Emotional intelligence training comes to USF St. Pete

In today’s workplaces, being a whiz at Excel or a master at running a meeting is no longer enough to get ahead. Increasingly, companies are looking for employees with emotional intelligence and mindfulness skills, too.

Not sure yours are up to snuff -- or if you even have them at all? USF St. Petersburg’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business wants to help.

On April 24-25, they’ll be hosting the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, an emotional intelligence training program The Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, an emotional intelligence training program designed to teach mindful leadership, will be held April 24-25 at USF St. Pete.designed to teach mindful leadership based on cutting-edge neuroscience research. This marks the first time the training program, which was developed by a team of Google employees in 2007, will be offered in Florida, and it’s open to anyone who wants to attend.

Gayle Van Gils, Founder and CEO of Transform Your Culture and author of Happier at Work: The Power of Love to Transform the Workplace, says attending the institute can benefit everyone from college students to people in senior leadership -- and all those in between.

“The skills of the future are really what’s being taught here,” says Van Gils, who is a co-instructor of the workshop. “How to deal with stress and the complexity and ambiguity of our times -- these are the skills all of us need to be the best we can be.”

The workshop consists of presentations and activities focused on the concept of mindfulness, including empathy, effective listening, and reflection. These are basic skills, says Van Gils, but ones that aren’t always taught or practiced as often as they should be.

“We live in a very competitive environment,” she observes. “I don’t think there is much training in feelings and empathy, or in considering the views of others.”

In addition to these topics, the workshop will also provide strategies on how to focus despite the myriad distractions of daily life and will highlight the value of having a resilient attitude.

“It’s important to know how to learn from challenges and failures, and how to brush yourself off and get back in the saddle,” she says. “You don’t look for someone to blame. You don’t collapse. And that ability comes from developing self-awareness.”

Once the workshop is over, participants will receive a month of check-ins Happier At Work written by Gayle Van Gilsand additional tips on how to incorporate the skills they’ve learned into their daily lives, followed by a one-hour webinar to tie everything together.

Van Gils hopes that participants will walk away with a renewed -- or newfound -- sense of well-being they can tap into when they need it, along with the skills to focus and navigate through challenging times.

“The bottom line is that they can be aware of what they’re feeling and recognize that they have the ability to respond instead of react,” she says. “They’ll know they can make that choice.”

Early bird registration runs through March 31 at a fee of $900. Prices increase to $1,250 beginning April 1. For more information or to sign up, visit the event website by clicking here.

Read more articles by Jaymi Butler.

Jaymi Butler is a writer and editor who enjoys telling the stories of growth and innovation in the Tampa Bay Area, which she has called home since 2003. A former reporter for the Savannah Morning News, The State, and The Tampa Tribune, she has covered a variety of topics ranging from business to features to public health -- and she even got to sit in on an American Idol audition just feet away from Simon Cowell!
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