Emotional Intelligence Workshop in Fondacio Asia

It’s a fresh new day for Holly. She prepares for the day and gets ready for work. Thank God, despite the pandemic, she can safely work from home. Everything is ready and planned out for the day.

Then suddenly an “unwelcome friend” visits her again. She starts to feel heavy and uneasy. The thoughts about the uncertainty of tomorrow, the deadlines looming in, the plans and opportunities she is missing all because of the pandemic. Knowing that she can’t do anything about it makes her feel angry: towards the government, her boss, and sometimes even to herself. This affected her work and even sometimes her relationship with the people she loves.

Like Holly, we also sometimes feel trapped in the situation. We all desire to make the most of our days count yet, sometimes it’s difficult to pick ourselves up. Knowing that we are wasting our time worrying about things, only adds to the list of things we worry about.
This is why emotional intelligence is important. Studies even say that it is more important than IQ in becoming successful.

Yet, how much do we know about our emotions?

Why Fondacio Asia took Emotional Intelligence in the Shared Journey?

From October 6 to November 24, 2020, Fondacio Asia had an 8-week workshop about Emotional Intelligence as part of its year-long learning process shared Journey of Transformation.
This workshop entitled “Being Whole Being Me”, facilitated by Malar Villi from Hearts and Minds, was attended by 30+ of Fondacio Asia’s members from the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.

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Same with everyone, this Pandemic has affected the different missions of Fondacio Asia.
Our different Young Lives Centers had to either postpone their classes or move online. IFF Asia had to quickly adapt its sessions and workshops online while Youn Sone’s production has been hindered. The interactions among our local communities (in Malaysia, Myanmar, and Philippines) were limited to online gatherings. New challenges and limitations arise.
Yet, for our participants and beneficiaries, we need to adapt and continue to serve them.

This workshop aims to help us adapt to the situation and continue to become more effective in our missions. Moreover, to become more effective in facing our challenges in the different aspects of our lives.
We sought this session to help our members to relate with one another – to be aware of, manage, and express one’s emotions and handle interpersonal relationships prudently and compassionately.

From the 8 sessions, we tackled the following topics: Emotional Intelligence, Resilience, Motivation, Personality Plus, Team Spirit, Feelings, Emotional Growth Tools, and Hormones/ Stress.


Here is one of the techniques/ tools that we learned, called TFA (Thinking, Feeling, Action)
We take one event from our lives for us to study. In this example, it was when a Senior Citizen cut in the line.


Step 1: Feeling – We start in the middle where it is easiest to identify. What did I feel in that event? Here the example says she felt furious.
Step 2: Thinking – After identifying the feeling, now we look at the reason why we felt that way. In the example, she felt furious because she thinks that the Senior Citizen was an opportunist.
Step 3: Action – Then we start to understand why that event made us act in a certain way.

This is just to understand why we feel and act in a certain way. Especially if we are not at peace with our actions.
Now, this is where we try to make things better. We try to see things differently.


Step 4: Alternative Thinking – I try to ask myself, what other reasons could the Senior citizen have for doing such an act? Maybe the person was in a rush, or he didn’t see the queue, or maybe he has an emergency.
Step 5: Alternative Feeling – Looking at the alternative reasons, surely we would have different feelings about the event too. If the person didn’t see the queue, we would be more forgiving. Or if the person was having an emergency, we may even empathize with the senior citizen. This then will lead us to act differently.

What about you? Can you recall an event where you are not happy with your response or actions to a situation? Why not try this exercise with the most recent challenging experience you had.
If we consistently practice this simple technique, we can free ourselves from regrets and avoid hurting our relationships or ourselves.

How Shared Journey enriches the learning experience?

With Malar’s superb facilitation and enticing stories, each session is truly enriching.
And because we are doing it in the “Shared Journey of Transformation” we can learn and affirm one another in learning this important skill.

As Malar shared that by simply sharing our stories we can inspire others even without realizing that our stories are inspiring. At the same time, other people can reflect to us how strong and courageous we are in facing our difficulties and this helps us appreciate our situations and ourselves better.
That is where communal learning makes the journey more meaningful and fruitful.
We could have attended these sessions separately, but that won’t give us the impact we are receiving now that we are learning together.

So we also encourage you, if you do find a place to learn about emotional intelligence or any topic for that matter, it’ll be great if you can find a family or a friend you trust who can journey with you. Surely, you’ll learn so much from one another.



We sometimes neglect, fear, or despise our emotions, but God gave those as gifts for us to enjoy. It makes life more enjoyable and even shows us the way or the answer at times.
Like some of us who joined this with hesitation or indifference, you may also find that it is a fun journey worth starting. And maybe for some, it may even be the journey God has prepared for us so we can finally have a breakthrough and live the life He has designed for us.

Let’s be more successful each day by mastering our emotions. Although it is simple, it is not necessarily easy. It requires daily practice to be aware of our emotions. Little by little our efforts will help us build the life we love and love the life we created.

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