Emotional intelligence counts for a whole lot

FEELINGS are important, a social and emotional intelligence expert says.

Professor Marc Brackett from the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence in America is in Bendigo for a series of intensive training workshops. 

Professor Brackett is the developer behind the RULER approach to social and emotional learning - a research-based program which develops social and emotional literacy skills in students and educators. 

RULER is based on the five principals of emotional intelligence - recognition, understanding, labelling, expression and regulation. 

Professor Brackett said the main message of the approach was "emotions matter".

He said there were five primary reasons why emotions mattered in the way people lived their lives including, attention and memory learning, decision making, relationships, physical and mental health and general effectiveness. 

He said the RULER approach taught students and educators a number of tools they could use to manage their emotions. 

Girton Grammar School year 7 student Ella Fisher has used the RULER approach since she was first introduced to it in year 4. 

She said the approach had allowed her to control and regulate her emotions both at and away from school. 

"It is a benefit to students when something does go wrong or if we don't understand something at home or school," she said. 

"We can use RULER and understand where we are and take strategies to remove ourselves or ask a friend how to do it."

Ella said she regularly used the RULER approach when dealing with issues that arose at school and home. 

Professor Brackett is conducting the workshops at Girton Grammar School. 

Visit www.ei.yale.edu for more about the Yale Centre. 

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