What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they’re telling you, and realize how your emotions affect people around you. It also involves your perception of others: when you understand how they feel, this allows you to manage relationships more effectively.
In his book titled “Emotional Intelligence – Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” 1995, Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, developed a framework of five elements that define emotional intelligence:
- Self-Awareness– People with high emotional intelligence are usually very self-aware . They understand their emotions, and because of this, they don’t let their feelings rule them. They’re confident – because they trust their intuition and don’t let their emotions get out of control.
They’re also willing to take an honest look at themselves. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work on these areas so they can perform better. Many people believe that this self-awareness is the most important part of emotional intelligence.
- Self-Regulation– This is the ability to control emotions and impulses. People who self-regulate typically don’t allow themselves to become too angry or jealous, and they don’t make impulsive, careless decisions. They think before they act. Characteristics of self-regulation are thoughtfulness, comfort with change, integrity , and the ability to say no.
- Motivation– People with a high degree of emotional intelligence are usually motivated . They’re willing to defer immediate results for long-term success. They’re highly productive, love a challenge, and are very effective in whatever they do.
- Empathy– This is perhaps the second-most important element of emotional intelligence. Empathy is the ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of those around you. People with empathy are good at recognizing the feelings of others, even when those feelings may not be obvious. As a result, empathetic people are usually excellent at managing relationships , listening , and relating to others. They avoid stereotyping and judging too quickly, and they live their lives in a very open, honest way.
- Social Skills– It’s usually easy to talk to and like people with good social skills, another sign of high emotional intelligence. Those with strong social skills are typically team players. Rather than focus on their own success first, they help others develop and shine. They can manage disputes, are excellent communicators, and are masters at building and maintaining relationships.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Social-emotional learning (SEL), as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”1
Often taught in the classroom, social-emotional learning gives tomorrow’s workforce the tools for success, while educators find it contributing to a positive school climate and increased academic success. Beyond immediate outcomes in the classroom, SEL prepares employees to solve problems, manage emotions, and communicate.
Extensive research shows a positive correlation between the skills taught throughout social-emotional learning programs and positive behavior, academic achievement, and healthier life choices. A 2015 publication from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), The Power of Social and Emotional Skills, highlights a nine-country analysis that found there is a common set of skills that seems to matter across cultures—including self-esteem, self-efficacy, and sociability. These skills consistently affect outcomes like college completion, job attainment, health, and civic engagement.
These are the crucial workplace skills that SEL is instilling in the next generation of employees