When Daniel Goleman coined the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ it was used for individuals, chiefly leaders to check whether they were emotionally intelligent and to work on the shortcomings.
Out of the five core ingredients of Emotional Intelligence – self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, leaders need first three with respect to themselves while they need last two with respect to other people in their lives.
Parents need to develop theses five qualities so that their children learn them subtly. The best way for parents to raise emotionally intelligent kids is to practice these five skills and share the experiences with their children.
1. Self Awareness: It refers to knowing what works for you, what drives you and what puts you off or hampers your productivity / creativity.
I am a person who loves to plan and work in an organised manner. Last minute hassles make me tense while my husband works in complete chaos and finishes everything at the last second. (He starts in the last minute!)
We both are aware of our strikingly different ways of performing. We both achieve excellent results using two extremely diverse ways of executing.
Our daughter has observed both of us and we have prompted her to be aware of what works for her. She tells me that she is very organised academically while she follows a chaotic way of practicing when it comes to her music sessions.
I am sure a deeper self awareness will dawn on her with time.
2. Self Regulation: It refers to controlling our disruptive impulses and checking our behavior in responsible positions.
If we can control our urge to scream when a team member messes up the presentation, if we can stop our eyes from welling up when our children break our trust, we show our strengths and hide our weakness.
It is not only important for children to learn not to do what they impulsively want to do but it is also equally important for them to do what they do not want to do in spite of knowing its importance. If they don’t like to practice Math or coding, they must be subtly pushed to do “deep practice.”
3. Motivation: Parents should know what ignites their passion and happiness level apart from money and popularity.
The things that drive our passion apart from monetizing and gaining fame, define us as people and change makers.
I was speaking at a NEN E Leader Workshop recently as a volunteer resource person for management students. Working with them for a day charged me, meeting other like minded people made me happy.
I shared the experience with my daughter to make her understand the importance of self motivation that ignites your creative spots.
4. Empathy: Raising a child who is empathetic is quite difficult if the parents are not empathetic. When we are considerate towards how others feel, when we simply affirm – I know how you feel, it gives an emotional cushion to the concerned person. Our empathy towards our staff members, our team members, our friends teach valuable lessons to our children.
They naturally become more accommodating with their peers giving them benefit of doubt in trying situations.
5. Social Skills: Having numerous friends and followers on social networking sites is quite different from having real friends / supporters who would stand by you for a cause or in hours of need.
If our social skills can help us mobilize people for supporting a cause, if we can garner their skilled support without paying them, it shows that people believe in us and care for us. If our children can observe our social skills which bring change, they learn the importance of valuing relationships and investing time to nurture friendly bonds in real world.
It is important for us to give them a honest perspective of friendships and collaborations. They seem to be happy as if they have made a great achievement when they get likes on Instagram pics or Facebook statuses. We need to make them realise that real social skills go far beyond clicking the like button.
A Parent practicing emotional intelligence tools can certainly become an emotionally intelligent leader. As a bonus, he/she can raise emotionally intelligent kids.
Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go & Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.
Also read her best articles here!