A Guide to EQ and SEL

Guest post by Emma Gibson:

Emotional intelligence, also referred to as emotional quotient (EQ), is the ability to read other people’s feelings and emotions. This may include empathizing with others, negotiating with them, and even regulating your own emotions to make the best decisions no matter the circumstances. The benefits of EQ include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. For instance, EQ can enhance interactions and make relationships with others even more enriching. This is especially true when it comes to children who can be taught EQ skills early on for better relationships with peers, teachers and parents.

Often, people confuse EQ with a person’s IQ, or their intelligence quotient. A high IQ means that the individual can easily learn and apply new skills as relates to their ability to process information and technical knowledge. On the other hand, EQ refers to a person’s ability to understand what motivates others as well as themselves. This means that for most encounters, EQ has far greater significance than one’s IQ. For example, many employers agree that they would rather hire and promote someone with a high EQ versus someone with a strong IQ. Those with high EQ’s tend to communicate better, they demonstrate leadership capabilities and they have better exchanges with those around them. In fact, those with higher EQ’s are also more likely to become community leaders, they will have financial stability, and they will foster stronger connections with those around them.

The great news about all of this is that EQ can be mastered and improved over time through the process of social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL helps children build the EQ skills they will need to thrive in not only the classroom, but at home and in the community at large.  Unfortunately, there is a lack of EQ training in today’s schools despite EQ’s many benefits. So, what can conscientious parents do to ensure their children attain EQ skills?

Today’s parents can advocate for SEL programs on many levels—at the classroom level, to the school district, at home, and within the community. It has been shown that SEL programs help children achieve better outcomes at school, including having healthier attitudes, reduced bullying and lower dropout rates. What’s more is that SEL has been proven to positively impact a child well into adulthood. Parents can ensure their children’s future success by supporting SEL and promoting its use today. Here, we’ve put together a fun infographic with a few additional benefits of EQ and SEL—benefits that demonstrate the full impact of this important competency.

Emma Gibson is a psychology PhD candidate from Jacksonville State University and a talented communicator. She has a passion for the written word and has a remarkable ability to explain complex topics in layman’s terms. She engages readers with her creative ability to teach as she entertains.