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Welcome to the course

Starting to define emotional intelligence and the components of the short course
Picture the scene, you are a new employee working for a company on an important launch. Everybody is tense having to work closely with both the marketing and manufacturing departments. When you approach Nick, the Marketing Manager, with some questions about the project he is very snappy with you. However, he presents you with a to do list and talks you through it in a step by step and logical way. All of your questions are answered. Next, you cautiously approach the Production Manager, Sarah, with some queries expecting her to snap at you too. She answers your questions calmly and even pairs you up with one of her most trusted team members.
Team member John reveals to you that while Sarah is better at using her emotions to support her team, it’s Nick’s logic based fast decision making that is getting the project back on track quickly. Two different managers, two different approaches to the same situation. For many of us we would like to work with warm, empathetic and emotionally intelligent leaders but is that always enough? As a qualified psychologist and psychometric practitioner, I can say that there is never really a clear answer to those kinds of questions but that’s what makes business psychology both challenging and rewarding.
Our understanding of emotional intelligence is continually evolving, and psychological research is helping to shape our understanding about exactly how we should be applying this to workplace settings. This course in emotional intelligence from Coventry University will challenge you to think about whether emotions have a place in the world of business and whether emotional intelligence can lead to greater organisational success and improved personal performance. You will be introduced to different theoretical perspectives of emotional intelligence and have the opportunity to tackle significant questions such as is emotional intelligence innate or can it be learned? Is emotion or logic the best guide to the way to behave at work? And how can be even measure whether someone is emotionally intelligent or not?
We will also delve into situations where EI can be misused and the consequences that this can have on people in organisations. As you progress through the course you should reflect on the examples of Nick and Sarah. Who would you prefer to work for, and why? What do you think their strengths and blind spots are? And who do you think will get the project completed successfully and why?

In the short video we discuss the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) in the modern business environment.

We look forward to exploring these topics with you over the next two weeks, as well as providing you with the tools to understand how you might improve your own area of practice.

This week we will look at defining emotional intelligence.

In particular, we will look at the following topics:

  • What is emotional intelligence?
  • Models of emotional intelligence
  • Strengths and limitations of emotional intelligence

This short course is the introductory two-week course for a program in Individual Differences at Work, which forms part of the MSc Business and Organisational Psychology online degree at Coventry University, delivered on FutureLearn.

Meet the team

Anthony Thompson

Your Lead Educator is Anthony Thompson, Lecturer in Occupational/Business Psychology at Coventry University.

You can follow Anthony by selecting the link to his FutureLearn profile page and clicking the follow button. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that he makes.

Your task

Get to know your fellow learners by answering the following questions in the comments area.

  • What attracted you to the course?
  • What are your expectations of the course?
  • How do you think it will help your future plans?

Checking your progress …

Don’t forget, you can check your progress page by selecting the icon at the top of the step, where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.

And finally …

Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the task in the comments area and like or reply to posts you find useful or interesting.

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Emotional Intelligence at Work

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