Journal article Open Access

The emotionally intelligent school leader: Enhancing adolescents' socialemotional competence

Farooqi, Saif R.; Namrata

Adolescence, a period of physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional transition, is a crucial age for development. The child once entering in this phase requires intensive readjustment to school, social, and family life. Several studies suggest that adolescents in schools face mental and emotional problems such as depression, loneliness, stress, anxiety, substance abuse, anti-social behaviour, and suicidality. Social and emotional learning, which involves enhancing social and emotional competencies of students in schools, has been found to be an appropriate way of dealing with such mental health issues. Social and emotional competence refers to the capacity to recognise and manage emotions, solve problems effectively, and maintain positive relationships with others. Evidence suggests that school leaders play an effective role in students’ learning and well-being. Keeping this in view, the purpose of this paper is to review how an emotionally intelligent school leader can enhance social and emotional competence among students. The emotionally intelligent school leader can demonstrate repeatedly the ability to solve problems, to adapt to change and to overcome obstacles. They are more likely to create an enriching and conducive environment. They balance the increasing demands and complexities of the role with a positive, optimistic outlook, reflecting aspects of social and emotional competence. Thus, these qualities are apt in the effective development of social and emotional competence in students. An emotionally intelligent school leader, through the instilling of social and emotional competence, therefore, provides a medium in the restoration of many of the mental health problems among adolescents in schools. 

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