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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Emotional Intelligence: What Businesses Can Do

What businesses can do to help promote the philosophy of and encourage emotional intelligence in schools.
By Edutopia Staff

Businesses have many opportunities to work with and influence the lives of today's students. In addition to supporting local school efforts around emotional intelligence (EI), businesses should examine the practices and behaviors within their own organization, taking care to make sure that the social and emotional health of all employees is respected, valued, and supported.

The following strategies and resources are focused on developing organizational support for emotional intelligence -- both in the workplace and in our schools.

Work with schools and other area businesses to support EI curriculum.

Share a compilation of studies called "The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence" that explores how emotional intelligence benefits business. Work with your local Chamber of Commerce and other business groups to advocate EI curricula and training, identify funding sources, and more.

Establish emotional intelligence training in your organization.

You'll be modeling the behavior you seek from youth, as well as developing a deeper understanding of the value of emotionally intelligent living.

Demonstrate the usefulness of emotional intelligence.

Take advantage of school-to-work programs to demonstrate to students how EI is used in a work environment.

Talk to students.

Use career days or public speaking opportunities as a time to share with students the importance of EI in your work. Balance talk of salary potential and academic requirements with a discussion about the importance of EI skills, such as being able to work well with others and respecting different opinions.

Resources

Promoting Emotional Intelligence in Organizations: Making Training in Emotional Intelligence Effective, by Cary Cherniss and Mitchel Adler (American Society for Training and Development, May 2000). Using case-based examples of model programs in emotional intelligence training, this book provides a hands-on and easily accessible methodology for designing training programs in a wide variety of business and organizational settings.

The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. Visit the Web site of this Daniel Goleman-founded organization for excellent references, research reports, and other materials on emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Working With Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman (Bantam, January 2000). Author Goleman extends the concept of emotional intelligence to the business world, offering strategies and advice for the workplace.

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