Dear All - My first Fireside Learning "chat" :-)


I've been preparing for a workshop on EIL - and have decided to include a bit more on "conscious leadership" (first time). You can see how I have been approaching things (and you get a better idea of my TV-viewing habits to boot) below:

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership – What can Tony Soprano “learn” ...

Becoming a more emotionally intelligent LEADER…


My questions are:


1. How relevant is this to EQ in learning and education?

2. Has the notion of conscious leadership impacted how you "do business" as a learning leader?



Tags: EQ, Leadership

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Here's another take on the topic of emotional intelligence from Miriam Greenspan, author of Healing Through the Dark Emotions, the Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and D....:

"... our emotional illiteracy as a species has less to do with our inability to subdue negative emotions than it does with our inability to authentically and mindfully feel them. What looks like a problem with emotional control actually has its source in a widespread ignorance about how to tolerate painful emotional energies for emotional, spiritual, and social transformation. And while emotional control certainly has its uses, it is transformation that our anguished world so urgently calls for."

She credits Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, with "putting the subject of emotions at the forefront of our national awareness."  However, she believes (and I agree with her) that we need to go beyond managing emotion and beyond the capacities of the rational mind to embrace the hidden wisdom in all emotions.  This means learning to actually be with our emotions without acting them out but also without (at least initially) analyzing them (and ourselves) and trying to figure them out.  It is indeed a skill that requires some development.  

Another quote from her book: "In my opinion there are no negative emotions, just unskillful ways of coping with emotions we can't bear. While generally devalued in our culture, the dark emotions have a wisdom that is essential to the work of healing and transformation on both individual and collective levels."

Thanks so much for posting this discussion, Tony, and thanks for jumping right in. 

Thanks, Anna! I've been intrigued by Greenspan's title, Healing through the Dark Emotions - so I'm thrilled to see you mention her here (I take it there's some kind of Jungian connection in her thinking). Any further comments would be interesting, to me at least.

Thx Anna...Thx Ian.


I do not know Greenspan's work – will need to check it out. Like Ian – I was a little intrigued about the title. But, what you say is exactly the reason I wanted to look at “consciousness” – helping others explore themselves (rather than "quick-fix" recipes to make us all more emotionally-intelligent over night) :-)


The thing for me is that EQ has been done to death (and very pooly) in our schools (for children). I loved what Robert Sternberg (from Yale) said – “The positive side of the movement is that it helps broaden our concept of intelligence…The negative side of the movement is that it is often crass, profit-driven and socially and scientifically irresponsible”


This is even more the case when we look at many of the so-called “EQ trainers” – and perhaps the ones we bring in for “educational leaders”.  We have to see that the “magic bullet” model of learning/training just does not cut it in the area of EIL.


Skip - the phrase "moral engagement" hit home! Harder than you will know - so true :-) This is what we need more of...this is (should be) the focus of teacher (& educational leader) learning. I think the "school ecologies" that many of us are forced to work in cause us to forget what you say - learning is life!




We need to learn how to recognize and process our emotions in a way that enhances both healing and learning.


In Education, we learn good and valuable things, but we typically learn them well in advance of the occasion in life when we need to apply what we've learned.


In Therapy, we also learn good and valuable things, but we learn them after some difficult or traumatic episode for which we were not adequately prepared.


Our emotions are powerful clues that focus our attention on what we are most primed to learn at any given juncture in our lifelong learning curves.


In the 21st Century, we will need to pay more attention to custom tailoring education to what children, adolescents, and adults are most primed to learn each and every day of their lives.

Hi Barry - thx for this and sorry for the delay (was away for a few days) :-)


I totally agree - "just-in-case" learning is a great deal more common than the "just-in-time" variety in our schools and universities (despite it being the basis for most "real learning" c.f. school learning).


Are you familiar with the work of Guy Claxton?


Think you'd like him :-)


Take care,







Hi Tony.  I had not seen the material from Guy Claxton before now.  It looks like he has the narrative version of my technical model of the learning process.
Barry - ahh, knew I was right. Lots of similarities there.


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