that people will end up having the occupations they predicted, but it is a good measure of people's personalities.
How do you like this chapter (topic) that you reported on?
I enjoy reading and presenting this chapter because I learned several concepts that I can relate to my personal life. Because of this, reading the section did not feel like a chore.
I believe that many people don't care what your emotions are. Do you agree? I believe this because I work as a waiter and many people are assholes, even if I'm very polite.
I agree that some people do not care about other people's emotions or feelings, but I also do believe that there is a good number of people who do. In the situation you have given, you will come across people of all walks in life and the way you deal with them will be a good measure of your emotional intelligence. I have never been a waitress, but I have been a salesperson, and I completely understand where you are coming from. Sometimes, no matter how nice I treat the customers there will always be people aggravating me, the workers. I really do not have a good explanation, I can only assume that because we live in a society that taught us that the 'customers are always right', customers are actually taking advantage of this notion.
What should you do if you don't like someone but you act nice to them because you don't want to hurt their feelings and they take this as you like them? Isn't this like "leading" someone on? Is that right to do?
In my opinion, if you will never see the person again, I do not see any harm in 'leading' someone on. However, if you will engage in a constant interaction with this person, I think it would be better to actually confront the person. But if you choose to mask your feelings, then avoiding this person is what I would do. This way, you are not directly 'leading' them on.
DR. LEON JAMES
You mentioned "social analysis." How would this apply to drivers?
'Social analysis,' according to Hatch and Gardner, is being able to detect and have insights about people's feelings, motives, and concerns. This can be applied to drivers in many situations. For instance, driver A aggressively cuts off driver B. If driver B is skilled in 'social analysis,' instead of retaliating by tailgating or any other form of aggression, driver B would analyze, try to understand, and tolerate the concerns of the other driver. This way, road rage can be avoided.
How does "dyssemia" apply to drivers? What kind of problems can it cause? Give examples.
Goleman defines 'dyssemia' as a learning disability in the realm of nonverbal messages. People with this learning disability show a poor sense of personal space, inability to interpret or use body language, misinterpret or misuse facial expressions, and speak flatly or shrilly. These people are usually frustrated and do not know what is going on in their surroundings. This disability can cause a great deal of danger on the road, because drivers must be aware of every detail or signal that is given by other drivers. For instance, driver A who has a poor sense of personal space would be weaving in and out of lanes towards his or her destination. Because driver A does not see anything wrong with this behavior, he/she would continue this without any regards to other drivers on the road. This, then, may result to an accident.
I can see how a close friend or family members emotion can influence your emotion, but can a total stranger that you meet in passing (salesclerk) really influence your own emotion? Or can we more easily put it behind us?
In my opinion, people can be influenced in many degrees. Some are easily influenced by other people's emotions, while others can just put it behind. Personally, I categorize myself under the 'easily influenced.' However, this is not to say that I am a gullible person. Let us say that I encounter a rude salesperson, his/her emotion would definitely influence my reactions towards him/her. But this does not prolong for a period of time. After a few minutes of venting my frustrations, I can easily forget about the whole thing. This is why they say emotions are contagious.
Why can't you take over a conversation if you know the subject matter well. For instance, people talking about their ideas of how islands are formed and an oceanographer comes by and joins in on the conversation, should he stay silent of begin talking?
In the situation given, if I were the oceanographer, I would listen in on what and how the conversation is going, then, after assessing the exchange of opinions, I would share the information I know. Personally, I think it is quite rude if a person (out of nowhere) jumps into a conversation and start taking over, even though he/she is a connoisseur in that particular topic.
How does our empathy for others affect our way of driving?
Our empathy for others affect our way of driving in that we can be more tolerating and understanding to other drivers. This can then avoid any confrontations that may lead to road rage.
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As a whole, I think my presentation went better than I thought. Initially, I was quite nervous because I did not know what to expect. As the presentation went on, however, I felt more comfortable. The class also made me feel more relaxed by not staring at me the whole entire presentation. The question and answer portion was challenging because there were a few questions that required in-depth thinking. It is a difficult task to come up with a well-thought answer when you're put on the spot. I must say, however, that questions should be done at the end of the presentation, instead at the end of every section because it loses the presenter's train of thinking.
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SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
First suggestion: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!! The assignment is very deceiving because it makes it look easy and quick to do. In reality, however, this report takes a long time to compose and put it together. It is a long haul but once you get started on it early then there wouldn't be any problem. My second suggestion would be to study and know the material very well. It would also be better if creativity plays a part in the presentation because it keeps everyone involved and awake.
Another student who did a presentation on this chapter is Nicola Nakama of generation 12. Overall, she did a good job summarizing the entire chapter by implementing her personal experiences in her topic.
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