Proposal for an Emotional Intelligence seminar in Bali


Mon, 28 Nov 2005 14:43:19 -0500


"Daniel Goleman" <>


Re: Ideas for an EI seminar in Bali


"Van Sloan" <>

Hi Van,

Love the concept, but no plans - Happy Holidays.

Daniel Goleman


Van Sloan wrote:


Hello Dan,
You're right - Bali is a delightful place to do Emotional Intelligence research! As you make plans for writing and promoting your next 5 million books, you might consider a trip to Bali. My recent month long stay in this unusual culture was enjoyable, and it brought me new insights. Foremost was the realization that self-management skills are directly related to how one gets along with others. (Your latest book, Destructive Emotions, similarly describes in your interviews with the Dali Lama how eliminating "personal toxins" can promote group harmony.)
My previous research on social skills had focused on empathy and other positive traits people look for in others (as in the correlations at ). I viewed anger management and similar self-skills as useful in a person's overall success, but not direct factors in interpersonal effectiveness. Bali showed me differently. Let me give you two personal examples.
At a Bali photo store, a group of locals and I were reviewing digital pictures, deciding which ones to print up. A young European girl distracted our group, continuously teasing us. After several polite requests to leave us alone, I spoke loudly to her to convey a clear message, even if she didn't understand English. Later several Bali friends said they were unpleasantly surprised by my action. In a separate situation, I was sitting with some Bali men in a drinking party. One outgoing fellow kept saying I was not drinking enough, and finally came over to physically get me into a silly game. Uncomfortable, I quickly left the group. In discussing the incident later with a Bali friend, I said that I was quite upset with the guy who had been so forceful. Rather than taking my side, my friend said that he was bothered most by my current upset feelings, and that most Balinese knew ways to deal with awkward situations without anger.
In contrast to the Balinese, you and I know that many American executives often show anger. Sometimes it can help in motivating subordinates, but often anger has negative consequences, both for relationships and in creating stress for an individual. I observed that most Balinese have virtually eliminated anger, creating a pleasing, harmonious atmosphere. Even when discussing the recent bombings or doubling of gasoline prices in Bali, they often were smiling!
Adding some unflappable Balinese to an Emotional Intelligence seminar would make a unique forum for teaching self-management and social skills. They have a very effective way of ignoring an upset person until he comes around to an acceptable control of himself. The lessons they could teach, just through their natural reactions, are probably unavailable elsewhere in the world. The results for overstressed executives could be uniquely valuable. It is undoubtedly the special personal skills of the Balinese that lead to the World's Best service and hotel rankings by some of the island's resorts.
Proposal for an Emotional Intelligence seminar in Bali
When: several days during July-September 2006
Where: Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali
Resort: Melati Cottages with Meditation Hall, or a peaceful nearby resort
Seminar prizes: dinner or spa treatments at nearby World's Best hotels.
The title of the seminar might be something like: Effective Management - both of Others and of Yourself. Participants would know that a variety of management styles would be discussed, with a focus on the differences between American and Bali styles. They would also know that the Balinese at the seminar are part of the paid staff.
Daily, seminar participants would break into small groups, each including some Westerners and some Balinese. Everyone would read a scenario about a problem or opportunity. Then each group would develop a presentation recommending a course of action. The non-Balinese in the group making the best presentation would be awarded a good prize, like a meal or spa treatment at the Sayan Four Seasons or Amandari.
Under the competitive pressure to make the best presentation, it is likely that some emotions will be expressed in group meetings. Balinese reactions to these pressures will be different from Western reactions, leading to some useful cross-cultural dialogue. For many Westerners, winning the prize will be the top goal, while the Balinese will likely place a higher value on good harmony in their group.
Dan, from the many speaking engagements you have with Fortune 500 companies on Emotional Intelligence, you must know of the need for training in anger management for harried executives. While meditation seminars may partially fill this need, my own experiences in Bali have convinced me that the Balinese have an even more effective way to teach self-control. I am not aware of any seminar similar to the one proposed above. Your thoughts on it would be most welcome.
Van Sloan

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