WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
Intelligence is often regarded as a very important factor in a student’s academic performance. Often, we hear intelligence and academic achievements being used synonymously. A child that scores straight A’s is ‘obviously’ more intelligent than a child that scored a B, according to the common perception.
But the truth is that there is more than one kind of intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is a fairly underrated parameter with which to measure a child’s competence.
Emotional intelligence if put in layman’s terms, refers to an individual’s ability to process and decode emotions. This includes their own emotions and that of those around them. Emotional intelligence also includes a person’s ability to respond to emotional situations.
WHY EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IS IMPORTANT TO HUMAN BEINGS
Emotional intelligence is the raw material for empathy.
- Since emotional intelligence is the ability to understand emotions and empathy is born from thevery same source, we can say that emotional intelligence is a very important aspect of our social construct.
- Human beings are fundamentally social animals. How we experience our life and the meaning we give it eventually comes down to the quality of our interactions with those around us and there is a simple biological explanation for this fact
- Human beings, during their evolution, came together to form tribes. It was by living in groups that we learned to survive. Our need to connect with and understand the people around us is more primitive than we think. Our ability to understand and process other people’s emotions gives us a chance to establish closeness and companionship.
- According to evolutionary psychology, friendships and most social relationships is a contract to protect each other in a crisis. This is what led to human society as we see it today.
- Hence, emotional intelligence plays a very significant role in the way we perceive the world around us and also how we manage our lives.
THE ROLE OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN EVERYDAY LIFE OF A STUDENT.
We may not consciously measure ourselves in terms of emotional intelligence and we are also significantly unaware of how it impacts our everyday life.
Some of the most common areas where emotional intelligence has a very direct effect on the life of a student are-
- SELF-MANAGEMENT– For children and young adults, navigating through their emotional responses and impulses constitutes a huge part of their personality. A person with good emotional intelligence has the ability to create some space between their impulses and response. This means that they are capable of recognizing their emotions as a separate entity and take actions based on their rationale.
- SELF-AWARENESS– Self-awareness is one of the most important signs of good emotional intelligence. Self-awareness, with respect to a student, means that they are aware and acceptant of their strengths, shortcomings, insecurities and that they are aware of their selfimage. This makes it easier for them to be in control of themselves in adverse situations and this makes them significantly better at decision making.
- SOCIAL AWARENESS– Social awareness is a person’s ability to understand the behavior and patterns of a group and one’s position in the group. Understanding the difference between being in a commanding position and interacting with authority, analyzing people, and understanding what group you belong with, etc are all the result of a person’s level of social awareness. This is directly applicable in a classroom environment as well.
- RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT-Relation management refers to a person’s ability to communicate, establish relationships, maintain relationships, and also their ability to influence the people around them in a positive way. For a student, this is what determines their ability to make friends and maintain a positive relationship with their teachers.
WHY EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IS BECOMING SIGNIFICANTLY MORE IMPORTANT NOW
- This is particularly a very interesting time to analyze the application of emotional intelligence in real life. We are rapidly moving towards a professional climate that is more dependent on a person’s emotional intelligence, than anything else.
- Every time technology advances a little more, the need for human beings to exercise their skills and labor becomes lesser and lesser. This means that we are consistently innovating automation systems that can carry out any skill-based activity many times faster than human beings. So currently, the most valuable skill that a person can offer, are also the ones that a machine or software cannot replace. And that is emotional intelligence.
- Even in a workspace or a classroom space, emotional intelligence is becoming significantly more important.
HOW PARENTS CAN HELP A CHILD DEVELOP EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE-
- Encourage communication- Encouraging communication is possible only when a parent is willing to listen and reciprocate, or even correct a child if need be, but without judging the child or labeling them. How openly a child is encouraged to communicate with a parent, later becomes the most prominent determinant of the child’s relationship and comfort with sharing and communicating.
- Encourage eye contact – There is a mind-muscle connection when it comes to understanding empathy. When a child is encouraged to maintain eye contact, they are also being trained to understand the subtle and unspoken emotions. They understand the intent. They understand the difference between the literal meanings of sentences and the intention behind them. They understand sarcasm, challenge, lies, and more concepts like that to make them an efficient conservationist.
- Direct communication of emotion- When children are not taught the right way to express their emotions and communicate how they feel, they will express their resistance in more passive ways. This is why it is important to teach a child the importance of communicating clearly and directly about their emotional needs and feelings. Simply by asking a child to name the emotion that they feeling, they will feel heard and understood and it will be natural for the child to reciprocate with the same respect and cooperation.
- Encourage them to consume content that helps them understand social concepts- Encourage a child to watch movies and cartoons that help them understand human dynamics. This can be a superhero movie where the good battles the evil, where morals battle corruption when truth battles lie, and much more. Cartoons that show a healthy and loving relationship between friends also encourage children to replicate the same in their schools.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS IS INTERLINKED
Daniel Goleman- An author, and a science journalist says:
“CEOs are hired for their intellect and business expertise and fired for their lack of emotional
According to Goleman, there are five competencies related to emotional intelligence.
- Social skills
All of these competencies when put together become leadership skills.
- A leader is motivated to accomplish a task and their motivation is contagious to everyone that they lead.
- Leaders exhibit and have confidence in themselves. Confidence is not a personality trait. It is a result of self-awareness.
- They are clear and transparent with their communication and make calculated moves towards their goals.
- Leaders are known to maintain fantastic relationships with their teams.
- Leaders make people feel heard and understood. A direct result of empathy.
Parents and teachers play a very significant role in the development of a child’s emotional intelligence with every conversation that they have with the child.