The Program on Social Intelligence at Columbia

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The Program on Social Intelligence at Columbia

Built on the foundation of building students’ “social intelligence”, or namely how others perceive them and how to read and relate to others, the Program on Social Intelligence (PSI) at Columbia Business School rounds out Columbia’s curriculum-based focus on teamwork and the fact that admitted students and future successful business leaders must learn to work with, relate to, and understand others. Through a fusion of empirical assessment, experiential learning, and executive coaching, PSI builds students’ self-awareness, emotional intelligence, powers of reasoning, and purpose.

Through curriculum and experiential learning-based frameworks, PSI is integrated into the Columbia full-time MBA program, EMBA, and Executive Education. In the full-time MBA program, for instance, PSI is integrated into the curriculum through three streams of learning how to manage oneself through (1) navigating your career, (2) leading teams, and (3) advancing leadership. Each of these three focuses teaches students to manage as an organizational authority through evaluation and assessment of oneself. Additionally, core courses and electives are modeled to integrate these focuses into the curriculum, such as Leadership Development, Managerial Negotiation, Power and Influence, and Social Networks and Social Capital. EMBA and Executive Education programs both similarly offer courses and electives based on leadership development, power and influence, and organizational change.

To transform knowledge into practice, PSI holds a hands-on “Science Meets Practice” workshop series, in which students are introduced to leadership training alongside psychological research. Typically, each workshop consists of two members: an expert leader in a particular field who delivers instructions gauged at activating student response, and a professor or science and research specialist who debriefs to explain through research and academia how and why the leader’s methods work. Workshop topics have included Cultivating Creativity, Improv Persuasion and Politics, Demystifying Feedback, Negotiating International Acquisitions, Verbal Judo, and Spotting the Next Madoff.

PSI is periodically integrated into events, conferences, and research symposiums as well. For example, the Creativity and Innovation in Global Business research seminar held in 2008 at the City University of Hong Kong discussed topics such as alternatives to layoffs and downsizing, and how to integrate workers’ two cultural identities into the workplace. Held in 2009 at the Italian Academy of Columbia University, a research symposium on Inclusive Leadership, Stereotyping and the Brain similarly addressed hot issues of social intelligence through topics of managing diversity, demolishing biases, and reducing the influence of stereotypes.

 

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