“Aakhir tum sara din karti kya ho?”
Have you heard of this question before? Familiar isn’t it ? Women who have been homemakers either by choice or otherwise, have been asked this frustrating question by their husbands since decades. Their anguish towards such questions is justified. Probably, an emotionally intelligent husband would have refrained from asking this particular question and could have asked – “Aaj tumhara din kaisa gaya?”
This leads us to ask whether intelligence or IQ is enough to lead a successful life – at home, at work or socially. The answer is an emphatic NO. Intelligence is not enough. Besides intelligence and hard work, success is also a fruit of an important intangible factor – Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ).
Communicating with emotional intelligence can propel one’s career to the next level. Emotionally intelligent communicators boost performance of their organizations. They make great relationships and they win bonuses. Emotional quotient is responsible for 58% of professional success and 90% of top performers at work score high on emotional intelligence.
Having said all this, how does one become emotionally intelligent and what exactly is emotional intelligence ?
Whether a homemaker or working, as a manager of the household, how do women ensure that her family is emotionally intelligent ? The answer is simple – by nurturing it consciously.
Let us first understand what emotional intelligence is.
The Institute for Health and Human Potential defines emotional intelligence as being aware that emotions can drive behaviour and impact people (positively or negatively) and its learning about how to manage those emotions both our own and others especially when we are under pressure.
The concept of emotional intelligence was popularized by internationally known psychologist Daniel Goleman through his book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’ which was first published in 1995
Author Travis Bradberry puts this definition in a rather smart way – Emotional Intelligence is the other kind of smart.
Emotional Intelligence is composed of four categories as shown below:
Self awareness is about knowing your talents and weaknesses and being honest about your motivation.
Akshat left his job as a software developer to pursue a career in sound engineering because he feels he is better at creating some jingles than writing lines of code behind a computer screen.
Self management is our ability to manage our lives and our emotions.
Do you have sudden outbursts of emotions and find it difficult to maintain a work-life balance or have you learned to calm yourself during adverse situations? Sometimes we take out our frustrations of work on our family members. Being in sync with oneself and consciously practising mindfulness is the key to self management.
Empathy is understanding another’s perspective and feelings. With empathy we understand how the decisions get made and who the influencers are.
Seema didn’t speak to her mother for two days because her mother didn’t allow her to go to the school picnic. She had her reason for wanting to go to the school picnic while her mother had her own. Seema wanted to experience all those cool fun activities at the water park with her besties for which she had planned for months but her mother was concerned about her safety. Both have different perspectives but empathizing with the other is the first step to rebuilding trust between the duo and second is to reach a productive solution.
Relationship management involves meeting diverse people, creating and nurturing connections and being available to help one another. Inspire others to bring out the best version of themselves. Give constructive feedback – “I have a different view on this” is always better than saying “You are wrong”. Nurture the ties to that point that you support and have a positive influence over one another.
You can build your emotional quotient by making an effort to meet people from various professional and social settings. Look for examples of great examples of emotional intelligence around you. Notice the people who demonstrate self-awareness, self-management, empathy and relationship management. They can become your mentors as you hone your own emotional quotient skills.
Once you have achieved a significant understanding of the concept of EI and mastered some level of all the categories of EI, you may focus on nurturing it at home. Creating a safe environment of freedom of expression and trust is the first step towards creating a culture of emotional intelligence at home. All members of the family must participate in creating and sustaining this culture. As children reflect parental behavior, parents should lead by setting appropriate examples.
It is easier to mould a child than a grown-up adult and as responsible mothers it is wise to nurture emotional intelligence in children from a tender age. The way your child learns to identify, understand, and manage emotions during early childhood can have an impact on everything from his or her relationships to performance in life as a grown-up adult.
Because of this, emotional development is a crucial brick in the growth and development of your child upto the age of 8 years.
Read on to learn more about building emotional intelligence during early childhood.
What is emotional intelligence in children?
Emotional intelligence is your child’s ability to recognize, analyze, manage, and express his or her emotions to people around. Children, who have higher levels of emotional intelligence, are able to harness their feelings to recognize and overcome challenges, relate to others around them and make informed decisions.
Why is emotional intelligence important for children?
Children with awareness of emotional intelligence are able to better at self-management and forming healthy and lasting relationships with others. This can aid them to develop a self-starter attitude, ability to analyze situations and respond accordingly — essential skills to help them become more confident learners in academics and sports.
On the other hand, children who lack emotional intelligence can become distant, negatively affecting performance in the classroom and later on in life as an adult.
Building emotional intelligence in children can help them:
- Improve self-awareness
- Manage stress
- Boost self-motivation
- Build empathy
- Make good decisions
- Communicate effectively
- Develop relationships
How to build emotional intelligence in your child?
Recognize emotions. Listen to your child’s feelings and discuss it. Help him or her recognize the emotion (anger, happiness, sadness, frustration, disgust, surprise and fear)
Empathize with your child. Ask how a particular situation has made him or her feel and why. Talk about the different ways in which your child can improve any unfavorable situations.
Empathize with your child. Let your child know that you understand their emotional state. Try saying, “It sounds like you’re excited!” or “You seem frustrated right now”. Talk about how the emotions your child is feeling seem to be affecting him or her, as well as others.
Teach problem solving. Help your child reflect on his or her emotions to analyze the possible reasons that make him or her feel a certain way. Find solutions to any challenges together.
Lead by example. Clearly communicate your own emotions to your child, why you feel a certain way, and how you would deal with your emotions if you were to face a similar situation.
Be patient with your child while he or she develops his or her skills for becoming an emotionally intelligent communicator.
Parenting is a long term project. So invest your time and parenting efforts not just in your child’s IQ but also his or her EQ and set him or her up for a successful and purposeful life.