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Free Online Course on Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work

University of California, Berkeley is delighted to announce a Free Online Course on Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work. This course delves into the social and emotional skills that sustain positive relationships at work.

In this course, you will find out research-based skills to strengthen empathy. The course also gives explanations about the psychological and neuroscientific roots of supportive, compassionate behaviors. This course will start on January 7, 2019.

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Course At a Glance

Length: 4 weeks
Effort: 2 hours pw
Subject: Social Sciences
Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $149USD
Session: Course Starts on January 7, 2019

Providers’ Details

The University of California, Berkeley was chartered in 1868, and its flagship campus envisioned as a “City of Learning” was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay.

About This Course

This course delves into the social and emotional skills that sustain positive relationships at work. It highlights the foundational and related skills of empathy and “emotional intelligence,” also known as EQ, which refers to the skills of identifying and regulating our own feelings, tuning into the feelings of others and understanding their perspectives, and using this knowledge to guide us toward constructive social interactions.

Drawing on research and real-world case studies, the course reveals how honing these skills promotes well-being within an organization, supporting everything from good management—managers high in empathy, for example, have employees who report being happier and take fewer sick days—to more effective teamwork, problem-solving, and recovery from setbacks. The course also explains the psychological and neuroscientific roots of cooperative, compassionate behaviors, making the case that these are not just “soft” skills but core aspects of human nature that serve basic human needs as well as the bottom line.

What’s more, it offers practical ways to strengthen empathy, trust, and collaboration among teams and resolve conflicts more constructively—with a special emphasis on how socially intelligent leadership can build cultures of belonging and engagement.

The course instructors are expert faculty from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., whose earlier edX course, The Science of Happiness, has been a global phenomenon, inspiring a half million students worldwide. Here they take a central insight from that course—that our personal well-being is entwined with our social connections—and explain how to apply it to the modern workplace to create more productive, satisfying experiences at work.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover the psychological and biological roots of empathy, trust, and cooperation
  • Understand how the skills of emotional and social intelligence support organizational happiness and productivity
  • Develop research-based strategies for strengthening empathy and resolving conflicts constructively
  • Learn how to lead with social intelligence.


  • Dacher Keltner is a director at Greater Good Science Center.
  • Emiliana Simon-Thomas is a science director at Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley.


How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once the applicant signs up for a course and activates their account, click on the Log In button on the org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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