Reflection is one of the best learning tools we can ever utilize to develop our emotional awareness and Intelligence. John Dewey correctly states that “we do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.” This is what I call awareness in its highest form: To look deep at a certain thought or feeling with our full attention, and then notice other generated thoughts and feelings associated with it. This kind of self-reflection is perhaps one of the main components of Emotional Intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)?
Emotional Intelligence, as I understand it, can be defined as one’s ability to recognize and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.
Key Learning Reflection on the Session
As I mentioned earlier, reflection is a great learning tool that can raise our self-awareness of the nature and source of our thinking, feeling, and behavior. It can also help us to recognize how this awareness can influence those we interact with.
I can say with certainty that the session gave me a strong motivational reason to explore with more depth the science and practices behind EI. This motivation was maximized by the group dynamics and the friendly presence and competence of the instructor. The following section will discuss in more detail my reflections on the session.
On the Personal Level
- As I was sitting back silently and listening to that inner monologue inside of me during pauses. I learned more about myself, my fears, weaknesses, needs, and strengths. It also taught me how to improve on the areas where I need to further develop, such as my discomfort with being on video.
- It also helped me shift my focus from the problems I was facing to searching for solutions, from negativity to what’s essential to do now, from unwelcome happenings to new ideas and other possibilities. I felt it’s useless to waste my emotional energy on something that I cannot change.
- It helped me to expand my imaginations, the place of creativity, and novel ideas. As I searched for my imagination for unique answers and more pleasant ideas to share, I was actually soothing myself from the stress and anxiety of the new encounter.
- It helped me to develop better communication skills. By reflecting on what has been said, I actually allowed the meaning and feeling of those exchanges to be better understood and appreciated.
- It helped me to focus on one issue at a time instead of allowing my mind to wander around and bring up other unrelated topics to the front.
- It helped me practice being systematic when processing information to organize all the details associated with the subject of discussion for better recall. That made me feel highly attentive.
- It helped me to be more natural when interacting with new people without being judgmental.
- It helped improve my listening skills since the online platform allows only one person to speak at a time. Hence paying more attention to the speaker and the message.
On the Social Level
- It was an excellent opportunity to meet new people from different parts of the world all gathered in one space and sharing different life experiences but a similar goal.
- The interaction with like-minded people was another useful learning tool since each one was bringing their own experiences and world views to the class.
- Listening to others as they talked about their backgrounds was a chance to practice our compassion and empathy for others, especially when they shared some of those unfortunate events in their lives. It also seemed like a chance to gain a support system from the group during the course of learning EI.
How will it help me in becoming Emotionally Intelligent?
I will try to make it a regular activity to self-reflect and find out how I am feeling at any given moment. This will increase my awareness of my own feelings and, subsequently, improve my ability to understand my behavior’s emotional source. I know that people with high emotional Intelligence make self-reflection a regular activity. I also know that emotional self-awareness is one of the most important EI competencies.
The social side of Emotional Intelligence is another area of my personal interest, which I enjoyed during the session. The ability to handle and maintain successful relationships with others, build bonds, influence others positively, solve problems corporate with others, are all important skills for personal growth and group harmony. Social competence also entails empathy, a term associated with understanding and helping others, celebrating their diversity and differences, and, most importantly, developing them in the process.
By reflecting on the session, I recall how motivated and optimistic I was. I also felt a strong commitment to go throw this unique experience, which I call “investing in one’s self.” I will make it a daily practice to write down in my diary how I feel each day, what kind of emotions are more recurring and why, and perhaps search for my EI pattern.