The leadership institute at Google is using emotional intelligence

Google Leadership Institute: Search Inside Yourself relies on the concept of emotional intelligence

Folks have been telling me to take a look at the emotional intelligence and leadership programming at Google. So I did. And now that I have, I have to say that I find it all very inspiring.

They have some amazing people involved with their project and their leadership institute looks like a very cool model for growing leaders.

Search Inside Yourself (SIY) Leadership Institute

The Search Inside Yourself (SIY) Leadership Institute was founded by, yes, one of Google’s Engineers. It was Chade-Meng Tan’s dream to change the world.

So of course he decided to do research into mindfulness and neuroscience. And so the company famous for indexing the internet to enable web searches, struck an institute to search inside. Very clever.

But like all of Google’s vision and work, research and evidence had to drive their programming.

“Leadership skills are emotional intelligence skills.”

I was not surprised to learn that Daniel Goleman was involved in the early stages. They’ve been having success and the leadership institute is now a globally-recognized program & network. They see themselves as “bridging age-old practices of mind training with modern neuroscience and technology.”

The SIY leadership courses help folks to bring out the best in themselves “from the inside out.”

Emotional intelligence meets mindfulness meets neuroscience in a Venn diagram

Central role for emotional intelligence

Of course I was stoked to find out that EI forms a central component of their leadership institute. The format of their course is also interesting.

It’s an interactive two day training with an additional four weeks of peer-to-peer practices. These follow up practices allow participants to “sustain and integrate learning and self-directed growth.”

Because Google has an ongoing commitment to evidence based development for all of their people services programs, and because so many of their participants have a thoroughly skeptical nature, it’s been essential for them to be able to demonstrate the return on their investment. Check out, for example, this interview on “How Google uses behavioural science to make work suck less.”

“Workplace studies prove that emotional competencies predict performance, leadership effectiveness, and wellbeing.” SIY

Their trainings are based on research in mindfulness and emotional intelligence, which according to their data jedi, have a “proven track record of effectiveness.” The skills and benefits that they focus on include:

  • self-awareness,
  • optimism,
  • emotional resilience,
  • empathy and compassion’
  • focus,
  • mindfulness,
  • motivation, and
  • self-regulation.

So, all in all, I’m inspired to see work, that is very similar to the work we do, being taken up by a giant of industry and innovation.

Two art pieces in black and white are displayed onto sand and light sage coloured backgrounds and they look complementary.

Coaching with emotional intelligence

EQ Coaching is the best way we’ve found for individuals to disrupt their lifetime of habits, behaviours, and beliefs. EQ Coaching is the best way we’ve found for people to do serious emotional intelligence skills development. 

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