The EQ Leader

Dr. Relly Nadler: Our guest today is one of the key leaders around emotional intelligence, Steven Stein.

He is a clinical psychologist and CEO of Multi-Health Systems, which puts out an emotional quotient inventory, which Cathy and I both use and are certified to certify others. He has been the chair of the Psychology Foundation of Canada.

Steven has a bunch of great books and I’ll just highlight one, The EQ Leader. We have some questions about it; how do you instill passion, create/share goals, and building meaningful organizations through emotional intelligence? It’s an outstanding book. Then he’s going to talk about a new book that he has coming out on resilience.

We know you just came in from a trip to overseas, London, we are so happy that you are available to be with us. We want to jump into this and ask some questions that we have prepared around the field of emotional intelligence. We are also zeroing in on emotional brilliance.

Maybe you can tell us a little bit about what is new with the EQI, Emotional Quotient Inventory, Cathy and I are avid users. From the research or uses, let’s start with that.

Steven Stein: Well, there is so much happening, it’s hard to keep up with it all.

Basically, EQI 2.0 is expanding into different areas. There is a lot of work being done in health care with specific groups. I’m doing a study right now with nurses, but there are all kinds of physician work and physiotherapists and other groups, looking at what makes success within some of those helping professions.

Another area I’ve been doing some really exciting work with is in high performance, specifically, with athletes and musicians/entertainers.

So, that has been a lot of fun. Working with really high-performance athletes. We look at a number of things. One is, of course, what makes them successful. And another thing that we are interested in is longevity. Why is it, for example, in entertainment – specifically in music – that some people come out and make a flash and then they burn out quickly, versus other people in the industry manage to last for 10, 15, 20 years or more.

We are looking at emotional intelligence and our new area, hardiness, as something that is trying to predict within these areas.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Thank you. That’s interesting because the whole idea of hardiness, right, relates to grit and that all relates to stress. The ability for each of us to endure stress.

What do you think emotions are doing, related to stress? And, why is it so challenging, today, for people to stay on task and to have that emotional intelligence that they need in the moment?

Steven Stein: Well, what we are finding, and again – this is really exciting, some of this research is new and some of it goes back 20-25 years in the hardiness area.

First of all, hardiness is a big difference from grit. Grit is basically putting your head down and pushing forward and just don’t stop going. Hardiness has an advantage in where, you know, you may want to be the world’s best classical pianist, but you are just not going to get there. Hardiness has this sort of stop and think mentality about it where I may not be the best piano player in the world but maybe I can teach piano or I can perform locally, or any number of other options in terms of the emotions, which is really exciting. For the longest time, a lot of the work in stress has been all about reducing stress, relaxing, meditating. All that kind of thing. What the research has found is that it is really much harder to reduce/let out all the anxiety that you are experiencing, and it is easier to reframe it.

So, hardiness has a lot to do with reframing anxiety. Instead of being anxious and worried about something we change our thoughts into excitement and challenging and a new experience. It is amazing what you find when you are able to get people to reframe the situation.

Listen to the entire interview above.


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