Daniel Goleman has done much to help others to understand the significance of emotional intelligence – his various publications are fantastic. But this lecture that Goleman gave at TED is an interesting reflection on compassion, connection and the importance of information. When are we thinking about ourselves? When are we thinking about others? How are these skills shaped by our context and our experience? How do we notice suffering and how are we moved to do something about it?
What is most intriguing to me about Goleman’s presentation, is the implication that reality testing is a crucial part of empathy. As one dimension of the [EQ-i], reality testing can be overlooked as having an important role in caring. Goleman is hopeful, for example, that the growth in information sharing will make a positive difference in people’s lives. He closes with a story of people on a subway aiding a stranger: “all it took was that simple act of noticing.”