Improving emotional intelligence–often shortened to E.I.–has lately been at the forefront of many people’s minds. At its core, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand others and their emotions, as well as being able to properly react to others’ behavior in an effective manner. Doing so can make us both happier–and more successful–in business and in life.
Watch these 5 awesome TED Talks that will immediately alter the way you perceive the actions of others–and see how your emotional intelligence changes as well.
1. Daniel Goleman–“Why Aren’t We All Good Samaritans?
Daniel Goleman is an award-winning psychologist and the author of Emotional Intelligence, in addition to various other publications on E.I. In this touching, inspiring talk, Goleman challenges the way we traditionally view intelligence as a measure of success, forcing us to ask ourselves why we are not simply more compassionate in our everyday lives.
2. Uri Hasson–“This Is Your Brain on Communication”
In this informational, science-driven talk, neurologist Uri Hasson describes his research on human communication. Hasson tells the audience that, regardless of coming from different cultures or languages, the same part of our brains is activated when we hear the same story. This unique neural trait allows us to form human connection in spite of our differences–an invaluable asset in improving E.I.
3. Eric Liu–“Why Ordinary People Need to Understand Power”
In this powerful talk, civics educator and Citizen University founder Eric Liu explains the importance of being literate in power. Liu stresses that understanding why power works the way it does–or how it is that some people possess more than others–allows us to wield it effectively.
4. Helen Fischer–“Why We Love, Why We Cheat”
In her moving talk, anthropologist Helen Fisher navigates the tricky topic of love by explaining why we feel it, its biochemical mechanisms, and its social importance. Understanding such a fundamental part of human existence is definitely a key to achieving higher emotional intelligence.
5. Ron Gutman–“The Hidden Power of Smiling”
Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap, explains in his funny, inspiring talk how the simple act of smiling affects us so profoundly. By learning the way the smile works, we will better understand our own use of the powerful tool–and maybe even smile more at others every single day.