Emotional intelligence is like a ghost. It’s there but it is rarely ever seen nor is it approached when seen. You can’t really hear it or touch it. All you can do is be open for it.

Applying emotional intelligence to relationships, professionally and interpersonally, is such a crucial yet beneficial thing. It’s a vulnerable process that is both beautiful and meaningful. It can lead to great things evolving, building stronger, more sincere character development. Growth and understanding occur when we communicate; listening is required for any of the before mentioned to be put in affect.

Collaborative Development has opened my eyes and softened me a little bit more around the edges. And not because I’m difficult or stubborn when communicating with others, but because I’m considering them twice as more than I would have done in the past. Consideration goes both ways: If one person feels like they are not being considered, the chances of them providing it in return is slim. This all has to do with validation. These concepts allow us to humanize one another in times of uncertainty, distress and pain. However, not everyone understands how to give that emotional support. That is why empathy, being as difficult as it is for some, it’s important to apply.

I recognize how often emotional intelligence is not applied, particularly in collaboration, or how it is often applied incorrectly, unintentionally. Being more aware has, in return, allowed me to react less negatively. Looking back, I recognize just how much emotional intelligence was absent in a lot of collaborative projects in undergrad, especially before college. No one really cared enough to connect in order to create a successful project. However, one environment where I experienced the loss of emotional intelligence was at work. For some reason, empathy has not been present in that zone — at least for me.

So Collaborative Development has created a foundation for me to always remember the importance of thorough communication. Especially during times of COVID-19: This is the time where empathy is most important. Taking time to listen to more than just the words being said and being willing to bend are two components that I have been applying more diligently, especially with one of my current class projects.



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