Cary Cherniss

Founding Member, Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations | Co-author, "Optimal: How to Sustain Personal and Organizational Excellence Every Day"
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Cary Cherniss, Ph.D. is a psychologist who specializes in emotional intelligence, work stress and burnout, leadership development, and planned organizational change. His work aims to leverage emotional intelligence to enhance leadership effectiveness, promote employee well-being, and optimize organizational performance in the workplace. Known for his engaging and informative presentation style, Dr. Cherniss combines emotional intelligence and organizational psychology with relatable anecdotes and practical examples to break down complex concepts into easily digestible insights. Dynamic and thought-provoking, he encourages audiences to reflect on their own performance and provides actionable takeaways for personal and professional growth.

Dr. Cherniss has published over 70 scholarly articles and book chapters as well as nine books. His most recent book is Optimal: How to Sustain Personal and Organizational Excellence Every Day. Written alongside fellow Leigh Bureau speaker Daniel Goleman, Optimal uses insights from decades of emotional intelligence research to reveal how individuals can consistently work at peak performance levels without burning out and how leaders can build an organizational culture that empowers sustainable optimal performance. His other books include Leading with Feeling: Nine Strategies of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership, The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace (also with Daniel Goleman), and Promoting Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: Guidelines for Practitioners.

In addition to his research and writing, Dr. Cherniss has consulted with many organizations in both the public and private sectors, including American Express, Johnson & Johnson, the US Coast Guard, AT&T, Telcordia, the United States Office of Personnel Management, and PSEG Power. He was a founding member of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations (CREIO) and served as its director and co-chair for 25 years. He is a past president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 27 (Society for Community Research and Action), and a member of both the Academy of Management and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Dr. Cherniss received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University in 1972. He went on to teach at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the University of Illinois in Chicago, the Chicago Medical School, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1983, he came to Rutgers University where he helped create the doctoral program in Organizational Psychology at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. He currently is Professor Emeritus of Applied Psychology at Rutgers.


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The Emotion Roadmap
Cary Cherniss


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Business Strategy
Emotional Intelligence
Talent Development
Behavioral Sciences
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