Many educators on LinkedIn have asked me about teaching social and emotional intelligence skills to teens.
As more learning takes place in group and team settings, many teachers have observed that unless we help them tackle personal and social challenges, many will never fully engage and will not fulfill their potential.
The good news is that the team approach to teaching emotional intelligence skills has shown great promise.
If you can get teens to work together toward a common goal, then you have very easily grasped a way to help them see the value of emotional intelligence, and to help each other along.
For one, team efforts demand high collaboration, an EI ability, which in turn requires effective communication, another EI ability.
You can use the teams as a spontaneous platform to tackle the person-to-person issues that come up, and which will inevitably be about social and emotional skills.
Think about ways to use the groups to show the value of self-awareness (e.g., knowing your strengths and limits tells you what you can contribute best to the group, and when you need to rely on others who have different strengths); self-management (e.g., each member has to be disciplined to keep their commitments to the team); empathy (you’ve got to tune in to how what you do and say impacts others); and interpersonal skills (it’s all about communication, negotiation, collaboration, and persuasion).
Here are some additional resources to consider:
– The highest performing teams are in themselves emotionally intelligent. You might want to look at the research on this by Vanessa Druskat at the University of New Hampshire. She recently facilitated a webinar for Hay Group on how she uses the Kolb LSI and ESCI-U at UNH. You can access the recording here.
– The university edition of emotional and social competencies (ESCI-U) gives students a metric by which to grade themselves and track their progress. These students can see what their baselines are, and start working and practicing their influence abilities, teamwork, empathy and emotional self-control.
Learn more about this tool from Hay Group here.
– Finally, The George Lucas Educational Foundation (Edutopia) has made this one of their top priorities. George and I explored project-learning an EI in depth for our recording discussion called Rethinking Education: Educating Hearts and Minds. You can listen to an excerpt of our talk here.