Why is emotional intelligence important and why should you cultivate it in yourself?
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the “ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in the self and others.” 
Having a high level of emotional intelligence can help us in understanding and addressing emotional reactions to better guide our thinking and behaviour. EQ is one key to helping us achieve happiness and overall wellbeing, and for some, becoming effective leaders. In the context of the workplace, emotional intelligence can enable key skill sets, including good work performance, effective leadership, and the ability to create the conditions for sustainable happiness.
- Self-awareness: knowledge of our internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions
- Self-management: management of our internal states, impulses and resources
- Motivation: emotional tendencies that guide or facilitate us in reaching our goals
- Empathy: awareness of others’ feelings, needs and concerns
- Social skills: adeptness at inducing desirable responses in others
Emotional competencies are not innate talents, but rather learned abilities, and can be deliberately acquired with practice. One of the practices that have been proven to be helpful is mindfulness, as it teaches us how to train our attention. To be emotionally intelligent, we need to able to focus on the present moment and notice and process feelings, thought patterns and reactions.
Opportunities for Achieving Emotional Intelligence
There are a number of learning opportunities for UBC faculty and staff that can help you explore emotional intelligence as it relates to your career and leadership success.
- Discover how attention-training can help you at work and in your life with UBC’s free 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge.
- Learn mindfulness for the workplace and how to establish your own meditation practice with the Mindfulness@Work Program.
UBC Extended Learning:
UBC Extended Learning has courses and programs for UBC faculty and staff to explore their emotional intelligence, or EQ, as it influences career success. Check out the online EQ assessments and in-person EQ courses.
You may be able to use your tuition waivers (staff only) or PD funds to pay for UBC Extended Learning courses. Click here for more information.
Learn with Lynda.com:
Lynda.com has many online courses that focus on emotional intelligence and leadership, which UBC faculty and staff can view for free. Here is a selection of short videos that can help you explore the concept of emotional intelligence:
- What is emotional intelligence? Course preview (4:33 minutes)
- Appreciating emotional intelligence (4:28 minutes)
- Cultivating emotional intelligence (5:21 minutes)
Visit http://lynda.ubc.ca to learn more about UBC faculty and staff access to Lynda.com.
Benefits to Support your Emotional Wellbeing:
Read up on additional ways that your benefits can support emotional intelligence and emotional wellbeing.
 Salovey P, Brackett MA, Mayer, JDMayer (2004). Emotional Intelligence: Key Readings on the Mayer and Salovey Model. Port Chester, New York: Dude Publishing.