Emotional Intelligence Assessments & Development

EQ-i Model

Today we are very excited to be talking with Dr. Steven Stein about the EQ advances. Dr. Stein has co-authored numerous books around emotional intelligence, one of which is with Dr. Howard E. Book, the international best seller, The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success. He is also the author of Emotional Intelligence for Dummies by Wiley. He has done Make Your Workplace Great: The Seven Keys to Emotionally Intelligent Organizations. We’ll zero in on that because Cathy and I talk a lot about emotional intelligence but we want to really pick Steve’s brain about emotionally intelligent organizations.

He has also co-authored an assessment; The Emotional Skills Assessment, and related materials with Derek Mann, Peter Papadogiannis, and Wendy Gordon. He is a leading expert on psychological assessments and emotional intelligence.

He consulted to the military and government agencies, including the Canadian Forces, US Air Force, Army, Navy and Special Units of the Pentagon and the FBI Academy as well as corporate organizations; American Express, Air Canada, Canyon Ranch, Coca Cola, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada, professional sports teams and a variety of reality TV shows. He has also appeared on over 100 TV and radio shows through Canada and in the US. His work has been featured in numerous newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

He is also the CEO of MHS.com, which is Mental Health Systems which puts out the EQi and 100’s of other assessments. Aside from an EI expert he’s a working CEO. He’s also a clinical psychologist, he is a leading international test publishing company. He’s the previous chair of the Psychology Foundation of Canada, past President of the Ontario Psychological Foundation, and also a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association.

He’s a former Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and was an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at York University in Toronto. He’s a prolific presenter and prolific writer and has shared information on Emotional Intelligence with great audiences throughout Canada, United States, Mexico, Europe, Australia, Asia and he can be reached at [email protected].

Steve, welcome to the show.

Dr. Steve Stein: It’s great to be with you and have this great conversation with you today.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: We are the biggest fans of this EQi 2.0. I know the EQi is just one of, as Relly was saying, many, many tools that you have at MHS. Hopefully during the show today you can talk about the experiences you’ve had across many of these organizations that we have talked about including the military and how you have come up with this tool and how you keep making it better and better, so that would be great.

One of the things I’d love to have you share with our audience if you’re comfortable, is what leaders or people have influenced you in your work to date?

Dr. Steve Stein: Sure, as Relly mentioned, I started out as a psychologist, it was my first career. I continued to do some work in that area, so a lot of my early influences were people who were in psychology, particularly I worked in cognitive behavior therapy, so some of the names in there would be people like Don Meichenbaum, Albert Ellis, a whole slew of people there.

What that grounded me in a lot of was the whole need for getting evidence for what you are doing, so the evidence based assessment and evidence based treatment. But then I transitioned a number of years ago, almost 30 years ago, into the business realm. That was a whole new world because as psychologists, you don’t know a lot about business. It was like getting your MBA on the street, the school of hard knocks.

So there I was fortunate to have a number of influences in the business side including some family members who were quite successful in business. Reading people like Jim Collins, and others who have studied business and leadership really helped me learn a lot more in that area.

Dr. Relly Nadler: So what’s interesting, because I’ve used the tools at MHS, on how that started 30 years ago? How did you go from a psychologist to all of the sudden saying hey, maybe I should put together all of these assessments and have a company.

Dr. Steven Stein: It was interesting. I started out doing a lot of clinical research and particularly in those days I was working with difficult adolescents, kids who were in trouble; emotional troubles, troubles with the law. I was doing some rather large research studies looking at different treatments and part of the research was assessing the kids to find out where they were at—a baseline before you do that treatment. In those days, these kids weren’t too willing to be tested for baseline, in fact they would throw the test at me and tell me what to do with it.

So I had a difficult time with that. Then, that was about the time that the first Apple computers came out; the original Apple 2’s. I noticed that these kids were really into these computers so I thought, hey, what if we put some of these tests that we are doing on one of these computers.

That’s what we did. We were among the first ones to do that and we got some amazing results. All of the sudden these kids wanted to be tested. They came to my office lining up to try these new things, these new computerized tests that we had.

So I thought wow, this is pretty interesting and I thought I would go to the hospital I was working for and say, hey, we should really focus on this. They said, well, we are not really interested in assessments, we are interested in treatment. I said well, maybe at nighttime on my own, I’ll do the assessment part and in the daytime we’ll focus on the treatment part.

Well my nights got longer and longer and longer, because we commercialized some of the work that we were doing on the testing side and it just started to take off beyond our expectations.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: That’s amazing.

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s great.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: I want to make sure we give out all the correct information to contact you Steve, and I believe it’s [email protected]. I want to also come back to a questions that that Relly asked you right before our break, and that is how you got together with Bar-On to create this EQi tool that has now evolved into this fascinating approach to emotional intelligence, which I love, which is the EQi 2.0.

Dr. Steve Stein: Sure, back in the early 90’s I was doing some work and giving a lecture actually, some presentations in Israel on using computers for assessment. I met Reuven at this conference and he had told me how he had built the scale, that was his dissertation. Looking at the flip-side of people we as psychologists looked a lot at what is wrong with people, he was trying to look at what was right with people. Why different people become more successful than others especially when you don’t predict it and we haven’t been predicting it very well.

So he had presented me with an early version of the EQi that he had been working on and he told me that he tried to get it published with a number of publishers in the US but the basically all rejected it. I thought it was a really interesting idea just in concept and we decided to publish it and work with Reuven, and got it going. We created the North American Norms, and did some additional research studies to validate it, and then commercialized it around 1995.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Now, this tool that you have been using on emotional intelligence is really, from what I understand, probably one of the most preeminent tools in the industry because of the science behind it. Can you comment a little bit about how long you have been interested in emotional intelligence and how you plan to evolve the EQi at MHS as you go forward in your business plans?

Dr. Steven Stein: Sure. Well in terms of the tool itself, as I mentioned, Reuven started developing it in his dissertation and that was in the early to mid 80’s. So it had a jump on anything else in this area because nobody out there really heard about emotional intelligence until Dan Goleman’s book came out in 1995. So we already had a tool when that happened and his book went out and sold whatever, 5 million copies. So we really had a jumpstart.

My interest turned into this area because, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of my work had been on what is wrong with people; kids with problems. We did one of the widely scaled Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD, with Connors Rating Scales, and we worked with depression and schizophrenia and all of these other areas.

This is our first change to get into really what is right with people, with the emotional intelligence area.

Dr. Relly Nadler: We’ve had Reuven on our show and so it was 10 years then, because he coined the term, he said EQ in ’85, and I guess that’s when he did his dissertation.

Dr. Steven Stein: We published in ’95, I met him in the early 90’s. The EQ was in his dissertation as a concept and idea.

Dr. Relly Nadler: You must have loved it when you saw Goleman’s book come out. What perfect timing, because the book came out in ’95.

Dr. Steve Stein: Exactly. It was just an incredible surprise that this book comes out and it’s talking about all these concepts.

In the original copy of the book, I think Goleman said there is no test, although I believe he was aware of Reuven’s test at that time, I’m not sure why he didn’t get a mention in the 1st edition. He did mention it, I think, in the next printing that came after that.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: You now one of the things that I think I know is very compelling, and Relly I’m sure you have found this with executives that you have worked with as well, is the folks that are interested in their own personal development can’t get enough reading material on the subject. The thing that inspires me the most, and I think inspires leaders that I’m working with in the use of this tool, is that it can show demonstrable change in emotional intelligence in a very short period of time. This gives people hope and it gives people the resilience and the optimism required to keep going when times are tough. Do you feel similarly about that?

Dr. Steven Stein: Yes, I think the awareness is amazing. When people actually see it in front of them, on their colored print out, sometimes with numbers attached to it, it really shakes them and some zero in on those lower scores even though we try and start off with their strengths. They really want to know what is it, I thought I was really empathic. Why am I scoring down here? It’s great that you are able to work with them and feed them and get those changes, but once you’ve got them motivated by seeing where they score, you’ve got great work ahead of you in making that change.

Dr. Relly Nadler: I think Cathy and I love using what Marshall Goldsmith said about a lot of these assessments: it’s like getting a physical exam—your cholesterol is at this rate, your triglycerides are at this rate—so then the EQi really becomes a great tool w use for coaching.

You can listen to the entire interview with Dr. Steven Stein, above.


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