USF St. Petersburg Brings Google-born Emotional Intelligence Training to Florida

For the first time in Florida, the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute will conduct a public workshop based on the latest neuroscience research to teach mindfulness to enhance the effectiveness of leaders and performance of employees.

For the first time in Florida, the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute will host a workshop based on the latest neuroscience research to teach mindfulness that enhances work effectiveness and performance.

(March 4, 2019) – Top business schools, Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley startups are increasingly turning to mindfulness training and emotional intelligence skill development to improve performance during challenging and high-stress situations.

On April 24 and 25, USF St. Petersburg’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business is bringing for the very first time to Florida the Search Inside Yourself (SIY) Leadership Institute. Developed by a team of Google employees in 2007, this emotional intelligence training program is based on the latest neuroscience research and teaches mindfulness to enhance the effectiveness of leaders and performance of employees.

SIY imparts emotional intelligence skills that help intensify focus, manage stress, harness creativity and improve resilience. Participants from around the world have taken part in the program, and come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including non-profit managers, government employees, college students and corporate executives.

“Today’s business demands much from its leadership. Practical mindfulness and emotional intelligence can aid anyone seeking to improve their leadership and raise their performance by improving their interpersonal relationships,” said Dr. Sri Sundaram, the Dean of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business.

For several semesters, the MBA program within the Kate Tiedemann College of Business (KTCOB) has incorporated a one-day SIY training for students taking Dr. Sharon Segrest’s Organizational Behavior course, said Eric Douthirt, KTCOB Director of Graduate Programs and Executive Education.

“This mindfulness training has always proved very effective for our students, and knowing the SIY Leadership Institute provided public programs, we thought it would be a great opportunity to bring it to Florida for the first time for anyone to take,” Douthirt said.

The public program will consist of a two-day workshop, a mix of presentations by instructors and interactive work covering attention training to mindful dialogue. Specifically, participants will learn:

  • The neuroscience of emotion, perception and behavior change,
  • Principles and practices for developing healthy mental habits including effective listening, empathy and social skills,
  • Exercises on mindfulness and reflection

“We are giving the tools so people can train themselves to be more emotionally intelligent and self-aware, can recognize and manage reactive emotions and be able to bounce back from failures,” said Gayle Van Gils, the Founder and CEO of Transform Your Culture and a co-instructor of the workshop.

Following the in-person workshop, participants will receive a month of check ins and useful tips on practices and exercises to refine skills learned. The entire program concludes with a one-hour live webinar. The early-bird cost is $900 through the end of March. The general registration is $1,250 starting April 1.

For those who have taken the emotional intelligence program, surveys indicate 85 percent had an increased ability to connect with others, 89 percent felt less stress and 91 percent reported enhanced clarity of mind.

“By becoming self-aware and connected with others, you can more easily recognize the issues and problems others are having on your team and how you could help, which is a critical aspect of leadership,” said Van Gils.

When SIY was first given, it proved so popular among Google employees that there was a six-month waiting list. In 2012, the Search Inside Yourself Learning Institute (SIYLI) was founded as an independent non-profit to bring this practical mindfulness training to millions of people around the world.

SIYLI CEO Rich Fernandez said rapidly changing modern workplaces need new approaches to leadership.

“Mindfulness and emotional intelligence are highly sought-after skills by those wanting to adapt and compete in the modern economy,” Fernandez said. “Organizations and individuals are seeing the enormous benefits mindfulness training brings including greater focus, resilience and agility in the face of challenging situations.”

USFSP and SIY Learning Institute Present: Search Inside Yourself 2-Day Public Program
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Date: April 24 and 25, 2019
Location: University Student Center Ballrooms at USFSP
Registration: usfsp.edu/siy