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What Is Emotional Intelligence?

We have heard of the importance of emotional intelligence at work, but what is it?  Emotional intelligence refers to having the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. The three areas involve: being emotionally aware, being able to harness emotions to think and problem solve, and being able to read and regulate the emotions of other people.  

Why Do We Need Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence isn’t always valued. However, if you have to collaborate or share space with people, it is an invaluable skill to develop and enhance relationships.  Here are three reasons why:

  1. It helps you read their emotions – Whether you are playing a game or working on a group project, it helps to have your team understand your point of view, and as a result value your contribution.  This is a good start to achieving success on a group collaboration.
  2. It helps to regulate your emotions in tough situations – Stressful and emotionally challenging situations are a part of life.  Awareness of your own emotions, how and why they’re being triggered, and how to regulate them is a critical skill to avoid unproductive outbursts that will damage working and personal relationships.
  3. It helps you understand the connection between your actions and other people’s emotional reactions – It’s easy to get frustrated and say something hurtful that damages important relationships, or to break an important trust by making a promise that cannot be kept.  Using emotional intelligence preservation of important relationships and critical projects can be managed.
What skills are Included in Emotional Intelligence?

For example here are ten skills that are critical to demonstrating emotional intelligence:

  1. Reading social cues
  2. Being empathetic
  3. Self motivation
  4. Delayed gratification
  5. Coping with life’s up and downs
  6. Managing relationships
  7. Decision making
  8. Problem solving
  9. Using active listening
  10. Being trustworthy
How Do Board Games Teach Emotional Intelligence?

Generally emotional intelligence in adults starts with children learning emotional awareness through play with family and peers.  Board games are one kind of play that develop a child’s emotional awareness. Specifically, here is what children are learning while playing board games:

  1. Taking turns
  2. Thinking ahead
  3. Considering actions have consequences
  4. Making (tough) choices
  5. Working as part of a team
  6. Be a good sport
  7. Winning and losing gracefully
  8. Thinking creatively and strategically
  9. Listening and communicating effectively
  10. Setting goals

Therefore you can see that play is necessary to positive mental development! In addition to a great way to bond and exercise their competitive spirit in a fun and healthy manner, playing board games gives children  the opportunity to work on their emotional awareness.

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