Tue | Feb 25, 2020

Emotional intelligence is critical to nation building

Published:Monday | October 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Building healthy relationships is critical whether it is on a personal, social or professional level. If people are not treated in an empathetic manner, then behaviour which is deemed unacceptable may arise. This will in turn lead to a breakdown in relationships. A lot of persons probably have never heard of the term 'emotional intelligence'. Emotional intelligence is a soft skill that a lot of employers around the world are interested in when dealing with prospective employees. I have seen where at least two tertiary educational institutions in Jamaica are actually offering emotional intelligence as a short course. This goes to show how important this skill is, as well as its importance in leadership roles.

Emotional intelligence is a skill or the ability of individuals to acknowledge, manage, and communicate their emotions effectively, as well as recognising and managing the emotions of other people. Having good emotional intelligence skills will increase a person's emotional awareness, which will lead to a strong emotional foundation and improved relationships.




As a child, I learnt to 'place myself in another person's shoes.' To me, this meant that I would try to treat people the way that I would want to be treated. I learnt also that persons behave in undesirable ways at times because varying things are probably happening in their lives, and that if I did not control my own emotions when people treated me badly, then the situation could be disastrous.

Children should be taught from very early how to handle their emotions and how to show empathy towards everyone with whom they come in contact. Probably it would be a good idea for emotional intelligence/handling relationships to be included in the school curriculum, starting from early childhood. Children are the future leaders and, therefore, a sound foundation in how they deal with their emotions and the emotions of others is critical in building the beautiful Jamaica that we want. In this regard, parents, teachers, employers and those in authority would need to lead the way.

The following are critical in controlling one's emotions:

- Be a good example

- Do not blame others

- Learn to manage stress

- Recognise and manage emotions

- Learn how to resolve conflicts

Persons who show love towards their fellowmen, treat others with respect, control anger, remain calm no matter what, and think carefully before speaking words that they may later regret have high emotional intelligence!

Contributed by: Dorothy Burge