By Nour Al-Ali
Ever wondered what make some people stand-out from the crowd? What distinguishes few individuals to become high achievers, charismatic leaders, visionaries and people of unique characters? Ever wondered how you can be one of these few distinguished people? Dr. Rana Raddawi, Associate Professor of English at AUS, explores one of the key factors that set some people apart from their ordinary peers. Recently, Dr. Raddawi presented a paper on emotional intelligence (EQ) and transformational leadership during her keynote speech at the International Academic Conference in Dubai (IACD).
According to Dr. Raddawi, EQ is a fundamental element of charisma, vision and vigilance, all of which are key leadership characteristics and her paper aimed to show how education can instill such traits in students through EQ.
Titled “Education, Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership,” her presentation yielded excellent results leading to the conference organizing committee inviting her to co-organize specialized EQ workshops in Dubai. They also invited her to become a keynote speaker in a conference at Cambridge University this coming summer.
Dr. Raddawi’s success is a result of her continuous efforts to achieve excellence. “I became interested in EQ first by extensively reading about the subject,” she said.
“I realized throughout my 14 years of teaching experience that there was much more than IQ that plays a role in students' performance and success in the real world. It is about being emotionally intelligent. Hence, I proposed, developed and have been teaching the course of Emotional Intelligence,” Dr. Raddawi continued, adding that the area of EQ is currently one of her main research interests.
EQ Course Among Most Popular at AUS
Dr. Raddawi, who has been teaching the Emotional Intelligence course, EDU 351, at AUS bi-annually for the last four years, said that the course has “been one of the most popular courses on campus,” as each term, there is a long waiting list.
She noted that the course is successful because students “realize the importance of being aware of their feelings and others and the ability to control emotions to utilize them intelligently and appropriately in their daily communications whether at the personal, academic or professional levels.”
In their evaluations, students have recommended that the course should become a university requirement, added Dr. Raddawi, noting that their enthusiasm and seriousness in the course makes her “want to teach it more and more.”
About 30 papers were presented at the International Academic Conference in Dubai, with around 50- 80 people attending each session. Some of the universities represented at the Dubai conference include Sorbonne University in Paris; Faculty of Management, University Technology Malaysia; University of Liege in Belgium; Ufuk University in Turkey; University of Science and Technology China; University of Iqra in Pakistan; University of Hertfordshire and Academy of Business and Retail Management in the United Kingdom; The Federal Polytechnic Kaura Namoda in Nigeria; University of Utara in Malaysia; and the Larry Gold Foundation in Denmark.
Nour Al-Ali is an English literature and mass communication double major senior at the American University of Sharjah.