How to Improve Emotional Intelligence for Students

Posted by Erica Warren on

Because emotional intelligence is thought to be an important step in realizing one's true potential, it's vital that we develop EQ in our schools.
kids smiling because they are building emotional intelligence

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as EQ (emotional quotient), is one's ability to understand and manage internal and external emotions in positive ways.  It includes stress management, emotional regulation, nonviolent communication, and empathy.

5 Strategies to Help Students Improve their Emotional Intelligence?

    1. Share and discuss stories of people that exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence.
    2. Teach students about active listening skills, and discuss ways to attend to both verbal and nonverbal communication. Additionally, demonstrate how to ask for clarity when other people are talking so there is a clear understanding before personal thoughts are shared.
    3. Demonstrate and teach students about reflective communication. Have students practice mirroring or repeating back what others are saying or inferring.  For example, after a student shares their thoughts with the group about feeling sad that some classmates exclude them from activities, another participant may say: "If I got it, you feel unhappy when classmates don't include you. Did I get it?"
    4. Talk about the power of a positive approach to life, and help students develop and express an optimistic outlook.  One great way to do this is to have a daily gratitude circle.  Have each participant share three things for which they are grateful.  
    5. Help students become aware of their inner voice.  If their inner voice is negative, teach them how to shift to more positive ways of speaking to themselves. 
Social Emotional Resources

Where Can I Find Resources that Can Help Students Develop Their Emotional Intelligence?

I offer a number of mindful activities cards that can be used in individual or group sessions. In particular, I created a specific set of cards for developing emotional intelligence.  To view all my social-emotional publications at Good Sensory Learning, CLICK HERE.
Clearly, helping students to improve their EQ is imperative as it can help them to reach their potential and find joy in life.  
Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.

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