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Social Emotional Learning in the Workplace

Why Social Emotional Learning Belongs in the Workplace

Social Emotional Learning, or SEL, can play a critical role in helping Human Resource departments improve staff resilience. 

This is a guest article by True Colors International

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the past few years have forced everyone to process change at an even faster rate than usual — and we all know it can be quite exhausting. At this point, the word “pivot” will either make you laugh or cry. Maybe both.

How ever you feel about the now-infamous word, it certainly points to the need for resilient employees and teams. Resilience is “the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Being resilient does not mean that people don’t experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering…but [rather] demonstrating resilience includes working through emotional pain and suffering.”

After the near-constant change and increased levels of stress we’ve all lived through, it’s not surprising LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report found resilience to be “the #1 skill to build in [the] US, Canada, France, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.” ( even wrote an entire white paper on the topic).

Working through emotional pain and anxiety has been a necessity and the need for that skill won’t magically go away one day, no matter how much we wish that was the case.

With all this in mind, I’d like to introduce you to Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and explain the critical role it can play in helping Human Resource departments achieve improved resilience staff-wide.

What Is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Let’s first start with what Social Emotional Learning is.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as “the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”

SEL has a long history of application in the education industry. However, it can be an integral part of human development at any age. This is because the five competence areas SEL teaches are skills that can be fine-tuned and improved over a lifetime. These five interrelated competence areas are (1) self-awareness, (2) self-management, (3) social awareness, (4) relationship skills, and (5) responsible decision-making.

Why Include SEL in Your Learning and Development (L&D) Strategy?

Integrating SEL into your L&D strategy supports the building and growth of the five competence areas in your employees, all of which can help increase resilience.

For instance, an employee with a high level of self-awareness and relationship skills, such as good communication, will be able to process a change in the workplace they find distressing in a constructive way.

On the other hand, an employee with less developed self-awareness could process a similarly distressing change in a way that causes more problems and stress — for themself as well as their teammates.

Developing self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making in your staff members is advantageous for each one of them on both personal and professional levels, and therefore, advantageous company-wide as well.

How True Colors Can Help

True Colors’ proprietary methodology is the bedrock from which to build an effective SEL program in your workplace. Our user-friendly temperament and personality typing program helps participants explore their distinctive personality strengths and stressors, learn to respect and appreciate differences in the ways people function, and lay the foundation for meaningful relationships, effective communication, and decreased instances of conflict.

We can provide you with robust SEL programming that can focus on a wide range of topics and be customized to best meet your organization’s needs. Your staff will increase their self-awareness, improve their communication skills, and elevate their empathy for others — all of which will help them navigate challenges well and improve their resilience. 

Start By Taking Our Online Personality Assessment

Interested in including SEL into your L&D strategy but want to learn a little more about True Colors? Talk to an expert or begin your own journey with us by taking our online personality assessment now.

Want more insight from True Colors?

See all courses currently available from True Colors and find out how they can help you maximize your L&D strategy.

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Last updated: 03 Nov 2022
Lisa Cline
Elite Facilitator, True Colors

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