Emotional Intelligence Courses

The 8 Best Emotional Intelligence Courses Online

In today’s interconnected world, emotional intelligence has become crucial for personal and professional success. Understanding and managing our emotions and empathizing with others can significantly impact our relationships, communication, and decision-making. If you’re eager to enhance your emotional intelligence and thrive in various aspects of life, dive into self-discovery and growth with these eight best emotional intelligence courses online:

  1. PositivePsychology.com: Emotional Intelligence Masterclass
  2. MasterClass: Esther Perel Teaches Relational Intelligence
  3. Northwestern University
  4. Goleman Online
  5. LinkedIn Learning
  6. Coursera 
  7. Alison
  8. UC Berkeley edX

Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), has become a sought-after quality for many employers, even though there isn’t a fully validated way to measure it (as there is for IQ). With so many employers looking for it and the job market being as competitive, employees can consider taking a course designed to improve their EQ.

Article Topics

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence Course - What is emotional intelligence

Before we dive into the best emotional intelligence training online, it will be helpful to lay a foundational understanding of the benefits of emotional intelligence and what exactly EI is. Emotional intelligence consists of three components that, when brought together in an individual, can lead to great understanding and empathy in interpersonal relationships:

  • Being aware of and being able to identify your own emotions and the emotions of others
  • Using emotions to complete tasks and think critically
  • Managing emotions and helping others do the same

There isn’t any scientifically approved way to measure emotional intelligence, but that hasn’t stopped it from gaining widespread acceptance as a theory describing interpersonal skills. People who are said to be “emotionally intelligent” are often sought-after employees and leaders in corporate America, which has made it a valuable skill to have or learn.

People with high EI are able to better use their emotions in a positive and effective way in their daily lives, as well as help others do the same. They tend to communicate better, and they are more resilient in the face of stress and anxiety.

In the workplace, having managers who are high in EI has been shown to lead to employees who have higher morale, are better able to collaborate, show improved critical thinking and problem solving, and take less sick days. In short, getting people with high EI into key positions can help a company work together better and more effectively.

Can emotional intelligence be learned?

Research suggests that emotional intelligence (EI) can be trained and learned. By improving one’s ability to recognize emotions, enhancing emotional vocabulary, and applying those emotions to the task at hand, individuals can indeed enhance their emotional intelligence.

However, it’s important to note that there aren’t a plethora of peer-reviewed studies on the effects of training on EI. While this doesn’t necessarily disprove the notion that training can impact EI, it does raise questions about the extent to which individuals can change their emotional intelligence through coursework alone.

The emotional intelligence courses listed here come highly recommended by various sources and offer certificates of completion that can be added to a person’s CV or resume. Practicing and improving emotional intelligence is achievable, and investing time in such courses can yield significant benefits in one’s career.

The Basic Idea Behind Learning Emotional Intelligence

There are a few stages involved in learning emotional intelligence. These stages include the following:

Insight – first, you’ll need to identify that you are lacking in certain aspects of emotional intelligence and that you have the desire to improve them

Assessment – there are a variety of EI assessments available online to give you an idea of what aspects of EI you’re proficient in, and what areas you need to focus on

Training – once you’ve determined where you need to focus, you can choose the methods by which you’ll learn about emotional intelligence (that’s where the courses on this article come in)

Application – Learning is only the first part of the journey. In order to truly practice and improve your EI, you’ll need to apply what you learn in the real world. Practice makes perfect!

Emotional Intelligence Course - Basic Idea Learning Emotional Intelligence

History of Emotional Intelligence

The concept of emotional intelligence is relatively young in the field of psychology and the social sciences. The phrase was first coined in 1990 by two professors, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer.

The original definition as they conceptualized it was “a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor ones own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action”. They also started conducting studies designed to see just how much it could affect a person in social situations.

Emotional intelligence didn’t enter the social lexicon until the mid-90s, when Daniel Goleman, a writer with the New York Times, published his bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ. He broadened the definition from Salovey and Mayer’s original writings, but there’s no doubt that Goleman made EI what it is today.

According to Goleman, people with high emotional intelligence (EQ) displayed the following four characteristics:

  1. Understanding their own emotions (self-awareness)
  2. Managing their emotions (self-management)
  3. Empathetic to the emotional drives of other people (social awareness)
  4. Handling other people’s emotions (social skills)

Since Goleman’s ground-breaking book, emotional intelligence has exploded as a way to improve one’s social skills in both personal and professional settings. Leadership courses have incorporated it into their curriculum as a way to train leaders to better lead their employees by understanding their emotions and creating more effective workgroups as a result.

The Best Online Emotional Intelligence Courses

There are different components of emotional intelligence, and developing these skills can help people with their interpersonal relationships and get to know themselves better. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of online emotional intelligence courses available, ranging in quality from basic PowerPoint slides to comprehensive courses with assessments and feedback.

With the abundance of these courses, it can be challenging to determine which ones are good. However, here are the best online emotional intelligence courses currently available, each designed to help you improve yourself, your career, and your personal relationships.

1. PositivePsychology.com: Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

The Emotional Intelligence Masterclass offered by PositivePsychology.com is designed not only to teach the student how to develop their own EI and implement it, but also how to teach it to others. Therefore, for people who want to develop their own team’s EI, this course can’t be beaten.

This course has been featured on CNN, UC Berkeley, Harvard Business Review, and The Guardian. The course gives you the right to use all the available resources for you to hold your very own EQ training sessions for your company. 

The course includes the following six modules, designed to improve your own ability to identify and regulate your own emotions, help others regulate theirs, and provide the training to your team to help them learn about and develop their own EQ:

  • Module 1 – Emotions. What emotions are and why they seem to involve so many different physical and mental processes at once
  • Module 2 – Emotional Intelligence. Find out exactly what EI is and what its study consists of
  • Module 3 – Emotional Awareness. The ability to describe how exactly you’re feeling right now
  • Module 4 – Beliefs about Emotions. Delve into the unconscious or societal beliefs about emotions and how they keep us from dealing with our emotions
  • Module 5 – Emotional Knowledge. Learn how to use emotions and rationality to determine people’s needs and wants
  • Module 6 – Emotional Expression. Learn how to accurately and intelligently identify and express your own emotions

As you can see, this intensive course features modules that build on the previous ones to integrate knowledge to create more emotionally-aware individuals. This course is meant for professional coaches, mentors, or HR managers who train others in EI, and they can add the training on emotional intelligence to their professional resume.

At $750, you’ll get a lot of resources for your own professional training programs. PowerPoint courses, PDFs of training materials and workbooks, and plenty of recommended extra resources make this a one-stop-shop for any aspiring EI trainer or coach.

2. MasterClass: Esther Perel Teaches Relational Intelligence

Esther Perel, a renowned psychotherapist, serves as your guide to the art of human connection through her MasterClass on Relational Intelligence. In this course, she unveils the fundamental principles of intimacy, communication, and trust.

Her lessons prompt introspection through five probing questions that unveil the influence of personal histories on our relationships. Through real-life examples and her podcast “How’s Work?” Esther delves into the heart of empathy, offering practical guidance on understanding and practicing empathy.

Her topics span a wide spectrum, from considering others’ circumstances to correcting mistakes, thereby equipping individuals with the tools needed to foster more empathetic connections.

With a focus on vulnerability, self-awareness, and reflection, this course empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of human relationships effectively, whether in the bedroom or the boardroom, offering invaluable tools for building trust and cultivating more profound connections in life.

3. Northwestern University: Emotional Intelligence Certification Online

Northwestern University’s The Science of Social and Emotional Learning course empowers educators to design classroom experiences that foster self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship-building, and decision-making from an equity and trauma-informed perspective. Throughout this emotional intelligence certification online, you will discover how SEL can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and trauma while promoting overall well-being and improved social awareness. By delving into key SEL concepts, you will learn how to enhance your classroom practices and create an optimal teaching and learning environment.

What we like about it:

  • Designed for all teachers, particularly those at PreK-12 and PreK-16 levels.
  • It benefits educators from various backgrounds, including educational providers, professors, lecturers, researchers, and academic staff.
  • It is practical, making it valuable for anyone interested in education at any level.
  • Equips professionals responsible for evaluating teachers in SEL with the knowledge and tools to do so effectively.

Key details and fees:

  • Duration: 6 weeks (excluding orientation)
  • Certification: Teaching Certificate in The Science of Social and Emotional Learning from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy
  • Cost: $1,500 one-time payment
  • Additional Benefits: Unlimited access to 2U’s Career Engagement Network, providing exclusive resources and events to support your professional development and advancement.

4. Goleman Online - Emotional Intelligence Courses

The first course by Goleman Online is the Emotional Intelligence courses created by and hosted by Daniel Goleman. While Goleman isn’t considered the founder of the concept of Emotional Intelligence, his 1995 book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ brought the concept to the national conversation and made it mainstream.

The courses on Goleman’s website come in three varieties. By far the most expensive courses on this list, there are three modules that can be completed by themselves or as part of an overall curriculum. These three courses are summarized in the table below.

TitleDescriptionLength of TimeCost
Focus for PerformanceTechniques for managing distractions, getting out of autopilot, and maintaining your optimal “flow” state.2 Weeks (complete at your own pace)$199
Foundational SkillsDiscover what EI is and how you can unlock it to become a top-performer6 Weeks (complete at your own pace)$550
Relationship SkillsInvest in your professional development by applying EI social skills to deepen your working relationships, improve customer service, and take your leadership skills to the next level.6 Weeks (complete at your own pace, completion of Foundational Skills module is a prerequisite)$450

As you can see, in order to be completely certified, you’ll end up spending well over $1,000. In exchange, you’ll get a certification in emotional intelligence for the individual and team level from one of the most recognizable names in the industry. The core competencies you’ll learn if you take all three courses include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability
  • Focus
  • Emotional balance
  • Positive Outlook
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Influence
  • Coach and Mentor
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict Management
  • Inspirational Leadership

In all three courses, you’ll be working through the course material in a learning community with people from all walks of life around the world. It’s also available for organizations or managers to purchase for their teams and employees for in-house training. It uses a program called Torch + Everwise, which allows for flexible yet structured facilitated learning courses.

If you’re interested in getting a more personalized educational experience, you can also sign up for an intensive 12-week coaching program where you’ll work with a trained EI coach. You won’t necessarily receive a certification for this program, but it will help you develop new habits to improve your overall mindset.

5. LinkedIn: Developing Your Emotional Intelligence Course

As you may very well know, LinkedIn, the popular social networking app specifically targeted at building professional networks, hosts an online academy with thousands of courses in different material. These courses are designed to help professionals develop in-demand skills to improve their careers or learn the skills to move to new fields.

Given its prevalence among corporate America, there’s no surprise that LinkedIn has several courses on emotional intelligence. The Developing Your Emotional Intelligence Course is created and hosted by Gemma Leigh Roberts, an organizational psychologist. 

The course takes you through five short modules on the following topics:

  • Understanding Emotional Intelligence – what it is, the role of emotions and EQ, and thinking at the speed of light
  • Being Self-Aware – understanding personal EQ, triggers and hijacks, finding flow
  • Managing Yourself – disrupting thinking, reclaim reaction time, shifting perspective
  • Social Awareness – using senses to make sense, how to empathize, listening and communicating
  • Managing Your Relationships – playing to strengths, positive feedback, and align intention and impact

It’s primarily a video-lecture format, so this course is most certainly not going to make you an expert on the subject. However, it’s a great starting-off point to help you find out more about emotional intelligence and help guide further study.

Gemma Leigh Roberts also has a variety of other coaching materials and lessons available on her website gemmaleighroberts.com. Most of her courses and instructional materials focus on various aspects of improving performance through the use of psychological principles.

6. Coursera: Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence

imp.i384100.net/KeGgbN offers a wide array of online courses and certifications, often available for a low fee or free. The Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence course, taught by Richard Boyatzis, known for his expertise in the field, spans approximately 17 hours over eight weeks.

Each week covers a different topic, including:

  • Week 1: Resonant Leadership and the Neuroscience Behind It
  • Week 2: Renewal As an Antidote to Chronic Stress
  • Week 3: Emotional Intelligence and Its Link to Leadership
  • Week 4: Inspiring and Motivating Sustained Development, Growth and Learning
  • Week 5: Coaching with Compassion to Inspire Sustained Learning and Development & Peer Coaching: With a Little Help from My Friends
  • Week 6: Inspiring Change through Hope and Vision – Discovery #1 in ICT
  • Week 7: The Multilevel Nature of Sustained, Desired Change
  • Week 8: The Real Self and Learning Agenda – Discoveries #2, 3, 4 in ICT

Instruction includes videos, readings, and quizzes to help aspiring leaders overcome chronic stress and develop lasting leadership skills. Additionally, students are introduced to the instructor’s pioneered Intentional Change Theory (ICT). This course is part of the Coursera specialization “Inspired Leadership,” which includes four other courses aimed at improving professional outcomes for students.

7. Alison: Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

Another option for improving your emotional intelligence is available through Alison, an online course catalog specializing in free certifications in various professional subjects. Titled “Develop Your Emotional Intelligence,” this short course takes anywhere from one and a half to three hours to complete online at your own pace. Instructed by Robin Hills and hosted by Ei4Change, it explores how emotions influence professional performance, relationship-building, and decision-making. The course primarily consists of video lectures, complemented by a course assessment at the end, which requires passing with 80% or better to receive certification. The individual modules in this course are as follows:

  • Introduction to the Emotional Intelligence Course – determining learning outcomes, providing an overview of the rest of the course
  • What is Emotional Intelligence? – exploring emotions at work, giving and receiving feedback, and the advantages and disadvantages of emotional intelligence
  • Emotions – discussing brain anatomy and basic human emotions and identifying, understanding, and using emotions effectively
  • Emotional Intelligence Modules – covering emotional intelligence competencies, the Six Seconds Model, and measuring emotional intelligence
  • Developing Your Emotional Intelligence – practicing emotional intelligence in the real world.
  • Course Assessment – testing for learning outcomes and certification

By the end of the course, participants will have a clear understanding of emotional intelligence, its applications, and its impact on behavior and decision-making. Professionals can apply what they have learned effectively in their careers.

8. UC Berkeley edX: Emotional Intelligence Training Online

Consider the Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work course by UC Berkeley on edX for research-based methods to strengthen empathy, trust, and collaboration at work. Founded on the principle that personal happiness depends on interpersonal relationships, this course emphasizes empathy and emotional intelligence (EQ).

Taught by expert faculty from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, including Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., it focuses on identifying and regulating one’s own feelings, as well as understanding and responding to the emotions of others. Participants will learn research-based strategies for strengthening empathy, resolving conflicts constructively, and leading with social intelligence.

This emotional intelligence training course offers real-world examples and practical exercises to develop collaboration and teamwork in corporate settings.

Wrapping Up The Best Courses on Emotional Intelligence

Although it’s debatable how much you can change your innate traits when it comes to emotional intelligence, the best courses on emotional intelligence on this list will help you become more self-aware of your own emotions and identify and help others regulate their emotions, all to create more effective professional and personal relationships.