Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

Coyle Scholar Shows the Power of Emotional Intelligence

Marc Brackett

GFA welcomed Coyle Scholar Marc Brackett, Ph.D., to campus Thursday for the incredibly important talk, "The Power of Emotional Intelligence".

Brackett, the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and Professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning adopted for the last several years at GFA. Brackett also serves on the Board of Directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Throughout the evening talk, he shared tools parents and educators may implement within their household or family system. Closing with four simple steps, he said, "Step one is trying to set yourself up for success. Be aware of what you're bringing to the situation from work, from your life. If you have to have a difficult conversation, is it the best time for it? Are you tired or hungry? Do you have privacy? Are you deactivating first and bringing that physiology down? Bring in your best self."

Brackett continued, explaining the second and third steps, explore and strategize, respectively. He emphasized leading with compassion and empathy and remembering that what works for an adult, may not work for a child.

"Step four: follow up," he shared. "Remember this is a journey ... learn about the success, learn abut the challenges, praise those successes, accept the challenges and work together to bring in those additional strategies."

As a researcher for over 20 years, Brackett has focused on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. He has published 125 scholarly articles and received numerous awards and accolades for his work in this area. He also consults regularly with corporations, such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google on integrating the principles of emotional intelligence into employee training and product design. Most recently, he co-founded Oji Life Lab, a corporate learning firm that develops innovative digital learning systems on emotional intelligence.

Brackett’s mission is to educate the world about the value of emotions and the skills associated with using them wisely. “I want everyone to become an emotion scientist”, he says. “We need to be curious explorers of our own and others’ emotions so they can help us achieve our goals and improve our lives.”