A path towards the enhancement of Emotional Intelligence

When emotional intelligence first appeared to the masses in 1995, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed was the sole source of success—IQ. Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack.

Emotional Intelligence is an intangible aspect in all of us.  According to research, emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills—it impacts most everything you say and do each day. Emotional intelligence is the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize EQ, there are five main elements of emotional intelligence:

1.  Self-awareness:

Self-awareness is the mental picture young children have of who they are in relation to the world. . It means discovering their bodies and emotions and realizing body differences in relation to their peers.

Self –awareness helps young children learn that how they see themselves may be different from how others see them.  Children who are self-aware are more able to recognize their strengths as well as their weaknesses.  Rich learning play activities that cater to this development will help the child make positive connections with his body and society as a whole.

2.  Self-regulation.

Self-regulation requires a child to develop the ability to manage his emotions and control bodily functions as well as maintain focus and attention (Gillespie & Seibel, 2006).  Through play, children learn self-regulation.  Teachers support children’s learning in play by becoming co-players, guiding and acting as role models.

3.  Motivation:

Fun, excitement, laughter and joy are the key elements that help motivate kids to play and learn.

 Encourage kids to make decision for themselves, to own their lives a little and to contribute their thoughts to family activities, rules and experiences. Empowerment is the powerhouse of motivation.
4.  Empathy: Incorporated with Active Listening Skills
Active listening a way for teachers and parents to convey interest and full attention to what a child is saying.  As a parent or teacher, you  should make eye contact,  stop what you are doing and  get down on the  child’s level. You reflect or repeat back what he/she is saying and what he/she  may be feeling to make sure you understand.

When you actively listen to your young child, a strong relationship develops. As your child grows, if you continue to actively listen to her, your relationship will continue to get stronger. A strong relationship with your child will make it more likely she will talk with you about her hopes and problems when she is older.

5. Social skills:
Social skills are behaviors that promote positive interaction with others and the environment.    Some of these skills include showing empathy, generosity, participation in group activities, helpfulness, communicating with others, negotiating and problem solving.  

Grandma Lives In Us - a story about Emotional Intelligence

The story is about how a child demonstrated self regulation and accepted cheerfully the  death of a dear grandmother.  The five aspects of emotional intelligence namely:  self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill were creatively described in the story.

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