In the past, it was a child’s intelligence quotient, or IQ, that was believed to be a great predictor of any given child’s future success. As studies of how and why children and adults succeed have continued, however, a child’s emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ, has recently taken on a more prominent role. EQ skills are social and/or emotional in nature, such as coping with difficult issues, staying motivated, delaying gratification, and resisting impulses. Thanks largely to the work of psychologist Daniel Goleman, it’s becoming common knowledge that EQ is better at predicting success in areas such as building relationships, quality of life, and in general health-related decisions.
Traditional IQ tests examined participants’ cognitive abilities by assessing their reasoning, math, vocabulary, reading comprehension and retention skills. EQ tests assess various areas of emotional intelligence: empathy, navigating one’s way through emotions and emotional literacy, among other skills. Genos International is a provider of one version of the emotional intelligence test, as well as a provider of training and courses in EQ. Those children who struggle socially may be administered an EQ test, to figure out what social skills they should work on. Children with high EQs not only can sympathize with others, but they can understand and regulate themselves and their emotions effectively, dealing successfully with complex social scenarios and creating meaningful friendships. As these children grow into teenagers and adults, their high EQ will lead to excellent intrinsic motivation and self-control, as they make use of their thoughts and emotions to deal with difficult situations and achieve their goals.
Some elements of EQ are children’s natural endowments, but the majority of EQ has to be learned. Certain schools focus on developing those teachable EQ skills to develop children’s emotional literacy, which is their ability to identify and work through their own feelings and to reasonably respond to the feelings of others. Another important way to teach EQ to children is through storytelling, as it helps them learn how to relate to many different situations and emotions and how to handle them. EQ lessons on emotional literacy and on being social turn into lessons on social responsibility and on model citizenship as children grow up.
Using EQ as a Parent
Parents are an important source for fostering emotional literacy with their children from the start. Children in between the ages of two and five tend to express themselves physically due to their lack of the sufficient language levels for self-expression. This is a prime time for parents to help them identify their feelings and to help them manage their emotions and new social interactions.
Companies Want High EQ
Businesses want employees with high EQ. Employees with high EQ can not only perform their jobs well, but they can also interpret workplace events, maintain good working relationships with their fellow coworkers and managers, and can work together in teams to tackle problems successfully.