mood of smart

Below are more quotes from Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence.

Many people have asked me about the value of Cliff Annable’s contribution as a White Rock City Councillor. They wonder how someone who is a self-admitted, unapologetic clown – and for whom that is their greatest demonstrated strength – could possibly be a productive elected representative. I try to explain how having someone who can cut tension, deflate egos and raise spirits, and is willing to be self-deprecating in the search for shared understanding, can be such a great benefit to a team. But I think the quotes below explain it best.

Good moods, while they last, enhance the ability to think flexibly and with more complexity, thus making it easier to find solutions to problems, whether intellectual or interpersonal. This suggests that one way to help someone think thorough a problem is to tell them a joke. Laughing, like elation, seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely, noticing relationships that might have eluded them otherwise – a mental skill important not just in creativity, but in recognizing complex relationships and foreseeing the consequences of a given decision.

Even mild mood changes can sway thinking. In making plans or decisions people in good moods have a perceptual bias that leads them to be more expansive and positive in their thinking. This is partly because memory is state-specific, so that while in a good mood we remember more positive events, as we think over the pros and cons of a course of action while feeling pleasant, memory biases our weighing of evidence in a positive direction, making us more likely to do something slightly adventurous or risky, for example. – page 85

By the same token, being in a foul mood biases memory in a negative direction, making us more likely to contract into a fearful, overly cautious decision. Emotions out of control impede the intellect. But, we can bring out-of-control emotions back into line; this emotional competence is the master aptitude, facilitating all other kinds of intelligence. Consider some cases in point: the benefits of hope and optimism, and those soaring moments when people outdo themselves. – page 86

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