Think of any organisation you are involved in: your workplace, school, university, hospital, or community group. There are always two aspects to the organisation:
1. There’s the day-to-day operations (what you do there and what happens each day), and
2. How it feels to be there.
How it feels to be there relates to an organisation’s emotional intelligence. Is the general atmosphere harmonious or tense? Is there is an open exchange of ideas and emotions? Is your ‘best self’ encouraged by the organisation? Is conflict handled well? Do you feel a sense of personal mastery in the organisation?
Most organisations treat the atmosphere of an organisation as being secondary to the day-to-day operations, or at least, something that the management has no control over. To members and staff, this breeds an attitude of ‘just get your job done and deal with your personal feelings in your own way and on your own time.’ But people are starting to realise that the emotional intelligence of an organisation is directly linked to its productivity and staff retention. The atmosphere directly affects the day-to-day operations of the organisation. If people don’t feel good, they don’t work well.
This is where emotional intelligence training comes in.
Emotional Intelligence Training
Emotional intelligence training teaches people to recognise and discuss their feelings, with positive outcomes for the organisation. The Health and Education departments of the Australian Government have collaborated with Beyond Blue, the Australian Psychological Society, Principals Australia Institute and Early Childhood Australia in an initiative called KidsMatter. It is a mental health and well-being framework for primary schools and early education centres to teach children emotional intelligence. Research shows that emotional skills can be taught through social learning.
There are a few aspects to emotional intelligence training:
– BEST SELF: Emphasising and visualising your best self while identifying your inner critic;
– SELF-AWARENESS: Recognising your own moods and the moods of others, and communicating those moods;
– MINDFULNESS: Learning mindfulness and resilience through calming exercises & deep breathing;
– CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Diffusing conflicts before they escalate by openly talking about any tensions.
Emotional intelligence training has been shown to have a significant effect on organisations with the following outcomes:
1. More peaceful and mindful schools and workplaces;
2. Calmer and happier students and staff;
3. Higher productivity and staff retention;
One of the creators of KidsMatter, psychologist Andrew Fuller, believes that programs like KidsMatter may eventually lead to a reduction in binge drinking, violence and drug taking. With this rise in emotional literacy skills, I’m excited for the coming generations entering politics and society.
For more information on implementing KidsMatter in your school or early childhood centre, visit www.kidsmatter.edu.au
If you are interested in emotional intelligence training for your organisation, enquire here.