Emotional intelligence is not something that is genetically defined. It is a quality we can work on through out entire life. Unfortunately, all these personal skills are often not a part of the school curriculum or even not a part of the family dynamic. Older generations still believe that having emotions is a sign of weakness and that emotions are inappropriate. They believe that conflicts are bad, that anger should not be expresses and that it is not nice to be sad all the time. (Young) people learn these patterns and act as if they have no emotions until they cannot take it anymore. Society demands happiness and joy and it demands it all the time. Little do we understand that happiness is just one of many emotions and we cannot be happy all the time. Also, each emotion has its function and a message. When we feel frighten, that is a message that it is most likely time to run and hide. Emotions need to be felt and need to be expressed and this is what our training course will do.
Our training course had two parts. First part of the training course was made in 2019, focusing mostly on our own personal experience with emotional intelligence. On the second training course that happened in 2021, participants renewed our understanding of emotional intelligence and learned more about implementation of these methods in their professional life. We addressed following topics:
- Participants observed their own behaviour. It is a question about “what are we doing” and “how does this make me feel”. To be more self-aware, person needs to find time and place for silence and solitude.
- Managing emotions means to recognize what do we feel and to decide which type of behaviour is appropriate for this situation. Managing emotions is not the same as oppressing emotions, but rather allowing ourselves to feel and then to properly respond.
- Empathy is one of the skills every emotionally intelligent person must work on, and every youth worker needs.
- It is not enough to be emotionally intelligence if your intelligence doesn’t derive from the place of values. So, to be full developed, one must set a proper scale of values.
We used many different methods such as simulation exercises, cognitive exercises, dance and theatre techniques, mediation, mindfulness, nature work and others. The first training course was held in November 2019 in Slovenia. The second training course happened in September 2021 in Italy. Partners for the project come from Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, UK, Ireland, Serbia, Poland and Slovenia. Project has been approved and funded by National Agency of Programme Erasmus+ MOVIT from Slovenia.