Marc Brackett: “Emotional Intelligence as a Superpower” | Talks at Google

Marc Brackett: “Emotional Intelligence as a Superpower” | Talks at Google

I guess my job is to ask you how you’re feeling? You think I’m kidding. I have to just say,
before I start, that I did not create the
title for my presentation. I have to put the onus
there on Danielle. I would probably get fired
for this presentation title. Just kidding. So I want to start
off with a quote. Can I ask everyone
to get some, maybe, good posture in your seats. Some of your like– take a nice inhale, maybe. Just get settled and
just think about how this quote resonates with you. And I’ll just read it. “No one cares how much
you know until they know how much you care.” What do we think? Does it resonate
with you at all? Are you thinking, well,
I’m pretty smart, right? My students at Yale
say that a lot. Like, what do you mean, nobody
cares how much you know. I know everything. I’m, like, well, maybe
about some things. Probably not about how
to interact very well. And my work is
primarily in education. So I work with school
systems to help bring the principles of
emotional intelligence into what I call the immune
system of the way the school operates, from how leaders
lead, to how teachers teach, to how students learn,
to how parents parent. And what I’ve learned
over the years is that this quote
really is the truth for the way education works. As a 47-year-old
psychologist professor, I went back to the
middle school that I attended about five years
ago, after 33 years ago, of bullying. I was a pretty
horrifically bullied kid. And when I went
back to my school, I had no memories of
anything I learned. I had no memories of
even many of my peers. I couldn’t remember
any teacher’s name, but I remember how I felt
walking in that hallway, like the terror and the fear. And I remember thinking,
why didn’t anybody ever ask me how I felt? Why didn’t anyone ever
attend to my feelings? Hence, now I spend
my whole life running around the world
getting everybody to talk about their feelings. So one tool that we developed
to help people become aware of feelings, just
at the basic level, is call the mood meter. So I’m going to teach you a
little bit about this right now. All of you got some
email or whatever notice you got here at
Google about a presentation on emotional intelligence. And you’re here now,
which is wonderful. So my question for you is how
are you feeling right now. Not about life. Minus 5 would be you’re having
thoughts, something like, really? I have to listen to this
guy for a whole hour? Like, that’s what
we do now at Google, we have people come
talk about feelings? Maybe you’re there. Maybe you’re at minus
3 in pleasantness. You’re having thoughts or
something like, you know, whatever. Maybe you’re neutral. I live in Connecticut now. I feel like that’s the state
of our entire state, right? We’re like the neutral
state, not a lot of emotion. Maybe you’re a plus 3. You’re thinking to
yourself, my goodness, I get to sit in
a room with a guy from Connecticut who’s going
to talk about feelings. Or maybe you’re a plus five,
like there are no words in the English
language dictionary right to describe the feeling
you’re having right now. So please give yourself a
number from minus 5 to plus five in terms of your current
level of pleasantness. On the y-axis is energy. So energy has to do, literally,
with how much activation you have going on. Plus five, you’re so
activated, you just can’t contain yourself. Minus 5 is you’re in your
deepest pool of despair. Minus 5, you feel like you’re
being pulled into the ground, plus five is you are
just so highly energized, you can’t contain your body. Where is your energy right now? Obviously, we create our mood
meter from these two axes. So we got yellow,
red, blue, and green. Let me just see where you are. How many of you are feeling
yellow right now, high energy and pleasant? OK. Impressive. How many of you are green? You’re pleasant, but your
energy is kind of low? How many of you were in
the blue or red today? The three people
sitting in the back row. At least you got good
distance from me. That’s good. Now the question is are we being
authentic and honest right now? Is it true that 85% to 90% of
the room is actually feeling, quote unquote, yellow and green. Highly doubtful. I mean maybe life
here is that amazing. I live in Connecticut. The East Coast is not known for
it’s yellow and green feelings. What I want you to do right
now is take about three seconds and convert your
quadrant to a word. Take three seconds please. What is the word that best
describes your current feeling? All right. Freeze. Give me an honest
raise of hands. How many of you had some trouble
finding the precise word? Hands up high, like really high. Please look around
the room everybody. So it’s interesting. I mean, at least it is to me. Here we are, a room filled
with highly educated people who are emotionally illiterate. Now– you’re, like, I don’t
like this guy already. I’m gong to ask you for–
take a second– what are your hypotheses around that? What do you think? Why would it be? I mean, truthfully, you’re
all highly educated people. Why would you not be
able to find a word to describe how you’re feeling? Yes? AUDIENCE: Because many feelings
are happening at the same time. MARC BRACKETT: Like how many? AUDIENCE: Like, 14. MARC BRACKETT: Wow. OK. Well, we have
treatment for that. All right. You’re right though, you may be
feeling more than one emotion. 14 is a lot. But, I’ll– Yeah? AUDIENCE: Overachiever. AUDIENCE: I think that the way
that our success is structured, rewards us for divorcing
intelligence and strategy from our emotions. MARC BRACKETT: OK. So we’re in a society that just
says put the feelings aside. So maybe you haven’t developed
your vocabulary for it because you haven’t
attended to it. Any other hypotheses? Yeah? AUDIENCE: It’s a
natural resistance to collapsing the complexity
of your internal state into a key word or color. MARC BRACKETT: Uh-huh. So there’s this–
repeat that, please. [LAUGHTER] AUDIENCE: I said there’s
a natural resistance to collapsing the complexities
of your internal state to words and colors. MARC BRACKETT: All right. So maybe it’s like
we’re just way too dynamic to put ourselves
into one quadrant or one feeling word. Great point. Yeah? Last one. AUDIENCE: I think it’s
also very difficult to have one feeling at any given time. MARC BRACKETT: Yeah. AUDIENCE: You might
think of one word, and you’re, like,
actually and also this. MARC BRACKETT: So may be around
where you’re focus is, right? If I ask you how are
you feeling in life, that’s a very big question. If I ask you how are you
feeling about attending a talk on emotional
intelligence, it might help you be more
precise, potentially. Now, all right. All of you are here for an hour. That’s the time of
the presentation. How many of you will have
some trouble staying focused for a whole hour? Raise your hand. OK. Wonderful. Great. I have a room filled with
Attention Deficit Disorder. Just what I hoped for in life. So I’m going to give
you an ideal spot to be. I would like you to be
around plus 1, plus 1 for my presentation. I’m going to set an
emotion goal for you. I’m going to call that
the spot of joyful effort. And what I’d like
you to do is think about where you are in
reference to that point, and what strategy might best
serve you to kind of stay there for the next 45 minutes. What strategy will
best serve you? Who feels they have
an effective strategy? No one. I’ll be back. Yeah? AUDIENCE: Just being relaxed. MARC BRACKETT:
Just being relaxed. AUDIENCE: Challenging things
that the speaker says. MARC BRACKETT: That’s great. That’s great. I want the critical
person in the room. I don’t like what he just said. I’m going to argue that one. Yeah? AUDIENCE: If you can see how
it helps your lot in life, you would become interested,
and you would stay. MARC BRACKETT: So make
it relevant to your life. AUDIENCE: I was going to
say the opposite of his, and just being
receptive [INAUDIBLE].. MARC BRACKETT: Thank you. Thank you. AUDIENCE: Take it outside. AUDIENCE: Yeah. MARC BRACKETT: All right. So one is going to
be more critical. You’re going to be open. You’re going to be relaxed. You are going to make it
relevant to your life. AUDIENCE: Focus. MARC BRACKETT: You’re
going to just focus. AUDIENCE: Yes. Keeping it. MARC BRACKETT: Yes, sir? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]
to be present, to actually be in the room. MARC BRACKETT: Just be in
the room and be present. All right. So let’s take this
into the real world. Because this is definitely
not the real world. And let’s imagine now
I am– what I do a lot. I go into a middle
school here in Palo Alto. And I walk in and say,
good morning, everybody. My name is Marc. I’m going to be
your teacher today. And I know your teacher
left me the script. We’re going to be doing
the Roman oligarchy today. OK. So what I want you to do. I know that my goal
is for you to be in that kind of low yellow. And here’s– I’m going to just
offer you some strategies. Just chill. Just relax and be here. OK. I need you to make this
relevant to your life. If that doesn’t
work, just be open. And what I really want you
to do is just focus, right? There is no past. We know the future
is like whatever. So just be here with me now. Be here in the present moment. All right? Ready to go? What do you think? How effective are
those strategies? So I want you to just take
a moment and think about it. Will those strategies work? How many of you have ever
asked someone to calm down? All right. And how many of you in the
history of asking someone to calm down have found
that it really works? Right? Like with your partner,
honey, I love you. But like, I just need
you to calm down. All right? AUDIENCE: If I want to make
someone mad, that’s what I say. MARC BRACKETT: See. There you go. So telling someone to
strategize is complex. Anything else that you see
wrong with those strategies or potentially right? Yeah? AUDIENCE: Well, You’re putting
the onus of us being attentive on us, and not on both of us. MARC BRACKETT: Oh. Good point. You actually bring up
a really good point, which is that emotions
are not necessarily always self-regulated, right,
that we are in relationship, and they are co-regulated. Think about that, right? Whether it’s a device that
you’re in the room with or whether it’s a human
being, right, you’re in a co-regulation process. Because how I present
the facial expressions, body language, vocal tones. The way I present myself will
influence and be contagious, in many ways, to your feelings,
which will then, in turn, come back to me. So we’re in this dynamic
reciprocal relationship right now, whether we’re
conscious of it or not. So as your “teacher”
right now, I am influencing how
you’re feeling, which is a form
of self-regulation or co-regulation. Other points? AUDIENCE: Maybe [INAUDIBLE]
that kind of thing. MARC BRACKETT: Yeah. So you’re getting at
the specificity, right? You can’t just say be present
or be focused or be calm. What do you do to be calm? What do you do to be present? Everyone here just
said that they’re going to have attention problems. So what is the actual
mental strategy that you’re engaging in
to manage the feeling or to create the feeling? All right. Everyone sit up straight in
the seats for a moment please. Take a nice long inhale
and a nice exhale. And if you’re comfortable,
close your eyes. If not, not a problem. It’s 5:00 o’clock
in the morning. You’re probably way asleep. It’s 6:00, maybe, or 7:00
o’clock in the morning, you wake up. How do you feel? This is internal talk right now. As you wake up each morning,
typical day, how do you feel? It’s breakfast time. Are you eating
breakfast at home, or are you waiting
to get to work? Are you have a good cup of
coffee, a bad cup of coffee? How do you feel when you
do your morning routine? All right. You’re on your way to work. Traffic, no traffic,
public transportation? How do you feel? What are you doing
on your way to work? Texting, like you shouldn’t
be, phone calls, radio? All right. You arrive at work, you walk
around, how do you feel? Meeting one, meeting two,
meeting three, meeting four, meeting five, meeting six,
meeting seven, meeting eight, meeting nine, meeting ten– take yourself through
those meetings. Emails, no emails, phone calls,
no phone calls, texts, no text, how do you feel? Lunch time– healthy,
unhealthy, relaxed, stressful, are you chewing, or are
you just swallowing? How do you feel at lunch? Who are you with? Are you alone or with others? Is it enjoyable? Are you under pressure? OK. It’s after lunch. More meetings, more emails,
more meetings, more emails, distractions– how are you
feeling in the afternoon? All right. You’re leaving work. What time is it, and
where are you going? Exercise, no exercise,
oh, no time for exercise. Kids, no kids, partner, no
partner, family, no family– what’s the afternoon like,
and how are you feeling? How do you get home? Who’s there? Are you alone or
with other people? What’s your evening
like a watching “America’s Got Talent” or not? Reading, not reading–
what’s your evening like? And how are you
feeling most evenings? All right. It’s time to go to bed. What’s your evening
routine like? What are you thinking about
as you put yourself to sleep? Raise your hand if you think
you had a couple hundred emotions throughout the day. You should all raise your
hand because you probably had a couple of thousand. We tend to experience around
three to five emotions in a minute in some instances. How many of you saw us– I won’t ask you to
raise your hands, but if I were to ask you to
plot yourself back on that mood meter, do you see yourself kind
of living in one quadrant more throughout the day? Do you see yourself going
throughout different quadrants like yellow in the morning,
and blue at the meeting, and the red here, and then
green here, then yellow here? So I’ve been really
interested, as a researcher, as to what is the emotional
life of our nation? And I’ve done
three large studies over the last couple of years. The first one was a study
with 45,000 high school students across the nation. And this was in collaboration
with the pop singer Lady Gaga and her foundation,
Born This Way Foundation. And what we did with funding
from the Robert Johnson Foundation, we went
across the states, and we looked at the state
of emotional affairs. So I asked you to think
about your feelings first. Now let’s think about
our nation’s youth. Top three feelings that
you believe our nation’s high school, as public, private,
and charter are feeling, what do you think? AUDIENCE: Confused. MARC BRACKETT: Confused. AUDIENCE: Fear. AUDIENCE: Stressed. MARC BRACKETT: Stressed. Fear. Insecure. AUDIENCE: Depressed. MARC BRACKETT: Depressed. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT: If I were
to ask you to think about– Thank you. Look. We’ve got one
optimist in the room. If you were to take
the whole pie of 100%, what percent are positive
emotions, what percent or negative emotions? What do you think? AUDIENCE: Like one third
positive, two thirds, negative. MARC BRACKETT: Two
thirds negative? AUDIENCE: Yeah. MARC BRACKETT: All right. Well, here are the results. 75% were negative. Top three feelings were
tired, bored, and stressed. And we went a little deeper. And what we did was we
looked at, all right, what percentage of the time are
these kids experiencing these emotions? We found that they say they’re
stressed 80% of the time. Stressed 80% of the time,
bored 70% of the time. So I want you to think
about what’s happening. If you want to think about
innovation and creativity, right, what happens if you’re
in an environment where you’re feeling tired,
bored, and stressed, tired, bored, and stressed,
tired, bored, and stressed? Now as a professor at a
pretty prestigious place, I was curious, what’s the
state of emotional affairs of the brightest
crayons in the box? So I did a study last
year with undergrads. And here is the state
of affairs at Yale. Looks a little
similar, doesn’t it? Stress, number one, overwhelmed,
anxious, frustrated– there’s some excitement,
which is good. But about 70% of the emotions
they’re experiencing– and then I went– I said, I’m really
interested in teachers, which is my primary area. I said what is the state of
affairs of America’s educators? Frustrated, stressed,
overwhelmed, some happiness and joyful. But if you look at all the
little words, most of them are not the most pleasant words. And then with funding
from another foundation, I decided to look
at 25,000 people across the entire workforce. And here’s what people across
the United States feel at work. Stress is the
number one feeling. Some of the ones too– a little
bit of motivation, busy, tired, engaged. And what we know
from our work, right, is that there’s the good
stress and the bad stress. I actually like to hire people
who experience some stress. I like people who have
slight anxiety problems. They get stuff done. That’s good stress. Unfortunately, when we do
the more detailed analysis of what’s happening,
we find that it’s most of the bad stress
that people are feeling– the stress that makes them
not want to go to work, the stress that makes them
not really be present at work, the stress that makes
them feel physically sick. Now for most of my career,
I’ve been fighting people in terms of caring
about emotions. Just for my own curiosity,
for people here at Google, how many of you believe that
these feelings that you just saw– from tired, bored, and stressed,
to stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious, to frustrated,
stressed, and overwhelmed, to stressed– matter, and matter for important
things about a person’s life? So what I’ve learned
in my research is that emotions matter
for five big reasons. The first is attention,
memory, and learning. So how you’re feeling right
now in my presentation is driving your presence,
your focus, your engagement, your critical analysis. If you’re bored, you’re
already somewhere else. You’re already working
on your project. If you’re frustrated, you’re
back there thinking, oh my god, what am I going to do? If you’re stressed,
you’re thinking how do I get out of here? So I think back now,
33 years ago when I was in middle
school being bullied, and why I have no memory
of anything that I learned, it was because, why? Because my brain was
preoccupied with survival. My brain was preoccupied
with friendships, the need for friendships. So why would I want
to be in a classroom or why would I even care
about learning about the Roman oligarchy when I’m
afraid to walk home or when I’m not having
positive relationships. The second is decision-making– I’m just curious. Have any of you ever
made a bad decision? Anyone like to just
share publicly right now, to just let it out? So we know that how
we feel shifts the way we make choices and decisions. I’ll give you one example. So in my work with schools,
I did a random experiment where I took educators– let’s imagine you’re
all teachers– and I just randomly
assigned you. Think about a day
that was great. Think about a day
that was shitty. Great day, shitty day,
great day, shitty day– spend five minutes
just writing about it. And then immediately
thereafter, I gave every single
educator in that study the same essay to read. Does anyone think
there were differences in the grades they assigned? There was a 1 to 2
full grade difference in the way the teachers
graded these students. Just 5 minute little essay
of writing assignment about good day bad day, and
then they graded the paper. And they were 1 to 2 full
grade, on average, difference. I kind of knew it was going
to happen because I know how emotions influence thinking. I think what
interested me most was at the end of the
study I said, do you believe that how you
felt influenced the way you evaluated the essay? What percentage of the educators
do you said, yeah, of course. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT: Right. About 90% denied it. They said there’s no
way that how I felt would have influenced the
way I evaluated that essay. And I think what that
tells us is a lot. I think the primary thing
is that our emotions are influencing, and
biasing the way we’re seeing the world and the
choices we’re making. But it’s happening outside
of our conscious awareness. The third is
relationship quality. Just curious, does anyone
here have a colleague– do not look to your
left or your right– or a relative who displays
a lot of negative emotion? Someone who maybe walks
around like this– [LAUGHTER] Does anybody know
someone like that? Or they’re very disagreeable– I don’t like that idea. Why do you want it that way? Where I work, I get
things like this. Professor Brackett,
I’ve got a question. I’m not really sure
you know the answer. OK. Not a problem. Not a problem. Can’t wait to grade
your fricking paper. So we know that
emotions are signals. And they tell us to
approach our to avoid. So when we think
about people and we think about products,
how they make us feel makes us want to move
toward them or against. Does that resonate
with everyone? And that’s a basic
thing around survival. Right? We don’t approach
the angry expression because we’ve got to
protect ourselves from it. We don’t want to approach people
who make us feel bored, right? Because we know
we’re just not going to want to be in a
relationship with them. People who display
more positive emotions or who are more gentle
in their expressions, right, they’re saying,
I’m here for you. Right? If I walk around like
this during my talk, immediately you’re
thinking, oh guy, this guy is not approachable. You’ve got power issues. You’ve got control issues. The fourth is physical
and mental health. So it’s interesting. I was in a meeting last
week, two weeks ago now, with a group of the
counselors from universities around the state of Connecticut. And what the research now shows
is that for the last five years there has been a 20% increase
in psychiatric hospitalizations for undergraduates. So it’s gone up 20% a year
for the last five years. What the research,
my own, shows is that, if we took the
indicators of stress for adolescents and
teenagers in our nation, they are greater than the
stress levels of the adults who are raising them. So you can imagine what’s
going on in our nation right now when everyone is having this
high activation emotion, right? Cortisol being released,
confusion happening, inability to concentrate,
lots of other things– The final piece
is on creativity. Now Google is not really
known for that, right? How many of you believe that
creativity is important? Good. That’s good news. One thing interesting
that we have found is that, in our studies
of young adults, that how they feel and their
emotion skills is highly correlated with
their ability to be creative. What we know from research
is that cognitive ability correlates with creativity, but
only up to an average IQ level. So most people think
that creativity is a cognitive process, right? That, the higher your IQ is,
the more creative you are. What happens with cognitive
ability is that it does this. So the question is,
what’s explaining the rest of the variance in creativity? And what we’re finding is that
it has to be emotion skills. And hypotheses of why
that might be the case? Why would emotion
skills be responsible for the creative
process and product? AUDIENCE: You have to be
relaxed to be creative. MARC BRACKETT: Great point. So if you’re under
pressure, pressure, pressure all the time, and
you’re default network is never able to be activated,
how can you be creative? What else? AUDIENCE: Awareness of how
the thing that you’re creating is affecting you? MARC BRACKETT: You and the
people who are going to buy it. So putting emotion
into the product, as well as imagining
what the feelings are of the recipient
of that product. What else? AUDIENCE: If you’re
afraid of failing, you’re probably aren’t going
to go very far with creativity. MARC BRACKETT:
That’s a great point. Now how many have you’ve heard
of this concept called grit? Yeah. So what we find
in our research is that grit is not
correlated with creativity or academic achievement,
but that the skills of emotion management are. And I think the reason
for that is that– how many of you have
actually attempted to be creative and have
failed at an attempt? Yeah. How many of you have ever
gotten negative feedback? How many have ever been
frustrated with your own design of something? How many have ever read
disappointed in your own work? So emotions are inherent
in everything we do. And some people say, well, you
just got to plow through it. But not really the case, right? The wider base our
strategies are, the more effective we’re going to be. So how do you manage
the disappointment? How do you manage
the frustration? How do you manage
being overwhelmed? How do you manage the feedback? I get feedback all the time. I was doing this presentation
in New York recently. And one guy looks at
me, he’s like, you know, I don’t like this stuff. And I was like, well,
I don’t like you. So like, not a problem. We don’t have to work together. I gave a talk recently
at my own university to the surgeons
in one department. And right after my
presentation was over, the surgeon stands up. And I’m waiting for
him to compliment me. And he’s like what
has happened to Yale? It’s like, wow. I was like, OK, keep going. And then he goes this is Yale. We’re about producing nobel
laureates not nice people. I’m, like, you’ve
got to be kidding me. And then I said, does anybody
else feel any different? Of course, it got worse. This the other guy
raises his hand. He goes, I’ve
learned in my work, sometimes you got
to be an asshole. Then people just shut up and
do what you tell them to do. And I looked over at the
Chair of this big department. I’m like, is this like a
movie being made right now? I’m like, where the hell am
I. So in life, when we’re trying to be creative, we’re
trying to do the things that we think are important,
there’s going to be a million people that
are going to get in the way. And the question is, do we have
the strategies to persevere? And do we have the strategies
to manage the difficult emotions that come up for us, as we’re
trying to create something. So that leads us
to this whole model of what do you do about it? And what I’ve learned
is that if you want to do great work,
in terms of this idea of emotional
intelligence, first, we’ve got to get
people on the bus. Do you believe that
emotions matter? And I’m not sure we’re in a
nation that believes that how people feel matters. I think that we’re a couple
of hundred years behind, unfortunately. And you see that all the time. I had this student
last semester, he was, like, so
now you’re asking me to plot myself on your
mood meter on my to do list? I’m like, yeah. Actually, if you want to
take my class, guess what? You’re going to be checking with
your feelings pretty regularly. And there’s so much
resistance to this idea of infusion of emotion, right? So step one, I
think, is mindset. What I’ve learned
also is that if you’re trying to do good
work, you really can’t just train one person. Or in schools, the
third grade teacher is going to do that
in their classroom. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s got to be infused
into the system so that it changes
the DNA in many ways. But it’s not just about the
skills, it’s about the climate. So you can put
someone with skills into a toxic environment, but
then they have no opportunity to express those skills. So in my research,
what we’re finding, is that when you simultaneously
focus on the skill building and also creating a more
healthy emotional climate, you get great outcomes. All right. So that means we’ve got to
first develop the skills. I’d like you to take a moment
and think of someone who you know is emotionally wise. Does anyone know someone
who you would say is like the personification
of emotional intelligence? What are those skills? What do you think? Just– let’s hear real quickly. What do you think are the skills
of the emotionally intelligent person? Yeah? AUDIENCE: Listening MARC BRACKETT: They’re
a good listener. All right. What else? AUDIENCE: Attentive. MARC BRACKETT: Attentive. AUDIENCE: Empathy. MARC BRACKETT: Empathy. AUDIENCE: Curious. MARC BRACKETT: Curious AUDIENCE: Calm. MARC BRACKETT: Calm. AUDIENCE: You need a lot
of personal experience too. MARC BRACKETT:
Personal experience. AUDIENCE: State controlled. MARC BRACKETT: State control. AUDIENCE: Time
before they respond. MARC BRACKETT: Time
for their response. AUDIENCE: A sense of humor MARC BRACKETT: A sense of humor. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]? MARC BRACKETT: Say it again? AUDIENCE: Equanimity. MARC BRACKETT: Equanimity. AUDIENCE: Make sure you’re
suspending judgement. MARC BRACKETT:
Suspending judgment. AUDIENCE: Not impulsive. MARC BRACKETT: Not impulsive. Anything else come up? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] they
understand themselves. MARC BRACKETT: They
understand themselves. So can we get more
granular than that? Be really– what are the
skills, the underlying abilities of the emotionally intelligent–
so to be a good listener and to be empathic, right, those
are, in many ways, outcomes. What are the underlying skills? Well, because of time. I’ll just tell you them. So we call those skills
emotional intelligence. And there are five basic skills. The first is
recognizing emotion. The second is
understanding, the third is labeling, the
fourth is expressing, the fifth as regulating. So let’s– AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT:
–jump through them. Thank you. Which is the name of my model. This guy’s good. Recognizing emotion. So we understand emotion
through identifying thoughts and feelings, through
paying attention to other people’s
facial expressions, body language, vocal tone. Now it’s interesting. Not all emotion concepts
are emotions per se. So let’s try the vocal tone one. That’s a nice one. I had a stressful time, just
so you know, getting here. I was in Mexico
doing a presentation. It was a little
frustrating getting here. I could use a little compassion. So I’d like to see if
Googlers can generate the sound of compassion. On the count of 1– 3, 2 1– AUDIENCE: Aww. MARC BRACKETT: OK. I don’t think it was
universal, just so you know. That was like four of you. All right. Let’s try it again. On the count of 1– the sound of compassion. 3, 2, 1– AUDIENCE: Aww. MARC BRACKETT: That
was pretty good, right? All right. Now let’s hear– let’s
say, you’re, like, I can’t stand this guy. I’m disgusted. On the count of 1– disgust. 3, 2, 1– [INTERPOSING VOICES] MARC BRACKETT: Now you’re,
like, oh, my goodness. This is like– I’ve never seen
anything like this. You are in awe. 3, 2, 1– [INTERPOSING VOICES] MARC BRACKETT: It’s pretty good. Now you are feeling
deep love for me. Like just the love
that, you just, there are no words for your love. On the count of 1,
the sound of love. 3, 2, 1– AUDIENCE: Ohh. [LAUGHTER] MARC BRACKETT: All right. So that was different. Why was it that you
were able to have pretty good tone for
compassion and awe and disgust, but love was a little off? AUDIENCE: They don’t
feel that often? MARC BRACKETT: They
don’t feel it that often? [LAUGHTER] MARC BRACKETT: All right. Well, we’ll work on that. Anyone else? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT:
What do you think? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT: I’m sorry? AUDIENCE: It’s a
complex emotion. MARC BRACKETT: It’s a
more complex emotion. AUDIENCE: It’s a
private emotion. MARC BRACKETT: It’s
a private emotion. So there are private and
public emotions, you think? All right. AUDIENCE: Some of the
other ones you mentioned were more instantaneous. So there’s a direct reaction
to surprise, concern, but love is not an
immediate reaction to the last thing you said. It has duration of time. MARC BRACKETT: So the question–
let’s try another one. Let’s imagine,
you’re looking at me like, I want this guy
to come live with me. You’re feeling desire like
you’ve never felt it before. On the count of 1,
the sound of desire– 3, 2, 1– [INTERPOSING VOICES] [LAUGHTER] MARC BRACKETT: All right. Well, at least it makes
me feel a little better. It’s the only way I
get it nowadays, right, I’ve got to ask for it. That was maybe too much
information, but anyway. So love maybe is more of
a feeling, not an emotion. Whereas surprise, ah,
is an automatic response to a stimulus that causes
a shift in our behavior, in our physiology,
and our cognition. Where love is more complex. It’s more of a feeling. But desire is more
like an emotion because it’s an automatic
response to a stimulus. So it helps us get this
language for emotion, right? Is it a mood? Is it a feeling? Is it emotion? And we want to recognize
all of the above. The second is
understanding emotion. Why am I having these feelings? Where are they coming from? How is what I’m feeling
influencing my thinking, my judgments, and behavior? So here’s an easy
one for all of you. I’m going to ask you to
differentiate two emotions. How many of you have
heard of the word anger and disappointment? AUDIENCE: All the time. MARC BRACKETT: Good. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT: I want
to know from you, you’ve got 30 seconds– make it 20 now– to differentiate the two. What is the actual difference,
and what makes someone feel angry as opposed
to disappointment. Who feels they’ve got it? We have one confident person. All right. I’m going to go with
you in the back. AUDIENCE: The energy. MARC BRACKETT: What
does that mean? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT: OK. So you’re talking about
the energy factor. I want to further
push that to say what’s the underlying difference
in the causal pieces of it. What makes you go to anger
versus disappointment? How about you? AUDIENCE: Disappointment
implies some acceptance. MARC BRACKETT: OK. Back there. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT: And anger? AUDIENCE: It would have to
be based on [INAUDIBLE].. MARC BRACKETT: OK. So just getting
rid of everything? I can get angry at
the drop of anything. Yes? AUDIENCE: Anger has a
physiological response. Like a flush of adrenaline
or something like that. MARC BRACKETT: All right. I’ve called on you already. How about someone over there. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT: What do we think? Let’s stop the presentation now. How many of you are walking
out of here thinking I got the difference. It’s interesting, isn’t it? These are two words that
we use all the time. But yet, when we try to
get to the granularity of understanding
their differences, it becomes more complex. So disappointment has to
do with unmet expectations. I thought it was going
to work this way. I thought I was going to get
the A. Everything was legit, though, and I just
didn’t make it. Anger tends to have a theme
of injustice or unfairness. Right? That was not fair. How could you say that? How could you do that? How many of you
believe that there are people who are feeling
disappointment, but expressing it in a way that
looks like anger. What do you think? Happens all the time. I was one of those kids. So I went to karate to
become this tough guy. As you can see, it
worked really well. And I came home– because I
failed my [INAUDIBLE] test. I was like devastated and I
was really not in a good place. I come home I look at my– I hate you. How could you make
me go to karate. I hate you. I’m never going to karate. I’m not going to
school tomorrow. Ugh. And my parents did what
they knew how to do. My mother says you can’t
talk to me that way. Go to your room. Wait till your father gets home. Great. Father gets home– I thought I told you never to
talk to your mother that way. Marc, for crying out
loud, I’ve had it. Right? Not once did anyone
say, so what happened? How are you feeling? And so I got punished
for being aggressive, but no one actually
knew how I was feeling. Now it could have been– it looked like I was angry. It could have been one
of a million stories, one I didn’t just didn’t
do well on the test. Two, is the bully
said to me, we do are you weren’t going
to pass the test. We’re going to get you tomorrow
morning on the way to school. I mean a million things could
be underneath the behavior. And what happens in our world is
that we spend way too much time judging behavior and
attributing emotions to the behavior, as opposed
to really understanding what the feeling and
emotion is, which is why we need vocabulary. We say we have to
name it to tame it. Because if I’m disappointed,
how you support me will be very different
than if I’m angry, which leads to our rules
around expressing emotion. The context– is it appropriate? Is it inappropriate? And many things influence that. Your personality influences it. Your cultural background,
your race, your gender, your own upbringing– so I have two older
brothers who are great guys. And they don’t really
know what I do. They’re 11 and 8
years older than I am. So by the time I was like 7 or
8, they were out of the house. We have close friends now. But they are convinced
that, basically, what Marc does is he makes money
by thinking in coffee shops. And I was like, I actually
have a real career, guys, I write papers. I teach. So I said come on
to hear me speak. And they came to New York
to one of my presentations. First 15 minutes
it was really cool, like my two older brothers,
they were looking– ah, that’s my brother. About 20 minutes
in, all of a sudden, I see my one brother looking
at my other brother like this. Like, really not
in a good place. And I realized afterwards
that it was at the point where I was saying
I had been bullied. It was at the point
where I was talking about my neurotic mother and
my angry father and my two brothers. And so, at end of my talk,
I went up to my brothers– I’m like, so guys– my brothers said– he
was like really pissed. He’s, like, don’t
even walk out with me. I’m like, are you serious? He’s, like, you
share way too much. You’re too vulnerable. I’m like, Dave, I’m the
director of the Center for Emotional Intelligence. If I can’t tell you
about my feelings, no one is going to tell
you about their feelings. And he went on and on. And the last thing he
said was something like– and you know what? People are going to
see you as being weak, which is fascinating to me. That, because I share
so much about being a victim of bullying, and how
I had all these challenges growing up, and my parents
were this way, that, that was going to make
people see me as weak. Right? And I remember looking at my
one brother, I’m like Dave, I don’t know. In my department, we
call that projection. I’m doing OK. Just to let you know,
I’m doing all right. But it shows me, right, that we
all have our rules, don’t we? We have rules about emotion. Do I talk about them? Do I not talk about them? Am I a hugger? Am I not a hugger? Do I give good eye contact? Do I not give eye contact? Is it cultural? Because it is cultural. There’s no doubt about
that it’s cultural. Which leads us to the last
skill of emotional intelligence, which is the big one, which
is emotion regulation. Right? What are the
strategies that I have available to me to
manage all emotions, to not just down-regulate
the negative ones, but to up-regulate the ones
that I need to achieve a goal. So for example, if you were
here, and you said well, I’m in the blue, and
I asked you to be in the yellow, what’s
your strategy for shifting into that place? That’s an
up-regulating strategy. Most people’s conceptions
of emotion regulation is that it’s regulating down. What we’re saying is that
it’s about preventing unwanted emotions, reducing
difficult emotions, initiating ones that
you want to have, maintaining emotions
that are useful to you that you’re experiencing, and
even boosting or enhancing emotions. And it’s interesting. Right now, if I’m
stressed out, let’s say I’m looking at your
facial expressions. I’m watching Danielle because
she’s like my boss here. And I’m thinking to
myself, is it going well? What do you think? I don’t know. And I’m ugh, she looked down. Oh my god. And she looked over at
her boss and she went– oh, shit. It’s never going to work out. I can’t be like, I’m
going to do yoga, right? I can’t just start
doing yoga right now to deal with my stress levels. I could, but it’s not
going to work very well. AUDIENCE: That was
impressive though. MARC BRACKETT: See that? So I could do it. And I just did as a little demo. But I can’t really do yoga
in the moment to regulate. I’ve got to have
cognitive strategies. Does that resonate with you? So different environments
call for a different type of strategizing. And what I’ve learned in the
last 20 years of running around talking about this stuff is that
most people, if I say to them, what’s your go-to strategy when
you’re feeling this way to help you manage it– what are you talking about? They don’t really have
the language for it, nor do they have the tool bag
with those strategies in it. And it’s kind of my goal is
to make sure that everybody has that tool bag. Because I know what it’s like
to not have the tool bag. Has anyone here ever
experienced a strong emotion? Has anyone here
expressed strong emotion that didn’t regulate
very effectively? And how many of you
just want to live in that space for the
rest of your life. It’s not a great
place to live in. Right? So I feel like it’s
my duty to make sure we teach these things. Now– oh, my goodness,
don’t have much time left. So before we wrap up,
in the next three hours, I’ve taught you the five skills. Recognize, understand,
label, express, and regulate. Now you know what they are. I’m going to ask you to think
how emotionally intelligent are you? On a scale from 1 to 5, 1– you are emotionally bankrupt. You can’t read a person
from right in front. You have no strategies
to regulate, to 5– you are really skilled. Where would you say you are? How many of you
give yourselves a 1? Like, you are just
emotionally like not skilled. We’ve got one
semi-honest person. 2? 3? 4? 5? OK. It’s interesting. I would say the average
was around 3.75. How do you know? Everybody’s like, I don’t
know how I don’t know. How many of you have
gotten accurate feedback on your emotion perception
ability or your emotion regulation skills? And how do you know that it
was accurate, the feedback? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] my wife. MARC BRACKETT: What’s that? It depends on her
emotional intelligence. Right? Think about it. Who’s giving you the feedback? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] MARC BRACKETT: What’s that? AUDIENCE: Because
you’re paying for it? MARC BRACKETT: Yeah. That might be the case. Although, I’ve had about
seven therapists in my life. So it’s tricky, right,
this idea of self-awareness around emotion skills? What my research
shows, by the way, is that the
correlation coefficient between your self-rated
emotional intelligence and your actual emotional
skills is about zero. So self-ratings don’t go
very far in this domain because it really is about a
skill and a mental ability. It’s like asking someone
how smart they think they or asking parents their
rate smart their kids are. Now what I want to wrap up
with for just a few minutes is sharing you what
we actually do. So we know, from our
research, that when we measure emotional
intelligence as a set of skills it looks pretty good. Less skilled kids
look like this, high skilled kids
look like that. We know that when we work
with managers and leaders, more skills look pretty good. People like to be around
people that have these skills. I just did this huge
study with supervisors’ emotional intelligence. So think about this. Same amount of work, right? If you avoid a supervisor who
is low in emotional intelligence or high in emotional
intelligence, you’re working the same. This slide is a little
complex, but think about how you feel at work. If your supervisor is low
in emotional intelligence, you’re feeling inspiration
28% of the time. If they’re high, 80%. So how you feel about your
work, and how you feel at work, tends to correlate very highly
with the emotional skills of your supervisor. Look at that. Feelings of burnout
at work almost triple. Fear of speaking up– so people are afraid
to speak up and to even have an opinion when they
have a supervisor who is low on emotional intelligence. Engagement– triple. Finding purpose and
meaning at your work– so what we find is that
these skills really play out in meaningful
and important ways in everyday life. The last thing
I’ll share with you is what do we do
to develop them. See you got nature
and you got nurture. So nature are things like your
temperament and personality. Are any of you like
me, like people who worry more than
you’d like to worry? I have that. I was born with the worry gene. I even now, I even
worry about why I worry. Anybody else like that? And I’m at a point in my
career, like I worry about why I worry about why I worry. And I was, like, Marc,
you’re doing fine. You don’t have anything
to worry about. But it’s like, oh,
something will go wrong. So that’s my genetics. 10 years of therapy, 25
years of psychologists, 16 curriculum on
emotional intelligence. And my default is worry. Nothing has changed
my automatic worry, which has been frustrating. So I’ve learned that that
is my temperament, that’s my personality. What I need are
strategies on how to learn how to live
better with who I am. I can’t change my genetics,
but I can change the way I express those feelings
and how I regulate them in everyday life. And that’s where the
nurture piece comes in. It also is influenced
by your own development. So guess what? I grew up with a mom who would
say things that ah, honey, you’re being bullied. Don’t tell me the details. I’ll have a breakdown. Like, ma, I’m
having a breakdown. You’re my mother. You’re supposed to
have the strategies. I had a father who was a tough
guy from the Bronx who says, son, [SMACK] get in there. All right, dad,
that sounds like– I’m just going to get there– [SMACK] I’ll never be that– I have a fifth degree
black belt now. I really do. I could eliminate
anyone in this room. But it’s not in my genetics. I don’t like to fight. I like the techniques. I like the movements. I don’t want to hurt anybody. I don’t want to touch anybody. So that led me to work
for the last 20 years on an approach to
teaching these skills. And I’ve spent a very
little time on that today. And then hopefully we
can get into more detail with some of the teams. We developed tools. We learned that you have
to be in an environment where emotions matter,
not where rules rule. So we said, all right. Why don’t we ask people
how they want to feel? The second is a tool to build
self-awareness and vocabulary and strategies. We also realize
that a lot of people have difficulty with
triggers, like certain people in certain circumstances
that really activate strong emotions. So we developed a tool
called the Mental Moment. Then we realized that
we’re too self focused. We live in a world where,
when conflict arises, it’s between and among people. So let’s think about that. This is a great principal
of a school named Dawn. This is her emotional
intelligence charter with her school in
Harlem, New York. And they want to feel,
as a team, supported, respected, peaceful,
interested, empowered, [INAUDIBLE] appreciated,
and motivated. So she has no rules in
her school, just feelings. And then they say,
well, all right. We want to feel that way. What do we need to
do each day in order to have those feelings? What are the specific,
measurable, realistic behaviors that we need to do each day to
create that emotional climate? So it shows up in many ways. This is another high
school in New York. They want to feel
balanced and energized. That’s where I was
just in Mexico. They are much more creative
with their charters there. Fifth grade classroom
here, in San Francisco, they want to feel comfortable,
confident, creative, focused, ecstatic, respected,
and challenged. List goes on. The mood meter helps us
build more awareness. So how do you build
awareness of emotion? Well, you can learn the facial
expressions, the body language, the vocal tones, the physiology,
and the behavior that occur in each of these quadrants. You can build that vocabulary. There are 2000 words that we
could play on the mood meter. We use two, usually. You can learn how
emotions influence your judgments and the
way your brain operates. So for example, yellow is great
for creative processing, where the green is great for
building consensus. You can learn strategies
to help you manage the full range of emotions. And you can see that schools
adopt these practices in really interesting ways through artwork
and other things like that. These are– I work with the Boys
& Girls Clubs across the United States now to build
this inter-active school programming. We even built an app where
you can apply yourself to your Heart’s Delight. So last two minutes. Can I ask everyone to just take
a moment to read this quote? How many of you feel
like your fuse is shorter than it’s ever been? Anyone feel that way, like
your stimulus to response is getting tighter and
tighter and tighter. That’s what we’re finding
across the states. So we built a tool
to help with that. And we say, if you take our
six steps seriously now, you can avoid the
12 steps later. So if you are triggered,
right, most people rely on breathing and
exercise like that to help them deactivate. What we’ve learned is
that there’s one more piece you can throw in there. We call seeing your best self. What we’ve learned is
that our nation has– this is a study of
thousands of people. They’re begging to be
more compassionate. They’re saying that their
best self is someone who is more compassionate. So think about that. You’re triggered by
someone at work or at home. You go for the
automatic response. But if you pause and
say, wait a minute, my best self is someone
who is more compassionate, do you think that might guide
how you behave following that? Just all nod your heads because
that’s what my research shows. Then we have all the ways we
have to manage conflict, right? We have to realize that
it’s not just about me. It’s about we. And we have to figure out what
was the other person actually feeling. You can’t do that in the moment. You actually need
time to process that. So let me wrap up by saying
just two last things. First is we’ve done pretty
big experiments on this work, randomized trials in 60 places. And have found that in
schools when you do this work, you get better
outcomes for students, you get better outcomes
for teachers, and classroom climates, you get less bullying
and all that great stuff. Can I ask everyone to take
one last deep breath with me? Not of your life, but just
of this time together. So to wrap up, how many of you
believe that emotions matter? Cool. How many of you
think that the skills of emotional
intelligence are real? How many of you have heard
of the things soft skills? That’s how they think of it. What am I here to tell
you is that your brain is replete with emotion
and cognition. Our goal is to have those two
systems work well together. Oftentimes one has more
power than the other. Our nation is one that
cares more about cognition than emotion, when they’re
both living simultaneously. So the question is, how
do we infuse more emotion into the cognition. Third, never too early or to
late to develop these skills. I promise you that. Never too early or too late. There’s no excuses. I think, fourth, there
are creative ways to develop EI face-to-face
and using technology. I’ve developed an
app, for example, as one way to show how
technology can support you in tracking your
emotions and learning over the course of a
week or a month– wow, I’ve been in the
blue for this long. What do I need to do to
shift my life a little bit? And finally, what
I’ll just say is my little hope for a
proselytizing moment is that there’s so much
resistance in our nation right now to taking people’s
feelings seriously– when I go to schools and I
hear teachers say things like zip it. We’re not friends anymore. I’m like devastated by that,
to think that that child is not seen as someone who is
a feeling creature who needs to be respected and
supported and developed. And then you go
into the workplace and you see people all
stressed, and they’re feeling frustrated and anger. And there’s not a lot of
emotional intelligence, really, brought into the
workplace environment. So my primary interest in
life is to figure out ways that we can infuse these skills
into the way leaders lead and all of us are
in relationship. And my hope is
that, by doing so, we get great outcomes
like better health, better relationships, more
creativity, and maybe people get to achieve their dreams. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE]

Comments (38)

  1. Wow Steve Carell lost some weight over the summer

  2. 32 minutes in and I don't feel like I've really learned anything of substance.

  3. Thought this was a great talk especially the productive use scale. Excellent!

  4. Outstanding talk! I feel like listening to him speak about this subject added so much value into my life. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  5. not when 90% of America is depressed with poor mental health…you give what you have…

  6. What a lovely talk

  7. fantastic presentation, rely like the practical tools; i feel elated :))

  8. Maybe the room is filled with Autistic people? It is Google after all.

  9. Really enjoyed Marc and his presentation. Amazed that so many researched are so stressed – it seems to be epidemic across all levels of our western society – the ensuing health repercussions are going to be monumental down the line in time because thoughts, powered by feelings/emotions create…

  10. You mean manipulation of ppl is a super power? 😛

  11. Jordan Peterson said emotional intelligence was not a valid concept. Google goes for some goofy stuff.

  12. It was the best talk about EI I've ever heard. Thank you!

  13. Hard to believe a guy who pronounces "important" like a Valley Girl.

  14. This is interesting.

  15. Now you see how is work going is to tell you about your emotions

  16. I feel bored!, nothing interesting, revealing or exiting in 20 min! NEXT!!

  17. E.I. emotional intelligence … Trump vs Obama. Which one do you want vacation with? E.I. Trump obviously a bit deficient. Easy, unless u like B.S. I. then..?

  18. Deepak Chopra's next? Prozac adjustment…

  19. Sir, you don't realize your negative beliefs seep into the audience as you speak, bringing the group down at 4:50. If you pump up the audience with fun, carefreeness and passion, most people would feel amazing. And you'd teach them a trick to understanding how their emotion can be changed on command.

  20. This is amazing Marc Brackett. It reminds me of Dr.Kinyanjui Nganga who passionately speaks on emotional intelligence.

  21. Love this ! Thank you Marc Brackett!

  22. Great talk, thanks for sharing!

  23. He’s so cute. Why is everyone that gets picked smaller structure. It’s so animalistic you would think humans would’ve grown out of it

  24. you need to work on your delivery strategy, bro!

  25. What is Rotogenflux Methods? Does it work? I hear a lot of people increase their IQ of 20 points with this iq course.

  26. Luv your talk and intelligence on this subject. Thank you x

  27. Recognise the 5 scales…. excellent thanks x

  28. 5th Dan black belt too. Cool. Love that final quote re space between stimulus and response. Simple, obvious. But do most people use this space wisely / controllably. Society might be healed if more people did. Cool talk thanks x

  29. The worst talk ever.

  30. Is that you Steve Carrell?

  31. Well done I appreciate it Thanks a lot.E.I. promotes effective learning

  32. That mood meter: very helpful. Thanks.

  33. Sorry but this is a boring presentation. This presenter is causing a lack of focus not the participants.

  34. I was thinking we should eliminate all of those who have a worse mood than I do, but then I realized that then I would have the worst mood. – j q t –

  35. EQ is not scientifically valid!

  36. David spade now makes sense to me..

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