Friday, December 02, 2005

Emotional Intelligence

Exodus 32:14... "So God changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people."

Daniel Goleman has written a book entitled, Primal Leadership, in which he and his esteemed coauthors apply principles of what he calls "Emotional Intelligence" to the influence of others.

The notion of "primal" leadership is profound because it touches on the primal core of human motivation, passion, feelings, loyalty of heart, pride in one's team, etc. These are powerful dynamics that function largely below the analytical neocortex... deep in the emotional limbic system of the brain. Our passion is not a logical construct, but an emotional one. So is pride, heart-loyalty, perhaps even authenitic faith & love!

This is not to say that our feelings work independently of our neocortial thinking mind or prefontal volitional mind... but, it does highlight the centrality of "heart" (or, literally, "guts") that is so frequently spoken of in Old Testament Scripture.

So how does this relate to Exodus 32:14? Well... hang onto your hats...

I believe Exodus 32:14 is a lesson, provided by our generous God, in the proper social application of Emotional Intelligence. The process goes something like this: 1) Listen, 2) Mirror, 3) Resonate, & 4) Influence. In terms of self-leadership, we listen to our feelings, mirror the feelings of our hearts in our minds (an inner dialogue of sorts), resonate with the heart (so heart & mind understand each other), & influence the heart in a healthy direction (e.g. dissuading anger, internalized shame, hurt, blame, etc.). In terms of social leadership, we listen to an "other", mirror that person's feelings (achieving resonance - so we understand each other), & influence that person in a new direction.

Now look in Exodus 32... Didn't Moses listen to God? And don't the latter portions of the chapter indicate he mirrored God's feelings & achieved a resonance with Him (understanding where God was coming from). And doesn't verse 14 demonstrate that after these things, Moses influenced God in a different direction?

Does this mean that God needed Moses' good guidance? Shaaa... as if!!! In His infinite transcendence, I'm sure the entire Exodus 32 scenario was foreknown from eternity past. So it's not really a description of how we help God, but rather a lesson with which God wants to help us... Specifically, He wants to help us live with Emotional Intelligence with ourselves, with others, & even with Himself.

Check it out for yourself. I think you'll be blown away & changed by what you read... Primal Leadership - by Daniel Goleman.


- John

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