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Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching
Humanising Language Teaching
MAJOR ARTICLES

What is Intelligence - EQ or IQ?
Rising to the Next Level by Managing and Increasing your Emotional Budget

Judy Churchill

Judy Churchill is Director of Language Consulting Services Ltd. She is currently coaching doctors and consultants in France in Non-verbal Communication Skills, Transactional Analysis, Listening Skills and Helping Patients deal with Change and Transition.She is also a regular conference speaker, article writer and Pilgrims trainer. E-mail: judy.churchill@wanadoo.fr Website: www.judychurchill.eu

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What is Intelligence?
EQ can increase IQ
The Emotions of Success
Presuppositions
Personal Maps of Reality
Managing our Emotional Energy
Positive Outcomes and Associative Thinking
Reinventing a better wheel
References

Introduction

So now we know that we are all affected by our emotions and that they touch every aspect of everything we think, do, say or feel and more importantly here how we react. The question is, who is in the driving seat, us or them? Are we managing our emotions or are they managing us?

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to control and use our emotions to enhance our success in all aspects of our lives. This kind of success is accessible to all students once they know how to activate the emotions of success. Many of us are experts at activating the emotions of failure. In fact we are very "successful" at failing. EQ is all about using the same mechanisms to activate the emotions of success. As Henry Ford so aptly put it, "Whether you believe you can or you can't you are probably right".

We now know that successful learning is a combination of factors: feeling, thinking, doing. What we feel determines not only what we think, but how we think. The control centre of all our learning is our emotions. They can enable or disable us. They can enhance or hinder what we learn. How we manage our emotions will determine whether our IQ flourishes or withers. For many EQ is purely and simply a question of applying common sense. However what is more to the point is that it is certainly far from being common practice.

The mind is what the brain does or rather what we chose to let it do. We have been content to take a passive view of our capacities for too long now happily chanting "I think therefore I am". Why not go up a level and empower yourself by saying "I am what I choose to think"? Things are not as they are but as they seem. Nowhere was this made clearer than in the film "The recruit" where Al Pacino repeats his leitmotif phrase to his "Recruit" "Remember nothing is what it seems!"

What is Intelligence?

Let us for a moment return to the fundamental question of how we define intelligence. What is it , EQ or IQ? One or the other, or both?
Can we define EQ in simple terms?
The term was coined when people began to notice that human beings with a high IQ commonly failed in everyday, concrete situations whereas, others with no more than an average IQ succeeded. The question therefore had be asked: in the case of "failure", are we as individuals failing through lack of IQ (traditional intelligence) or EQ (emotional intelligence)?

Some authors advocate that IQ contributes to only 20% of the success a person can achieve, a chilling thought when you consider how much store we place on achieving a high IQ. This type of assertion is provocative and immediately triggers questions such as: How do you measure success? If IQ accounts for 20 % of success does this mean that EQ counts for 80%? If so how do we know this? What really matters is that we:
1) determine our own personal criteria for success
2) develop our own personal strategies for improvement based on how far we need our own EQ barometer to rise.

IQ is all about cognitive skills. These include logical reasoning abilities, spatial orientation, analytical skills, language skills etc
However solving problems, as many have found to their peril, requires much more than just cognitive skills. Three distinct phases can be distinguished in a problem solving strategy.
1. The problem description:

We gather or are given the facts in a comprehensive overview of the problem (what we learn to do at school)

2. Problem solving:

Here we propose a solution, albeit theoretical, which takes into account all the elements identified in the problem description.

3. Implementing the solution :

Now we have to find a way of applying the chosen solution.

Where will a high EQ have its place in the problem solving strategy? The first two phases clearly belong to the domain of "classic intelligence". They are the result of applying logical thinking. However the third, practical part requires more Emotional Intelligence. It is the ability to see that one solution does not fit all and to be able to feel your way around the particular situation and mould the theory until it fits the reality.

EQ as Howard Gardner (Harvard University) and Peter Salovey (Yale University) define it, is the complex whole of behaviours, capabilities (or competencies), beliefs and values which enables someone to successfully realize their vision and mission, given the context of this choice.

We can also distinguish between firstly, Intrapersonal Intelligence, that is me dealing with me, (examined in my article: Exam Success? EQ or IQ) determining moods, feelings and other mental states in oneself and the way they affect our behaviour, altering or managing these states, self-motivation etc. Secondly there is Interpersonal or Social Intelligence, that is me dealing with others, how I deal with you, recognising emotions in others (i.e. not just accepting face value, reading between the lines) and using this information as a guide for building and maintaining relationships.

EQ can increase IQ

The good news is that whatever our IQ, we can increase our own intelligence and that of others (who are working for us or training with us) by learning/ teaching techniques which enable us to act intelligently. IQ can be increased through EQ.
Psychology is a relatively new science that has only been in existence for 150 years. Since Freud, the development of psychology has helped us to appreciate that a person's actions are not just rational or logical. However it is only in the last 10 years that the greatest discoveries in neuroscience have been made and that science and technology have made it possible to start mapping brain functions using recent innovative tools. EQ is the new buzz word affecting the way we learn, teach, work and handle our day-to-day lives. Universities* are integrating it into their MBA programmes (IUM), teaching organisations into teacher training programmes (Pilgrims) and companies into their management training courses. It is too important to ignore and although little can be done about the origin of our IQ, we can increase it by learning those EQ techniques which enable us to ACT intelligently.

The Emotions of Success

An emotionally intelligent person's reasoning is often based on images; they can make connections between different domains and look at a problem from different perspectives. They can see the big picture, but can also focus on any relevant details and take them into account. If they encounter difficulties in finding a solution to the problem, they will translate the problem description and use other knowledge (very often from past experience of similar case scenarios) to find the appropriate answer.

EQ is therefore a good term to describe our "non-rational" way of thinking and being. It is an "out of the box" way of tackling problems. Through EQ we are attempting to reach our goals by interacting with our environment. We want to feel and access the emotions of success. Daniel Goleman describes these emotions as being "perseverance, self-confidence, enthusiasm, self-motivation." They are certainly characteristic of all successful sports champions and when we understand that these elements are connected to our emotional state, it is easy to see why being successful at sport may make us successful in other areas and why those with a high EQ may have the edge when it comes to going that extra mile. If you put yourself in a resourceful state (and this is the key to accessing the secret chamber of these positive emotions) you can access your perseverance, self-confidence, enthusiasm, and self-motivation. Peter Salovey, a professor at Yale University, adds self-awareness and empathy to these characteristics of EQ.

Empathy is "the ability to identify with and understand another's situation, feelings and motives." The proverbial putting yourself in the other person's shoes. Observation skills will help you achieve this, you can learn to read the signals and identify someone's E -state. This information can be used constructively to improve your ability to enter into the part which is required of you. This is an essential skill in conflict management, training and all interpersonal relationships.

All too often it seems that people lack the perseverance when they need it most or lose control over their emotions in difficult situations. An exercise I often use in workshop situations to raise awareness is to ask everyone to close their eyes and to think back to the last time they got angry with someone. I ask them to reply the "video" in their heads with full volume and then to access their final emotion at the outcome. Were they pleased or disappointed? Most will admit to disappointment, frustration and dissatisfaction at the outcome. The anger did not produce the desired result and in most cases is counter-effective for both parties. Aristotle expressed it in this way: "Everybody can get angry- that's easy. But getting angry at the right person, with the right intensity, at the right time, for the right reason and in the right way- that's hard." Finding constructive ways to use and harness your emotions is the key and not allowing others to push those buttons that trigger our negative outbursts.

Presuppositions

Merlevede, Bridoux and Vandamme lay great store by neurolinguistic presuppositions. They see them as being perhaps "the greatest secret behind the Emotional intelligence of some people". Presuppositions as they explain are "operating assumptions or axioms one uses when presenting a scientific theory. Science is built on presuppositions which work well until an exception crops up and proves otherwise. Neurolinguistics has its own library of presuppositions. What matters is not whether they are ultimately true or not, but "that thousands of people world wide have found it very useful to act from them. Merlevede, Bridoux and Vandamme add that "once you start applying these presuppositions, notice how they add to your freedom and thus provide you with even more flexibility than you had to begin with".
An example of a presupposoition that some people express as their own personal conviction would be a statement such as : "Whatever is possible for someone else is possible for me." What do you think? How true is this for you? Of course you could come up with a plethora of counter-examples to disprove such a statement and give up safe in the knowledge that you would never have succeeded in the first place. On the other hand, you could do as many others have chosen to do and see that there is a possibility of achieving your goal and so decide to be challenged. Perhaps the "journey" will be a life changing experience and the ultimate "destination" not so important.
It is far more exciting to start from the above presupposition than from: "It's not because somebody else can do this that I could ever learn it," . Leonard Orr's law shows us that many presuppositions operate as "self-fulfilling prophecies", "What the Thinker Thinks, the Prover Proves,". Presuppositions can act as signposts in our lives, helping us to organise our thoughts and make decisions. They can become integrated into our lives until they become an invisible part of our core beliefs. This is one way to "empower" yourself by connecting to positive presuppositions to help make the right choices, a similar approach to connecting to reference experiences to empower a resourceful belief.

Personal Maps of Reality

In one of my work shops we take a core presupposition and attempt to prove it right. I present my students with the presupposition "The Map Is Not The Territory" (Alfred Korzybski). We then do an exercise that I have borrowed from an NLP workshop I attended at Pilgrim's, Canterbury, last summer. Everyone draws a map of the town we are in, putting in our current location (school, university, workplace) . There are no restrictions on what they may put on the map or how it should be depicted: lines, words, pictures, symbols, anything goes. After a few minutes they are told to compare their maps and are amazed to see how different all the maps of the "same" place are. The differences are enormous, some have restricted themselves to a small part of the town, some have extended into the surrounding area, some have focused on pictures showing tourist attractions, some have chosen to show the main traffic routes, some have featured facilities such as bus, train stations, hospitals etc. Some are completely out of proportion and unrecognisable, others are to scale and serve a particular purpose. The only thing they have in common is that they all feature our location. This is a simple way of showing students that people act from their personal map of the world as opposed to acting from "the reality". Their different descriptions (maps) of the same reality (territory) each have their value, depending on the context in which you apply them. The danger is that we are rarely aware that we are not operating from the same "reality" as the person we are dealing with. This exercise raises awareness of this fact and makes us sensitive to the fact that we all see the same "reality" through own our own different eyes and that it is always important to clarify the context so that we are all operating from the same map in any given situation. Failure to do this will result in the plethora of misunderstandings that characterise our daily dealings with others. Korzybski's aim in using the metaphor if the map was to point out that there is a difference between the sentences we utter and what lies beneath them. In the same way that a GPS system will not tell you that a tree has just fallen and is blocking the route it has advised you to take, most of what people appear to say on the surface does not give us enough information to find out the reasoning or reality that lie beneath. From the recent progress that has been made in neuroscience, we now know that people operate from their own mental maps. We now know that when we observe reality, we filter the reality and produce our own distorted "map" of that reality. This map is not "the reality". People, confuse their thinking or their map and the reality it is based on. This is where the emotionally intelligent person will have the edge. They will remember not to take things that are said at face value but will put all things into perspective and when their opinion is different from their partner's, they will at least show respect for this difference. As Merlevede, Bridoux and Vandamme point out: "Once you realize that the map isn't the territory, this becomes much easier to do. It gives you the freedom to ask questions, so that you understand the other's point of view, and by comparing the differences, you may end up with a new perspective which combines the best of both worlds."

Another awareness raising exercise I do with my students that came from Pilgrim's Judith Baker's NLP workshop is the "coin "exercise". Students take three or four coins out of their pockets, place them on the palm of their hand and then invite their partner to comment on them. After a minute the students change roles and repeat the process. The trainer then gets the students to focus on what their comments revealed "Sameness versus "Difference". Some students will have focused on the similarities between the coins and some on the differences, some on the face value, others on the colours, shapes etc. We learn that some people have a preference for seeing similarities or differences. This may correspond to their preferred learning style. As trainers it will be important to be aware of these individual learning styles. It should now be becoming obvious that it is easier to change your perception of the world than it is to change the world itself. That is why the saying, "To change the world, start with yourself" should be at the forefront of our communication skills.

Managing our Emotional Energy

We now know that emotions are important to us but do we understand how to manage our own emotional budget?
How is it that some people can juggle so many activities in life and never seem to drop a ball? How is it that they inspire us, fill us with admiration to the extent that we would like a little of their magic to rub off on us? On the other hand, how is it that others drain us, suck out our energy, fill us with negative vibes to the extent that we feel exhausted in their presence? What makes the former succeed and the latter fail? Emotional Intelligence is the key. It is all about how you use or abuse your energy. An activity that is more attractive makes you want to expend more energy. While something that is unattractive makes you spend energy just to get started at it.

How you manage risk will also influence your energy levels. Too little risk will equate to boring and demand wasted motivational energy just to keep yourself interested. Activities with too high a risk content will make you feel anxious, may keep you awake at night and drain your energy. It is therefore important to find your middle zone or your "comfort zone" to optimise your energy output. This will depend on individual motivation patterns, skill, experience and expectation. We are all different and one man's meat will be another man's poison.

It is important to understand not only what effect your management of your emotional budget is having on you but also on other people. Is the overall effect negative or positive? Are you sure that you are the best judge of that or should you be a little more sensitive to the effect you are having on others and discuss this with them?

Merlevede, Bridoux and Vandamme talk about "Superconductivity of the Mind". They say that managing your emotional budget "involves not a single figure but a ratio between how much energy is available to begin with and how much you need to use. Developing your EQ is about learning to optimise this ratio, so that what ever amount of fuel you have within yourself will be sufficient to achieve whatever you set out to accomplish, and more."

In other words if you have to overcome a huge amount of emotional resistance to carry out a task you don't like, you will drain your system. However if you are engaged in a favourite or stimulating activity and are experiencing no resistance, then, you are attaining superconductivity (no internal or external resistance) where virtually no energy expenditure is needed to sustain this state.

This is known as being in the "flow state" or what athletes call being "in the zone". This is what is called synergy by cyberneticists. It is a special condition where the sum of the energies available in a given system is greater than the sum of the energies provided by the individual components of the system. This is when people produce find inspiration and go on to produce miraculous performances.

Positive Outcomes and Associative Thinking

It should therefore be very clear how important it will be to know how to achieve our own flow state and generate positive thought structures that will produce positive outcomes. Subjects, activities, exams and tests are rarely emotional vessels in themselves, but they become so when they are associated with something else. An expert trainer will find the association people have with their inhibitions to learn and will empower them to become the very best they can at everything. Associative thinking, centred in the limbic system of the brain (the emotional centre) is a powerful process and helps create our EQ memory ( see article Exam Success: EQ or IQ), which has a profound effect on what we believe and how we behave. As trainers we need to be able to help students create a positive emotional response. Too often it is the opposite that occurs. As Michael Brearley points out, "This is highlighted in the way schools often conduct exams. There are regulations that must be fulfilled, though most of the organisation of examinations is conducted in a way that guarantees stress, anxiety, fear and inevitable underachievement ( see article Coping with Exam Stress). When schools have invested so much time and effort in preparing students for exams, why do they rock the boat so violently? The gathering of students together , the silence demanded on entrance (why not play music? - the effect of music on emotional state is well documented), the banning of mascots that the students powerfully associate with comfort and reassurance, the harsh command-focused tones at the start (why not spend a moment getting the students to visualise success?" (see article Ballet shoes and Slippers) We can learn to change our emotional memory if it is not helping our learning performance. This forms the basis of the reprogramming exercises I use in my EQ workshops and are definitely the ones that produce the most dramatic results. It will not change the experience, though it can change the perceptions we have of that experience. Memory being state specific means that things are not as they are but how they are perceived. We can reframe beliefs in our inability to achieve in a way that will support learning and performance and not inhibit it. Behaviour is a consequence of belief and capability. Consider what Thomas Edison said "I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that don't work." At any one point in time, we are doing what we believe we are capable of, and our behaviour reflects those beliefs in relation to the perception of the environment they find themselves in (school, exam room, workplace, interview room).

Reinventing a better wheel

EQ will allow us to constantly reinvent ourselves, to grow and to get over the hurdles as they present themselves. I am a firm believer in the axiom that "Failing is not about falling flat on your face, it's not getting up" (Steve Cowley, Vice President IBM Software. As the Scots left the pitch after successfully yet surprisingly beating France in their first game of the 2006 Six Nations Rugby Championship, one of their key players was asked how they managed to win against all the odds. He replied "We knew we had it in us before we went out there, it's all in the positive mental attitude. We've changed, we've stopped focusing on our mistakes we just put them behind us, concentrate on our success and go out there and win!" No further questions Your Honour…..

*International University of Monaco (career and personal development programme integrated into MBA course)

References

1. Ballet Shoes and Slippers First published in Humanising Language Teaching, Year 4, Issue 4, July 2002, www.hltmag.co.uk. Republished in ELI Resource 2 Year IX, Nov. - Dec 2002 - Jan 2003 ISSUE 2 - Judy Churchill
2. Emotional Intelligence - Daniel Goleman
3. Emotional Alchemy - Tara Bennett-Goleman
4. 7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence Patrick E. Merlevede,Denis Bridoux & Rudy Vandamme
5. Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom Michael Brearley
6. Coping with exam stress - the demystification and relaxation process. First published in IATEFL TEA SIG Newsletter Issue June 2003
Republished in HTL Yr 5 Issue 5, September 2003
Republished in The Teacher ELT April 2004 - Judy Churchill
7. Exam Success: EQ or IQ Humanising Langauge Teaching Year 6; Issue 3; September 04 - Judy Churchill
8. Science and Sanity- A. Korzybski (1933)
9. The Tree of Knowledge: Biological Roots of Human Understanding - H. Maturana and Varela (1987)
10. Unlocking Self-expression Through NLP - Mario Rinvolucri and Judith Baker

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Please check the Expert Teacher course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Teaching Multiple Intelligences course at Pilgrims website.
Please check the Neuro Linguistic Programming course at Pilgrims website.

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