15 Enlightening TED Talks on Emotional Intelligence

15 Enlightening TED Talks on Emotional Intelligence

Some of the most enlightening TED Talks on Emotional Intelligence

Ever since their launch in 1984, TED Talks have offered the world with inspirational, informational and influential speeches.

These talks have been given by people from different walks of life on subjects ranging from education and business to creativity and culture.

Emotional Intelligence is one of the many topics that have been talked about and it goes to show how crucial it is in this day and age for leaders of all backgrounds to master this trait.

“As more and more artificial intelligence is entering into the world, more and more emotional intelligence must enter into leadership.” Amit Ray 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people. 

Emotional intelligence is generally said to include at least three skills:

  1. emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions;
  2. the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving;
  3. and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.   

Related: Painful emotions can be hard to understand and handle. It comes to the point where it feels like it’s a part of us and it desperately needs an outlet. Here is How to Release Painful Emotions Trapped in Your Body.

Here are 15 Enlightening TED Talks on Emotional Intelligence: 


TED Talk 1. Connection Through Compassion | Daniel Goleman

Author of the book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman talks on the topic of compassion on his 2007 Ted Talk. He mentions the spectrum from self-absorption to compassionate altruism that exists and is exhibited in one’s behavior. 

His message on how an empathetic response to others and how it changes their reaction in them is indeed very eye-opening. He came to understand through his ‘awakening’ into ‘the human moment’ that people are so caught up in this ‘urban trance’ of all the hustle and bustle of modern life that it has left everyone with less compassion and consideration for one another. He states that there is no correlation between IQ and emotional empathy. 

Dr. Goleman reminds us that compassionate decisions can be made on a daily basis. He emphasizes the need for compassionate decisions and the positive changes it is capable of making in our world. Compassion is a strong factor of emotional intelligence we can apply  in order to lead and understand people because when compassion leads, change is made. 



TED Talk 2. The Art of Managing Emotions | Daniel Goleman

In this TED Talk, Daniel Goleman speaks on how we can build emotional intelligence in a workplace environment. He mentions the need for leaders to use strategies to enable a state of flow among co-workers in order to enhance the productivity within the workplace. The role of a leader in taking responsibility in the emotional landscape of a company and the intentional use of mirror neurons from the social brain is explained in his speech. 

The following points state the ways through which leaders can support their workers to reach a state of flow: 

  • Setting clear goals and having flexibility in their attainment. 
  • Giving immediate feedback on how progress toward the set goals are made. 
  • Challenging and growing skill-sets in workers. 
  • Matching workers’ ability with required tasks, to improve engagement. 

Learn more about Daniel Goleman and his studies on emotional intelligence on his official website.

TED Talk 3. You Aren’t at the Mercy of Your Emotions – Your Brain Creates Them | Lisa Feldman Barett

This talk by Lisa Feldman Barrett is based on a neuroscience research conducted by her and her colleagues. Great insight into the architecture of the experience of human emotions was given to the neuro-scientists and psychologists by the meta-analysis of emotions research (Lindquist et al. 2012). 

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Allen Ellison

I am becoming more skillful… Read more »

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