When I was born, no one ever talked to me about EQ (The test for your level of Emotional Intelligence) the ability to control and manage our feelings and emotions around life challenges was never discussed; it was always expected or for some of the lucky ones indirectly taught through strong consistent parenting. It never got really discussed until 1990s and certainly at that time was not a common conversation even then.
The education system since teaching began has been very much about increasing IQ. IQ is, to be clear the test that measures your ability to retain new concepts, solve problems, think abstractly. Testing your rational, analytical, logical skills and intellectual abilities.
However with scientific research now proving that higher EQ is more important in determining a successful future it has to be something that those in a position of power in designing education systems are sitting up and taking note.
The good news is that emotional intelligence is something that can be learnt later in life or those of us who did not have it built into teaching methods and used in workshops to train us, however why it is so important for it to be bought into the school education system?
Well, not only because it ensures that teachers have the support and skills to deal with disputes in what is a stressful and time critical environment among a thousand other benefits. Then for the children growing up, taking it in their careers, marriages and in their own lives generally. It is proven that children who have a higher EQ are able to learn better as they have a clearer mind. When life challenges happen to children who are not equipped with a high sense of EQ it is more likely they will fail at taking in knowledge through learning. Their brain gets fogged by the emotions of how they feel; the emotions control them rather than the other way round.
Over the last five years, I have discussed emotional intelligence with many people who have not come across the theory before and they seem absolutely adamant that their whole childhoods would have been made easier if it had been incorporated into their education or childhood in some way. Of course its easy to say that now. However there are schools realising the importance of the effects of building emotional intelligence into teaching practices but also a social class.
So surely if EQ helps our children take in the information to increase there IQ, then we must work on supporting the growth of our children’s EQ first? A simple chicken and egg result here I think.
There is also debate on if you have a high EQ but a lower IQ that you can still do very well in life due to the ability to communicate, build relationship and so forth. It is thought it is your peers who may have a high IQ but are unable to build those important relationships to use the IQ to its full potential. Although I feel I may be treading into a whole new topic.
The ideal scenario is to harmonise the EQ and IQ to compliment each other in supporting both parts of the growth. Imagine a generation of well balanced humans ruling the world.
In America, in some of the less established communities they have been able to document and show the huge benefits of putting EI into a curriculum, it is hugely interesting.
In Dubai they have been striving to be the world leader in Wellbeing within the education system. They have seen some inspiring leaders in the Ministry of Education driving change into the wellbeing and happiness of all schools in Dubai. They are incorporating this mindset into their schools, and if the plan works, it will be documented for the work that has been achieved here.
I look forward to seeing the effects on the world as people drive EQ to deliver long term and lasting change.