Understanding Emotional Intelligence
14 Instructional Hours

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Mindset matters

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Understanding Emotional Intelligence

About the program

When we speak to managers aspiring to make a direct impact within their organization, across every industry – the same question arises: How can I reach that next level of leadership?

Understanding Emotional Intelligence is a growth mindset response to that stressful question.

In this program, you will learn the latest advancements from the intersection of neuroscience and management and apply cutting-edge research to more effectively lead your employees to their fullest potential.

Pioneering organizations around the world, including IBM, Microsoft, Disney and JP Morgan Chase have already utilized these same findings to improve personal Push Tolerance, increase employee engagement, and overcome obstacles related to human capital.

In the program, you will learn:

  • How the human brain makes decisions
  • Methods for avoiding common decision-making fallacies
  • Brain-based research on Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets
  • How to use the Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness (SCARF) Model
  • Stereotype bias and the impact on organizational growth
  • Methods for overcoming stereotype threat
  • How to identify unconscious biases and their impact on your organization
  • Effective use of brain-based listening and communication
  • Methods for more accurate and impactful communication

Who should attend:

This program is widely applicable to organizational leaders seeking techniques for improving employee engagement, professionals striving for competitive advantage, and employers searching for improvements to workplace culture or innovative human capital solutions.

You might also be interested in: Coaching for Challenging Conversations, Leadership

CCDI Partnership


Smith School of Business is an Employer Partner of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.

Personal Benefits

  • Inspire, motivate and lead more effectively
  • Build more positive relationships
  • Deliver succinct, clear and articulate messages

Organizational benefits

  • More effective and inspiring leaders
  • Improved motivation amongst employees
  • More authentic communicators in your leadership team


You will discover how recent advancements in neuroscience will help you and your organization improve employee engagement and productivity; helping your business grow while also increasing your bottom line.

  • Individuals who acquire and practice mindful listening tend to be more successful leaders (Sauer & Kohls, 2010).
  • Professionals properly trained in emotional intelligence techniques are more successful in obtaining business (Peterson & Limbu, 2009).
  • Organizational diversity in thinking is associated with increased sales revenue, increased customer base, greater market share, and greater profitability (review in Herring, 2009).

Built on the latest leadership science

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

We begin by defining the Fixed vs. Growth Mindset, providing you with an awareness of the fixed mindset tendencies hidden within us all. With the help of the SCARF model, you will learn the importance of Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness in how our brains react to our surroundings.

Through examples of the fallacies we as humans make, and brain-based methods to adopt a more growth mindset, you will be challenged to practice adopting a fresh, productive mindset within you organization.

Stereotype Threat

We examine the stereotype threat in four parts: its definition, its impact, the brain-based bases of stereotype threat, and methods of overcoming its effects. Through a series of exercises, you will identify different perspectives within the organization, fostering change in both cognition and behavior.

Unconscious Bias

We finish the first day with an overview of unconscious bias. Here we focus on insights into how our brain works, the mystery of unconscious bias, and how this bias can affect decision making and business growth.

Emotional Intelligence

We begin the second day by focusing on emotional intelligence. Discover the impact of emotional intelligence on the workplace environment and how to apply Mayer's four branches to improve workplace relationships.

Brain-Based Listening and Communication

Better understand effective communication as well as listening skills. Become more aware of the impact your own behaviours have on how other individuals view you. Appreciate the importance of accurately understanding the thoughts and behaviours of those around you.

Synthesis Case Study Competition

Using a relevant case study (or personal experience) as your guide, you will synthesize the material from the previous five parts of the workshop.

In-Person Learning

Learn alongside fellow participants from across the country, discovering best practices that span industries and sectors.

Our in-person programs include classroom learning sessions led by award-winning Smith School of Business professors and industry experts. Practice new skills in breakout sessions, projects and simulations, and apply your learning toward real-world case studies.

Session Leaders

Session leaders include senior professors from Smith School of Business and knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, Board memberships and their own consulting practices.

These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, board memberships and their own consulting practices.

As President and CEO of APA Solutions, a human capital consulting firm, Joan has made it her mission to bridge the communication gap between leadership and the people they employ by disrupting human capital norms. She has successfully applied the data and research from her three decades in the recruiting space to defy traditional beliefs as it relates to the mindset of the workforce. For the past five years Joan has pursued further education in neuroscience, and through recent advancements in this field, can validate that everyone has access to the development of new ways of thinking. As part of the neuroleadership team at APA, Joan has utilized her knowledge to unpack how this innovative brain-based methodology helps leaders, teams, and organizations benefit from self-awareness.

As a result, companies that are bold enough to use math and science to align their people strategy to their business goals have successfully experienced exponential revenue growth, retention, and engagement rates. This science puts the "BEST" in places to work.

Joan received a brain-based certification from the NeuroLeadership Institute and completed the Women's Leadership Development Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. She is a graduate and former president of the University of Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Alumni Association, and remains an active member of the UB community. She also received a 2015 Woman of Influence award, issued by Buffalo Business First, which honors female entrepreneurs who have grown their businesses by making outstanding contributions to society.

Erikson Neilans received his doctorate degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He specialized in sensory perception and the impact on decision-making. Currently, he is researching and providing his expertise in neuroscience to the organizational development of human capital. He is also an expert in both psychophysical and neurophysiological techniques, which have been used to study perception as well as consumer response to various marketing techniques.

Erikson is published in numerous peer-reviewed scholarly journals including PLoS One and the Journal of Comparative Psychology. At the 2013 Acoustical Society of America in Montreal, Canada he was awarded the Best Student Paper Award for his work and has also been fortunate to receive numerous awards including the UB College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship, the UB Psychology Department Bugelski Dissertation Award, the Mark Diamond Research Foundation Award, as well as the UB Graduate School's Excellence in Teaching Award while at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. During his tenure at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, he also organized and lead his fellow graduate students in a business competition in which they were two-year winners for the Panasci Technology Entrepreneurial Competition (2012-2013).

Available for Teams & Organizations

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