Fusion Academy recently hosted Barbara Burgess from The Wright Foundation for a presentation on Social and Emotional Intelligence. I had the opportunity to attend and I want to pass along a few key pieces.

1.  Without access to our emotions, we are unable to be decisive.

Research done by Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist in Southern California, has found that individuals with brain damage to the emotional centers of their brain have immense difficulty making decisions. A study he conducted found these individuals to take 5-6 hours to choose between using a blue or black pen to complete a survey. His work is changing the way we see the process of decision making.

2.  Emotional facility is the utilization of our emotions and has four components.  

IN:  This is our ability to be in touch with our emotions, to identify them and to allow ourselves to be impacted by our experiences.  

OUT:  This is our ability to outwardly express our emotions and to do so in an appropriate way.  

UP:  This is our ability to up-regulate our emotions- to cultivate excitement.

Down: This is our ability to down-regulate our emotions - to self-soothe and calm ourselves.

3.  There are incredible benefits to having a high social emotional intelligence, for both adults and children.  

A few for adults: more successful career trajectory, increase in promotions and pay raises, better network of support, ability to be more productive, increase in relationship satisfaction, stronger immune systems.

A few for children: higher confidence, improved focus, decreased aggression, increased ability to self-soothe and self-regulate.

Take a moment to cultivate your social emotional intelligence by checking in with yourself and doing a quick scan of how you are feeling. Can you identify an emotion (fear, hurt, sadness, anger, joy, etc.)? Are you able to understand where it came from and the impact it is having on you? If this exercise proves somewhat challenging, perhaps you can make it a part of your daily routine and begin to build up your emotional IQ. Just like any other skill, increasing your emotional intelligence takes practice!

Learn more about Antonio Damasio’s work and watch a brief video of his work.

Learn more about The Wright Foundation and their work with Social and Emotional Intelligence.

Gain more information about Fusion Academy.