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Use 1 outside reference and in-text citations, Getting All Emotional at GoogleTopic: Emotional intelligence?

As the number-one company on Fortune's Best Company to Work For list for six straight years, Google must be doing something right! Actually, it does many things right! One thing that you might be surprised at is a self-improvement course (one of many) that's offered to Google's employees. The course, first offered in 2007, is called simply Search Inside Yourself (SIY). And it's so popular that thousands of Googlers are on waiting lists to take the course!

SIY was developed by a Google engineer, Chade-Meng Tan. Tan has been around Google from almost the beginning—he was Google employee No. 107. His current work position carries the title "Jolly Good Fellow," and his job description says he wants to, "Enlighten minds, open hearts, create world peace."71 Interesting concepts for a highly successful tech company, don't you think! But there's a serious side to what might seem to be a "fluff" topic. The SIY course was designed to show Googlers how to be more aware of their emotions, to be more compassionate toward others, to be able to build sustainable relationships (internally and externally), and, of course, to contribute to world peace. (We're not kidding!) SIY is based on the five dimensions of emotional intelligence—here's a little review for you: self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills—and is broken into three parts. The first part of the course focuses on attention training—being able to center yourself calmly and clearly in the midst of whatever is going on around you . . . shouting, stress, conflict, or whatever. The second part involves self-knowledge—being aware of your emotions and eventually being able to master those emotions. And the third part is creating mental habits—being in control of your emotions and able to naturally think how to relate calmly and kindly to others. Although all this sounds very interesting and very useful, that isn't the most fascinating part of the story.

Search Inside Yourself

What is most interesting is the fact that this course is so popular among people who are extremely intelligent and very logical, practical, and straightforward. After all, Google hires the best and the brightest engineers—people who have a lot of knowledge and training, but who may not always have the best social/people skills. So how did Tan appeal to those individuals? The appeal was that the course was designed for the intellectual intelligence side (the nerd side) by focusing on the neuroscience behind the touchy-feely behavioral self-control that is possible through emotional intelligence. And despite Google's need for very smart, competent, tech-oriented employees, the reality is that even its workplace has to be about people working together to solve problems and design new ways to keep moving the company forward. So, even for them, emotional intelligence skills are needed for successful collaboration.

Discussion Questions

1.     11-14 Why might emotional intelligence be important to Google's engineers?

2.     11-15 What is the purpose of this Search Inside Yourself course?

3.     11-16 Describe each of the three parts of the SIY course. Which do you think would be the hardest to master? Why?

4.     11-17 How has Google made the SIY course appeal to its engineers?

5.     11-18 What do you think about a course like this? Would you find it interesting? Why or why not? Can you think of any potential ethics issues that might arise in a course like this? Discuss.

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Subject: Business, Management
Use 1 outside reference and in-text citations, Getting All Emotional at Google Topic: Emotional intelligence?
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