This guest post was written by Emma Gibson, a psychology Ph.D. candidate from Jacksonville State University and a talented communicator. She has a passion for the written word and has a remarkable ability to explain complex topics in layman’s terms. She engages readers with her creative ability to teach as she entertains.
Understanding the emotions we are experiencing, as well as recognizing the various emotions that others around us may be feeling, is an important skill to master. We are fortunate to live in a world where emotions play a central role in how people interact with one another. When it comes to emotional intelligence, these experiences become so much more enriching.
Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ), is a measure of a person’s ability to perceive and understand the emotions of others as well their own. Have you ever noticed that some people have an instinctive ability to empathize and make connections with others? Or have you noticed how some people can regulate their own emotions with ease, even during stressful situations? These are individuals who have high emotional intelligence. In fact, many researchers suggest that EQ is even more important than a high IQ.
Emotional intelligence is important because it brings immense value into any interaction. From social encounters to personal relationships, having the ability to understand emotions helps to enhance experiences for improved decision-making. What’s more is that EQ can be learned through the technique of social and emotional learning (SEL). This means that young children can learn strategies and approaches to emotional intelligence that they can practice throughout their school years and later on in life as adults. Such programs can ensure the next generation has what it takes to lead happy, healthy and successful lives.
What is also important to know about SEL is that it helps to enhance EQ skills like managing emotions, setting positive goals, feeling empathy towards others, improved decision-making, and more positive relationships. For children, SEL is an effective way of learning and it helps them achieve success in so many areas of their life. From academics, to social interactions, to their own emotional well-being, SEL is a proven strategy that produces positive outcomes in young learners.
There are several approaches to SEL and it works best when everyone gets involved. Schools, educators, families, and entire communities that invest in SEL for their children witness proven benefits far and wide. Here are a few additional points on EQ and SEL why these are such pivotal life skills to develop.