Our country has traditionally relied on intelligence tests and college admissions tests to predict both academic and career success. Daniel Goleman, PhD says that assessing emotional intelligence is a more reliable predictor for both.
It should be common sense that if people aren't emotionally healthy, they won't be able to focus on their studies or on performing well in the workplace. Also, if people don't learn emotional self-control to respond to stressful situations appropriately, they are much more likely to have discipline problems resulting in suspension or expulsion from school, dropping out, and being fired or laid off.
We have all seen that social skills, including the ability to get along with a teacher, a boss and customers, which we call "street smarts," is as important as and possibly more important than intellectual intelligence for academic and career success.
Academic programs have been developed in response to the findings of Goleman and other psychologists to help children and parents learn emotional intelligence skills. In Emotional Intelligence, Goleman explains what is included in these programs and the results in schools where they have been used. The results have been a dramatic reduction in discipline problems, higher academic achievement, and more students graduating.
With budget cuts and the elimination of enrichment subjects such as music and sports in many schools, how can they add emotional intelligence to the curriculum? First, teaching kids these skills results in less disruption in the classroom, which should create the time for this critically important subject. Second, emotional intelligence lessons can be weaved into instruction in other academic subjects like reading and mathematics.
Goleman asks us what is more important, learning reading and math, or learning skills that might help keep you alive, possibly helping children avoid dropping out of school and joining gangs?
Information about model programs, books about how parents can teach their children emotional intelligence skills, and books about teaching emotional intelligence skills in organizations are included in the appendix.
Reading Emotional Intelligence can help all of us better understand emotions in ourselves and others.
Buy it on Amazon: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
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