How To Develop Emotional Intelligence In Students
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Emerging research suggests that developing emotional intelligence (EI) is an important factor in achieving success in life. While there has been some debate about what defines EI as a theory, most agree that it is your ability to identify and manage your emotions, influence how others feel around you, and use your feelings to help achieve goals.
Studies show that people with higher levels of EI are more likely to succeed academically, socially, professionally, and personally. They may be better equipped to handle stressful situations, which can aid in mental health wellness. And they’re less likely to develop psychological disorders like depression or anxiety.
There have also been studies linking high EIs with lower rates of obesity and smoking, healthier diets, and longer lives. This makes sense given that eating well and being aware of your own emotions can help keep you feeling healthy and happy.
With this growing body of evidence, educators are increasingly incorporating strategies into their classrooms to promote student growth in EI. Given that students spend a significant amount of time at school, studying, and coming back for extra courses, teaching these skills is a worthy investment.
However, doing so can be tricky because students’ emotions often change quickly, and sometimes for no apparent reason.
As mentioned before, students’ emotional intelligence can be improved through education and life experiences. This means that while some students may not understand what you are trying to tell them, they will eventually once you have repeated yourself several times.
As teachers, we need to remember that our job does not end when the classroom door closes! We are always teaching and re-teaching students, which includes helping them deal with their emotions.
In fact, one of the main reasons why high school students struggle is because they do not learn how to regulate their emotions until college. Many feel stressed out due to poor relationships or jobs, so they look for ways to release this stress by engaging in activities such as drinking or smoking marijuana.
This could lead to more problems later on if these habits are not checked, but only worsened. It is up to us as educators to help develop their emotional skills.
Make eye contact
One of the most fundamental ways to develop emotional intelligence is making direct, meaningful eye contact with others. When you look people in their eyes, they will feel seen and understood.
When we are not looking at someone directly, we can easily ignore them or assume something about them based on past experiences.
By breaking that habit, we create opportunities for more effective communication and understanding.
Making eye contact also helps to establish trust, as well as show respect. It reminds people who you are and what makes you worthy of their attention.
Students should strive to make frequent eye contacts while talking to other students and teachers. This way, your audience knows you are paying close attention to them and what they have to say.
And don’t forget to check out the eyes of others when interacting with them! A lot of things may be happening inside of them that you never know about.
Interpersonal skills like developing emotional intelligence are always needed – it is a universal quality. But starting early is the best way to ensure these qualities are developed effectively.
While developing your emotional intelligence is important, being aware of your own emotions is only half the battle. If you’re constantly looking at pictures of yourself with big smiles on your face, then it can contribute to feeling even more positive about yourself.
It may also make you feel like you have to keep smiling all the time, which could be stressful. You must remember that there are actually times when it is okay to let some tears flow.
If someone does something bad to you, don’t take too much offense – breathe and think before responding. The same goes for things that seem trivial or meaningless to you.
Try to look beyond what happened and focus on the person who did it instead. It will help you move on faster!
Your emotional health doesn’t just happen overnight but, by starting now, you’ll be helping yourself in the long run.
Share your experiences
As mentioned before, education these days is increasingly dependent upon technology. This includes teaching methods like using interactive white boards for lessons, giving students access to their phones so they can use them for learning at home, and even having classrooms that are completely online.
All of this has given rise to another important skill that most experts agree needs development – emotional intelligence (sometimes referred to as EQ).
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions as well as those of others. It comes down to being able to relate to other people and know how to influence them, which is very valuable to success in life.
There are many theories about what makes someone have high levels of emotional intelligence, but no one specific test exists to measure it. That said, there are some tests and questions that teachers can ask themselves or their colleagues to get an idea if they have low levels of emotional intelligence.
Why educational institutions should care about emotional intelligence
Too often in the workplace, we see people who lack empathy. These individuals don’t seem to grasp the feelings of others and instead of trying to be friendly, they go out of their way to make things difficult for you.
In schools today, we also see instances where children aren’t taught how to deal with their emotions. When a child gets angry, they may turn the anger onto another person, creating a feud that could last weeks.
Be honest with your peers
A student’s emotional intelligence (EI) is directly related to their level of honesty. If students are constantly lying to get ahead, they will never develop real EI.
Students need to be able to recognize when someone else isn’t being completely truthful about something or them. This could be because they aren’t thinking about others before themselves, or because they don’t like you and want to hurt you, or because they think they’re too good for you.
It can also be due to financial reasons – maybe this person doesn’t have enough money for what they wanted or they believe that you do.
By being aware of these possibilities, you can begin to predict if someone is going to lie to you and how they might try to cover it up. More importantly, you’ll know whether to trust their word or not.
Listen to others closely
One of the biggest ways to develop your emotional intelligence is by listening to other people. Yours might be students that you teach, parents of your student school-goers, friends, colleagues, and even media sources such as podcasts or YouTube videos.
You should not only listen for information but also how they are talking about things and what tone they use when speaking.
By doing this, you will learn a lot about them and yourself. You will gain knowledge on how to relate to different types of people and what makes them feel good or bad.
You will also learn how to recognize emotions in others which can help with workplace relationships as well as personal ones.
Don’t be egotistical
One of the biggest reasons students don’t develop their emotional intelligence is because they are too focused on themselves. All too often, we as adults forget that young people can feel emotions just like we do.
Children and teens process emotion differently than adults. When kids are angry or hurt, for example, they may turn it onto someone else — maybe even go so far as to say or do things they wouldn’t normally. They may become very critical or sarcastic with you- possibly even putting you down.
This isn’t deliberate malicious behavior, but rather poor self control. It’s something they aren’t used to since children are socialized from an early age to try to put others ahead of themselves.
Don’t make assumptions about what goes on inside their heads and whether they’re feeling better after talking to you. There could be lots of reasons why they’ve got upset, such as because they’ve lost a game or they didn’t get enough sleep.
A key component of developing emotional intelligence is understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of others. When you are aware of your personal limitations, you can more carefully plan strategies to address them.
The same goes for other people’s limitations- instead of being annoyed by someone's weakness, try to understand it so that you do not make the mistake of underestimating their potential.
Likewise, when you recognize a person's strength, help them develop it even further!
By emphasizing self-knowledge and knowledge of others, students will begin to improve their emotional quotient (EQ).