Given the latest research on the affect that human beings have on each other, SQ may be one of the most important components of student as well as leadership success. SQ is really the quality of our social intelligence. It is how we connect with and relate to others. It is how we invest in, build and nurture relationships over a lifetime.
Here's 2 pieces of information that really hit the SQ mark and may help clarify the role of relationships in our lives.
- Neuro-plasticity - Your brain is like plastic. It is moldable. It changes throughout your life based on your experience, who you hang with, and your intention to change yourself. Human beings can learn and changeÂ at any stage in life.
- Our brain is wired to connect with others. Even our immune system is linked to respond to our relationships. Positive nourishing relationships nourish us while negative relationships are toxic to the system, especially over time.
The more scientists study the human brain, the more they realize how important ourÂ SQ really is. Our social relationships and interactionsÂ influence both our brain and our biology.
Every school, every teacher and every principal needs to understand the importance of SQ education. It lowers the bullying incidents, upsets in the classroom and referrals to the principal's office in the school.
And how important is SQ in leadership? A policeman friend put it simply when he said that a new police chief had just been hired from the ranks. "I judge a leader by whether I would go in before him on a raid or let him go in before me," he said. "I would go in first to protect this man.Â That's how much I trust him," he said quietly.Â "And from what I've heard, I believe anyone on the force would do the same."Â The trust that my friend spoke of here only happens out of SQ!
During my work in corporations and in the classroom. I have come to equate IQ or Intellectual Quotient as a relic of some past era. IQ testing was traditionally used to separate people into groups for the benefit of the tester. As an example the US Military in the early 1900's used mass IQ testing to filter people into Officer and non-Officer ranks
I have come to rename IQ as the Quality of Thinking - How we use our minds and how we think. This includes problem solving. decision-making and meta-cognition.
- Problem Solving:
- Accessing the problem
- Analyzing the components of the problem
- Clarifying the goal
- Establishing strategies to achieve the goal
- Developing procedures to measure success
- Measuring success
- Decision Making:
- Gathering information
- Making distinctions
- Sorting and synthesizing
- Integrating information
The shift from Quotient to Quality is all about the movement from linear comparisons of people to one in which we acknowledge the multidimensional nature of human beings. In fact the ability to use data and apply that to problems is the true nature of thinking. Where thinking is the interaction between Problem Solving, Decision Making and the Meta Cognition skills we have. Trying to define this interaction on a linear scale seems too simplistic.
This is the reason that I expound the need to focus on the quality of a person's interactions and not simply the quotient. Because as teachers we have the ability to improve the thinking of our students. We can explicitly teach students problem solving, decision making and the meta cognitive skills, I don't think this should be measured on a linear scale.
I've been saying for 30 years human beings are more than their intellect. To be a human being includes our emotions.Â EQ is the Quality of our emotions or how we manage our reactions to the events and situations in our lives.
Until very recently emotional literacy was not thought to be a part of the classroom. Far from it, especially at the high school level. "It was not my job as a teacher to impact the way the student manages his or her emotions", was a common comment in the staffroom at my school.
However, if you think about your own experience as a human being or as aÂ professional, as a teacher, you know that you and I are still engaged in managing our emotions. In fact, when I am in a classroom with 30 students, I am very aware that my reactions make a difference to the overall outcomes I produce with my students.
As a teacher the emotions that I manage every day include:
- Ability to delay reaction time
- Psychological hardiness
I'll never forget an incident that happened when I was teaching 5th grade. I reacted in anger at a student and the change in feeling in my classroom instantly changed. The classroom went from warm and playful with the students having fun to frigid ice, the class froze. Just remembering it hurts in the pit of my stomach.
So it is with students. Students have to manage their reactions and they learn this as a process over time. Some of the emotional qualities that I begin with in the middle years include:
Emotional literacy is a teachable process.
For more than 30 years I have been thinking about IQ,EQ,SQ.Â I have been trying to find some answers to the big questions in life. Â My journey has seen me move from the classroom through the corporate world and now back to classrooms again.Â Along this journey I have discovered many things, but the most important discovery is this.
The Boardrooms of the companies I have worked with are not full of people with the highest IQ's, they are full of Smart people.
Here smart means the ability
- to lead people,
- to articulate a vision
- to focus a discussion
- to genuinely interact with others
- to listen
- to influence the thinking of others
- to engage the team in system wide change when needed
All of these traits are in the Emotional and Socail domains.
Now think about your classroom, the tests you give, the report cards you write... Are we enhancing a student's potential or measuring the school's Key Performance Indicators?
The most successful people are those with a balance of intellect, emotions and social skills.Â This is the essence of a human being.Â The balance of these three domains is what makes each person unique.Â The potential of each student also lies somewhereÂ in this IQ,EQ,SQ balance. If this is a students potential, don't we as educators need to focus across all three domains in our teaching so as to support a student during their development?
Schools all over the world measure IQ. They have forever, and they probably always will. As a teacher I did. But in my classroom I always struggled with IQ as being the determining factor of educational outcomes.
Human beings are more than IQ. Success, satisfaction and happiness is not purely a function of intellect. A whole and happy human being is made up of a combination of factors that go way beyond intellect.
In my IQ, EQ, SQ Model I have replaced quotient with Quality. Â Quotient is by definition a linear process, starting at the bottom and leading to the top, but as we know humans are not on a linear scale, they are multi-dimensional. Humans have many facets, many reactions, many relationships and ultimately a combination of all their intellect, their emotions and their relationships. Â Quality is a measure that removes scale, every single person has quality, what makes them unique is their personal combination of these qualities.
Intellectual Quality is how we use our minds and how we think, not our ability to think or the measurement of our thinking in relation to the "norm".
Emotional Quality how we react or respond to events and situations in our lives. It how we manage our emotions moment by moment, day after day.
Social Quality is how we connect with and relate to others. It is how a student engages with other people in his or her environment.
I just completed a 2 day school course at Farrington High School. It focused on balancing intellectual strengths with emotional and social literacy. The course was called "Life Without Limits - You Make a Difference" and the results were over the top!
In an activity called 'The Grid' students confronted boredom, frustration, and exasperation as they hit the emotional wall of wanting to quit. Finally they learned to CHOOSE the positive emotions that would help them reach their goal. Students came to realize that every goal will challenge their commitment. They discovered that they needed to choose the social and emotional experiences that would support their goals and dreams.
Two men, Lovell Harris and Lanson Kupau,Â joined me on the platform during the final day. Lovell is one of the best drug and alcohol counselors in the Pacific Region and Lanson is a lawyer that came from the same streets as the students we were teaching. Each shared a bit of their story and their secrets to achieving success.
"You have to use your emotions in a positive way," Lovell said. "Give yourself a big enough WHY and you can achieve any HOW!" Lovell continued "For myself, one WHY was my mother. She worked hard to raise 6 boys and she deserved to have her son succeed and make a contribution to the lives of others."
The student responses:
- "I'll never be the same!"
- "I know I can go for it now!"
- "We need to do this for a lot more students in the school!"
Happy 2010! I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday season leading into the new year. I just returned to the islands and I'm excited because it's a time of new beginnings - updating old goals and setting new ones.
As the Trinidad Hunt Publishing Group,Â David, Lynne and I are excited about this new venture. We are expanding our work to include e-books, e-seminars and e-courses. Our first e-seminar, Kaizen - Never Ending Improvement, will be available in 2 weeks.
As you can see from the cover image, my newest book with Jack Canfield, Tom Hopkins and John Christensen (of the Fish Philosophy) was released in late December 2009.
We are gearing up for a major production and I will keep you posted as milestones are completed.
Aloha from the beautiful Hawaiian Islands,