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 particular 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)?
As I understand it, emotional intelligence can be defined as one’s abilities to recognize and manage their 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 the science and practices behind EI with more depth. This motivation was maximized by the group dynamics and the friendly presence and competence of the trainer. 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 my imaginations 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’s 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 helpful learning tool since each one brought 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 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 feel at any given moment. This will help increase my awareness of my own feelings and subsequently increase my ability to understand the emotional source of my behavior. 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 essential EI competencies.
The unconditional positive regard was a totally new term to me. Even during the session, I wasn’t able to comprehend the exact meaning of the term. Then I went online to look for more clarifying points. If I got it right, it means “accepting and respecting others as they are without judgment or evaluation” (Carl Rogers, 2015). I could easily identify myself with the operational side of the term, mainly being nonjudgmental.
Talking about the psychological safe place made me want to know more about managing my own emotions and be more able to understand the emotions of others. I expect that the scientific knowledge and practical experience I will gain from this course will help me to better manage those hard-to-manage emotions. Most importantly, it will help me to know how to maximize my innate EI. This will improve not only my emotional skills but also my social functioning.
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 essential 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 going through this unique experience, which I call “investing in oneself.” 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.