"Why Don't You Just Get Stuffed ?!?"

Attitude is everything.  Don’t believe me?  Some people are blessed with a super positive attitude, but unfortunately most of us have to work to maintain one.  Attitude has played a huge part in all our development, and I believe that studying emotional intelligence and mind-set helps it to become stronger every day.  Especially if you are a teacher.

Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer coined the term 'Emotional Intelligence' in 1990 (although this may have been earlier used by Michael Beldoch in a 1964 paper).

Salovey and Mayer described it as "a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one's thinking and action".

To maintain a positive attitude and make it easier to monitor our own feelings and emotions, you ought to hang around with positive people and get rid of those whinging and whining voices that creep into your head when you feel really fed up.  But you need to be clear that – even if you can block out your own voices – OTHER negative people can have a detrimental impact on your attitude.

Oscar-winning performance?
So if you are faced with a behaviourally challenging group of students (or young people generally, or colleagues), this is the point at which your emotional intelligence should kick in, to guide and monitor your thinking and behaviour.  You COULD switch to stroppy (low emotional intelligence, if that’s how you feel), or preferably you could bring on an Oscar-winning performance and choose to display high emotional intelligence.

Finding the right approach and harnessing the energy and ideas from people around you (the right people!) will fast forward your ability to make this switch.  Watch what others do, and ask them for feedback on what you do, especially if you work in education.

Examples of High and Low Emotional Intelligence (although not an exhaustive list):

Low High
Aggressive Assertive
Domineering Solution-finder
Full of ego Consistent
Resistant to change Good listener
Highly critical Friendly
Poor listener Open to ideas

[This is a snippet from the Behaviour Expert Academy programme]