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Young People and Emotional Intelligence

Feb 21, 2017

Young People and Emotional Intelligence

“EI is crucial for young people growing up in helping them deal with the challenges they face personally and to help them navigate and lead their lives. As you know, this is equally important as those young people move past school and into the workplace.” 

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a relatively new theory which was first coined in 1964 by Michael Beldoch and was popularised when a best selling book by Daniel Goleman in 1995 was published, called Emotional Intelligence - Why it can matter more than IQ

EI is defined as somebody's ability to monitor their own emotions, emotional intelligence is different to IQ because IQ is a measurement of one’s intelligence. other people's emotions and using this emotional information to guide their thoughts and actions. It is quite a complex theory but it is becoming recognised due to impact it has in growing up throughout your childhood years and also is a factor on how well you can communicate with people throughout your life.

This article is aimed towards EI in young people, the impact EI has on young people is quite big. It changes the way you communicate, how you make decisions and the rationality of your thoughts. 

Emotional Intelligence

How important is emotional intelligence? 

Now we have established what emotional intelligence is, it should be understood that once a person is able to effectively manage their emotions, it will help them forge relationships more effectively and will ultimately lead to more success throughout all points of life, whether at school, first job or even further down their career path.

When taking in to consideration how hard it is to get jobs in today’s world, ensuring that you stand out from other potential candidates is important. People with high EI are usually more valued employees due to their nature of being able to understand other peoples emotions with ease and therefore able to share a deeper connection.

It is also important to note that while growing up from childhood into adulthood, it is inevitable that you will encounter stress and pressure each day. Those who lack the skills to deal with these stresses have a higher chance of acting out of character and more prone to lashing out due to not having a stable mental wellbeing. Having emotional intelligence skills affects both your attitude and outlook on many things too, It can also help deal with anxiety, mood swings and depression.

Emotional intelligence can be broken down into 4 sections:

Self Awareness

One of the skills that emotionally intelligent people possess is that their self-awareness means they can identify and evaluate themselves and use that information to build a strong foundation. Something to remember is that your emotions and feelings are controlled by you and only you have the power to control them.

For some young people, it may not be easy to control your emotions - this could be the result of many factors such as a hostile family environment, social problems at school or quite simply stress. Children that have grown up with a broken family or have experienced a rough childhood usually also weren’t given the right chances to be able to deal with their emotions and often resort to negative ways such as lashing out in anger, alcohol or drug abuse. The key maintaining a healthy mind and being emotionally intelligent is to be self aware when dealing with problems.

Self Management

The next step after self-awareness is being able to use what you know to manage those emotions, feelings and thoughts. At times they may be overwhelming, they are the reasons some people act on impulse which may later lead to regret, shame or other negative feelings. Being able to control your feelings is going to help you throughout life and when in a workplace because not everything will go your way in life, the ability to control yourself in these situations is one step to success. 

There are many ways to achieve self-management, one of the most effective ones is to simply just take a step back and look at the big picture. Pay attention to how you are feeling in a situation and then proceed to either take a moment out to picture what the “right” response would be. The right response may be completely different to what you feel like doing but it is important to always be rational with yourself by weighing up the consequences of your actions and how they will affect you and others around you. Everybody has a choice in what they do, the freedom to choose their response in any situation.

Social Awareness

Self Awareness and management both are primarily focused about yourself. Social awareness is all about reading other people's needs, feelings or emotions. This ability to understand others on a deeper level is what allows people to connect strongly with others whether it be for friendships, relationships or during work.

Daniel Goleman stated that there was 3 defining characteristics to Social awareness in the workplace, they are as follows:

Empathy - The understanding of other people’s emotions, needs and concerns. Emphasising with somebody means that you can understand what they mean and where they are coming from. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with it however. 

Organisational Awareness - This is the understanding of the organisation’s rules or regulations that may affect the behaviour of people that work there.

Service - The ability to read what somebody wants and how to deliver it.

Young People Laughing

For a young person, these social awareness skills will determine how they will fit into the workplace because they will have to deal with different client and co-workers, those with higher EI tends to integrate more while also being better at the job. 

The latest generation (Millennials) have grown up with social media and digital communication, much of the social awareness on these platforms are not taken into considerations because it isn’t face to face communication where people are able to read the body language, mood and impact words have on people. It’s always important to remember that everything you do will have some sort of impact on others.

How to progress

Developing EI is crucial to becoming successful as you are growing up in order to deal with the daily situations that you are likely to come across.

Although regular intelligence is important to success in life, EI is equally as important as being able to relate to others will help you in more ways you than you thought.  More and more companies are factoring into account the EI of somebody so it is important to nurture social skills while you are young, so that you can build strong relationship for the future.

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