Most of us realize, as we go through life that success is not about being the smartest person around. Intellectual capability alone guarantees nothing. Success is also dependent upon how you approach problems and deal with undesirable, sometimes unforeseen circumstances.
There is no denying the strong correlation between achievement and the ability to handle pressure on the way towards our goals. The ability to handle our emotions in a productive manner is termed Emotional Intelligence. Sociologists find that the IQ,(Intelligence Quotient) of an individual is an inaccurate predictor of ‘success’ in life. The importance of the EQ(Emotional Quotient) cannot be overlooked when we study performance and achievement.
Suffice to say, a steady and reasonably high EQ is required for fruitful completion of tasks in all phases of life, and this includes the demanding and very challenging phase of student-life. School-going young individuals are still in the process of learning from experience and this is the stage at which they need to learn how to handle the dilemmas that they are sure to face at some point. Parents need to be proactive in fostering their children’s emotional growth and learning.
Traits of emotional intelligence, though innate, can be developed. There are a multitude of steps parents or students themselves can take in order to improve their emotional intelligence, and as a result, increase their odds of having a more fulfilling experience at school and in their work environment.
Let us briefly outline 3 basic ways in which emotional intelligence can be developed.
Positivity is a major plus, when working towards a goal. Many students and their parents feel that if they adopt the stance of zero tolerance towards failure or mediocrity, they will do better. However, there is a need to understand that failing to reach a goal is not synonymous with the failure of the individual. The capacity to handle setbacks is part of emotional maturity. Setbacks are inevitable and are important in giving us clues regarding reassessing our preparation strategies, and for setting modified goals. If we get emotionally crushed each time things don’t go according to plan, we will not be able to bounce back as quickly as we would if we were to look at it as a positive learning experience. Perseverance and continued self-motivation are a necessary component for accomplishment.
Alternate Avenues or Distraction
Another technique that can help develop our emotional resilience is to step back and focus on another passion or activity for a while. A well-rounded individual with various interests is able to benefit from temporarily taking a break from the source of unrest when there is the danger of getting overwhelmed by a certain situation. Engaging oneself with another interest, skill or pastime can help us approach the initial task in an improved way. This technique can also help ground us in the reality that our existence is multi-faceted and we cannot determine our worth through one particular experience.
Working With Others (Group Projects)
The benefits of working with other students on projects should not be discounted. Effectively and efficiently working with others is a skill that all of us need in life. Positive interactions with others teach the ability to coordinate, be respectful of the opinions of others. They learn to anticipate the feelings of peers and experience appropriate levels of empathy. In the work environment students will go on to constantly draw on these lessons of mindfulness. They must learn, at an early age, to value differences of culture and language etc. This also reduces bullying and disrespect in the short as well as long run.
These are examples of a few skills that parents of students and students themselves may want to start working on in a bid to improve their emotional resilience. Many books and online resources are available on the subject of Emotional Intelligence. It is definitely worth investing some time self-reflecting and seeing how you can improve your EQ and help your future self reach his or her goals more effectively.