Emotional Intelligence – How it Works

Neuroplasticity (or brain plasticity) is the process whereby the brain adapts to changing situations. Recent research has shown that many aspects of the brain, including those associated with Emotional Intelligence, remain changeable (or ‘plastic’) even into adulthood. This notion contrasts with the previous scientific consensus that the brain develops during a critical period in early childhood, and remains relatively unchangeable from then on.

Science has confirmed that you can access neuroplasticity to make positive change in many areas of your life but that it’s not an automatic process. Neuroplasticity occurs in circumstances where specific conditions are met. These conditions include focused attention, practice, repetition and maintaining overall brain health.

Improving Emotional Intelligence is a biological process, and involves retooling of engrained habits

Learning about Emotional Intelligence—that is, gaining an intellectual grasp of the concepts involved—has little effect on actually changing performance. Intellectual understanding is a threshold process, necessary for learning, but not sufficient for lasting improvement. Improving Emotional Intelligence is a biological process and requires the retooling of ingrained habits of thought, feeling, and behaviour. Habits that have been learned can be unlearned—and a more effective habit learned instead—but it requires focus, effort and time.

hippocampusThis unlearning and learning occurs at the level of the brain connections themselves.

As we acquire our habitual repertoire of thought, feeling, and action, the neural connections that support this repertoire are strengthened, becoming dominant pathways for nerve impulses.

With repetition the new behaviours become automatic and spontaneous

While connections that are unused become weakened or even lost, those we use over and over grow increasingly strong. Given a choice between two alternative responses, the one that has the richer, stronger network of neurons will win out.

And the more a response occurs, the thicker the neural pathways grow to support it. When habits have been well learned, through countless repetitions, then the underlying neural circuitry becomes the brain’s default option—we act automatically and spontaneously.

How our training helps

Our training provides ‘just enough’ of the intellectual understanding, and then pinpoints for each attendee, 2-3 strategies which will be the focus for improving their EI. The interactive scenarios used during the workshop are brought to life using clips from Hollywood movies and provide the motivation to change. After the course, the e-learning, retest and scorecard encourage and support attendees while they practice the new strategies until they become habits. When the selected strategies have been mastered, attendees can then select another two and repeat the process.