Emotional Intelligence for Everyday Leadership @TheHighCalling

Saxman 1

Some leaders seem to instinctively understand people: what motivates them, what frustrates them, what inspires them. Other leaders don’t. They are blind to the emotional landscape around them. These leaders lack what is commonly known as “emotional intelligence.” EI can be defined as “the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions.” The concept has a long history, but was popularized in the 1990s by psychologists Peter Salovey,John D. Mayer, and Daniel Goleman.

The director of Seattle Pacific University’s Brain Center for Applied Learning Research, John Medina, Ph.D., prefers a more scientifically verifiable concept called Theory of Mind.  He describes ToM as a gadget in the brain that allows a person to do two things: 1) peer inside someone else’s psychological interiors and understand the rewards and punishment systems inside those interiors; and 2) understand that the rewards and punishments that motivate that person are not same as the rewards and punishments that motivate oneself.

Medina says that having “terrific” ToM is what people mean when they talk about emotional intelligence. “If you’ve got really good Theory of Mind, you can make a terrific manager, because you can understand your emotional landscape all around you very, very quickly. If you have very poor Theory of Mind, you’re an emotional blunt instrument. You just bang around inside people’s hearts and make them mad and make them happy and inadvertently you do both and you have no idea how you do it, because it’s random, because you don’t see anything, because you’re an emotional idiot,” he said. (Note: This kind of forthright talk typifies the Medina Grump Factor, which is how Dr. Medina and others describe his commitment to rigorous scientific methodology.)

Whatever one calls the intuitive ability to read and respond well to others, nurturing this characteristic can help leaders create and foster cohesive, productive teams. After all what leader wants to be an “emotional idiot”? …

Read the whole thing at The High Calling.

Which Is the Better Story @Image Journal’s Good Letters blog

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox Studios.

“There’s a scene early in Ang Lee’s majestic Life of Pi film in which the main character watches everything he loves die. Pi is floating in a vast, murky sea as the ship carrying his family and their zoo animals recedes into the distance and sinks. His arms are stretched out wide and his whole body seems to reach for them as they slip away.

This is the moment when I forgot I was wearing 3-D glasses and felt as if I was in the water with Pi, losing everything I love. I’m not sure I would have reacted as viscerally as I did to the scene if it had not been produced in 3-D. As it was, I sat in my seat and wept.”

Read my whole [spoiler alert!] review at Good Letters. It’s my first appearance at the Image blog and I’m honored to see my byline there.

Religion + Life with Elaine H. Ecklund, Part 6: Putting It All Together @TheHighCalling

Retreat, Mt. Bethel, Pa

Our five-part series on the work of Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow Elaine Howard Ecklund focused on her research into what scientists really think about religion. It’s been a compelling and fascinating series.

In part one of the series, we introduced Ecklund and her work on this topic. We learned that she has also investigated women’s presence in physics, feminist women in the Catholic church, how pediatricians and pediatric oncologists grapple with religion, how new immigrants bring change to Christian churches in America, and how religion shapes the political engagement of immigrant communities.  …

Read the whole summary at The High Calling.

Religion + Life with Elaine H. Ecklund, Part 5: International Attitudes @TheHighCalling

Retreat, Mt. Bethel, Pa

In her book Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think, Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow Elaine Howard Ecklund focused exclusively on the views of American scientists at elite universities.  Now, with a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Ecklund will spend the next three years exploring how scientists view religion and how religion influences scientists in different national and cultural contexts. She says her Religion Among Scientists in International Context study is the first of its kind, and she’ll work on it in conjunction with two colleagues, Kirstin Matthews and Steven Lewis.

“With seemingly constant developments in the areas of science and religion, these two subjects have taken an important role on the global stage,” Ecklund said. “Our team can think of no better way to discover how the international science community negotiates religion than to go straight to the source and study scientists themselves.”

The notion that science is incompatible with religion and culpable for secularization is a common one, Ecklund explained. It causes tension “on a global scale as scholars argue that religion hinders the progress and acceptance of science in the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia.” …

Read the whole article at The High Calling.

A Funky Retirement: Celebrating Cornel West @UrbanFaith

Cornel West enjoying his retirement party

In this audio clip, Lupe Fiasco dedicates a song to the well educated women of Princeton and talks about West’s influence. And, in these videos he, George Clinton & P-Funk jam.

In this audio clip, comedian Bill Maher talks about how he’ll use Cornel West to get into heaven if there is one.

In this audio clip, actor Harry Belefonte talks about how Cornel West inspires him.

Princeton University Gospel Ensemble

In this audio clip, the Princeton University Gospel Ensemble, who opened the show, gives praise to Jesus.

Terence Blanchard

In this audio clip, jazz musician Terrence Blanchard talks about Cornel West’s influence on him and then he and his band jam.

13the Cornel West Theory

In these two audio clips, you’ll hear the Cornel West Theory perform. You have to see them live though. Really you do.

Video Tribute to Cornel West

Finally, in this audio clip, Dr. Cornel West gives thanks.

To read my reflections on Cornel West, go to UrbanFaith.com.

You’ll find my full photo set at Flickr.