Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom

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Emotional intelligence is one of the most important traits that anyone can acquire to view life in general from different perspectives. This is why emotional intelligence holds such dire significance in our personal, social, and professional lives. While the case with college and university life is no different. However, it is important to first understand what exactly we mean by emotional intelligence.

emotional intelligence in the classroom
IQ vs Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, also termed as EQ, is the ability to perceive, manage, analyze, and express your own emotions along with those of others around you and is believed to cover five major areas, emotional control, self-awareness, self-motivation, empathy, and relationship building skills.

Speaking from the educational context, it is vital for both the teacher and students to be emotionally intelligent in order to acquire a better learning experience, build quality academic and friendly relationships, and importantly serve the grand purpose, register top performance at the end of each semester. Emotional intelligent skills not only help us in the classroom but also later in our future career and professional development efforts.

Some people confuse the concept of IQ with emotional intelligence, however, it is a debate that EQ is actually better than sole IQ and plays a wider role in the academic success of any student. Experts have stated that students that register higher IQ and EQ scores throughout their college or university tenure tends to hunt and enjoy notable success in their careers, all due to perseverance, determination, and the will to succeed against all odds.

Although there are still a number of unexplained things regarding emotional intelligence, learners and educators should understand and acknowledge some of its vital aspects.

Active Listening
Active listening is one of the most important facets of emotional intelligence, a two-way communication process that extends beyond the simple “listening” thing. It will start will a normal dialogue and then the learner will respond to the message received through his or her body language, then providing feedback to the sender that the message has been correctly received.

When we talk about the classroom, active listening determines how students obtain feedback from the teacher. Unfortunately, it has been stated that around 38% of feedback interventions are more negative that good, all due to the misinterpretations of the feedback received. Mostly, the receiver comprehends the message on the basis of personal judgment and subjectivity rather than on relevant facts and unbiasedness.This is why active listening becomes such a critical part of emotional intelligence not only through the classroom lectures but also in other aspects of education.

A Vocabulary of Emotions
It might not seem much, but experts confidently say that students can elevate their interpersonal and presentations skills by increasing their emotional vocabulary. For instance, students should clearly understand the difference between an appropriate use of “sad” and “disappointed”, “frustration” and “anger”, and numerous other terms that sound similar but are used in different contexts. Again, it might not seem a big deal, but every emotion word you learn actually strengthens your emotional intelligence skills.

One of the easiest, yet effective ways to build your vocabulary of emotions is by asking the learners in the class to play the alphabet game. Try to come up with a new emotion with every succeeding alphabet. Then start asking questions: What are the differences between each emotion? How you can prompt the emotions? How learners can use the emotions in different situations?

Raising Self-Awareness
When we are not genuinely self-aware of our own personality, behavior, and character, there is a high chance we won’t know how we come across and present ourselves to others. Hence, initiating a series of formation of false impressions through social interactions, learning outcomes, and other routine life activities.

Consider asking some students how they think they did in their finals, and later compare the actual grades with their perceived performance. You’ll be surprised to see the number of students who might have overestimated their ability, most commonly seen with students who performed imperfectly in their exams.

Also termed as Dunning-Kruger effect, one of the most common issues prevailing in the college and university classrooms today, where learners fall under the illusion of baseless superiority, or, perceive their cognitive level much greater than it actually is. Such students might not even hire a professional custom assignment writers to cater unarguably highly challenging and tedious coursework topics, only to end up failing disastrously.

This is why it is advised to elevate your self-awareness as much as possible, a relevant part of your cognitive development. The best way to instill this element in them is by asking self-reflective questions during the classroom lectures, such as, “What could have been done differently for a better outcome?”, “Is the concept delivered in Inception (movie) actually possible?”, “What could Hitler have done to prevent his army from perishing in World War 2?”, etc.

The point is to tap into your critical and independent thinking ability, the ones that stimulate your emotional intelligence and self-awareness better than ever.

Author Profile:
Shawn Hardy is a certified and experienced educational psychologist who has a number of international publications to his name. He also conducts seminars and workshops in related fields with the aim to help both students and professionals build on their cognitive health. Besides his regular job, Shawn also works as an accomplished academic expert with a number of major disciplines under his expertise.
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