Emotions play a major and crucial role in shaping our attitude, aptitude, personality, and behavior. The thoughts, feelings and emotions get induced when he or she is born. They evolve with time, and if we manage them at an early stage ensures early child development.
It is unfortunate that parents form high expectations and focus only on grades for college placement rather than the emotional health of the child. This results in disappointment, frustration, and a low self-esteem sometimes leading to depression. In fact, many parents are unaware that EQ is many times more important than IQ. If a child is not emotionally healthy, he or she can never be academically successful. This is not only a fact but the inconvenient truth.
There are many definitions and interpretations of the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ and what it comprises. The main take-aways from any discussion on EI and EQ relate to the basic desire for happiness.
In our present ecosystem comprising of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, the key missing catalyst is Emotional Intelligence. It is the new elephant in the room and the essence of our mental health and quest for a meaningful life. Let us demystify this paradigm. Our educational institutions teach us every subject on Earth except happiness.
Do emotions really matter? Yes, they are inherent in everything we say, do or think.
After residing in the U.S. for over forty years, I have returned to India to give back to my country. 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 the paradigm Emotional Intelligence, or EI. It fascinated and intrigued me, and I wondered why it was not being adopted and implemented in our country. Finding this to be of immense value for child development I decided to start an education and awareness initiative on the subject matter. Today, hundreds of eminent professionals have joined my group “Emotional Intelligence Alliance” on LinkedIn and Facebook in this important initiative. Incidentally, I do not have a Ph.D. in Psychology, but do have one in Common Sense. It was easier to graduate in this field!
Most parents are unaware that our EQ or Emotional Quotient is many more times more important than IQ, the Intelligence Quotient. Be it the student, the parent or the teacher, it is essential that we urgently adopt this important value proposition for sustainable child development.
What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)?
Let us begin with the term emotion. Our thoughts turn into feelings which in turn evolve into emotions. They then lead to action and reaction. All our emotions lie in our subconscious and manifest themselves based on people we meet, places we visit or events we participate 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 etc., and we all different learning abilities, 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 our infancy to adulthood.
Why is EI important?
The subconscious or SC, has no reasoning power because emotions always overpower logic, and will accept whatever it believes to be true. As opposed to the Conscious, or C, it never sleeps and works 24X7. The SC is controlled by our thoughts and feelings 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 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, rarely forgets anything and it’s behavior is involuntary. It works only on one thought at a time and 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, 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 introversion. It is well known that addiction in any form is either the precursor or the aftermath of depression derived from 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?
• Parental and peer pressure.
• Relationship problems.
• Health problems
• Academic and career under performance.
• Social media addiction.
•Effect and affect our personality,
•Establish our self-identity, knowing who we are and those around us
• Assist in problem solving and conflict resolution.
•Enhance our communication skills so we can have ‘real’ conversations.
• Assist in consequential decision making based on the choices we make.
• Help interpret body language and non-verbal communication.
• Improve the outcome of intra-personal and interpersonal interaction.
•Teach us ‘How to make friends and influence people’. (Dale Carnegie).
• Improve our self esteem, self regulation, self confidence and self worth.
•Teaches us empathy and compassion and humility.
•Deliver us from our obsession with social media and cell phones.
• Help unlearn, learn and relearn.
• Maximize our human potential and life outcomes.
• Teach us how to overcome loneliness, whether physical or mental.
• Understand the significance of under thinking and overthinking.
• Understand the importance honesty and forgiveness, without self deception.
• Help in our careers, team building, empowerment and leadership skills.
How can EI be 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, and by personal profiling. When we have an 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 abilities of the child. Parents are finding less 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 willingness to take this on as a major issue.
When is a good time to start EI counselling?
Even though the parent and the child are reluctant to accept the reality, 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. EI evaluation and assessment is now the norm in many parts of the world, and our educationists and HR executives are just beginning to realize it’s importance.
Key benefits for the school, counsellors, parents and students are:
• By taking pro-active steps on the issue, you would be recognized as a pro- active institution, something that any parent will value when enrolling their child.
• 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, and has to do with parent child communication and relationship.
• The attendance and grades of the students will improve
resulting in fewer dropouts.
• Students will be more focused on studies leading to minimal disruption in the classroom and campus.
• The academic ranking of the school will improve.
Thoughts, feelings and emotions get induced in a person from birth and become part of our DNA. EI develops over time, but we must manage emotions from an early age. The problem is that parents with high expectations make every effort on increasing the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of their 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. This is the need of the hour!
You may ask, 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, such as:
• Improper action and reaction
• Conflict and loss of communication
• Poor academic performance
Parents and teachers should understand that our EQ is the support system for our IQ. If the EQ is high the IQ automatically benefits. Our mind stays with positive thoughts for a very short period of time, the rest being negative for the most part. If negative thoughts are erased through interventions they turn into love, empathy, compassion, close relationships and positive outcomes.
Emotional Intelligence comprises of Self Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management.
The benefits of applying our EI are:
• Stress Management
• Conflict Resolution
• Social skills
• Judgement skills
• Leadership skills
• Self- esteem
• Empathy and compassion
• Improved performance
If you find your child is becoming unmanageable, avail the assistance of an EQ profiling and assessment test. This detailed assessment from a certified psychologist becomes the basis for clinical guidance needed and is a road map for career planning. 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.
There are paradigm changes happening across the world in terms of finding learning outcomes other than in the existing instruction set in our education system today. It is becoming clear that a new quantum theory in the area of behavioral science is unfolding, provoking a radical new examination of the EQ vs. IQ debate. Eminent speakers in academia and social media are presenting fascinating insight as to what might be almost a catharsis to our present way of thinking. I hope to write more about it in a forthcoming book “Who Moved My Emotions?”
Emotional Intelligence Training and Certification : https://discovermymind.com/training-certification/
EQ Profiling and Assessment : https://discovermymind.com/eq-assessment
Please join the group Emotional Intelligence Alliance on LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13520477/
Team Discover My Mind.