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    The New YorkerMerve Emre4/12/2120 min
    6 reads6 comments
    9.0
    The New Yorker
    6 reads
    9.0
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    • Jessica
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      1 week ago

      I have not read Goleman’s book, though a lot of the ideas and pushback in this article are intriguing. Do corporate offerings of mindfulness and team building workshops serve as a way to “control” employees/keep them “productive”? The author seems to be arguing that promoting emotional intelligence (in how Goleman defines it) doesn’t allow for diversity of thought and opinion, and is dangerous.

      It is a vision of personal freedom achieved, paradoxically, through constant self-regulation. “Emotional Intelligence” imagines a world constituted of little more than a series of civil interactions between employer and employee, husband and wife, friend and neighbor. People are linked by nothing more than, as Foucault summarized, the “instinct, sentiment, and sympathy” that underwrite their mutual success and their shared “repugnance for the misfortune of individuals” who cannot get a grip on their inner lives.

      • jeff
        Reading streak
        6 days ago

        The author seems to be arguing that promoting emotional intelligence (in how Goleman defines it) doesn’t allow for diversity of thought and opinion, and is dangerous.

        I really enjoyed the article but I honestly found the critique kind of scattered. Maybe that's because Goleman's book mixes practical personal advice, which seems beyond reproach on account of its mundanity, with his vision for broader society, which seems aloof and overly-simplistic.

        Whether or not trying to keep things "professional" (in Goleman's sense) at work is a negative thing is an interesting question and makes me think of the recent kerfuffles at Basecamp, Medium and Coinbase. I hate to equivocate but I don't really know how I feel about it and I doubt there's a one-size-fits-all answer. Having a heated discussion about Goleman's ideas during lunch is one thing. Deciding you're going to dedicate your time in the office to overthrowing the neoliberal world order is another.

        Also that Foucault quote will be bouncing around in my head for a while. There's definitely an undercurrent of solidarity when discussing those who have fallen through the cracks.

        • Jessica
          Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
          5 days ago

          I listened to an interview with Merve Emre on this episode with Adam Grant. This episode expanded on some of the ideas outlined in this article. Merve expressed that the way forward should not be presenting psychological solutions to corporate problems, and that employees should have the freedom to withhold or express emotions at work without having those emotional expressions be tied to job security or profitability. But of course, things aren't that simple. Corporations are made of people, and employees also enter a corporation with systems in place. I feel that both the employee and the workplace systems have a critical role in creating healthy work environments. It's a seesaw that always seems to continue alternate its motions.

        • Pegeen
          Top reader this weekScoutScribe
          6 days ago

          I agree with your critique of the critique!

      • Pegeen
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        6 days ago

        Great find - lots to think about!

    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      6 days ago

      I found this article difficult to navigate, perhaps it’s more Goleman’s work! When I contemplate change, the only way it makes sense, is to start with myself. I am responsible for me - for how I respond. Emotional Intelligence, as defined by Karla McLaren, was insightful in that regard. She viewed the emotions as the body’s messengers. They were neither good nor bad - just information. And each emotion had varying degrees of intensity, which changed the message. I found it helpful. Made me more aware, compassionate, understanding. Less reactive and judgmental. It’s a start. I am aware of my privilege. I can not begin to actually “know” the complexities, challenges and extreme disadvantages of others. The most important aspect is to keep my eyes, ears and heart open - and act from that place. It’s far from simple but it’s closer to at least moving forward and being involved.