We all have a heart and we all have a mind, yet often the mind can take over the heart. In fact we often get told to “put your head back on” or “put your emotions to the side”. The fact is, undersatnding our emotions and managing them is essential.
Emotional Intelligence is an understanding the relationship of how we think, feel and act.
The term Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has many definitions however Peter Salovey and Jack Mayer developed the original model of EQ that was then popularised by Daniel Goleman in 1997.
Salovey and Mayer defines EQ as the;
“Ability to monitor ones own and others feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide ones thinking and actions.” (1990)
What is Intelligence?
Intelligence comes from the latin word “Intellegere” which means to understand. Traditional forms of Intelligence are based on a person’s cognitive capacity they are born with. It is widely accepted that this cognitive capacity does not change over time.
The Emergence of Emotional Intelligence
1900 – 1969 ~ Intelligence research and Emotions Research are seen as separate fields
1970 – 1989 ~ The field of cognition and affect emerged. Brain research began to make connections between emotion and cognition
1995 – 1997 ~ Daniel Golemans book bought EQ to the world1990 – 1993 ~ Concept of Emotional Intelligence was born in an article of the same name by Mayer and Salovey
1998 – recent ~ EQ is growing in research, definition and implementation
How this relates to Emotional Intelligence?
Our intellectual intelligence allows us to solve logical problems however our emotions have a direct impact on our thoughts and behaviours. In order to live in harmony with ourselves and others, we must be able to not only acknowledge them, but manage them.
As the great Greek philosophers said “being angry is easy, being angry at the right person at the right time for the right reas
on – this is difficult.”
Research suggests Emotional Intelligence can be developed over time, hence its importance for education as a whole. In order for this development to occur, EQ must combine cognitive learning (intelligence) with affective learning (emotion). It is the head working with the heart in balance with one another in a state of awareness.
It is important to acknowledge that IQ is not more or less important than EQ, one relies on the other. The basis of all relationships including that of a cooperative classroom is based on the foundations of EQ development.
In order to teach students to understand their emotions and manage them appropriately, we too as adults, must do the same. Research conducted by Brackett (2006) states teachers are amongst the highest group with occupational stress with teachers experiencing a wide range of emotions throughout the day. Research by Mayer and Salovey goes further to say that those teachers who have difficulty regulating their emotions will have students who find it equally as difficult to manage theirs.
For this reason, all EQ training must first occur with the adults of the school before it can transfer to the students for ongoing learning.
If we are going to make a real difference to the young people we serve, we must not only give them knowledge, but teach them about themselves, relating to others, and understanding how their emotions relate to their behaviour.
Daniel Goleman’s 5 Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence are:
1. Self awareness – the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions
2. Managing emotions – channelling emotions into positive outcomes
3. Self Control – harnessing emotions productively, managing self talk
4. Empathy – distinguishing between self and others
5. Handling relationships – communication, managing conflict, co-operation
When you have the skills to understand and manage YOU, you then have the skills to engage and connect better with Others.
This has a direct impact on leadership and management at any and all levels. Mayer & Caruso stated in the IVEY Business Journal, for the University of Western Ontario (2002),
“The manager who can think about emotions accurately and clearly may often be better able to anticipate, cope with and effectively manage change.” They concluded that “People high in EQ will build real social fabric within an organization, and between an organization and those it serves, whereas those low in EQ may tend to create problems for the organization through their individual behaviours.”
For more of the latest research and resources, check out……
- 6Seconds, The International Emotional Intelligence Network
- HeartMath, Research on the heart-mind connection
What something more specific? Check out these….
- The Case for Emotional Intelligence in our Schools
- Self-Science curriculum in the classroom
- Emotional Intelligence in the 21st Century
- Should we teacher Emotional intelligence – both arguments of the story
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