Recently, Dr. Jenny Woo, TEDx speaker and founder/CEO of Mind Brain Emotion, hosted a workshop on Emotional Intelligence and Career Readiness. The workshop came from a collaborative effort between Fowler School of Engineering (FSE) and Schmid College of Science and Technology.
Throughout the workshop, Dr. Woo educated 20 students on the concept of emotional intelligence, the value of soft skills in professional work settings, and how to be an effective communicator in a variety of environments, including higher education.
Emotional intelligence, as Dr. Woo pointed out, is “the ability to understand the emotions of ourselves and others in order to solve problems and make better choices.” While presenting, Dr. Woo socialized with her audience and asked how they felt this week. She encouraged them to elaborate on their professional lives, inquired about their favorite (and least favorite) bosses, and helped them identify coping mechanisms for managing stress.
FSE’s Career Specialist, Samuel Lee, said that Dr. Woo’s seminar was a “breath of fresh air for our students and staff.” Lee invited Dr. Woo because surveys consistently reported an increased desire for interpersonal communication and leadership skills in the workplace.
“For our engineering students,” Lee said, “standout candidates are often those who have both the technical skills and soft skills to do the job and be able to work with others. Dr. Woo’s approach to emotional intelligence gave students easily digestible information and practical tools for that complex topic.”
Dr. Woo is well known for her TEDx Talk, “How to be Self-ish without feeling Selfish,” her colorful cards on developing social communication skills, and her thoughtful engagement with students, both old and new. After recognizing there were few resources for students to develop their emotional intelligence, Dr. Woo made it her mission to help students understand their emotions. She was kind enough to share her mission of teaching emotional intelligence with Chapman students in Beckman Hall 404.
“Emotions will never go away,” she said, “that’s what makes us human.”
Some of the activities helped students understand their professional needs. The presentation incorporated elements of Dr. Woo’s past work, the “52 Essential Skills” Series, which sprouted from the ideation labs of her alma mater, Harvard University.
For example, a question she included in the presentation was, “when I am frustrated or disappointed, I need ____,” which prompted students to provide a multitude of answers: “personal space,” “words of encouragement,” “general comfort,” and more.
The workshop also focused on a popular topic within the work industry: soft skills. Dr. Woo emphasized the importance of soft skills, such as effective communication, team work, and self-awareness, by highlighting the importance of emotional intelligence in those skills overall.
“Working hard is not enough. There’s only so much we can do in a day, we need to work smart. Make your emotions work for you, not against you,” she said.
(Pictured in header (from left to right): Samuel Lee, FSE Career Specialist; Dr. Jenny Woo, presenter; Kate Corcoran, Administrative Coordinator; Viviana Perez, Administrative Assistant.)