How Teaching Emotional Intelligence Can Help Educate Future Black Leaders

A powerful tool for success that should be taught in classrooms today is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is defined as, “The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”  is seen as the key to both personal and professional success.

Why is emotional intelligence such an important tool for black youth to learn today? Well, just take a look at all of the issues that many face on a daily basis: racism, discrimination, job and education deficit issues, and even the handling of their personal and family relationships.

Think about a situation where a young person is confronted with a fight at school, an argument with a girlfriend or boyfriend, or perhaps difficulties with a teacher? What should these students do to help them continue on a successful track? How can they make sure they do not go down the wrong path, which may affect them for the rest of their lives?

Learning emotional intelligence practices at an early age can greatly help young people think about the consequences of their reactions to the situations they face. It may also assist them when looking at how emotional and rash reactions can affect their success as students and people in society for many years to come. People today can even connect with coaches and get certified to help others develop their own emotional intelligence, which can help us all to conduct ourselves properly in tough situations.

As the author of, “Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence,” and co-director of a Rutgers University consortium to foster research on the role emotional intelligence plays in excellence, Daniel Goleman has constructed a list of the essential competencies needed to be emotionally intelligent.


Realistic self-confidence: You understand your own strengths and limitations. You operate from competence and know when to rely on someone else on the team.

Emotional insight: You understand your feelings. Being aware of what makes you angry, for instance, can help you manage that anger.

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