Can Emotional Intelligence Be Learned?

A very interesting article came out in the New York Times this weekend on Emotional Intelligence and it’s application to early intervention among children.  The article discusses how social emotional learning can have positive impact on future out come.  Primarily the ability for empathy starting early is crucial for success.

“Social-emotional learning programs often rely on strategies from conventional therapy, like the ability to get distance on a feeling, or to unpack the deeper emotions that may be hidden within it. But fostering these skills in a child is a complex undertaking. For a child to master empathy, Jones notes, she first needs to understand her own emotions: to develop a sense of what sadness, anger or disappointment feels like — its intensity and duration, its causes. That awareness is what lays the groundwork for the next step: the ability to intuit how another person might be feeling about a situation based on how you would feel in a similar circumstance.”  Read more.

As a provider of anger management curricula, I know how Important gaining skills in emotional intelligence is for becoming socially aware and more attuned to others.  While anger management isn’t the single solution for social emotional learning, many would be surprised to learn that emotional intelligence training is part of learning how to improve ones anger.