Internationally known speaker and psychologist Daniel Goleman visited Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) on Saturday, April 2, for a day-long training and evening lecture. Among those in the appreciative audience was EMU President Loren Swartzendruber. In a recent interview, he named Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence among the top readings that informed his own leadership.
During the training, attended by about 125 professionals from a variety of fields, Goleman focused on the topics of both Emotional Intelligence and his recent bestseller, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. The former title spent 18 months on the New York Times best-seller list and was named one of the 25 “Most Influential Business Management Books” by TIME.
“Dr. Goleman discussed the key concepts of emotional intelligence and the reasoning behind why using our social brain helps us to succeed not only personally, but also collectively as a business, a university or in a therapeutic relationship,” said Kristy Koser, professional development coordinator for EMU’s master’s in counseling program. “Goleman shared about his work with highly respected, publicly traded companies and their application of emotional intelligence and how that informs their work as leaders and cultivates more productivity from and longevity for employees.”
The evening lecture covered concepts of leadership and drew an audience of about 100, primarily mental health and business professionals.
Goleman said he enjoyed his time among the Mennonites and gained a new understanding of what it means to be part of that group. A close friend of the Dalai Lama, Goleman also observed that Mennonites and the Dalai Lama have more in common than he thought due to their shared social ethic and pursuit of the common good for all people.
The day also included five afternoon breakout sessions facilitated by local experts, with the aim of deepening the understanding and application of emotional intelligence in a variety of contexts. Leaders included Sarah Armstrong, director of EMU’s graduate education program; Judy Mullet, psychology professor; David Glanzer and Cheree Hammond, both professors in the counseling program; and private practitioner Rowland Shank.
“This event was a great success,” Koser said, “bringing new learning opportunities to our EMU community but also to the Harrisonburg community. The feedback from attendees was very positive.”
Goleman’s weekend visit was planned and hosted by the Institute of Experiential Therapies and the MA in Counseling program. The evening event was co-sponsored by EMU’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies and several local businesses.