Developing Emotional Intelligence: Teaching EQ for Harvard

Sarah A Scala
4 min readApr 12, 2019

I was recently hired to teach Emotional Intelligence for Harvard University at the Harvard Ed Portal. In this course, participants were asked to read Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, along with completing the assessment to build awareness around strengths and development areas for Emotional Intelligence.

In this course, participants learned about the the 4 components of Emotional Intelligence: Self-awareness, Social Awareness, Self- Management, and Relationship Management.


Self Awareness is the ability to perceive our own emotions and tendencies in different situations.

Self-Management is our ability to stay flexible through our emotional awareness. This helps us to manage our reactions. One way to look at self-management is to think about experiences that boost or drain our energy. Another is to identify situations that trigger us.

Social-Awareness is our ability to sense and pick up on emotions of other people. This helps us to identify what is really going on with others. Listening and observing are the best ways to build social awareness.

Relationship Management is how we use our emotional awareness to manage our relationships with others. Think about the best professional relationship you’ve had. How did you maintain that relationship?

The following questions came up during this class:

1. Are EQ 2.0 scores different for different generations of people?

According to TalentSmart, the company that designed and sells the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 assessment, “EQ tends to increase with age. The biggest EQ gap between Baby Boomers and Generation Y (Millenials) is in their self-management skills.” (source:

2. Do traumatic brain injuries have an effect on a person’s emotional intelligence?

According to a study published in Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences, the results showed “there was significant effect of traumatic brain injury to the emotional intelligence (Z=-2.546; p<0.05). Meanwhile, there was no significant effect found to the emotional intelligence among the injured area of brain (chi-square=1.107; p>0.05), level of brain injury (Z=-1.226; p>0.05), and both; the injured area and the level of brain injury (F=0.302; p>0.05).”

3. Do those with a criminal background have a higher or lower EQ?

According to research in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, “The offenders had lower levels of EI than the nonoffenders. In addition, EI varied as a function of the types of offenses. Namely, it decreased in magnitude with crime severity (lowest for murder, higher for drug dealing, and highest for theft)”. (Source:


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Meet the Author: Sarah Scala

A dynamic consultant, coach, and educator, Sarah Scala provides organization and leadership development, executive coaching, succession planning, change management, public speaking facilitation, and team development solutions. Her work transforms performance of executives, leaders, and teams, helping them reach their highest potential. She supports US-based and global clients across cultures, generations, geographies, and diverse industries.

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Sarah A Scala

Sarah Scala is a certified woman and LGBTQ Business Enterprise, provides organization and leadership development, executive coaching, and LGBTQ+ coaching.