This interview with psychologist Daniel Goleman looks at his remarkable achievements and gives an insight into his thoughts and opinions on emotional intelligence.


To say Daniel Goleman is a high achiever in his field is no overstatement. Goleman is an internationally known psychologist and science journalist who previously had reported on the brain and behavioural sciences for The New York Times.

Goleman’s 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (EI) was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half, with more than five million copies printed. 

Emotional Intelligence was named one of the 25 “Most Influential Business Management Books” by TIME Magazine. 

The Harvard Business Review chose Goleman’s article What Makes a Leader as one of ten ‘must-read’ articles from its pages. 

Goleman has ventured even further, writing books on self-deception, creativity, meditation and the ecological crisis. 

The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and Accenture Institute for Strategic Change have listed Goleman among the most influential business thinkers.

In a recent interview with Vikas Shah, Goleman spoke about the purpose of emotions, the importance of EI and why leaders need to understand emotions & emotional Intelligence. He made the following statements:

Emotions are the brain’s way of making us pay attention immediately to what is most important so that we can react as quickly as possible (an evolutionary survival tactic).

EI can be broken down into four areas:


Having the capacity to manage emotions.

Recognising emotions in other people.

Managing relationships effectively with those around you.

In this interview Goleman also discusses other matters, including whether EI can be taught; and the power of meditation and mindfulness in the modern business setting.


Dec 2020 HBR What People (Still) Get Wrong About Emotional Intelligence

Dec 2020 Forbes Emotional Intelligence: Why We Need It Now, More Than Ever

Apr 2021 The New Yorker The Repressive Politics of Emotional Intelligence

Jun 2021 NIT Expanding our emotional intelligence