Emotional Intelligence – Yoga For The Mind

If You Want To Know What A Child Is Thinking, Watch Their Fingers

anabel jensen, emotional intelligence, synapse school, six secondsI went to a funeral last week.

Mary C. Laycock was a wonderful mathematician and teacher. I worked with her at Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA and knew her for many years.

Her students adored her and her ‘Mary’s Math.’ One lesson with Mary and you would develop an insight into math that would stay with you forever.

  • She knew how to get people to put on their mathematical eyeglasses.
  • She knew how to help them see everything through a mathematical lens.
  • She had the gift to transform students’ relationship with math.

Understanding the process in math

Mary emphasized the beauty of understanding the process of mathematics rather than the importance of getting the right answer. If a child offered an answer to a math problem and it was incorrect, she would tell him that he’d provided the answer to a different problem.

They weren’t wrong; they were simply stating the answer to a different problem. And then she’s state that problem. Just like that.

Seeing math in life

Wherever she went she saw math.

If she were on a tour of a foreign city, instead of seeing the history, she would see tessellations. Instead of finely sculpted architecture, she’d see patterns and constructs.

She coaxed people put on their mathematical eyeglasses gently and creatively. She had a sign up in her office.

If you want to know what a child is thinking, watch their fingers.

Emotional intelligence in all things

When Mary watched a child’s fingers, she would see they needed to sketch. Or build. Or design something.

When I watch a child’s fingers, I see they are excited or anxious or frustrated or determined. Like Mary, I want to help people put on their emotional intelligence eyeglasses. I want to help them see that emotion is in all things—and that it is everywhere and always present.

Emotional intelligence leads to richer relationships—more productive relationships. It is the lens through which we make more of our families, our communities, and ourselves. By observing, creating, and strengthening our relationships, I believe we can reach a potential barely tapped right now.

So let’s start

Put on your emotional intelligence eyeglasses. Begin watching other people’s fingers. Start seeing patterns of behavior and connection.

And we can begin to transform our personal world.

What other cues can we get from body language? How can we use this emotional intelligence data to inform our response? Please tell us in the comments. I truly appreciate heart-felt and thoughtful comments, they make my day.

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