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The importance of incorporating emotional intelligence into the workplace is often discussed, with many programs focusing on how to teach your employees to be more emotionally intelligent. One area less often considered is in the classroom. Teaching students to be emotionally intelligent is just as important, and is a skill that will stick with them throughout their life.

One study tracked students with a high-IQ from childhood into late adulthood and found that the participants that had achieved notable success in their careers demonstrated greater willpower, perseverance and a desire to excel. Results from the marshmallow test suggest that delayed gratification and self-control are linked to better grades in school, higher earnings and increased job satisfaction. All of these traits are also connected to emotional intelligence, as well as active listening and self-awareness.


Active listening

Active listening is a crucial component of two-way communication. It isn’t just the process of paying attention to what the speaker is saying; it involves genuinely following the line of dialogue and responding through use of body language, as well as being able to summarize the key parts back to the speaker. This is especially important regarding feedback. Often, people receiving feedback take it as an attack on who they are, and only partially listen to the speaker as they’re instead trying to generate their response.

Receiving feedback is critical in the classroom. It helps students to learn from their mistakes and grow through them. If students are unable to receive feedback from teachers and professors, they’ll be unable to receive it from their boss in the future.



Self-awareness is one of the most important skills to possess. It makes you a better leader and an all-around better person. Those who lack self-awareness don’t realize how their behaviors come across to others. It lets our perception of ourself skew our interactions with others and makes us inflate our abilities. The Dunning-Kruger effect is one example of this. The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which the people who are the worst at a specific task are the most likely to believe their cognitive abilities to be more exceptional than they are.

Encouraging self-reflection in the classroom is one way to increase self-awareness. Ask students to reflect on their failures and determine how things could have been done differently. Getting students to consider their actions and decisions will force them to understand better the role they play in their lives. It helps them to understand their feelings and the feelings of others better.