But here, suddenly, was a new way of thinking about the ingredients of life success.
It is suggested that this is the missing ingredient that separates average from top management or performance.
However, despite its potential relevance for social work practice, there has been little investigation and few reports about its application in social work settings. This paper seeks to stimulate debate about the role of EI in social work practice by considering its development, definitions and problematics.
Whilst the empirical evidence supporting the existence of a separate and measurable EI is ambiguous and emergent, the role of emotion in the organization of human behaviour is more firmly established. The paper examines the role of EI and emotion in relation to five core social work tasks: The paper situates itself in the rapidly changing context of social work: Emotional intelligence social work the centrality of emotions and power relationships in the social work task, the exponential growth of academic and popular literature about EI suggests that the need for a discussion of the potential relevance of EI to social work is overdue.
Additional impetus for this discussion arises from two sources.
The framework stresses the intra and inter-personal skills required of practitioners, including: This paper seeks to stimulate and inform Emotional intelligence social work at all levels about the role and contribution of emotion in general, and EI in particular, within the practice of social work.
To date, the voice of social work, which, in theory at least, has extensive experience of working intelligently with emotions has been largely silent. The intention of this paper is thus to begin to identify the potential applications of EI for social work.
The contention of this paper is that EI is, alongside professional values, one of the cornerstones for effective social work, which current social work teaching, practice, management and research can ill afford to ignore. Following a brief reflection on the rationale and stimulus for writing this paper, the opening section provides a description of the origins and characteristics of EI models.
The complications and limitations of existing models which have, to date, been largely American and corporate in nature will be discussed. The paper goes on to explore the relevance of EI to five core social work activities. The paper concludes with some cautionary notes about possible pitfalls that should be avoided.
These include uncertainties about its professional identity; relocation of social work services within integrated service delivery systems Ehrle et al. It is therefore hoped that readers operating in other service contexts or jurisdictions, and indeed in other social or health care contexts, will find much in the paper to which they can relate.
Indeed, my own experience of teaching EI principles to practitioners and managers as far apart as Canada and New Zealand confirms the universality of much that is contained within this paper.
Connections and context It is often the case that interest and conviction about the relevance of a theory come alive when a connection is made with lived experience.
Indeed, it would be somewhat incongruent to write a paper on the relevance of EI without some individual reflection. As a social work trainer, mentor and external examiner who has been following the emergence of EI over recent years, three situations provide compelling evidence about the relevance of EI in social work.
As an external examiner for a masters-level advanced social work course, it has become clear that the best dissertations describing, evidencing, explaining and reflecting upon effective social work interventions in complex care settings are characterized by candidates who display a congruence of professional, academic and personal mindfulness that sets them apart from their competent colleagues.
These candidates, whilst highly conscientious and well organized, also bring a level of unconscious competence, expertise and effortlessness that sets them apart. Moreover, these candidates frequently refer to the role of EI in their practice. By contrast, candidates at the borderline levels of advanced competence find individual reflection difficult, and often fail to take into sufficient account the views, wishes or feelings of users and colleagues.
Interestingly, whilst some of these may have also have struggled academically, this is not always the case. Second, as a mentor for managers and supervisors dealing with difficult staff management situations, it is increasingly apparent clear that the most troubling and intractable situations exist when performance difficulties occur in the context of staff who lack accurate empathy, self-awareness and self-management skills.
This lack of emotional competence renders the specific performance problems, such as poor recording practice, all but unmanageable. It was such situations that stimulated a link between the EI literature Goleman, ; Bar-On, ; Cherniss and Goleman, ; Caruso and Salovey, ; and social work practice.
This research was conducted during the mids at a point of crisis in US nursing services. Shortages in nursing staff and the need to train new nurses quickly resulted in the development of technical competences against which nurses could be trained and easily measured—a context wholly familiar to contemporary British social work.Emotional intelligence is the innate potential to feel, use, communicate, recognize, remember, describe, identify, learn from, manage, understand and explain emotions.
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Emotional Intelligence is the measure of an individual’s abilities to recognise and manage their emotions, and the emotions of other people, both individually and in groups.
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In today’s podcast, Richard Ingram is sharing his research about emotions and emotional intelligence and its relationship to social work. Richard Ingram joined the University of Dundee in and has undertaken the roles of tutor, lecturer and programme director on both the BA (Hons) and MSc social work programmes.