Pop-Psychology and The Story Straw

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If wikipedia is anything to go by, there is a bit of dispute in the psychology community about the concept of Emotional Intelligence, with questions about its usefulness and even if it is an ‘intelligence’.

However despite the arguments, Daniel Goleman has captured the popular market on Emotional Intelligence and its role in leadership and I, for one, am grateful we have some language to put around the process and purpose of self awareness and personal development in the context of leadership.

Without having read his book, (which must surely be the hallmark of pop psychology?), apparently Goleman sets out 5 elements of emotional intelligence (EI). They are: Self awareness, Self regulation, Social skill, Empathy and Motivation.

It is a new way to package old knowledge, a framework for understanding how to be self aware and manage inner turmoil, just as humans have tried to codify and control for millennia.

The great usefulness of Emotional Intelligence is that it is modern phrase that readily encapsulates a myriad of ideas, tools, terms, practices and processes that we might otherwise call self development and that have their roots in the soil of our deep, inner thinking and emotional worlds.

All this is to say that storytelling, true personal storytelling is a phenomenally brilliant tool for developing our Emotional Intelligence, for understanding, developing and sharing our self awareness, world view and values.  It is a form of personal history making that enables us to frame and set our experiences in new or nuanced ways, make sense of them in the context of our current life and then share, inspire, move and touch others.  It enables us to transmute our emotions, like alchemists of old, into story gold. 

Like all art forms, at its most basic we ‘do’ storytelling naturally. Similarly, with just a little bit of instruction, we can jump to applying tools and principles, to practice and improve.  But also like other art forms, basic competence is just the starting place, from here we must apply ourselves: learn, contemplate, practice and expand our understanding of the art and craft and how we can use it to fully express who we are. 

No matter where you are in exploring story, talking with a story coach will reveal new insights.  At the moment I am offering free catalyst calls, up to 45 minutes, to help you get clarity and a way forward for your storytelling. Book a time here.