Emotional Intelligence[edit | edit source]

Beyond the Constraints of Intellect[edit | edit source]

This training module allows medical students and professionals to gain a better understanding of their emotional intelligence and provides different strategies to improve and enhance their emotional quotient (EQ). This is a six week open bi-weekly Emotional Intelligence seminary modular course in medical education which will be evaluated by baseline and concurrent EI assessments every 6 months.

Overview[edit | edit source]

What is Emotional Intelligence?[edit | edit source]

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to balance between one’s own emotions while being able to empathize with others and handle interpersonal relationships.[1]

EI plays a key role in an individual’s regulation of emotions and maintaining healthy relationships. It relies on four main pillars: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Beneficially, the utilization of emotional intelligence will play an integral role in undergraduate medical students coping with elevated levels of stress to reduce the onset of burnout.[2]

Current State[edit | edit source]

There is high rate of stress and burnout in medical students that poses a burden on an individual’s mental and emotional health. Thus, it is important that students engage in healthy and effective coping mechanisms to not only build their skills as a future health care professional, but to improve their mental well-being.[3]

Desired State[edit | edit source]

Improving emotional intelligence (EI) has demonstrated a positive correlation with developing effective coping strategies and support systems. We hope to improve the understanding of emotional intelligence in Canadian medical students to improve their effective coping strategies and support systems to reduce stress levels and the risk of burnout.[4]

Self-Awareness[edit | edit source]

What is Self-Awareness?[edit | edit source]

Self-Awareness is the ability to introspect and reflect on one’s thoughts, words, and actions, objectively. [5]

Learning Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • To become more comfortable understanding one's feelings without casting judgement
  • To be able to understand how one's actions and words impact those around them
  • To explore vulnerabilities, strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes

Why Self-Awareness is important to medical students[edit | edit source]

  • Works to enhance clinical skills: [6]
    • Patient interaction
    • Patient counselling
    • Patient interviewing
  • Reduces Burnout
  • Promotes self-care
  • Allows medical students to further appreciate why they are becoming medical doctors and all the training involved.[7]

How to become more Self-Aware?[edit | edit source]

Mindfulness Meditation[edit | edit source]

Mindfulness meditation is meant to promote self awareness. In medical students, it was found that those who participated in mindfulness meditation displayed higher empathy, had decreased anxiety levels, and lower depressive symptoms.[8]

Proust Questionnaire:Activity to better understand oneself[edit | edit source]

Lesson: It can be quite difficult to assess oneself from an objective standpoint which is necessary to improve self-awareness. The Proust Questionnaire is meant to encompass reflective writing so that students can explore their vulnerabilities, strengths, weaknesses, current feelings, likes, and dislikes. This is to help students become more comfortable with understanding themselves. Understanding oneself is the first step in understanding others. [9]

Self-Management[edit | edit source]

What is Self-Management?[edit | edit source]

Self-management allows you to channel your emotions and feelings in a controlled manner when expressing emotional reactions.[10]

Learning Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • To become more familiar with managing one's feelings without losing control
  • To be able to understand and control your emotional responses
  • To discover vulnerabilities, strengths, and weaknesses in a safe environment

Five Elements of Self-Management[edit | edit source]


How to Become Better at Self-Management?[edit | edit source]

  • Be Aware of Feelings & Emotions: Paying attention to how you are feeling and remaining aware of your emotions will allow you to undestand and control your behaviours and reactions.
  • Start Journaling Your Emotions: Keeping a list of your emotions and feelings in different situations will help you identify your triggers and allow you to manage your emotional reactions.
  • Pay Attention to Your Choices : Explain to yourself what it feels like to be in control of your emotions. Make an active choice to repeat these techniques daily or weekly. Remember, it is your choice to improve your self-management.[11]

Social Awareness[edit | edit source]

What is Social Awareness?[edit | edit source]

The ability to recognize other people's emotions, understand their perspectives and act appropriately. [12]

Learning Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • To become more socially aware of people and there emotions in order to build health positive relationships
  • To be able to identify social cues that are positive and negative in order to adapt accordingly
  • To improve the appropriate use of social cues in conversations

Putting Social Awareness Into Context[edit | edit source]

Activity: Am I in a Room Alone?

  1. Stand in your bedroom and name the first seven objects you see
  2. Describe those objects
  3. Ask yourself, do these objects have a purpose in the room and what is there intended use?
  4. Given that you have reflected on the objects in a room now translate the same activity to the classroom
  5. Stand up in the classroom, name the first seven people that you see
  6. Describe the facial expressions of each person
  7. Ask yourself, what do these facial expressions imply and what might this person be feeling? Ask the person if you are uncertain with the social cue they are displaying
  8. Reflect and jot down what you learned from the activity, keeping in mind the question of "how did this person display a particular social cue and why?"

Lesson: This activity was to teach you that you are not in a room alone and you must acknowledge that when you interact with someone that you should be socially aware of the cues they are displaying. Even if you are not certain about their social cues its always okay to ask questions to confirm. Practice being socially aware in a variety of contexts by trying new activities and being mindful of the facial expressions that people are making, as well as the tone of voice that they use.

Relationship Management[edit | edit source]

What is Relationship Management?[edit | edit source]

Using awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully.[13]

Learning Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • To build positive strong relationships in order to ensure better interaction between physician and patient and physician and HCP
  • Essentially to manage your relationships you must have a strong foundation in the first three pillars: self-awareness, self-management and social awareness
  • Define each competency and put into practice in both personal and professional spheres
    1. Active Listening [14]
    2. Empathy [15]
    3. Being Aware and Acknowledging the Other Person's Feelings [16]
    4. Having Open Discussions Free of Judgment [17]
  • To use discussion as a tool to practice building healthy relationships

Competencies of Relationship Management[edit | edit source]

Active Listening
Being Aware and Acknowledging the Other Person's Feelings
Having Open Discussion Free of Judgment

Given that the previous three competencies of relationship management have now prepared you to build positive relationships. We will put this into practice through discussion.

Activity: Listen To Me As I Listen To You

  1. You will be paired with a partner in the class.
  2. For 5-10 minutes you will share a personal story, this could be about your childhood or your present reality. Make it open. You could also make it anonymous. Then switch and your partner will share their story.
  3. Practice active listening, empathy and become more aware of the feelings your partner associates with each part of their story.
  4. After listening to your partners story, re-tell there story and ask for clarification if necessary.
  5. After re-telling their story, each parter will evaluate the other person's competency skills.
  6. Provide constructive feedback and indicate where you partner went well.
  7. Complete the closing questionnaire for the modular course.

Lesson: Sometimes sharing a personal story can be very hard, and many times that is what patients experience when they visit the doctor. It is important that you are able to empathize with someone by actually "walking a mile in their shoes". This exercise was to teach you that although a conversation may be uncomfortable having someone attentively listen to you without judgment is important to show the other person that you care about them. Practice building healthy relationships by working to improve each pillar of Emotional Intelligence, and having discussions with people from various walks of life.

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Keywords psychology, emotional intelligence
Published 2021
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
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