Mohawk College in Hamilton offers an emotional intelligence course


Published October 30, 2022 at 3:38 pm

There is a class you can take in Hamilton to improve emotional intelligence, which is becoming one of the more desirable job skills.

At Mohawk College, author and entrepreneur Linda Marshall leads an online continuing education course on how to fully realize your EQ, or emotional quotient. The course is typically held two to four times a year and costs about $400 for ten hours spread over five virtual classes; the latest one starts on Tuesday (Nov. 1).

Marshall provides homework, but there is no formal exam.

“A lot of people will take the course because it really is a differentiator,” says Marshall, a certified emotional intelligence trainer who introduced the course five years ago at Mohawk. “Say you are in a good job but you are looking for more. Sometimes what you need to do is build your relationships.”

There is that old saying, ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’ Marshall, who has penned a book entitled The Power of Emotion: A Practical Guide To Making The Most Of Your Emotional Intelligence, adds that job success often comes down to knowing yourself — and how your emotions affect others.

“Your EQ, if you did nothing to work on it, would get strong through time because of what I call the school of hard knocks,” she says. “You would learn not to make the same mistakes.

“But that’s not how you should want to build it. You do not want to wait until you are 60 years old. Research has shown that if young people, say, 21 years old, if they focus on developing their emotional intelligence, by their late 20s, early 30s, they will be able to jump into a leadership position if that is what they choose.

“So the more we work at our emotional intellligence, the stronger we are at building relationships,” Marshall adds. “It’s how you make people feel. So people with average intellect but high emotional intelligence, they are likely to fare better than someone with high intellect but low emotional intelligence.”

Marshall was a 32-year employee of Mohawk before retiring from the college in 2014. She contracts with several large corporations to conduct emotional intelligence training.

Her course at Mohawk focuses on four essential competencies. Two are personal — self-awareness and self-management. The other two are social — social awareness and relationship management.

Building that can involve unpacking learned behaviours.

“A lot of people are not self-aware — they don’t know what they project to others,” Marshall says. “They see one thing when they look in the mirror, but other people don’t see the same thing. So they have to be really open to ask for feedback and really be aware of your surroundings. I have people say, ‘that’s just who I am’ and I say ‘that’s how you choose to be.’ You can figure out, ‘how can I do a better job of managing my emotions and not let them manage me?’ You can figure out what triggers you — what hijacks your emotions.”

The course tends to be offered late in the fall and spring terms. Marshall says she often has students who are in professions that call for a mastery of matter-of-seconds decision-making, but want to improve at reading a room.

“I’ve had firefighters, police officers, surgeons,” she says. “Sometimes people are in roles that they are highly skilled at, but they have a hard time connecting. They are not as empathetic as they can be. A big part of emotional intelligence is empathy. You hear doctors who don’t have good ‘bedside manner.’ ”

The classes led by Marshall, which went virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic, are two hours long. This time around, they are being held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays.

“It’s a self-oriented program,” she says. “It all depends what people are looking to acquire.”

Information about the course, and continuing education at Mohawk, is available at

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