The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Salma Helal

Succeed professionally through developing your emotions

With the emphasis on professional development for executives in business and schooling institutions, few still fail to see that it is directly linked to emotional development. Salma Helal explains what it entails and how to acquire it.

Emotional versus personal development

Emotional development is equivalent to personal development because we define everything in life with our emotions and feelings. This is our way to understand who we are and what we can do. It is through this relationship with ourselves that our perspective on the world and behaviour with others is determined. Emotional development is centred on building one’s self-esteem and self-confidence, which are the major determinants of a person’s behaviour; everything from speech to action. But more importantly, it can be the missing element between reacting and responding.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is more a process of personal and emotional development than a degree that can be attained. It is a lifelong journey of progress rather than a destination. As a leader, to be able to inspire emotional intelligence in your colleagues, it is essential you become their role model. This starts with recognising your colleagues’ emotions, which is not possible if you have failed to be familiar with and reflect upon your own.

Acquiring emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a skill and is therefore acquired through practice. It’s the same way you learn all else in life: through persistent trial and error. You react, then realize that reacting brought you further away from your truth and goals, and choose to respond differently the next time. It requires awareness of self to be able to abandon your programmed behaviours and impulses, and alternatively, be conscious and mature with your responses.

Qualities of the emotionally intelligent

  1. Self-awareness: living with integrity, being mindful of your behaviour and its effects, and keeping aligned with your purpose and goals.
  2. Self-regulation: observing your psyche to process and then channel emotional energy constructively. It is being in control of your feelings instead of them imprisoning you. No impulsive reactions, but rather accountable, sensible responses.
  3. Empathy: being able to consider the feelings of other and accommodate their needs accordingly without offense. This allows you to reach a greater outcome as a team. Employees flourish in healthy supportive environments, and that cannot happen without being aware of others and how they feel. It also helps to retain and challenge their talents to vaster horizons. Having empathy for others cannot happen when you continually view them as rivals. True leaders want others to succeed as equally as themselves.

It takes patience and commitment to reach emotional intelligence, yet it is a benefit that it can be learned. The benefits are certainly beyond worthwhile for both the individual and the organisation as a whole.

Developing emotional intelligence in pupils

Register for our upcoming webinar: Emotion coaching in the classroom with Dr Tina Rae, senior educational psychologist, to find out how to build resilience in children and young people.



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