25 Daniel Goleman Quotes About Our Emotional Success

These Daniel Goleman quotes will better help you grasp the concept of emotional intelligence.

Daniel Goleman is a psychologist, author, and science journalist.

Both of his parents were professors, and his uncle was a nuclear physicist.

He was exposed to a lot of intelligent people while he grew up in Stockton, California.

He studied in India as part of a pre-doctoral fellowship from Harvard, and a post doctoral grant from the Social Science Research Council.

He spent his time in India learning from spiritual leaders.

His first book was about his time there.

He is most known for his international best-seller, Emotional Intelligence.

He followed up that book with Working With Emotional Intelligence.

These Daniel Goleman quotes will help you better understand how this concept impacts your well-being, career, and relationships.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Check out more inspirational quotes on our motivational quotes category page.

David Goleman quotes about emotions

1. “A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain.” – Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman Quotes about empathy

Everyday Application: Before you can ever begin to understand another person’s feelings or pain, you have to be aware of them. Pay attention to the people around you, listen to what they say, and watch their body language. Someone might not always voice what is going on with them, and you might have to notice on your own that something is wrong.

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2. “The emotional brain responds to an event more quickly than the thinking brain.” – Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman Quotes about the emotional brain

Everyday Application: What part of the brain is responsible for emotional intelligence? There are several components of the brain that are linked to emotional intelligence. These areas include the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, frontal cortex, the amygdala, and the nucleus accumbens. 

3. “The social brain is in its natural habitat when we’re talking with someone face-to-face in real time.” – Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman Quotes about the social brain

4. “If you are doing mindfulness meditation, you are doing it with your ability to attend to the moment.” – Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman Quotes about mindfulness

5. “One way to boost our willpower and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: Learning to manage your distractions is key to our growth and success. It can be easy to get distracted because distractions trigger parts of brain that react quicker than those parts required to pay attention. Common distractions include the TV, your phone, and other people. Check out this article for tips on managing your distractions.

Daniel Goleman Quotes about willpower

Everyday Application: Let’s face it…there are distractions everywhere. Sometimes, we need a little distraction to take a break and regroup. Other times, however, we use them to hide and create excuses. Managing them helps you know which you are doing and adjust in a way that helps you reach your goals.

6. “Empathy and social skills are social intelligence, the interpersonal part of emotional intelligence. That’s why they look alike.” – Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman Quotes about social skills

Everyday Application: Understanding empathy, social skills, and emotional intelligence can make a large impact on your life. These skills will help you have better relationships, improve relationships, and even your own well-being. Learn more about emotional intelligence and why it matters.

7. “In a high-IQ job pool, soft skills like discipline, drive and empathy mark those who emerge as outstanding.” – Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman Quotes about soft skills

8. “True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: There is a difference between empathy and compassion. The key difference is the desire to help. Check out this article for more about compassion and empathy, and how you can improve these skills.

Daniel Goleman Quotes about compassion

9. “Mindful meditation has been discovered to foster the ability to inhibit those very quick emotional impulses.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: Meditation helps you stay self-aware and in the moment. In one study, author Jason Moser, noted that “after 20 minutes of meditation, people’s emotional brain activity was significantly reduced. Check out this article for helpful meditation tips.

Daniel Goleman Quotes about meditation

10. “There is zero correlation between IQ and emotional empathy… They’re controlled by different parts of the brain.” – Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman Quotes about iq

Daniel Goleman quotes about IQ, meditation, and medication

11. “The other thing is that if you rely solely on medication to manage depression or anxiety, for example, you have done nothing to train the mind, so that when you come off the medication, you are just as vulnerable to a relapse as though you had never taken the medication.” – Daniel Goleman

12. “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” – Daniel Goleman

13. “When I say manage emotions, I only mean the really distressing, incapacitating emotions. Feeling emotions is what makes life rich. You need your passions.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: Emotions and feelings are what make us human. We have a full spectrum of emotions and they aren’t all pleasant. However, they do all serve a purpose. Managing emotions like anger and jealousy and using them as a motivational tool is a great way to change your mindset.

14. “Teachers need to be comfortable talking about feelings. This is part of teaching emotional literacy – a set of skills we can all develop, including the ability to read, understand, and respond appropriately to one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: Teachers and children should be comfortable talking about feelings. Kids have big feelings and it seems like it would be next to impossible to teach them effectively, if teachers were unable to help kids learn to regulate their feelings. Check out this article about keeping your kids in a healthy state of mind.

15. “But once you are in that field, emotional intelligence emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job.” – Daniel Goleman

16. “As a freshman in college, I was having a lot of trouble adjusting. I took a meditation class to handle anxiety. It really helped. Then as a grad student at Harvard, I was awarded a pre-doctoral traveling fellowship to India, where my focus was on the ancient systems of psychology and meditation practices of Asia.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: Meditation is a great way to add balance to your life and improve your overall well-being. Meditation addresses stress by bringing yourself back to the moment with the intent of concentrating on yourself. Meditation will help you live in the moment and enjoy life.

17. “A little girl who finds a puzzle frustrating might ask her busy mother (or teacher) for help. The child gets one message if her mother expresses clear pleasure at the request and quite another if mommy responds with a curt ‘Don’t bother me – I’ve got important work to do.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: How we respond to other’s is about ourselves not about them. If you are annoyed with someone because you are busy, ask yourself what is the root problem? Did you not manage your time appropriately? Did you say yes to completing a task when you should have said no? Now, with children, there will be times when they want something and you are in the middle of something, but think about your response first before brushing them aside! 

18. “Smartphones and social media expand our universe. We can connect with others or collect information easier and faster than ever.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: Technology has had many impacts on our lives. Yes, we have been able to reconnect with people who live far away, or that we didn’t keep in touch with. It has changed the way we live, work, and learn. Social media has some downsides too though. Check out this article.

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19. “Emotional ‘literacy’ implies an expanded responsibility for schools in helping to socialize children. This daunting task requires two major changes: that teachers go beyond their traditional mission and that people in the community become more involved with schools as both active participants in children’s learning and as individual mentors.” – Daniel Goleman

20. “People tend to become more emotionally intelligent as they age and mature.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: As we get older, we tend to really take stock about what is working in our life and what is not. This increase in self-awareness, coupled with more experiences, meeting new people, and being open to new perspectives helps us learn to be more emotionally intelligent.

Thought-provoking Daniel Goleman quotes about emotional intelligence

21. “Emotions are contagious. We’ve all known it experientially. You know after you have a really fun coffee with a friend, you feel good. When you have a rude clerk in a store, you walk away feeling bad.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: Treat others how you want to be treated. Smile at strangers when you walk by them. Speak kindly to coworkers and other people you interact with. Sure, you are not going to be in a good mood all the time. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be rude, mean, or short with other people. Be that person who spreads good vibes in the world!

22. “Whenever we feel stressed out, that’s a signal that our brain is pumping out stress hormones. If sustained over months and years, those hormones can ruin our health and make us a nervous wreck.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: The stress hormones are comprised of many different hormones, but the primary ones are cortisol, catecholamines, vasopressin, and the growth hormone. When you are in a constant state of stress these hormones increase blood pressure and blood sugar. They also lower the effectiveness of your immune system. Check out this article for more on the impact of stress.

23. “Every morning, I go off to a small studio behind my house to write. I try to ignore all email and phone calls until lunchtime. Then I launch into the sometimes frantic busy-ness of a tightly scheduled day.” – Daniel Goleman

Everyday Application: What does your morning routine look like? Do you even have one? If you don’t currently have a morning routine, you should! How that routine looks is up to you, but having one will help you be productive, happy, and focused.

24. “I think the smartest thing for people to do to manage very distressing emotions is to take a medication if it helps, but don’t do only that. You also need to train your mind.” – Daniel Goleman

25. “I would say that IQ is the strongest predictor of which field you can get into and hold a job in, whether you can be an accountant, lawyer or nurse, for example.” – Daniel Goleman

How to improve your emotional intelligence

One of the biggest ways to improve your emotional intelligence is to work on your self awareness.

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How do you react to people?

Do you need attention for doing a job well?

Are you aware of your strength and weaknesses? 

Another area to work on if you want to increase your emotional intelligence is self-regulation.

This refers to your ability to control your emotions and impulses.

Think before you react!

Motivation, empathy, and social skills are also areas that you could focus on if you want to boost your emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is all but essential for success in life.

Let us know what you think about emotional intelligence in the comment section below! 

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