Want to succeed? Be empathetic

Being smart enough to handle the cognitive tasks in any professional field - be it engineering, architecture or medicine - is a non-negotiable requirement for success. But it's only a start. Discussing Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers: The Story of Success," Daniel Goleman says that social and emotional intelligence is a potent indicator of success. And moreover, it can be taught:

This is good news for anyone who would like to see success in life shared widely, rather than given to a lucky few who happen to be born into a fortunate, charmed set of circumstances. One way to give every child a greater chance for career success – and a good life in general – would be to have curricula in social and emotional learning (see www.casel.org) a standard part of schooling. Data shows that children who are systematically taught social and emotional skills like how to manage their distressing emotions better, empathize and collaborate do better: have fewer problems like substance abuse and violence, like school more and pay more attention in class – and score significantly better (11%, on average) on academic achievement test scores.

Wayne