Why We Need More Emotional Intelligence

Recently, I was looking up companies on a website called Glassdoor, a website that let’s employees rate their own company. I looked up one large IT company (starts with a “G”) and the very first comment, by an 8-year employee of that company, said the following negative comment:

I think the issue is that, a majority of people love [that company] because they get to work on interesting technical problems – and these are the people that see little value in learning how to develop emotional intelligence. Perhaps they enjoy technical problems because people are too “difficult.”

The phrase “emotional intelligence” really struck me. It reminded me of this very old post I wrote, and in particular something Rev. Uchiyama said in the book Opening the Hand of Thought:

Today most people who are called adults are only pseudo-adults. Physically, they grow and become adult, but spiritually too many people never mature to adulthood. They don’t behave as adults in their lives. A bodhisattva [菩薩, 보살] is one who sees the world through adult eyes and whose actions are the actions of a true adult. (pg. 127)

Indeed, I feel that this “emotional intelligence”, or “spiritual maturity” is essential for our lives. In this recent post, I was trying to say the same thing, but couldn’t find the right words. The above comment from Glassdoor explains it better: people can spend their entire lives mastering a particular skill, or make a lot of money, or become famous, and still lack emotional intelligence. In fact, I bet a lot of famous celebrities, politicians, etc. lack emotional intellegence because they had other priorities.

So, I think Buddhism is a way to develop more emotional intelligence, more spiritual maturity. I think it is an effective way to become more human, not just physically.


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

2 thoughts on “Why We Need More Emotional Intelligence”

  1. Interesting story about Emotional Intelligence.
    First encountered the idea in my MBA program – it was a large part of at least a few courses. My dad had also done the same MBA program and was really impressed by the concept of Emotional Intelligence, so he recommended studying up on it. The guy that wrote the book on EI was Daniel Goleman (he has a wiki page). After doing some research, I found out that Goleman’s a bit of a closeted Buddhist. He may not hide it intentionally, but he definitely doesn’t play it up very much in his academic work – though he did do an interview with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche for the New York Times and wrote a book with the Dalai Lama. A lot of Goleman’s EI stuff is directly or indirectly gleamed from Buddhist teachings. In retrospect, it’s almost kind of funny that my dad (the most hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool Catholic I know) was recommending that I study Buddhist teachings; especially considering that if he really ever found out I was Buddhist, he’d probably disown me. hehe


    1. Ha ha, yeah I guess for some people Buddhist teachings are safe and innocuous as long as they don’t replace their own religious beliefs. But Buddhism as a religion is another story.


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