In spite of the increasing awareness of Emotional Intelligence and talks of introducing it into schools to develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills in children, the actual implementation is slow in actualizing. It is a mammoth task as a stream of people are involved in making it happen; especially the teachers who must recognise their need to change first before such adoption in schools can be made possible. Perhaps learning to use coaching conversations is a good start.
So what is coaching conversations and their connection to Emotional Intelligence?
Coaching conversation is applying coaching skills in our communication to draw positive and solution-based thinking and responses to increase awareness of self and others toward self-directed learning.
Coaching methodologies that are developed from years of tracking the results of neuroscience research and positive psychology are likely to be more effective tools for developing Emotional Intelligence.
In the process of learning to use coaching conversations, teachers would have the opportunity to reflect on their own self-development and how they could polish their teaching to enhance the learning experience of their charges. They will learn to challenge their beliefs, constantly reflect on their actions and seek alternative solutions. Act as a team, this will speed up the evolution in teaching bringing greater levels of satisfaction amongst teachers, the teaching committee, students and parents.
Times have changed: teachers can no longer remain stagnant relying solely on past accumulated knowledge and experience to be effective and competent. The rapid changes around us are and will increase, gaining in unimaginable momentum of speed and magnitude and until they develop a habit of continuous learning and upgrading teachers will not be of good use to their students, having nothing worthwhile to contribute.
What teachers expect from students will need to change as much as students expectations of teachers have changed. Students today are exposed to all sorts of technological gadgets and social media and medium so much so that their learning experience no longer bear any resemblance to that of their teachers’.
There is an almost desperate need for teachers to catch up fast on what is happening around them and to align themselves with these changes in order to better understand their students and their needs. Sadly, there are still many who have not awakened to this realization – the source of complaints of most parents and students alike.
Some upgrade themselves with the latest technological tools such as multi-media amongst others to teach but what could still be lacking is in how teachers communicate with their students for best results.
Traditionally teachers gravitate toward spoon-feeding with the attitude of “teachers are always right” and “they know best” because that was the environment they were brought up in, a reflection of the times past. In this information and knowledge age where almost any information can be easily obtained from the Internet, such statements can no longer hold true. To be an effective teacher, teachers will need to learn how to exploit the resources available and guide their students in their learning process instead of providing all the answers. (All these apply equally to parents.) This will change the paradigm of expectation amongst teachers, students and parents.
Today, teachers are not only made accountable to their schools and students but also parents. Parents have an overarching reliance on teachers holding them fully responsible for their children’s development when they forget, as parents they too have an equal if not a larger part to play. Even as teachers recognise this, parents’ don’t; the causal effects of misalignment and misunderstanding of teacher’s role today are what frustrate teachers most.
The development of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills of a teacher becomes paramount to their ability to manage their own emotions; not only as a means in managing the multi-level relationships but also a big plus in helping their students cope in this new world, requiring flexibility and agility in meeting daily new challenges, both emotional and non-emotional in nature.
Instead of driving with forces of fear, teachers can learn to use positive psychology to encourage and nurture their students. Teachers trained in brain-based coaching conversations can thus better guide their students to improve their performance and developing them further by stimulating their creative thought processes, helping them tap into their innate talents and developing good sustainable habits for personal growth.
If you are interested to know more about effective coaching for teachers, check this out.