Emotional Intelligence

emotional intelligence for teachers and students

Are you one of those teachers that can achieve a good rapport with your students? Do your colleagues envy you because you always get the best out of your students? Are you the teacher everyone calls for when there is a situation that needs to be dealt with? Do the students listen when you talk? Do they give you respect?

Well if so, you probably have very good interpersonal skills and that means a high level of emotional intelligence.

What about you as a person? Do you allow yourself to be negative a lot of the time or do you work hard at focusing on the positive? Do you get yourself all stressed up when things are not going your way or do you take some personal time to reflect that this is just another problem that has to be dealt with? Do you focus on the problem or do you focus on the solution? Do you have the ability to be calm when all around people are losing it?

Again, being positive within yourself means you have a high level of emotional intelligence.

How you deal with things in life is important? Deal with them negatively and you take yourself on a little journey of pain and suffering every time. Deal with them positively and not only do you feel good but suddenly everyone's beating a path to your door for some enlightenment.

As a teacher you need to achieve rapport, you need to be empathic, you need to be in control of your emotions. Why? Because then you can teach your students to be exactly the same.

Don't forget that there are many adults in this world whose greatest role model was their teacher.

In the book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman writes about two types of EI communication, intra-personal and inter-personal. Firstly, commuicating with yourself (intra-personal). This is how you communicate with yourself. Are you a negative or positive person? Are your thoughts about yourself self-defeating or do you push yourself forward or build yourself up? Your self-talk or communication will have evolved through the thousands of experiences in your life. You will probably walk and talk your life to date literally.

Secondly, communicating with others (inter-personal) where you have the ability to bond with and identify emotions in other people, in their attitudes, behaviours, designs, artwork, through their language. The ability to achieve great relationships.

Please click on A Story of Rage to read about EI in practice.

Interesting Articles

Emotional Intelligence:

On a bright, clear morning, Mohab Saleh, Creative Software Developer at a respectable software company, was rushing through Cairo’s crowded streets to make it to the monthly employee meeting. He made it just on time to hear that he was being promoted to head the CRM software division at Raya. “Incredibly bright”, “highly skilled”, “top of his field”, were few of the qualities of the well-educated engineer who earned the highest GPA in his class.

Two months later, the Senior Vice President at Raya started receiving complaints regarding Saleh’s behavior with his subordinates. The common complain was, “Mr. Saleh is an incredibly respected manager and highly experienced, but…” In this case, the “but” was that subordinates and colleagues refused to work with him either individually or in teams as he was unreasonably demanding and demeaning. He was known for berating them both privately and publicly, asking questions that challenged the legitimacy of their expertise, treating them in such a rigidity that insulted the hardness of the office walls. Even though he was one of the best at what he did, he was an inadequate manager, an ineffective leader. The main reason behind this was his deficiency of a very precious element nowadays that can predict up to 90% of success in business and life. This element is emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence: Defined
Emotional Intelligence is about managing your emotions and directing them towards something productive, motivating your self and those around you, developing productive relationships, and understanding the inner minds of people and working cooperatively with them to reach organizational goals effectively and efficiently. It is defined as “a combination of emotional and interpersonal competencies that influence our behavior and interaction with others”.

The purpose of emotional intelligence is to aid the development of the one’s emotional literacy and self-knowledge in order to produce socially acceptable objectives and satisfy individual self-actualization needs. The concept had many keywords enlisted in our society like personality, character, or just being nice! But emotional intelligence is not about niceness or being wimpy, it is an emerging science and an important branch of managerial psychology.

The terms “Emotional Intelligence” and “Emotional Quotient (EQ)” were first coined by Dr. Daniel Goleman in his worldwide best-selling book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ”. Goleman argued that there is a shift in the paradigm, a redefinition of being smart, and that success is longer about IQ alone but about having emotionally intelligence skills to backup your knowledge, technical skills and experience. According to Primal Leadership, productive performance in organizations is driven by three capabilities:

  1. Technical Skills- knowledge and proficiency in a certain field
  2. Cognitive Skills- ability to think and conceptualize about complex situations
  3. Emotional Intelligence Skills- traits like self-control, self-management, empathy and social skills (249).

Before Emotional Intelligence, technical and cognitive skills, which resemble IQ, were traditionally the mere method to predict success in business and life. Therefore, in the 80s and 90s there was a trend of people getting MBAs and post-graduate studies and for a time, it was good. It helped them advance their careers, but now since you can get an MBA online sitting on your leather chair drinking latte, the market is saturated and the variance in the levels of knowledge among employees is negligible, especially at the higher levels of the organization.

This led to other form of skills to emerge as the human edge, the new competitive advantage in the dynamic business environment, whilst careers that rose on analytical skills and cognitive skills had a difficult time adjusting to that change. This shift in the paradigm caused measures of success to shift from IQ to EQ-based competencies as a more effective predictor of success. According to the studies conducted by Goleman, it was found that IQ can only predict 10 – 20% of a person’s potential for success, while EQ predicted from 80% up to 90% of his/her potential for success.

EQ vs. IQ
Why do smart people fail? Why people with a high EQ succeed while those with merely a moderate IQ considerably fail? First we need to understand that the emotional quotient (EQ) is not the opposite of the intelligence quotient (IQ); EQ is actually complementary to IQ resembled in academic intelligence and cognitive skills, and studies actually show that our emotional states affect the way our brain functions as well as its processing speed (Cryer qtd. in Kemper).

Studies have even shown that Albert Einstein’s superior intellectual ability may have been linked to the part of the brain that supports psychological functions, dubbed the amygadla. The natures of EQ and IQ differ however in the ability to learn and develop them. IQ is a genetic potential that is established at birth and happens to be fixed after a certain age (pre-puberty) and can not be developed nor increased after then. EQ on the contrary can be learned, developed and improved at any age, and studies have actually shown that our ability to learn emotional intelligence increases as we get older.

Another difference is that IQ is a threshold capability that can only show you the road to your career and gets you working in a certain field but it is EQ that walks through that road and gets you promoted in that field. Therefore, striking a balance between IQ and EQ is an important element of managerial success. For some extent, IQ is a driver of productive performance; however IQ-based competencies are considered “threshold abilities” i.e. the skills needed for you to do an average job. On the other hand, EQ-based competencies and skills are by far more effective, especially at higher levels of organizations where IQ differences are negligible. When a comparative study matched star performers against average ones in top organizational levels, 85 % was attributed to EQ-based competencies rather than IQ (250). Dr. Goleman says that even though organizations are different, have different needs, it was found that EQ contributed by 80-90% of predicting success in organizations in general (251).

EQ vs. IQ: Case Study
To better illustrate the value-added of EQ competencies relative to IQ, we refer to the case, which was conducted by Dr. Goleman and two renowned EQ researchers, to analyze how EQ competencies contributed to profits in a large accounting firm (251). First, the participants’ IQs and EQs were tested and analyzed thoroughly, then they were organized in work teams and each work team was trained on one form of EQ competency like self-management and social skills; however they left one team with participants with a high IQ to act as a control for the study. Then when they evaluated the economic value-added of EQ competencies and IQ, the results were remarkable. The team with high social skills scored a 110% incremental profit, while the self-control partners scored a massive 390% incremental profit which was valued at $ 1,465,000 more profit per year. Conversely, the partners with high cognitive and analytical skills, reminiscent of IQ, added just 50% incremental profit, which indicate that IQ give support to performance but this support is limited owing to its being a threshold capability; EQ-based competencies apparently supports performance far more.

EQ Skills and Competencies
An emotional competency is a “learned” ability based on emotional intelligence that results in outstanding performance at work (Goleman, Cherniss 27). EQ skills play an important role in increasing the workplace productivity. According to Dr. Goleman, being emotionally intelligent and developing EQ skills increase productivity by 66% to all jobs and by 85% for managerial positions (qtd. in Kunnanatt). In this paper we are going to use the Emotional Competence Framework developed by Dr. Goleman in 2001 as the structure for our clarification of EQ skills. It is worth mentioning that Goleman had developed an earlier model in 1998 and also there is another model by Dr. Reuven Bar-On that was developed in 1988. We used the latest model owing to its novelty and being a refinement of the Goleman’s prior model. Goleman’s EQ-based theory of performance classifies EQ skills into two broad categories. The first category is personal competence which is about dealing with one’s own self and having the ability to sense and regulate his/her internal emotions, mental moods and processes. It has two important EQ competencies under its umbrella: self-awareness and self-management. Self-awareness is the ability to detect, trace and label emotions as they occur with us. It is about looking into our selves, becoming more knowledgeable about our emotions i.e. developing emotional literacy.

The Self-Awareness Cluster - Emotional self-awareness – recognizing our emotions and their effects
Effective managers should know their points of strength and try to develop it and fully acknowledge their weaknesses. It is also an evident trait of leaders to make witty comments regarding their weaknesses (Xavier); nonetheless, they work on improving them. Moreover, managers should recognize their emotions and the impact they leave on the workplace and its productivity, especially with self-confidence. The level of self-confidence is in fact a stronger predictor of success at work than technical and cognitive skills did (Saks qtd. in Goleman, Cherniss 34). Therefore, through self-awareness, managers are able to accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses, have a strong sense of their and emotions and value. Self-Management on the other hand is the ability of an individual to use his emotional literacy to regulate the rational and emotional operations of the mind in a balanced manner.

The Self-Management cluster: - Emotional self-control- absence of distress and disruptive feelings

Being in control of one’s emotions and behavior is another important quality for managers, as it helps them create a safe working environment that is loaded with creativity, mutual trust and equity rather than “backstabbing and scare tactics” (Xavier). A study conducted among managers and executives, top performers were the ones able to balance both self-motivation (drive and ambition) and emotional self-control, satisfying their individual needs as well as attaining organizational goals (Goleman, Cherniss 34). Another study showed that store managers who were able to keep themselves calm under stress had the most profitable stores (Lusch & Serkenci qtd. in 34).

The second category is social competence, which is the ability of a person to navigate the emotional world of others by using his/her interpersonal skills (such as communication, leadership and persuasion) to produce positive and productive outcomes. There are two competencies under social competence: social awareness and relationship management.

Social Awareness / Empathy is the ability to read the inner minds of others and engage with them into an emotional dialogue. It is about putting yourself in the shoe of the one talking to you in order to arrive to their true needs and understand their perspectives and feelings. It is one of the cornerstones of leadership and of great importance to many interpersonal aptitudes like teamwork, motivation and persuasion.

The Social Awareness Cluster:
- Empathy- ability to enter into emotional dialogue with others, getting the true feel of their thoughts being to read people’s inner minds, facial expressions, and body language.

Social Skills / Relationship Management: is about inducing effective and desirable responses in others through various essential social skills.

The Social Skills Cluster:
- Communication- creates an environment of openness and self-expression with clear lines of communication. Managers need to be effective in the give-and-take of information, practice active listening, and receive good and bad news alike.

- Mentoring and Developing Others- sensing people’s needs and unleashing their abilities. This ability has emerged as vital trait of leaders.

- Negotiation & Conflict Management- ability to spot problems as they arise and take steps to calm those involved. Also, it is the ability to handle difficult people and develop effective win-win negotiation skills to maintain long term business relationships. In a survey of retail buyers in department store chains, negotiation skills were vital for the manufacturer-retailer relationship (Chernis, Goleman 37).

- Synergy & Teamwork- there is a trend towards team structures and cross-functional teams. Studies showed that the productivity of the teams depends on the collective EQ of its members and how these members exhibit EQ competencies and how the positive mood of the team manager promotes employee productivity and retention.

- Visionary Leadership- to inspire others to work together toward a shared vision and mission. Effective mangers integrate emotional, ethical realities into their vision and thus create a strategy that is logical and ethical. Furthermore, it should be noted that the four EQ competencies are interconnected; they are not standalone. That is why absence of one of the four competencies leads to the reduction of the overall EQ of the manager, team and/or organization. For instance, it was found that managers, who had a synergy between self-motivation and empathy, got their employees both engaged (through empathy) and motivated (through self-motivation).

To elaborate on how a self-motivated person can get his/her employees motivated, studies show that emotions are contagious and that we can infect each other with our emotions within 10-25 seconds. This is even apparent in our daily social life; when someone smiling enters a room people say “the room lights up!” Another point worth mentioning is that those mangers’ divisions had remarkable customer retention and loyalty figures; the reason behind this is that customers became engaged as much as the employees were.

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