About the Institute

"A use-inspired Research Institute dedicated to researching and engineering proven solutions leveraging our biogenetic needs; creating a happier, more effective workforce."

"You can tell how great a CEO is by how far the culture goes into the company.”  


That was Jim Liautaud’s observation.  Jim Liautaud had already started four high-tech manufacturing companies by the time he was 52 and was ready to retire.  He decided that he no longer wanted to use his brain to make money but wanted to figure out why people do the things they do.   Why did CEOs and executives go through their up and down cycles.  He began researching the best Positive Psychologists, and discovered that the best group leaders shared common characteristics.  Jim thought to himself, if he could now break down each of these characteristics into small learnable sequential steps, just as he did in the manufacturing world (ISO), he could teach these characteristics with the same predictable outcome every time, producing a process directed system to bond and optimize teams. 

After substantial funding and inspirational leadership from our namesake founder, Jim Liautaud, and by partnering with the most prestigious academic and research institutions, leading scientists, and psychologists; a world renowned research institute was founded.  The Liautaud Institute has engineered processes and proven learnable habits that are steeped in the most effective research and use a methodical approach inspired from the best manufacturing practices to create consistent, repeatable and viral change.   

Some of our Research Case Studies 

Chicago School Principal Study: 2006-2008-- Implementation and Evaluation of the Peer Development for Emotional Intelligence Initiative for Principals of Chicago Public Schools.  The Chicago School System first applied PdEI in a two-year study with two groups of nine volunteer principals to relieve the stress of reporting to multiple supervisors. Dr. Roger Weissberg, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), successfully directed the study, which resulted in a Federal Grant to extend that program


Liautaud Institute Corporate Study: 2007-2009-- Published in the Journal of Management Development Article, this two-year Control-Study with nine companies and 162 total participants, documented a 23% overall increase in Emotional Intelligence in the cross-section of the 81 entry, mid and senior level mixed-gender executives in the Liautaud Institute intervention group, and also evidenced increased salaries (39.3% superior increase) and promotions compared to the control group. 

Authors: Cary Cherniss, PhD, Rutgers; Larry Grimm, PhD, UIC , James P. Liautaud, UIC.  Academic Advisory Committee: Dan Goleman, PhD; Harvard;  Roger Weissberg, PhD UIC;  Kathy Kram, PhD, Boston College,


ISO Emotional Intelligence Training Applied to Families: 2006- 2013--International Congress on Emotional Intelligence: “ISO Process-Designed-Training applied to increasing Family Social Behavior.” This seven-year, IRB Pilot Study documented the correlation of an increase in Emotional Intelligence (29%) combined with an increase in transparency (47%) among family members, correlated to an increased frequency of social gatherings (87%), among 75 members of 13 related nuclear families. The study was directed by Dr. Larry Grimm, Emeritus Chair Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology, UIC.


The Liautaud Institute Solution's Affect on Employee Engagement- Corporate Study: 2014-2015 -- Will an Increase in the Emotional and Social Competence (ESC) Scores of Leaders Directly Correlate to Higher Engagement of their Direct Reports?  Emerald Publishing, book chapter, release July 2016.  


Twelve Chicago area companies provided eight of their supervisors/managers to participate. This research was conducted in partnership with th Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Argosy University, and measured the correlation of how increasing the ESC (Emotional and Social Competence) scores of the managers, directly affects the increased Employee Engagement scores of their direct reports.


Final Findings of above study

-- In order to see if there was a correlation between Emotional Social Competence (ESC) scores in participants and the employee engagement of their direct reports, the participants’ self-reported ESC scores were averaged and compared to their baseline results before starting the training to their final results after completing the twelve-month program. We then compared this increase to their direct reports’ ratings of their employee engagement levels before and after their supervisors went through the training. Overall means of each construct show that ESC scores increased by 8.21%, with a similar increase in employee engagement of 5.62%.


We then broke down the results to see if there were any changes in correlation by industry. The hospitality industry showed the smallest increase in employee engagement (.96%) compared to a rather large ESC increase (12.96%), although it should be noted that the sample size for this particular industry was very small (only three participants from the final analysis), and employee engagement levels started out higher than all the other industries, as well. All the other industries showed similar increases in employee engagement relative to ESC.  the other industries, as well. All the other industries showed similar increases in employee engagement relative to ESC.


We also wanted to see if gender played a role in the ESC and engagement scores. The final analysis was composed of 20 female and 40 male participants. Both baseline ESC and engagement scores were quite similar for men and women, with a 0.01 and 0.04 difference between the two baseline averages, respectively. Increases were only slightly larger for females than for males in both categories. However, when we analyzed the ESC construct by its five components (Relationship Management, Self-Esteem, Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, and Self-Management), there were differences in ESC increases by gender; although it should be noted that two companies were left out of this particular portion of the analysis (all industries were still represented).


Women rated themselves highest in Social Awareness (3.95) and lowest in Self-Esteem (3.32), whereas men rated themselves highest in Relationship Management (4.00) and lowest in Self Awareness (3.46). Women increased in Self-Esteem the most, with a 16.51% increase overall, whereas the males’ biggest increase was in Self-Management, at 12.78%.


The Liautaud Institute Solution's Affect on Employee Retention in Healthcare - Healthcare Study: 2015-PRESENT -- Will an Increase in the Emotional and Social Competence (ESC) Scores of Leaders and CNA's Directly Correlate to Increased Retention of their Direct Reports?






Neuroscience Supports Our Need to Group and Contribute


"Neuroscience appears to evidence a biological need to Group and Contribute, evidenced by the four chemicals it produces which are triggered when achieved. This discovery provided the biological support for the continued development of  training platforms that enhance our ability to achieve these needs."


SUMMARY: This research appears to evidence we are biologically rewarded, to connect (group) with others*. We need to 'group' for safety, education, contribution, recognition, identity, friendship and intimacy. Any sustained environment that maximizes our connection to each other, creates a biologically rewarded, deep sense of well being. In addition, we appear to be biologically driven to contribute--to end our day feeling good about ourselves. Both accomplishments trigger these chemicals:

ENDORPHINS: Endorphins produce a chemical “high” when humans accomplish goals that serve their need to improve, or achieve anything that betters their wellbeing. 


SEROTONIN: Serotonin is triggered from centers located throughout the body and brain.  It becomes activated with any activity that contributes to feelings of wellbeing. It's the reason you feel great upon completing a difficult task, or ending a day of accomplishment. Positive, highly supportive work environments trigger serotonin to continually reward the body's need to perform, to operate at a higher level, and to maximize performance. 


DOPAMINE: Dopamine controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. It feeds us the highs when we're in the “zone.” Dopamine triggers a constant balance of serotonin and endorphins to reward the habits that create a high level of contribution when you're at your most productive state physically or creatively. It's meant to reward good habits, via its reward of “good feelings,” to incentivize us to continue doing what we're doing well.


OXYTOCIN: Often is referred to as the “trust” or "group" hormone, designed to reward our biological need to group with others. 

Call us at: 312.442.0900 |  Email us at: info@liautaudinstitute.comor visit us at: 111 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654

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