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Google’s Search Inside Yourself program seeks to empower Africa’s corporate staff with Emotional Intelligence

by Milicent Atieno
Google’s Search Inside Yourself program seeks to empower Africa’s corporate staff with Emotional Intelligence

I remember sitting at the AWIT Kenya 2018 conference at the Nairobi Garage last Thursday, and in one of the panelist session, they delved on Emotional Intelligence. They talked about how emotional intelligence, the ability to express oneself gently yet firmly, and having the soft skills playing a key role in rising up the ranks than simply having technical skills.

That is more or less the same thing Google’s latest project at the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) is trying to achieve. Dubbed the Search Inside Yourself program, experts from Google are working with AfDB staff to help them find and harness their self-worth. Though this is the first run of the program in Africa, Google is reported to be working on extending the program beyond just the AfDB.

It is said, the surest way to lose your self-worth is to try to find it in the eyes of others. That is the problem bedeviling many youths across Africa; they don’t know their self-worth. They are constantly looking for it in the eyes of those around them. While it is not easy to find one’s self-worth; it is certainly not impossible.

It often requires a self-push from the individual and make use of it. When one achieves this, then leadership skills become second nature to them.

Search Inside Yourself

The search engine giant does not want you to go online and search for information. No! On this one, they want you to look inside yourself and find yourself.

In line with that, Google’s Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute recently held an inaugural training session for AfDB staff. The training ran from June 28 to 29, with professional trainers equipped with neuroscience skills and have been working overseas for the Google Search Inside Yourself program.

The mission of the program is to equip the company’s staff with the emotional intelligence, leadership skills, and be well rounded. Something that will go a long way towards improving an organization’s competitive advantage. The concept is widely referred to as mindfulness training, and it is recognized as an impactful tool across the globe.

To me, what is important is leadership, people, and culture. So this course, emotional intelligence, just put together what is needed, the ingredients that are needed for people to listen more for people to lead more and manage less; and for people to reorient cultures and that is why it was so important,” said one of the trainees, Bernard Chitunga, a young professional.

Dibba Oley, a director of the program, added: “Each of us are a sum of a whole. So if we come in, it’s important that we’re very conscious of the present; how we support each other to achieve the vision of the organization moving forward.”

The emotional intelligence training started as a mindful leadership skills initiative at Google and has now spread to more than 30 countries and over 100 cities around the globe. The staff at AfDB say the training has helped them better thrive in the fast-paced business world. It has taught them how to better manage their emotions, which is part of any human being’s day-to-day interactions.

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