Unlike IQ which is relatively static between the ages of 15 and 65, EQ can be developed, like many other skills. “Plasticity” is the term neurologists use to describe the brain’s ability to change. Your brain grows new connections as you learn new skills. The change is gradual, as your brain cells develop new connections to speed the efficiency of new skills acquired.
The pathway for EQ starts in the brain, at the spinal cord. Your primary senses enter here and must travel to the front of your brain before you can think rationally about your experience. However, first they travel through the limbic system, the place where emotions are generated. So, we have an emotional reaction to events before our rational mind is able to engage. EQ requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centres of the brain.
EQ training provides the strategies and allows you to practice behaviours to improve the communication process between these two centres in the brain. By practicing these behaviours repeatedly, your brain actually grows new neurones and emotionally intelligent behaviours become habits.
This process allows the billions of microscopic neurons lining the road between the rational and emotional centres of your brain to branch off small “arms” (much like a tree) to reach out to the other cells. A single cell can grow 15,000 connections with its neighbours. This chain reaction of growth ensures it’s easier to kick this new behaviour into action in the future.