There's continuing focus in organisations on developing emotional intelligence (EI) so it's fascinating to read this piece about EI in an educational context. There are some interesting observations and links to research. The letter from Haim Ginott at the very end is very poignant.
What possibly strikes me most is towards the end of the article where it talks about performance character. Performance character encapsulates qualities such as perseverance, optimism and creativity. It is relevant because it's development has been shown to lead to greater academic success.
I think there is a similar parallel in organisations with the increasing focus on how we can use or develop resilience, positive psychology and creativity, especially with regards to leaders & managers. It's seen as a useful development to aid performance (success) in our work.
Similarly also, in organisations there is much less focus on developing the moral framework that supports ethical behaviour. I see less investment and attention being given to developing integrity, social responsibility or empathy especially with regards to leaders & managers.
Reading the whole article I wonder are organisations potentially & unwittingly creating something they don't actually want? Is it useful to develop performance character without also developing moral character too?
Something I think we need to look at.
I also suspect that the challenge in developing moral character is that it needs to be facilitated within the organisational context not via an external training programme.
Perhaps that is the real issue for some organisations.
While it would be such a relief for schools if helping students become “good” was as simple as teaching them emotional skills, a recent study suggests that there’s a lot more to acting morally than knowing how to manage your emotions. In this particular study, researchers in the UK found that young adult women who ranked high in EI also rated higher in delinquent behavior. While the authors of the study were not definitive about why this surprising finding might have occurred, the study does serve as a wake-up call to those of us who teach emotional skills. It seems that EI without a moral foundation can be down-right scary.