Working in Education isn't easy. The environment is subjected to so many variables and often you feel like you're clutching straws when dealing with the many issues that concern our sector.
Like most bureaucracies, public education is very rules-based when policy has to be implemented. This makes for a docile work experience since obedience makes the job uneventful; obey the rule, no problem! Break the rule, spells trouble. Again, no problem!
But ever so often the rules get challenged by educators! And the voices against obedience can be deafening! And the rules cannot help. There is a refusal to comply. Then we see how quickly bureaucracy falters. Bureaucracy wasn't meant to give people space to be innovative or creative; or rather, you may as long as you stay within the rules of-the-game.
Our modern working environment though requires much more than organizational rules to survive. Given the complexity, we need a workforce that can engage the multiple layers of the issues that confront us, make meaning thereof and give direction. It requires a workforce that has EQ. Yes, we need emotional intelligence!
So what is emotional intelligence (EQ)?
For decades, researchers have studied the reasons why a high IQ does not necessarily guarantee success in the classroom. By the 1980s, psychologists and biologists, among others, were focusing on the important role other skill sets — needed to process emotional information — played in promoting worldly success, leadership, personal fulfillment and happy relationships.
In 1990, psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey of Yale theorized that a unitary intelligence underlay other skill sets. They coined the term, "emotional intelligence", which they broke down into four “segments”:
- Identifying emotions on a nonverbal level
- Using emotions to guide cognitive thinking
- Understanding the information emotions convey and the actions emotions generate
- Regulating one’s own emotions, for personal benefit and for the common good
Daniel Goleman made the elements of emotional intelligence accessible to broad segments of society. Thanks to Goleman, educators now recognize that emotional intelligence is every bit as important to learning as intellectual prowess or IQ.
Goleman broadened Mayer’s and Salovey’s four-branch system to incorporate five essential elements of emotional intelligence — or EQ, the shorthand he sometimes uses:
- Emotional self-awareness — knowing what one is feeling at any given time and understanding the impact those moods have on others
- Self-regulation — controlling or redirecting one’s emotions; anticipating consequences before acting on impulse
- Motivation — utilizing emotional factors to achieve goals, enjoy the learning process and persevere in the face of obstacles
- Empathy — sensing the emotions of others
- Social skills — managing relationships, inspiring others and inducing desired responses from them
According to Goleman, bullying, disciplinary problems, violence and drug abuse are reduced in schools with a high EQ. With a solid basis in emotional intelligence, academic performance — as well as behavior — improves.
In short, you have a sense of the value of EQ. And you’ll find none of this embedded in the rules we traditionally apply in the workplace. Now I dare you; look at your school, district office or organisation and determine the level of EQ. You should not be surprised at your discovery!
info sourced from danielgoleman.com and via Google. Image from Google images