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Emotional Intelligence in Practice

Build the skills to increase your emotional intelligence, improve how you collaborate, and develop a mindset to innovate.

4,420 enrolled on this course

A side view of a head and neck, filled with colourful paints pouring out of the skull.

Discover techniques to develop your emotional intelligence

Studies have shown a high correlation between career success and emotional intelligence (also known as emotional quotient, or EQ). Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence is a set of skills that can be learned and developed over a lifetime.

On this four-week course featuring content from BigThink, you’ll learn from some of the experts in EQ such as Daniel Goleman, Alan Alda, Kelly McGonigal, and Brian Glazer, to name a few.

You’ll develop a foundation in EQ, delving into each of the four domains of emotional intelligence. You’ll also reflect on a variety of experiences and perspectives to develop your skills practically.

Explore the four domains of EQ

Psychologist and author Daniel Goleman defined the four domains of emotional intelligence as Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management.

You’ll explore these domains one at a time, building on each as you progress. You’ll learn strategies to effectively give and receive feedback, learn how your resilience can be contagious, and utilise the philosophy of servant leadership.

Develop and improve your self-awareness and self-control

On this course, you’ll build a foundation of self-awareness, exploring different ways to use your strengths, overcome your limitations, and create space between yourself and your emotions through reflective exercises.

Boost your relationship management and collaboration skills

Effective collaborating isn’t just about the skills and experience of a team; it also comes down to mutual respect and understanding.

This course will develop your social awareness, looking at how people see the world differently based on a variety of factors. You’ll then be able to apply this social awareness, along with self-awareness, to build positive, mutually beneficial relationships.


  • Week 1


    • Introduction to presence

      Presence is a quality we admire in people and recognise as professionally beneficial, but what is it, really, and how do we perceive it in others?

    • Achieve and maintain presence

      Continuing our exploration of how to define and perceive what presence is, achieving it yourself, and maintaining it even when faced with your biggest challenges.

    • Leadership and resilience

      Over the next steps, Former Onyx CEO Tony Coles describes what servant leadership is, what it means and how it has influenced him. Author Kelly McGonigal shares how resilience is contagious.

    • Wrapping up self awareness

      We have covered a lot of big topics, now let's consider how we can put them into practice to optimise our performance.

  • Week 2


    • Strengthen your emotional agility

      Our decision-making, particularly in complex situations, is flawed and dependent on whether a project is driven by external or internal goals. What can we do to be better?

    • Difficult emotions and fear

      Instead of “bottling” and “brooding” how can we learn to deal with difficult emotions and choose courage?

    • Introduction to social awareness: empathy

      Over the next few steps, award-winning actor, author, and podcaster Alan Alda introduces you to the art and science of relating, focusing first on empathy.

    • Introduction to social awareness: communication

      Over the next few steps, we continue to look at the art and science of relating, this time with a focus on communication.

  • Week 3

    Social Awareness

    • Flexing

      This week we will be spending some time discussing effective leadership - in particular the strategies of fluency and flexing.

    • What divides us?

      Let's touch upon what makes a good leader and specifically the ability to communicate with people who may think differently than they do.

    • Advanced social awareness

      What's the difference between passing and covering? What is unconscious bias?

    • Re-envisioning inclusion

      Let's explore what it means to practice inclusion.

  • Week 4

    Relationship Management

    • Collaborate intelligently: our minds

      It's easy to forget but people see the world differently based on individual preferences, as well as social and environmental factors. Let's explore this...

    • Collaborate intelligently: communication

      Use attention cues and attention types to rethink how you communicate.

    • Giving and receiving feedback

      There is a science to giving and receiving feedback. Successful feedback is not all down to the giver. There are three feedback types and three feedback reaction triggers.

    • Reflecting on the Course

      We have reached the end of the course, let's take some time to think back over everything we have learned.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop awareness of your strengths, your limitations, and the values that define you.
  • Explore ways to create space between yourself and your thoughts and emotions, to help boost self-control.
  • Develop awareness of how people see the world differently based on individual preferences, as well as social and environmental factors.
  • Apply strategies to communicate more effectively, with empathy and across cultural divides, especially in the workplace.
  • Explore servant leadership and fluent leadership.
  • Demonstrate a mind-share mindset.
  • Practice strategies of social awareness, and relationship management in your work and personal life.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for current or aspiring leaders of any age looking to learn and apply the principles of emotional intelligence. It will be especially useful to anyone working in HR as EQ is vital for hiring the right people for your organisation.

While the course uses work-based tasks to help you use EQ in your career, the strategies and theories are also applicable to your personal lives.

What software or tools do you need?

The course contains a lot of video content, so a strong internet connection is required.

Who developed the course?


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

Big Think

Big Think is a leading source of expert-driven, actionable, educational content with thousands of videos, featuring experts ranging from Bill Clinton to Bill Nye.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: