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.

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Roller Girls Recover in Championship Style @NJShorePatch

Jersey Shore Roller Girls Championship Bout

There’s a saying in the entertainment business that “the show must go on,” but it’s not always true.

For the Jersey Shore Roller Girls, the region’s all-female flat-track roller derby league, the decision whether or not to cancel its 2012 championship bout after Hurricane Sandy was a tough one.

The bout had been scheduled to follow the Asbury Park tree lighting ceremony at Convention Hall on November 24, but the venue wasn’t cleared for use until a week before the event date and there was no time to advertise. Worse still, at least nine of the league’s seventy skaters suffered serious damage to their homes, said JSRG board member Bash N. Onya. …

Read the whole thing at Brick Patch.

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.

Recapturing Innocence With Ang Lee @TheHighCalling

NYC Life of Pi Press Junket

Director Ang Lee in New York City, courtesy Explorations Media, L.L.C.

The sound of a baby’s laughter. A six year old’s wide-eyed wonder on Christmas morning. The moment you first believed. Who doesn’t want to relive innocence like that?
For Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee, recapturing innocence in life, in filmmaking, in the cinematic experience is at the heart of his film adaptation of Yann Martel’s best-selling novel, Life of Pi. Speaking to a group of journalists in New York City last month, Lee said the film is about what happens to a young boy’s innocence after the ship carrying his zoo-keeping family sinks and he’s set adrift on a lifeboat with a dangerous tiger.

The ocean becomes like a desert, Lee said. “It’s a test of his faith, his strength.” …

Read the whole thing at The High Calling.

Managing the ‘Disaster After the Disaster’ @NJShorePatch

Hurricane Sandy Election Day

“You’ve probably been asked by out-of-state friends where to send Hurricane Sandy donations and what kind? It’s a daunting task to advise people when you’re in the midst of a crisis, but as the Associated Press reported, unwanted donations can become a “disaster after the disaster.”

‘Ad hoc relief groups need to make sure they are taking in only items that are requested and can be distributed. Money is the best because organizations don’t have to pay to move it and can tailor spending to changing needs,’ James McGowan, a representative from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster reportedly told AP.

I saw this problem firsthand after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks when I volunteered with the Salvation Army.”

Read the rest at Brick Patch.