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How To Improve Students’ Emotional Intelligence?

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    Do you find that some of your students have trouble controlling their feelings? If this is the case, emotional intelligence could be the solution. The capacity to detect, analyse, and control one's feelings is referred to as emotional intelligence (EQ).

    Increasing students' emotional intelligence can assist them in better managing their feelings and behaving in a manner that is more congruent with expected social norms. These five suggestions are a good foundation from which to build your emotional intelligence, but there are many other routes to take.

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    emotional intelligence1

    What Is Emotional Intelligence?

    To begin, a concise definition of emotional intelligence would be the ability to be aware of and take control of one's feelings. Emotional intelligence is the utilisation of one's feelings in the process of goal-setting and achievement. In the same way that one's IQ can range anywhere from low to high, one's EQ, also known as the emotional intelligence quotient, or the measurement of one's emotional intelligence, can also range anywhere from low to high, and it is not necessarily connected to one's cognitive abilities.

    People who are emotionally intelligent are able to function effectively both in interpersonal and intrapersonal contexts. A person is said to have adequate intrapersonal functioning if they have an accurate perception of their own emotions and are able to use that perception to guide them through life. And understanding other people and being able to communicate effectively with them is also part of having healthy interpersonal functioning. Although there are many connections between these skills, it is possible for a student to excel in some aspects of emotional intelligence while having difficulty in others.

    The concept of a student's cognitive intelligence is typically the first thing that comes to mind whenever one is attempting to discuss their academic prowess. However, many teachers believe that placing emphasis solely on a student's cognitive abilities is an inadequate way to gauge that student's overall potential and diminishes the significance of emotional intelligence. The development of one's social and emotional skills can be equally as important, and a high IQ is not always a reliable indicator of academic achievement.

    For instance, a student may excel academically but struggle socially due to a lack of social skills.

    [6] If they are unable to work together with others, they will not make the most of the opportunities that are presented to them in order to fulfil their academic potential. Students need to work on developing both their emotional and cognitive intelligences in order to achieve their full academic potential.

    How To Increase Your Classroom's Emotional Quotient

    Children receive the majority of the education necessary to develop their emotional intelligence from two primary sources: their teachers and their parents. It implies that one of the most effective ways to foster emotional intelligence in one's students is to serve as a positive role model for them. Be conscious of your own feelings and do your best to hold onto them while you're in the classroom. According to research, teachers who have a higher level of emotional intelligence are able to help their students improve their social-emotional skills and have fewer behavioural issues.

    In addition, allow students the opportunity to express their own feelings by being open to talking about how they are feeling in class. For instance, if a student is feeling upset or frustrated about something, it is important to reassure them that these emotions are normal and acceptable. Instruct them in techniques for coping with their negative emotions and how to identify the signs that they are experiencing unhappiness. Children will be able to strengthen their emotional intelligence by learning how to calm themselves down in situations where they feel overwhelmed, such as in school.

    If a student misbehaves, rather than shaming the student, you should try to correct their actions by setting a good example for them to follow. For instance, if a student is using their phone in the classroom, rather than saying, "You shouldn't have your phone out right now," you could say, "Let's focus on the lesson right now, okay?" Students will be able to learn which behaviours are unacceptable in the classroom without having to internalise their actions or emotions as being embarrassing in the process.

    And finally, if you are an administrator at a school, you should consider organising a session of emotional intelligence training for your faculty. Educators need to be made aware of the meaning of the term "emotional intelligence," as well as the various methods by which it can be measured in their students, and the types of games that can be used in the classroom to boost their pupils' emotional quotients. Training in emotional intelligence and social and emotional learning (SEL) programmes are not only associated with producing a more upbeat atmosphere in the classroom, but also improve overall academic performance.

    Tips For Helping Students Develop Emotional Intelligence

    Empathy, or the capacity to understand and share the feelings of another person, is a skill that must be acquired as a natural part of maturation. It all begins in kindergarten when we are taught how to share our crayons with our classmates. Then, as we get older, we learn to include other people on the playground in order to avoid hurting other people's feelings and to relate to people who are different from us.

    This completely natural phase of human development is hampered by the fact that the majority of our social interactions, whether they take place at home or at school, are conducted through the medium of a screen rather than face to face. According to Helen Riess, who is the director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, even though there are many technical benefits, we must not forget what makes us human. This includes social and emotional awareness, and empathy, which is the most important of the three.

    "People are becoming more used to looking at screens with texts than they are to reading people's emotions on their faces," says Riess, who is also an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Riess is also quoted as saying that "people are becoming more used to looking at screens with texts than they are to reading people's emotions on their faces." "That is such a fertile ground for the exchange of emotional information and connection."

    Riess has focused her work and her company, Empathetic, on developing empathy training with the goal of assisting medical professionals in becoming more attuned to the nonverbal communication that they engage in with their patients. After only three hours of training, there were noticeable improvements in both verbal and nonverbal perceptions of others, as well as responses to those perceptions.

    She explains that the capacity for empathy is rooted in the human brain. "It is the capacity to understand or empathise with the circumstances in which another person finds themselves as well as the ability to perceive the thoughts and feelings of other people. After actively listening to what the other person has to say and demonstrating genuine interest in gaining further insight into their experiences, our students learn how to respond in a manner that is considerate, courteous, and respectful."

    The fact that empathy can be taught despite the fact that it is a highly complex neurological response is excellent news for educators. The following advice is offered to educators, based on Riess's work with medical professionals, to assist students in developing the fundamentals of social and emotional intelligence.

    Encourage Eye Contact.

    Empathy is characterised by a connection between the mind and the body. When the person we are talking to makes eye contact with us, it gives us the impression that we are valued. Remind the students that when they are talking to each other, they should make eye contact.

    Make A Face.

    When dealing with students of a younger age range, it is not uncommon to present them with photographs of faces and ask them to determine the feeling conveyed. After that, instruct the students to imitate the feeling by making facial expressions that correspond to the particular emotion.

    Notice Posture.

    Ask students to pay attention to whether or not their classmate is slouching in their chair or looking down. Or are they standing to their full height and appearing cheery? Students can benefit from these indications by seeing beyond the words that the speaker is saying.

    Name That Emotion.

    Even if it seems like stating the obvious, simply putting a name to the feeling that you are observing can help you comprehend it on a deeper level. Consider, for instance, whether or not that person seems happy, aggravated, or perplexed.

    Recognise Tone Of Voice.

    A person's tone of voice, similar to the expression on their face, can reveal much more about their feelings than they intend to reveal. Think about how many times your exasperated tone of voice has inadvertently revealed your irritation with your partner or child. The encouraging news is that you will be able to perfect that tone of voice through practise. To begin, give an example of how it sounds when someone is being dishonest or condescending. Now have the students practise what it sounds like when they are truly complimenting someone. There are nuanced variations in tone that can facilitate our mutual comprehension of one another.

    Listen For Understanding.

    The majority of people only listen with the intention of responding, but you should encourage your students to listen with the goal of understanding. Your students will have a much easier time understanding what another person is trying to communicate with them if they pay close attention to the nuances of facial expression, take note of a person's posture, and pay attention to the tone of voice.

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    Respond With Empathy.

    Your ability to respond with empathy demonstrates that you care about the other person. It is a skill that is challenging for both young people and adults. Stay away from giving the person advice, trying to one-up them, analysing them, or correcting them. There are times when the only appropriate response is to let the person speaking know that they have been heard.

    Children are still in the learning phase when it comes to many of these hallmarks of empathic behaviour, which have become second nature to us as adults. Riess makes the point that there will be less bullying in the classroom if there is respect for one another there and if everyone's feelings are taken into consideration. Helping students develop a greater capacity for empathy has many benefits beyond the prevention of bullying. These benefits include the development of a positive classroom culture and the preparation of students to take on leadership roles.

    Embed Sel Into Lesson Plans

    Try incorporating these lessons into what you are already teaching rather than conducting a separate lesson solely on social skills or feelings. For example, if you are teaching about molecules in science, you could also ask the students to work together effectively in groups.

    Reading a book or having a discussion about a lesson in history that relates to a socially difficult situation is yet another possibility. To begin, you should have a discussion with your students about how to deal with societal issues. After that, learning literacy, history, and social and emotional skills becomes the focus of the lesson.

    Engage Students In Problem-Solving

    Engage children in a variety of problem-solving activities, whether it be assisting with the solution of a challenging math problem or developing a set of class rules at the beginning of the school year. For instance, if you notice that some of the children in your class are having trouble remembering to wait their turn, you could ask the other students, "Can you think of a way that will help you remember to wait your turn?"

    You could also ask older students for their thoughts and opinions on bullying at school and how they believe the school should respond to the problem of bullying. The students themselves are frequently the source of the best solutions to the problems that arise. Students will benefit from learning how to collaborate through the completion of group projects because this skill will be applicable in a variety of settings throughout their lives.

    Instil Perseverance

    Children need to be able to motivate themselves in order to be successful in school and in life. Self-motivation is an essential component of social and emotional learning. While many students will, of their own volition, work to improve themselves in some way, other students have a greater need for guidance in this particular area.

    Remind the students that in order to achieve their goals, they will need to work hard and remain persistent. Praise students for their hard work and encourage them to keep trying until they have mastered the material even if they are unsuccessful in achieving the desired grade even though they are putting in a great deal of effort.

    Every student ought to be encouraged to set some goals for themselves so that they can experience a feeling of accomplishment. It encourages kids to dig deep and stay determined to achieve their goals, which helps to counteract the effect of negative thoughts.

    Model Respect

    One of the most important things one can learn in life is to treat other people with respect. One of the most effective ways to teach respect is to use language that is respectful and to encourage children to model their behaviour after their own. You can also teach respect to children by being aware of and appreciative of the various cultural and linguistic backgrounds they come from.

    Insist to your students that they should do the same. They need to acquire the skill of treating one another with respect, regardless of whether or not they agree with one another.

    Remind them that showing respect to another person does not require them to agree with them or even like them. Keep in mind that teaching respect is an essential component of education, and it also serves to prevent bullying.

    Incorporate Character Education

    Students are more likely to develop strong moral and responsible convictions when they participate in character education programmes. Teach your students the significance of having morally sound values, being honest and trustworthy, and accepting personal responsibility for their deeds and behaviours.

    Provide opportunities for your students to develop and hone these skills while they are enrolled in your class. For instance, these skills can be discussed during historical studies and reading-related activities.

    Encourage children to consider ways in which they can demonstrate greater responsibility or trustworthiness in the classroom.

    The next step is to give them permission to put those concepts into action. Make it a point to recognise students for acting in an ethical and honest manner, particularly in situations in which they accept responsibility for their actions. It does not mean that they should avoid discipline; rather, they should recognise the importance of being truthful.

    Encourage Students To Share Opinions

    The teachers should ask their students for their opinions, let the students come up with activities, and respond in a flexible manner to the students' suggestions. The students will develop a stronger sense of their own competence, which will in turn increase their desire to learn.

    They also have a lower risk of dealing with issues related to envy and jealousy. Nevertheless, unfortunately, envy is frequently at the root of bullying, particularly relational aggression and the behaviour of mean girls.

    Impart Resiliency

    According to research, students who are better able to bounce back from challenges have greater academic success. They are also able to recover from setbacks more quickly, are aware of their own opinions, and have a firm grasp on their beliefs, all of which contribute to a robust awareness of who they are.

    It is more likely that children who are resilient will suffer fewer consequences as a result of being bullied than children who are not resilient or who are not secure in their beliefs.

    Prioritise Caring Behaviour

    Students can be encouraged to develop empathy by being frequently asked to imagine what it would be like to be in the place of another person. For instance, you could ask your students during the lesson things like "What do you think he was thinking?" or "What do you think she was thinking at that moment?"

    Children who are able to empathise with others are better able to form healthy relationships, which is the foundation of social and emotional learning. Ask your students to try to put themselves in the shoes of others and listen to what others have to say. Please encourage your students to do this.

    Choose Your Words Carefully

    We've all had interactions with teachers, parents, or students that have left us seething with rage at one point or another. According to Forbes, people who have a high level of emotional intelligence have a "tendency to use more specific words that can help communicate deficiencies," and then they immediately work to address those deficiencies. Determine what went wrong at the meeting you had with your principal, for instance, and then work to fix the issue that caused the meeting to be so unsuccessful. Don't let it consume you; instead, concentrate on finding a solution to the problem.

    Practice Empathy

    When I was a kid and got into a fight with one of my friends, my mother would tell me to "put myself in the other person's shoes" and try to see things from their point of view. Empathy training, in which one learns to view situations from the perspectives of others, can be an effective method. For instance, rather than simply getting angry at a student who is acting out in class, sit down with them and talk about why they are acting in such a manner. Establishing positive connections can help prevent problems in the future.

    Ask Why

    Empathy is a skill that needs to be developed, but doing so can be challenging. According to Inc., closing the perspective gap, also known as the inability to put oneself in the position of another person, is much more challenging than most of us realise. Imagine how challenging it would be to put yourself in the position of a student whose father is incarcerated or a coworker who is going through a challenging divorce. Think about how challenging it would be. Asking a difficult person why they are being difficult, such as a student who is acting out in class or a coworker who seems to have a short fuse, can help you realise that the difficult person may be someone who is in need of some assistance.

    Know Your Triggers

    Your emotional intelligence can be improved by becoming aware of the triggers that cause you to experience extreme feelings. Learning what sets off your reactions will also go a long way towards preparing you to deal with them when they do occur.

    Your time away from work during the summer is an excellent opportunity to examine what sets off your anxiety and to devise strategies for avoiding the situations or people that bring it on. Take some time over the summer to reflect on how much better your life is now that you have some distance from the things that used to bother you, and use that time to formulate a strategy that will help you recognise and avoid your triggers when the new school year begins.

    Have Crucial Conversations

    Being emotionally intelligent does not imply a lack of direct engagement with life's challenges. Instead, it indicates that you are able to defuse tensions and take appropriate action because you are conversant in the necessary conversations that enable you to do so. Conversations that matter teach you how to listen, how to gauge the responses of other people, and how to recognise when other people are becoming angry or shutting down. Then, once you've made things safe again, you can consult, vote, and come to a consensus—and everyone is much happier as a result of this process.

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    There are a variety of approaches that can be taken to raise students' levels of emotional intelligence. The practise of mindfulness involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings as they occur in the present moment in a way that is nonjudgmental; doing so enables us to make better-informed decisions about what we should do next. Being open-minded at school means being receptive to novel concepts that can enhance one's academic performance and allowing oneself to refrain from experiencing feelings of threat whenever one's viewpoint is challenged by another. Instead of harshly judging yourself for failing or making mistakes, self-compassion refers to the practise of treating yourself kindly when you have done something wrong or are feeling frustrated during difficult times.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Become aware of and tune into your own emotions.
    • Seek to understand the points of view of others. 
    • Communicate Effectively. 
    • Develop connections with people. 
    • Practice emotional management.

    Teaching emotional intelligence provides students with skills that will help them for the rest of their academic careers and beyond. Alongside academic subjects like math or science, plan lessons teach students to recognise and manage their feelings.

    • Self-awareness.
    • Self-regulation.
    • Motivation.
    • Empathy.
    • Social skills.

    The four domains of Emotional Intelligence — self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management — can help a leader face any crisis with lower levels of stress, less emotional reactivity and fewer unintended consequences.

    The final, personal skills aspect of emotional intelligence is motivation. Self-motivation includes our drive to improve and achieve, commitment to our goals, initiative or readiness to act on opportunities, and optimism and resilience.

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