Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Emotional Intelligence and Teaching

At the end of the session today, one of your class members came up and asked if I had any articles on teaching and Emotional Intelligence.  In trying to clarify this request, we found that we had two related but different questions.
  • What has been written about teaching Emotional Intelligence?
  • What has been written about how Emotional Intelligence can help improve our teaching?
There is a growing literature on strategies for teaching components of Emotional Intelligence.  Most prominent being teaching around developing empathy.  As to the second question, there is not a lot out there. 

Using Goleman's adapted 4 quadrant model, we could, as a group, write a rough draft of a "new article" by hypothesizing on how addressing each component of the model would translate into transformational teaching performance.  Try reflecting on this stimulus, or address other EI thoughts and issues


Miguel A. Morillo said...

First of all I’d like to state that I think that our role in coaching emotional intelligence is limited by the innate characteristics of the learner. We have to set realistic expectations for such an endeavor. Nobody will be able to be emotionally intelligent all the time or emotionally intelligent enough (for a certain circumstance) all the time. On the more positive note I will comment that we can coach learners in being more self-aware, helping them realize that there is room for improvement. From the self- management perspective there are many techniques that can be used to help people cope with their emotions (relaxation techniques, positive visualization, aromatherapy, etc). This all conduces to help learners become more empathetic with the needs and feelings of others. Which can lead into a change in interpersonal dynamics! The end result is more humane, balanced and healthy team of individuals that are more likely to achieve their collective goal.

Richard Prayson said...

Emotional intelligence (EI)- how can the social quadrants improve our teaching?
Similar to leaders in other arenas, it might be anticipated that a teacher with a high level of EI may make a more effective guide for others. Social awareness and social skills quadrants can be theoretically useful in improving our teaching. Social awareness can engender one’s ability to care for others by showing empathy, respecting others and appreciating diversity. Being able to perceive a student’s feelings or a collaborative group feeling is important to gauge the learning environment and to be able to respond to it in real time. Failure to do so may result in a lost teaching moment. Taking an active interest in student concern allows teachers to potentially reflect on this feedback to the end of adjusting behaviors to accomplish goals. The ability listen is critical for being a good teacher; it allows us to know what students know and where their concerns lie. It also allows one to consider when additional outside resources may need to be used.
Social skills allow teachers to know how to act with others, to communicate effectively, build relationships, negotiate fairly, refuse provocation, seek help and act ethically (Elias and Arnold, 2006). Social skills afford the teacher with the opportunity to help explain, persuade and make decisions governing the learning environment. Effective social skills should facilitate obtainment of a desired response. Energy and enthusiasm for the subject matter can be infectious and inspire a desire to learn in students. Social skills may facilitate and empower a self-directed learning environment where the teacher helps students to assume responsibility for their learning.

Karen George said...

Emotional Intelligence and how it relates to teaching-Karen George
If EI refers to a different way of being smart as Goleman mentions the TEI or teachers emotional intelligence can be the definition of how we can use EI to create fulfilling teaching relationships with our students. Self awareness as a teacher would require reflection, taking personality or preference inventories and feedback from others to see what is the true us the world sees. Recognizing our emotions both positive and negative and then constructing an effective way of integrating these into the teaching situation is key and leads to the second concept of self management. Once we become more self aware we can manage our choices of how we express ourselves in the classroom,group or one on one with students. I think this inner control in ourselves is not stifling the emotions we feel but allows us to become a better listener, negotiator and empathic person which can only lead to improved teaching ability. Social awareness I believe in one of the more innate traits and if you are not born hard-wired with this you must work hard to obtain. Listening is key but sensing the mood and needs of the learner or group can be a challenging task. So many factors influence this including cultural, societal, ingrained personal bias and context of interactions. Those of us who have daily successful patient interactions have been able to consciously or unconsciously develop these skill sets and the key ingredients are empathy with integrity. The last section of Goleman's core building blocks is developing our teaching social skills in order to connect with our students so that learning has deeper meaning, to develop their ability to be a SDL, coach the learner through difficult situations and redirect goals and energy when the planned path is not working out. I think further research into TEI would afford insight into those attributes necessary for the effective educator and provide job satisfaction for the educator.

Pilar Castro said...

I think that we don't do a good job at teaching emotional intelligence to our residents and fellows. We have to learn to be self aware and constantly practice it. Questions like why I am so bothered by this patient's attitute, or why I am not being able to work smoothly with somebody, cross my mind everyday during my practice. Being self aware of our own emotions is important. Collegiality, empathy, patience and learning to listen and not act impulsively are all important attributes of healthcare specialists.
As Dr. Taylor said, making the implicit explicit is very important when we are teaching. Explaining to a residenta or fellow why we handled a conflict in a way and not in another way, teaches self management, social awareness and self awareness. Everybody plays a role in our healthcare environment and they need to understand the importance of self efficacy, self management and self awareness.
Feedback from our residents and also ideally from our patients would be a good way to check if we are our job as well as we want to.

Anonymous said...

David Wheeler

Emotional intelligence may be the most significant yet ignored component of an authentic educational experience. We cannot understate the impact of attempting to communicate or disseminate new information to someone who is not in a position to deal with it on an authentically human level. Perhaps I should clarify this by saying that when we are preparing an educational experience we can of course prepare a superficial experience for very basic
psycho-motor skills. However, when we are trying to prepare caregivers that will be attending to the total needs of human beings that are sick or recovering from our interventions we must address every aspect of the caregiver’s personal milieu. In the aspect of self-awareness we can participate with the learner in a self assessment that will help them understand the importance of being aware of our inner life. The 1st real author to examine this phenomenon was St. Augustine. He examined the inner life of a human being in relation to every external or internal influence. Obviously, I am not stating that we have to examine the self to the degree that Augustine did yet it is essential that we periodically spend time in genuine introspection and self examination in order to participate in the lives of our colleagues and our patients. In the arena of
self-management it may seem almost impossible to alter or dissect this intensely inner world of the students self management skills. Yet, it is so important that we must, if need be, guide our students to be more adaptable, have more initiative etc. In the area of social awareness I think everyone who experiences life as it happens is capable of greater degrees of empathy as their experience bank becomes richer. Relationship management seems to be difficult for most people especially in our most intimate relationship the more difficult a self aware, self managed, aware management plan. Obviously, but a great deal of help, these are skills that are reasonably balanced, reasonably intelligent person can be taught. They remain elusive; they remain areas of instruction that most people shy away from or ignore should there be major shortcomings. Again, the area of emotional intelligence is so critically important that we must constantly evaluate the emotional context that we are bringing to any situation. I think we must create our own closed loop system that begins with an examination of self and continues through an examination of self in relation to others and then others in relation to self and back again to self. Looking inward has never been easy. A thorough and honest examination of our inner reality and its effects on external relationships in reality is extremely difficult. We must conduct ourselves in a mindful way; we must be mindful clinician's, we must be mindful teachers and we must be mindful in the way we affect the world and others around us. A genuine and honest introspective contemplation has been the subject of philosophers and psychiatrists beginning with Augustine. I think the best we can do is follow Shakespeare and start with being true to ourselves. If we honestly assess all of our emotional paraphernalia we are in a much better position to help our students, our colleagues and our patients.

Brian Burkey said...

The "quadrants" of EI, as suggested by the prior bloggers, do help the teacher better prepare himself/herself for the teaching experience. If the teacher/mentor shows appropriate self-awareness and self-management and then understands the impact of his/her interactions with the student (social awareness), then that teacher can best manage the societal impact of learning. In medicine, this includes the impact of the process on the patient, the student and the rest of the health care team.
However, before we draw exact correlations with EI as described, it is best to understand that the majority of this work was described for business management application, and not in a healthcare enviornment. While the two spheres do overlap, there are significant differences in them. Our empathy must come from compassion, and not be generated for the sake of success alone, and therefore be genuine. Further, our interactions have moral implications that do not necessarily enter the minds of business people. As such, the EI model can be applied, but solely with the goal of beneficence for both the learner and the patient.

Elias Traboulsi said...

I thank Dr. taylor for the list of words and phrases used to described grat teachers. In an exercise of self-awareness and inorder to possibly improve on my EI, I went down the list and tried to identify 3 attributes that I think I can do better on. From column 1 I chose "Up-to-Date"; I can certainly read more and keep up better with the exploding literature in the different fields of medicine, especially in molecular genetics as it affects my practice. How am I going to be a good teacher if I am behind? From column 2 I chose "Useful Feedback". I am still behind in the arena of giving useful feedback. The reason for it in my case I believe is that I am always rushing from one activity to the other. I need to take more time to learn how to give feedback. By the way, I think this is one of the more important hindrances to expressing and utilizing our EI effectively - We do not take the time; and when we do, it is such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Finally, from column 3 I chose "Non-threatening". I believe that I continue to be perceived as threatening because of my emotional reactions in many situations, and while I have learned to express only positive emotions, disappointment or untampered criticism continue to transpire in some of my relationship with my students. I will get better.

Rachel Steines said...

We were having the argument about whether or not you could separate empathy from morality and, at first, I thought to myself: no, impossible. But then I remembered this deep conversation I had with the daughter of a patient in which I totally disagreed with everything she was saying, yet I still, for lack of a better word, faked empathy. I of course felt bad that she was losing her mother, but did not agree with what she was acusing the nursing staff. I think this is the kind of emotional intelligence that we can learn. You cannot learn how to connect morality to empathy, but you can "fake" it. It is important for healthcare providers to show empathy towards their patients even when they do not necessarily agree with what their complaint might be. We should always feel empathetic for at least one reason. If nothing else, because they are not feeling well and seeking our help.

Maged Argalious said...

I enjoyed reading the article on using EI training to serve as an alternative to teaching professionalism to residents. Having a definition of what constitutes emotional intelligence
(being aware of your emotions,
able to manage these emotions, aware of the dynamics of relationships, and able to
manage yourself in service to enhancing group effectiveness)with specific examples of how to develop a curriculum to teach EI is a great help.
Is there a curriculum that uses EI to teach professionalism?

Heidi Gdovin said...

Great teachers and leaders can change people, change the community and can leave a positive impact on a group or individual. After reading about Emotional Intelligence and the discussion in class, I thought of great leaders/teachers verses satisfactory leaders/teachers and if Emotional Intelligence (EI) can be learned. In regards to EI, I feel that the best and most effective managers and teachers probably already possess many of the EI “qualities”. They are inherently more self-aware, have more control over their emotions, and are trustworthy, innovative, empathetic, intuitive, and effective conflict managers, to name a few qualities. There may be people who can read about Emotional Intelligence and work toward possessing these qualities or in certain circumstances display these qualities. As people grow and change they may acquire these traits as well. However I feel that teachers and managers that stand out in our minds as being great and successful and make an impact on our lives are those people that already possess these qualities and use them most of the time and are not trying to learn them like they would a skill. I feel a person may be able to learn to become emotionally intelligent and can do a satisfactory job as a manager or teacher. Nevertheless that person who is trying to learn to be emotionally intelligent may not leave a lasting impression or be quite as effective as the person who already possesses the qualities and may just need to fine-tune them by becoming more aware of the Emotional ntelligence concepts.

Kathy Baker said...

The first teacher and motivator that we experience in life are our parents or guardians. I think the impact that teachers and coaches throughout our educational lives, and into our adult lives, similar to our parents/guardians can have an influential impact on our emotional intelligence. The teachers, managers, and coaches I have had in the past who stuck out and were most influential to me were those that I felt "led by example." Looking back now, those that "led by example" were those that had a higher self-awareness and strong emotional intelligence. Learners may be able to learn how to have a deeper emotional intelligence, but not everyone can exemplify this quality like others. I believe that those who have had this instilled in them from an early age and/or those that were born with these qualities shine and excel when it comes to emotional intelligence. Being aware of your emotions both verbally and physically can be a challenging task for some. Self-awareness and self-control go hand in hand with emotional intelligence and are strong attributes to try and instill within others. Those teachers, managers, and coaches who posses these strong qualities may find it challenging to encourage and try to teach others who do not posses EI tendencies as strongly. EI is something that I have been becoming more and more aware of as I have moved through life and from my experiences sometimes it is a challenge while on the other hand sometimes it is rewarding working and/or teaching those who have a similar EI as yourself.

Brian Johnson said...

Out of all the topics we discussed in class that morning the one I find most valuable as a teacher is self management quadrant. I find it to be the most valuable because allows the teacher to have patience. This in the clinical setting can be very useful. It can give the learner a sense of confidence when id on't get angry over mistakes and when I give them time to work on a specific task.

Brian Johnson

Anonymous said...

Felecia Roberson:
I found the discussion on Emotional Intelligence very interesting. The question raised; can emotional intelligence be learned? I feel it cannot, to mimic a politically correct response when you don't feel empathy for a person, can. To be able to portray an individual who is concerned about the feelings and needs of others is different from being emotionally intelligent where for me the person "is genuinely" concerned. With that said, being able to control your true emotions, positive or negative and portraying what is needed at the time for the patient or student is a skill that would be advantageous for all. It makes for an environment that is perceived as being positive, trusting and open.

Anonymous said...

Matt Celmar said...
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is an innate human characteristic that everyone has but the level of to which they use it varies from person to person. I am often impressed by those who display a high degree of EI with those they deal with and in new situations. Although I think I have a high degree of EI, there have been times when I completely misread a group of students who I am teaching to. One of the tricks I use is to ask for feedback and reflection throughout the lesson to poll the room. If adjustments need to be made, they can occur in the moment.
Coaching is a method to help someone with low EI. EI is not something that can be taught, it is something that can be coached up. Through coaching in the form of modeling, feedback, discussion and questioning the learner can strengthen the EI skills. This is a process that is potentially long and requires many opportunities for growth. As we deal with an increasingly diverse student / learner population we could all benefit from a little coaching from time to time.

Christine said...

For Shelley

I am impressed with how poorly our society, across many industries, has done in teaching EI. With the focus on human capital and the greater good, you would think that we would have more positive role models throughout our careers and life experience. I agree with Ellen Lanser that a highly developed self-awareness is a useful tool for healthcare executives and the industry as a whole. The current marketplace of Value Based Purchasing, healthcare reform and open access, translates into our customers/patients selecting or not selecting us based upon their clinical outcomes but now also judging their subjective experiences with us. In the past, society has promoted and negatively reinforced some leaders that lack a high EI. This environment is now changing and industries are becoming increasingly competitive and beginning to value EI from the social awareness angle and also from teamwork/Gallup/reduced turnover perspectives. On an individual basis, learning EI skills and becoming aware and managing one’s emotions, has positive implications on both a professional and personal level. The experiences in my past which have given me the greatest angst are the ones where I am unhappy with how I reacted, things I said that I wish I could retract, and the impact on others around me. As I gain greater self and social awareness and daily continue to manage my emotions, I am a happier person. I would also content that I have more meaningful professional relationships and the morale and climate is more productive. I also agree with Lanser that one of the key skills in social awareness is listening. As a society, so many of us are not good at listening. As educators, we have an ideal platform to model these skills and reinforce the value of listening to others (while dialoguing etc) and perceptive to those around us. This will lead to our students becoming more professional and happier in all dimensions of their life.

Pilar Castro said...

I just had to give feedback to one of my residents. Did I use the Ask, Tell, Ask format?...Not really. I have to admit that giving feedback sometimes is uncomfortable; we are not used to giving feedback, many people don't ask for it but at the same time everybody who wants to improve, wants to know how they are doing, they want feedback.
I think is a matter of practice,one has to do it, practice it constantly until it becomes something natural. We want feedback, not negative nor positive, I like to call it, constructive. Atul Gawande last year wrote an article titled: "Athletes and singers have coaches, should you?". Here he explains how people at the very top of their professions have coaches. We all have mentors or should but surgeons like himself don't. Some of us look for mentors and feedback is part of mentoring.
Should we as teachers be asking for more frequent feedback? We as teachers should also ask for more frequent and constructive feedback.
It is the only way to get better.