Always being in a hurry seems to be part and parcel of the human experience these days. With so much to do and so little time to get it done, we all seem to be rushing. Sadly, this hurry can often come at the expense of kindness, patience and empathy. Being kind is one of the few things in life that costs nothing and yet is incredibly valuable, and teaching this “skill” to the next generation is paramount.
Luckily, we all start life with huge amounts of empathy; kids are naturally affected by the emotions of those around them and instinctively respond. As parents, supporting and building that sense of empathy, a cornerstone for “emotional intelligence,” is integral to raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted humans. While one’s intelligence quotient (IQ) has long been deemed important, the emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) is now being recognized as integral to success in life. As bestselling author Travis Bradberry told Forbes in 2014, “emotional intelligence is the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.”
While EQ is best described as a bit intangible, it can be broken down into “four core skills that pair up under two primary competencies,” Bradberry explains: personal competence and social competence. Personal competence covers your own self-awareness and self-management skills, while social competence includes social awareness and relationship management skills. All four areas involve the ability to pick up on, identify and understand emotions and emotional cues and then using that understanding and awareness to manage and direct your own behavior and interactions.
“Yesterday Matt was sick. I picked up Archie from the sitter and Eloise from school and decided to run to Target for a few things. I had hoped to be in and out quickly.
I found a line with just one person ahead of me and began organizing my items on the conveyor. After placing my items, I look [sic] up to see that the person ahead of me was an elderly woman. She was paying for her items with change and wanted to purchase each separately. Part of me, the part that had a long day at work, the part of me who had a 1 1/2 year old having a melt down [sic] in the cart, the part that had set an unnecessary timeline for Target and getting home, was frustrated with this woman and the inconvenience she had placed on me.
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