“How many of you have been called a genius, as a sincere compliment, lately?” This question by keynote speaker, Holly Elissa Bruno of Sterling, Mass., kicked off the discussion about Intelligence Quotient vs. Emotional Quotient Saturday morning at the 24thannual Early Childhood Conference hosted at Chadron State College. “We have a profession that we know is important but the rest of the world doesn't really get it,” she told childcare providers from the region.
Bruno, an author, attorney and radio host, explained that while a high IQ results in good test scores it is only important in 20% of life's situations. “These folks are paid more and given more respect but they can be stunningly poor pilots of their personal lives,” Bruno stated.
EQ, a phrase coined by author Dr. Daniel Goleman, is, in part, the ability to read underlying messages in body language, tone of voice and eye contact. She asked the audience if they had ever given or received the "look” across the room. “Nothing is spoken but the message is loud and clear. Ninety-three percent of human emotion is communicated without words. With your EQ, you know information without being told outright and from there you can create a human solution tailored to each situation using your psychological, social, and spiritual abilities,” Bruno said.
"For example, if an infant comes in and you sense the tension in his or her body, you know they didn't sleep well or something else is wrong, no matter how happy the mom acts," Bruno said.
She emphasized that the participants possess extraordinarily high EQ levels or they would not be successful in childcare. “Don't ask children how intelligent they are but instead ask them to tell you in which ways they are intelligent.”
Bruno shared the example of her son, Nick, 29, who even though he has two disorders knows every Marvel character in detail and many other details from movies, television, and popular culture. “He has it down to a science. This is his way of being intelligent. Do this with adults. Find out in what ways they are intelligent and then capitalize on that.”
She explained Alexithymia, a condition that is opposite of EQ, in which we teach ourselves not to pay attention to our own or others emotional cues. “Have you ever got a new outfit, had a manicure, bought new earrings and then met your friend for lunch and this person says, ‘Where we going to lunch?’ instead of noticing all these things about you? That is an example.”
The group participated in a number of activities during the keynote including analyzing and offering various solutions to case studies about behavior issues with co-workers, children and parents.
Dr. Kim Madsen, professor in Applied Sciences, director of the CSC Child Development Center and director of the conference, said she was especially pleased with hosting Bruno since she had heard her speak on multiple occasions and tried for years to secure her as a keynote speaker for the conference.
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