emotional intelligence.

10 08 2010

Emotional Intelligence.
That’s right – it’s the title of my latest book!

Everybody knows about IQ – but what do you know about EQ?

EQ is the emotional equivalent of IQ.

Emotional intelligence is your ability to step back from a situation and clearly understand the emotion(s) you are feeling as well as understand how to use them appropriately.

Example: This past week I taught hip-hop intensive workshops at Center Stage. I taught 3 separate 90 minute classes; advanced (12+), intermediate (8-12) and beginner (5-8). My classes were all around 25-30 kids! The intermediate and advanced classes were a pleasure and I really enjoyed them. My last class of the day was the beginner class.
26 kids.

Let me rephrase that, 26 wild, loud, uninterested kids.

I think because it was the end of the day they were all tired of being in classes and consequently I was basically dealing with 26 kids who had no desire to be in a dance class. They were more interested in playing and wrestling and basically doing anything else. For the very first time in my teaching experience, I lost control of the class.
I could not keep all 26 kids focused at once. Even when I switched tactics and decided we would play some breakdancing games to try and keep them entertained. I got frustrated very quickly. Kids were telling me they already knew how to breakdance and that the moves I was teaching were dumb. (Obviously they couldn’t even do the moves I was teaching – so teaching anything harder was pointless). It was the most frustrated and upset I have ever been while teaching.

In that moment I lost it mentally.

Then I remembered some things I read in my book. I took a deep breath. I looked at the kids and thought, why am I so mad? At 6 years old it is hard to stay attentive for 90 minutes, especially when I have already been doing it all day long. I recognized that my anger was unnecessary. In fact my anger was counterproductive to what I was trying to accomplish. I was trying to get them EXCITED about breakdancing. I let the wild ones practice some things on a giant blue mat and took a smaller group and helped them and rotated back and forth.

It was still absolute CHAOS – however, I was so CALM after I stood back and recognized I was angry, tried to understand the cause of my anger, and then tried to see how anger was helping or hindering the situation. I looked at what the overall goal was and recognized the goal would never be achieved if I continued down the emotional path I was headed.

“The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.” (D&C 93:36)

This use of the word intelligence should be applied to all contexts. I imagine Heavenly Father has ultimate intelligence in every sphere.

? How do you keep control of your emotions right while you’re in the middle of a highly charged situation?

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