I thought I was the boss.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is Important for Educators (Part 3)
Can I be a leader?
Let’s Look at Relationship Management as a Characteristic of EI.
Relationship management is the fifth characteristic of EI after empathy.
Have you ever considered yourself a leader?
Leaders have good social skills and are adept at managing change and resolving conflicts diplomatically, an essential ingredient of EI. Having strong social skills allows us to build meaningful relationships and an understanding of ourselves and others.
Relationship management includes social skills such as being an empathetic collaborator and team player. As a result, such social skills enhance teacher/parent negotiation abilities.
Researchers suggest three relationship management strategies:
- Practice effective questioning.
Effective questioning is when you use open-ended questions to promote conversations that inspire deep intellectual thought and meaningful social interaction. For example, instead of asking, “are you feeling good today?” Say, “tell me how you’re feeling today.” Effective questioning focuses on the “how” or “why” as opposed to detailing the “what.”
- Develop active listening.
Good communication skills go beyond listening. They include being tuned in to the speaker’s nonverbal behavior such as body language and tone of voice. By using active listening in our interactions, we promote mutual understanding and successful outcomes. Active listening encompasses being nonjudgmental, with an emphasis on listening rather than seeking to immediately solve the issue or problem. To develop your active listening skills, practice suspending judgement, focusing on the speaker, and not interrupting the speaker.
- Show interest.
Being a teacher isn’t easy. It can seem like there are too many lessons to plan, too many students to supervise, and too many papers to grade. It can seem like our days are filled with anxiety. Visualize back to when you were a student. We had our own problems, and we used to think, “nobody understands me!” How great would it have been if instead of receiving condescending or judgmental looks from the teacher or our parents, we heard, with a smile, supportive, encouraging words that expressed how special we were.
Think about it:
What kind of impression do you want to make on your students? Do you want to practice EI?
“Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.” Haim Ginott