Business, Community & Government

More Important Than IQ: Emotional Intelligence

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Lesson time 18:00 min

Doris delves into the character traits that make up emotional intelligence, including humility, empathy, and resilience. She also shares Lincoln’s secret trick for dealing with anger and frustration.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Learn Humility and Resilience Through Adversity · Lessons in Resilience: Abraham Lincoln · Lessons in Resilience: Teddy Roosevelt · Lessons in Resilience: Franklin D. Roosevelt · How to Develop Empathy · Never Stop Evolving · A Trick for Self-Discipline: “Hot Letters”


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I think the key elements of emotional intelligence are the key elements for what we want for ourselves in our relationships with other people. Emotional intelligence as I understand it is the ability to be self-reflective, to have self-discipline, to listen to others, to read other people's feelings and opinions. It's really the human qualities that allow you to interact well with people. And every leader is going to be in a team interacting with that team. And I would argue that it's more important than IQ if you're choosing a leader for a particular function. In fact, when FDR was first president, Oliver Wendell Holmes, then on the Supreme Court, went to see him. And he made a famous pronouncement. He said, "Second rate intellect, but first rate temperament." And temperament is emotional intelligence. So I would argue that he did not have a second rate intellect, but he certainly had a first rate temperament. And it was built on emotional intelligence. [MUSIC PLAYING] As far as humility goes, life teaches you humility. And the question is, how do you respond to it? And so maybe sometimes, life's going to teach you humility because it knocks it down when you're arrogant, or something you expected to happen didn't happen, and you thought you deserved it. Instead of arguing about why it didn't come to you, just try and figure out, OK, maybe I wasn't as good as the other person, or maybe I didn't work hard enough. Or maybe life just didn't give it to me, but it doesn't mean I'm not going to try for it the next time. And that really teaches you that nothing comes easily and that sometimes you may not get what you deserve. Other times, maybe you didn't deserve it. But if you can self-reflect on that, that's the true understanding of humility, that you can learn from the things that happen to you and the things you do in your own life. And then, of course, you're going to become larger and broader and more expansive as a person. All the leadership studies that I've read talk about the importance of having resilience to overcome adversity as an absolutely central leadership quality. All of us in our lives are going to suffer difficult times. And the question is, can you get through it? Can you grow through it? Can you learn from it? And then those adversities become learning experiences. Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "Everyone is broken by life, but afterwards, some people are stronger in the broken places." [MUSIC PLAYING] Think of Abraham Lincoln. He suffered, when he was in his early 30s, a near suicidal depression. He had lost his luster in the state legislature. He had broken his engagement to Mary Todd Lincoln. He hadn't kept his word to her. He was so depressed feeling like his life wasn't going where he wanted it to go that his friends thought that he was suicidal. They took all knives and razors and scissors from his room. And his best friend Joshua Speed came to his side and said, Linco...

About the Instructor

For more than 50 years, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has studied great American presidents. Now the Pulitzer Prize winner teaches you leadership through the lens of U.S. presidential history. With timeless stories of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ, Doris shares practical wisdom and a template for honing leadership skills. Manage a crisis, craft a message, and guide a team like extraordinary leaders of the past.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin teaches you how to develop the leadership qualities of exceptional American presidents.

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