Thoughts on Emotional Intelligence

Thoughts on Emotional Intelligence.

After residing in the U.S. for over forty years, I have returned to India to give back to my country. I am a graduate of U.C.L.A. with a Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering, and an International I.S.C. Diploma from Cambridge University, England, I was with Ernst & Young as a Senior Management Consultant in Los Angeles in their health care practice for many years.

On my return, I came across Emotional Intelligence, or EI. It fascinated and intrigued me, and I wondered why it was not being adopted in India. After much research, I found this to be of immense value for child development and decided to start an education and awareness initiative on the subject matter. Today, almost 1,000 eminent professionals are in my group “Emotional Intelligence Alliance” on LinkedIn and Facebook, and who have joined me in this campaign. . Incidentally, I do not have a Ph.D. in Psychology, but do have one in Common Sense. It is very difficult  to graduate in this field, more so than Nuclear Science!

Most parents are unaware that our EQ or emotional quotient, is many more times more important than our IQ, the Intelligence Quotient. Be it the student, the parent or the school, it is essential that we urgently adopt this important approach for sustainable child development.

What is EI? Let us begin with the term emotion. Thoughts turn into feelings which in turn into emotions. They then lead to action, and reaction on both parts. All our emotions lie in our subconscious and manifest themselves based on people we meet, places we visit or events we partake in. The task is to identify, evaluate, control and express our emotions in order to achieve our maximum potential, or any preconceived objective we have in mind. Each individual has multiple intelligence, such memory, logic, aptitude and personality et al. And each one of us has learning disabilities as well, some that we are unaware of. It is this skill set that needs optimization. Our IQ remains constant. It is our EQ, or emotional quotient that evolves and develops from infancy to adulthood. 

Why is EI important? The subconscious, or SC has no reasoning power because emotions will always overpower logic. It will accept whatever it believes to be true. As opposed to the Conscious, or C, it never sleeps and works 24X7. It is controlled by our thoughts and emotions, and operates on the laws of attraction i.e. whatever is most rewarding at any given point in time. It functions on the basis of images formed in our mind and retained by our thoughts, imagination and not by words or deeds. Unlike the C, the SC cannot see or observe, be logical, rational or make decisions. The SC has unlimited memory, never forgets anything and it’s behavior is involuntary. It works only on one thought at a time, is influenced by instant gratification and is dominated by the five senses. When conflict occurs, the SC will overcome the C every time. While the C lives in the past, present and future, the SC lives only in the present.

There is a wild race in our education system today for attaining maximum scores at the expense of all other aspects of child and adolescent development. When a child does not meet parental expectations or that of their own, the result is stress, mood swings, depression and a lack of self-esteem. Often, this leads to some form of addiction, be it alcohol, smoking, eating disorders, social media, or just introversion. It is a well known fact that addiction in any form is either the precursor, or the aftermath of depression, fear and anxiety. Essentially, if a student is not emotionally healthy, he or she will find it very difficult to be academically successful.

What are the causes of emotional stress? 1. Parental and peer pressure. 2. Relationship problems. 3. Health problems 4. Academic and career under performance. 5. Social media addiction.

How is EI implemented?

By educating the student, parent, school and college on the importance and value of the approach, be it with seminars, counsellor training or in parent teacher meetings. With the evaluation and assessment in hand, the intervention can be done by the parents as a first step, since they are now aware of the strengths and learning disabilities of the child. Parents are finding almost no time to devote to their child’s emotional problems, and simply do not know where to go or what to do. Schools and colleges have limited resources or are unable or unwilling to take this on as a major objective. We cannot absolve ourselves of this imperative.

When is a good time to start EI counselling?

Even though the parent and the child are reluctant to accept the situation, this should be done as early as possible. It is a preemptive and preventive approach before a child becomes unmanageable or is not achieving his or her potential. As an anecdote, when Andre Agassi was an infant, his parents tied a tennis ball across his crib and would pat it from side to side. Following the ball, he learnt eye movement and coordination, and became one of the best players in the world. That, ladies and gentlemen, is EI. 

What are the ways and means to determine the EI of a student?

EQ evaluation and assessment is now the norm in many parts of the world, and our educationists, and in fact, HR executives are just beginning to realize it’s importance. We have excellent cost effective platforms for remedial tools, some of which are available on our website www.discovermymind.com.

Please encourage your child to take an evaluation test. It is inexpensive, easy and conducted in complete privacy and anonymity. The detailed assessment report from a certified psychologist, becomes the basis for any clinical guidance needed and provides a road map for career counselling as well.

Key benefits for the school, counsellors, parents and students are: 

  1. By taking pro-active steps on the issue, you would be recognized as a proactive institution, something that any parent will value when enrolling their child.
  2. There would be less of a blame game between the parent and the teacher for the under-performance of the child. The problem is not the tutor or the tuition, but the emotional health of the child. It has to do with the parent child communication and relationship..
  3. The attendance and grades of the students would improve resulting in fewer dropouts.
  4. Students would be more focused on studies leading to minimal disruption in the classroom and campus.
  5. The academic ranking of the school will improve.

The thoughts, feelings and emotions get induced in a person when he or she comes into this world and become part of our DNA. They develop over time, and we must manage them from an early age. But there is a problem. Parents, most with high expectations from their children, make all the efforts on increasing the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of the child, and sadly do not think of the Emotional Quotient (EQ). In fact, many of us are not even aware of this, although now being accepted worldwide. It is the need of the hour!

What is the need of focusing on EQ in the first place? .The answer is simple. If we cannot manage emotions or do not know how to control them, we face the following problems, leading to unwanted consequences:

a. Improper action and reaction.

b. Conflict and loss of communication.

c. Poor academic performance. 

d. Possible depression

Parents and teachers understand that our EQ is the support system for our IQ. If the EQ is high, the IQ automatically benefits. Our mind stays with thoughts which are only 25% positive, and remaining being negative. If negative thoughts are erased through proper intervention; they will turn into love, empathy, compassion, relationships, and positive outcomes.

Emotional Intelligence comprises of Self Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management. We will share much more on the subject on our platform.

The benefits are in the areas of:

a. Stress Management   b. Conflict Resolution   c. Social skills   d. Judgement skills  e. Leadership skills   f. Longevity  g. Happiness   h. Self- esteem.  i. Self-motivation j. Empathy and compassion. k. Improved skill development. 

If you find your child becoming unmanageable, avail the assistance of an EQ profiling and assessment counsellor. They will diagnose the cause of such behavior and assist in the intervention needed. Thousands of students and parents in other countries have benefited from this approach, and this is now being implemented in knowledge-driven societies like India.

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