Strengthening emotional and social competence: undergraduate health professions students / Stärkung emotionaler und sozialer Kompetenzen bei Bachelorstudierenden in Gesundheitsberufen

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Emotional and social competencies are important skills to cultivate in developing leaders. This study examined pre-post findings from the Hay Group Emotional and Social Competence Inventory among 18 undergraduate students enrolled in a leadership programme while they concurrently completed their traditional academic courses. Correlations and paired t-tests were conducted using Statistical Package of Social Sciences 20.0 for data analysis. Statistical significance was found in students’ self-assessed functional behaviour in a number of competencies - emotional self-awareness, positive outlook, empathy, organisational awareness, coach and mentor, systems thinking, and pattern recognition. Pedagogical strategies that intentionally focus on development of emotional and social competencies aid in students’ abilities to understand, internalise, and make use of skills essential to a variety of leadership roles, specifically, how they are able to relate effectively with others. Graduating students who are better prepared to serve in leadership roles - on teams and in the community are an investment in the future of healthcare.

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