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37 Emotional Intelligence in Business

Steve Seid & Kurt Dupuis
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The Whole Truth Podcast Emotional Intelligence

Steve Seid:
And welcome everybody to The Whole Truth from the Bay Area, California. I am Steve Seid.

Kurt Dupuis:
And from Atlanta, Georgia, I am Kurt Dupuis. So Seid, I had a lot of fun with something we did a while back, which is me trying to teach you some Cajun words.

Steve Seid:
I liked it. That was good. I don't think I was any good at it but it was fun.

Kurt Dupuis:
I was in stitches. So let's be a little self-indulgent, for me, at least. And I want to teach in a couple other good Cajun words. And one of them, I actually learned something new about myself, in preparation for this.

Steve Seid:
Wow.

Kurt Dupuis:
So, ready to learn some Cajun?

Steve Seid:
I am, part two. Let's do this.

Kurt Dupuis:
Part two. So I want you to try to spell it and just take a stab at what you think the word means.

Steve Seid:
Okay. I'm taking out a pen and paper, because if I at least have to try to get this spelling right. Okay.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's fair. Yeah. Pirogue.

Steve Seid:
Oh my God. Pirogue? So this is like one of those ones you gave me last time. So what I want to spell it as the way that you spelled T. Rowe like T. Rowe Price, which is p-r-o-w-e. And I know that can't be correct.

Kurt Dupuis:
Correct. Correct that that is incorrect.

Steve Seid:
Pirogue. So p-e-r-o-h. Something like that.

Kurt Dupuis:
A for effort, but not even close.

Steve Seid:
OK. What is it?

Kurt Dupuis:
P-i-r-o-g-u-e.

Steve Seid:
Oh my God. I would never. I mean, who would think about that?

It looks like pierogi.

Kurt Dupuis:
It's kind of does look like pierogi. Yeah. So what these are, are very cheaply made, it can be made of wood. Most are made out of aluminum, some sort of metal. They're just flat bottom little boats. So you think of South Louisiana, very marshy. You need something that can navigate very shallow waters to whack the alligators on top of the head with the oar, obviously.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Or to pet them and to treat them nicely.

Kurt Dupuis:
Or to pet them. They eat marshmallows. They can be trained.

Steve Seid:
Sure.

Kurt Dupuis:
It’s nuts. I've seen it.

Steve Seid:
That's true?

Kurt Dupuis:
It's wild, yes.

Steve Seid:
Yeah?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yes, there's guys down in the heart of cajun country that will get in the water with these things, swim, feed them marshmallows, pet them, play with them as if they're pet animals. I kid you not.

Steve Seid:
This is a game I can't win, is what we're doing here.

Kurt Dupuis:
I know. Maybe that's why its so much fun.

Steve Seid:
Is there anyone in our audience who would've gotten p-i-r-o-g--e right? Or know what it is? I do. I'm glad I learned it though, because when I think about Louisiana, I do think about somebody on one of those small boats out on the bayou.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yes.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
Wearing like a straw hat, white rubber boots, which are known as shrimpin’ boots or Cajun flip-flops, as they're also affectionately known. I mean, it completes the image of what you see, a Cajun from like the 19th century.

Steve Seid:
Can I ask you a question? So you're, the type of person, well, I'm going to ask anyway.

Kurt Dupuis:
I know.

Steve Seid:
You're the type of person that really, and I mean this as sincerely as a compliment, that really everyone likes, can really fit in in most situations. You're a very likable guy.

Kurt Dupuis:
Thank you.

Steve Seid:
I'd like to think I'm semi-likable, but I sort of, I'm this guy from New Jersey. If I went down there, deep bayou, would people... So, I assume I'd stick out like a sore thumb, but would people accept me? Would they like me? Or is it, do they treat outsiders who stand out as, are they skeptical of them?

Kurt Dupuis:
No. I think you'd definitely be embraced because, I mean, if you think of any poor immigrant community, there tends to be a very strong sense of family and taking care of each other. And that's still prevalent today. I would say your experience would be highly influenced by how much you embrace the culture. So, you're an inquisitive, curious person. So the more you ask, and the more you enjoy, the more you would be embraced. I think that's how that would go down.

Steve Seid:
I love it, man. I want to do some rural Louisiana trips-

I told you I had-

Kurt Dupuis:
Let's do a field trip.

Steve Seid:
I would love to do that. Well, you want to record an episode down in the bayou?

Kurt Dupuis:
Oh, my goodness, have some Zydeco playing in the background, have a good Bubba, some good like Tibideau and Boudreaux jokes teed up. That would be fantastic. I've got one more for you, and we'll jump into today's show, but you've heard of potatoes au gratin?

Steve Seid:
Yeah, sure.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's a butchering of a good pronunciation. So that's a casserole dish, right?

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
But the word gratin is actually, well, first of all, I'll let you try to spell that.

Steve Seid:
G-r-a-t-i-n.

Kurt Dupuis:
There you go.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. You basically gave me the answer.

Kurt Dupuis:
You got one right. There you go.

Steve Seid:
Well, you gave it to me, but I'll take the win, considering I think I'm now one for four.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's okay. You are no longer O-for though.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
So anytime you're cooking, so a lot of Cajun food, and I try to stay away from food, but it's an edible that comes back to that. There's a lot of stews and sauces and that type of stuff. So gratin is when you cook your meat at the bottom of the pot, you take the meat out and then you scrape those little tidbits. That's where that comes from, because the word gratin, it means to grate or to scrape that stuff at the bottom.

Steve Seid:
Oh, interesting.

Kurt Dupuis:
And then that permeates the rest of the dish. I busted this out to a financial professional in Macon who cooks competitively, and he knows gumbo jambalaya. He knows Cajun dishes very well. And then I dropped that knowledge bomb on him too. And I think I earned some street cred with him, because I am not a prolific chef. I can get by, but it's a pretty crucial part of building a dish-

Steve Seid:
No kidding.

Kurt Dupuis:
Is the gratin.

Steve Seid:
Well, if we do our Louisiana trip, we need to beforehand go on some crazy exercise/health trip. Because if we go down there, we're just going to eat like maniacs, is what's going to happen.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's the goal, yeah.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Yeah. So-

Kurt Dupuis:
You could do that afterwards. I'll keep doing my thing.

Steve Seid:
You're going to keep doing your thing? Well, I would have to prep and-

Kurt Dupuis:
You do the detox afterwards.

Steve Seid:
I feel like I'm learning a lot. This is good - about other cultures. That's a cool thing about Louisiana, amongst many other things, is it sort of feels like it's another country within the country. Doesn't it feel that way?

Kurt Dupuis:
I mean, I don't want to toot my own horn, but I fully agree. South Louisiana is a different entity than The South. There's some similarities, but there's more, more that's different than the same, I'd say.

Steve Seid:
Do you want to jump into the episode? So we're going to be talking about emotional intelligence today and specifically how it pertains to leadership, how it pertains to managing teams and teammates. So we're going to come back with that. This is The Whole Truth. Stick with us.

Disclosure:
The views expressed herein are those of the participants and not those of Touchstone Investments.

Steve Seid:
Welcome back everyone. So again, we're talking about emotional intelligence here, and let's start here Kurt. What do you think about when you hear the phrase emotional intelligence?

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, before we did a bunch of reading and preparation for this, I would say, because people have told me that I have a good kind of emotional IQ, or EQ-

Steve Seid:
You do.

Kurt Dupuis:
Emotional intelligence.

Steve Seid:
You do.

Kurt Dupuis:
Which I just assume, just means intuitive, good at reading social situations and adapting to them. That's-

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Steve Seid:
But you also, if I can give you a compliment, you also generally have a positive attitude and you treat people well.

Kurt Dupuis:
Is that an EQ thing though?

Steve Seid:
Sure it is. Let's actually talk about the article that we're going to cover today and then I can connect the dots there.

Steve Seid:
So this is a Harvard business review article called, Emotional intelligence has 12 Elements, which do you need to work on? And this is from the author that basically wrote the book on Emotional Intelligence. And the premise is this, what most people think about with emotional intelligence, is only part of the story. Holistically, if you're going to evaluate emotional intelligence, what's the full picture? What's the complete picture? What are people missing? Does that make sense to you?

Kurt Dupuis:
It does.

Steve Seid:
The way that the author breaks down emotional intelligence, is into four buckets. The first is self-awareness, which we just talked about, that you had. The second is self-management. Let me describe this, positive outlook, adaptability, emotional self control. So that's what I was just describing that you have in spades. And that's self-management. Then there's social awareness. This is what you were talking about, which is your empathy and things like that. But the bigger piece that people really don't think about and gets to the heart of this article, and it's really the reason that we wanted to talk about on the podcast, was this part called relationship management. And that gets into things like influence, conflict management, teamwork, being coaches and managers. So it's things like that, that people don't often think about conflict management when it comes to emotional intelligence, but that's a big part of it.

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. That's what I learned going on this journey together is, it does start with self-awareness. To me, that's one of the building blocks, but these four domains is a framework is, is a helpful way to look at, it in a way that I haven't looked at it before. But what I took away from this, was the word balance. And that most people tend to gravitate towards one of these four domains. They might excel at one or two of them, but likely not all four. And so balance becomes important as you look at yourself and your team with the 360° lens, to say where are our deficiencies with these EQ type engagements?

So, teams that don't, for example, resolve conflicts in an amenable way. That's not good. That that builds toxicity over days, weeks, months, years. So the tentacles of emotional intelligence spread much further beyond just being likable.

Steve Seid:
And you hit the key point, which is, why are we thinking about this? Well, it's not because we can say, "Oh, I'm good at this." It's identifying where we can improve, which I'm always looking to do. And by the way, we've been talking about this high level. I'm going to come with a story, so we get into the specific here, but it was funny. You sent me a survey to take beforehand.

Kurt Dupuis:
That's a quiz. I sent you a quiz.

Steve Seid:
You know, you know how I know I was not doing well on this quiz? Because I found myself wanting to lie on several of the questions. It's like, are you always positive when faced with adversity? I'm like, and I hit a lot of, I hit a lot of, there was one, I was like, neither agree nor disagree. Being a hundred percent positive all the time is something that I want to strive to do. That element is something I always know I need to get better at. Cause it just, it doesn't come naturally for me to wake up and be like, yay everything's... It's something I have to work on.

Kurt Dupuis:
Talking about being positive, specifically. Cause that that's one of the aspects of self-management, is having a positive outlook. I do want to draw a dark line, a bold line in between a positive outlook, but being able to have crappy days. And so, and I think as wholesalers, I think as human beings, I think as spouses, that vulnerability, that's part of emotional intelligence too, is knowing that you can be vulnerable and that you do have people around you with which you can be vulnerable. So, it's not, it's not that lucky charm, rainbow and golden pot all the time, but it is generally having a positive outlook.

Steve Seid:
All right. So it's probably good to, at this point, to read through a story that, or an example that the article goes through, and it says-

Kurt Dupuis:
Wait, are you not going to talk about the quiz?

Steve Seid:
Do you want to talk about the quiz?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah.

Steve Seid:
Okay.

Kurt Dupuis:
How did you score?

Steve Seid:
Average. I scored average. So it says... Did you take it by the way? You took it?

Kurt Dupuis:
I did. I did.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. Let me see if I can pull it up. You have slight, Oh no, no, no. Hold on. You have slightly above average EQ.

Kurt Dupuis:
There you go.

Steve Seid:
With room to grow. Now I probably lied a little bit. So let's call me average. Let's take the liars buffer in this, okay. Why don't we share this? What is this quiz that maybe people could start with? Where did you find it?

Kurt Dupuis:
ihhp.com/free-eq-quiz. So, it's interesting. I found myself in a different set of circumstances where I was trying not to be too overly positive. So I felt myself saying agree sometimes when I really strongly agree with this, to not seem like too good at this, if that makes sense. And so my score was an excellent EQ, which sounds great, until you read the bottom. It said, if you scored in this range, there's a slight caveat. You are either extremely high in emotional intelligence or extremely low.

Steve Seid:
Really? That's what it said?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah. It says, they may reflect your high level of self knowledge or lack of it. Since you must be self-aware to assess yourself accurately.

Steve Seid:
Oh that's interesting. So it's saying, you think you're so good, you're probably not.

Kurt Dupuis:
And you have no idea.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. So, this is probably a good transition point. Let me read this story that the article goes through, because I think it's probably worth bringing in now. So it talks about this person Esther. Esther is a well liked manager of a small team, kind and respectful. She is sensitive to the needs of others. She's a problem solver. She tends to see setbacks as opportunities. She's always engaged. She's a source of calm to her colleagues. Her manager feels lucky to have such an easy and direct report to work with. And often compliments Esther on her high levels of emotional intelligence or EI.

And Esther indeed counts EI as one of her strengths. She's grateful for at least one thing she doesn't have to work on as part of her leadership and development. And here's where it changes. And this is the crux of it. It's strange though, even with her positive outlook, Esther is starting to feel stuck in her career. She just hasn't been able to demonstrate the kind of performance her company is looking for. So much for emotional intelligence, so to speak. So you see where this is getting? So this is like, what we commonly think of as emotional intelligence, is you're likable, you're positive, you work hard, etc, etc.

Kurt Dupuis:
Which are true, just not the full story.

Steve Seid:
The trap that ensnared Esther and her manager is a common one, they are defining emotional intelligence, far too narrowly. They're focused on Esther's sociability, sensitivity and likeability. They're missing critical elements of emotional intelligence that can make her a stronger, more effective leader.

And they give two examples here. And this falls back into that relationship management. So here's two weaknesses that they didn't talk about. The ability to deliver difficult feedback to employees, the courage to ruffle feathers and drive change, the creativity to think outside the box. So you could see right there, I'm likable, I want people to like me, I care about what people think.

Kurt Dupuis:
But maybe you're a pushover at the same time.

Steve Seid:
That's right. There's a bigger picture here. And some of the things that you may think lead you to be this amazing emotionally intelligent person, can also be challenges on other aspects of emotional intelligence.

Kurt Dupuis:
So let's get real here for a second.

Steve Seid:
Sure.

Kurt Dupuis:
The four domains as they're described in orange. The orange is just, self-awareness, that's relatively self-explanatory. Having a lot to do with emotional self-awareness. Yellow, they characterize self-management. They identified social awareness, and blue is relationship management. So, because I think one of the big takeaways for our audience is a key part of emotional intelligence is knowing where your blind spots are.

So I'm going to tell you where my blind spots are.

Steve Seid:
Yeah.

Kurt Dupuis:
So in self-management, in yellow, there's emotional, self-control, there's adaptability, there's achievement orientation, and positive outlook. The achievement orientation I have some difficulty with. As a, I tend to be the most laissez-faire sales person, and I have some, A-type characteristics, but I'm also pretty easy going. And I feel like at the beginning of the year, you have a new sales goal. It's easy for that to feel crippling. But that's an achievement, right?

Kurt Dupuis:
So rather than saying, "Oh, I'm just going to torch every wall and every obstacle." I get micro and say, what are just the things I can do on a daily and weekly basis that are going to make me successful? So, maybe that's just a different way to look at achievement, but I don't say, "Oh, I'm going to go out and sell a quadrillion amount of whatever."

Steve Seid:
And is that problematic to you? Do you see that as a problem? Because when I hear you speak to it, and you say, hey, I've got this sales goal, which goes up every year in our industry, that's what happens, and you're saying, okay, what can I control, and what can I do on a day-to-day basis, as opposed to worry about the big picture? That to me seems rational. That seems like a good way to approach it. But you're saying there's a weakness in there for you.

Kurt Dupuis:
Well, I guess I'm just saying that, I don't have these big pipe dreams of what will be. I try to just put my head down and control what I can control, is what I'm saying.

Steve Seid:
Right. You'd like to have more of the big goals and aspirations? Do you think that's something you can improve on?

Kurt Dupuis:
Sometimes I think I should have those. I mean, if we're just totally having a therapy session here. That’s what I’m describing.

Steve Seid:
Well that's what this whole thing is about, it's like, what part can you improve on?

Kurt Dupuis:
Yeah.

Steve Seid:
I've shared what I can improve on, which is the whole, the positive outlook and the emotional self-awareness. That's something I always have to work on. I'm probably pretty good at the things like coach and mentor, and that last bucket, the blue, the relationship management, the influence, the coach, a mentor, the conflicts management, the teamwork, that I think I'm good at that stuff. Where, so it's interesting, you and I, this is probably why we're good complimentary podcast hosts, and we work well together. We have to work on what the other one is good at. It seems like.

Kurt Dupuis:
And that's where I was going, with the blue column in relationship management. I think I leave something to be desired. Particularly in conflict management, I struggle with conflicts because, there's a few folks in my territory that I quasi-manage. And when things come up, 'cause they have, it's a delicate balance for me in between being to say, no, look, this is how it's going to be, which is my non-emotional intelligence response, versus saying, okay, what's really going on with that other person?

So in a situation where normally I would be very empathetic and very open to whatever the other person's saying, sometimes I just want to say, no, shut up. This is how it's going to be.

Steve Seid:
Well, and that's a great point though. And that's what this article gets to a little bit is, sometimes there's conflict here. You've got to have a difficult conversation and that doesn't necessarily make you likable. It's almost seems like some of this there's, there's a balance because they can conflict.

Kurt Dupuis:
But that's where I see the idea of relationship equity coming in. Like, if you are investing in other people and you are promoting, you're going to have those times, you know what, I'm going to draw on some of that equity now, because we've had all these conversations that are meant to build you up, but now it's time to level set and we need to have a heart to heart. But that's why the relationship management part of emotional intelligence is so important. And I think an often overlooked aspect of emotional intelligence.

Steve Seid:
Giving someone that fourth bucket, that relationship management, the challenging conversations. Those can be received better if you get the other pieces right. Like, I take feedback better from people that I know are invested in me. I want to hear where I'm weak from people like that. The article is worth a read, but there's a whole way that they go through and we won't belabor it, of what Esther can do to develop herself on the areas where she's weak. And that's probably the key takeaway of this episode is, hey, sit down, look at this framework and identify where you need to get better. Is that what you take away from this?

Kurt Dupuis:
I put checks where I thought I was above average, and I put dashes or negative signs for what I thought I could improve on. And if you want to take it a step further, there's online assessments where you can give feedback from a 360, meaning people above you, below you, anonymously, which could be a helpful exercise for a team, to take this idea of emotional intelligence and infuse it into someone's practice. Which I think is the takeaway here.

Steve Seid:
Absolutely. So we hope you enjoyed this review of the HBR article. We're going to come back with our Costanza Corner. This is The Whole Truth. Stick with us.

Kurt Dupuis:
And welcome back to the Costanza Corner, where we end the show on a high note. Seid, you've got something for us today.

Steve Seid:
I do. Will it surprise you if it has a dog in it? Will that surprise you or stun you at all?

Kurt Dupuis:
It would surprise me if it didn't.

Steve Seid:
That's fair. I try not to, but I get drawn to this stuff. It's so cool. Okay. I'll just read the first paragraph. I'll just jump right into it. Dogged is a word that stubbornly means tenacious. And when it comes to demotion, there's no dog more dogged than a fluffy white pooch named, Boncuk who patiently waited outside the doors of a hospital for almost an entire week for her master to come home.

Kurt Dupuis:
What?

Steve Seid:
Yeah, it's in some Turkish city. Here's what happens. The master got rushed to the hospital, the dog followed her there and then has just waited outside and people will take the dog home. Now why the dog continues to be able to get out? Listen I’m not going to judge.

Kurt Dupuis:
I mean, you've been in developing countries. Sometimes there's dogs around.

Steve Seid:
Yeah. I mean, it's just, but the dog keeps coming back and waiting by the hospital door the entire time the owner is in there. And then, you know how the story ends. The owner gets out of the hospital, the dog is there. Just a heartwarming story about man's best friend.

Kurt Dupuis:
You know what? Over time, you're going to slowly just erode my wall against having a dog with young kids. And I'm just going to cave. So, there's a hashtag on Twitter just called dogsbruh, b-r-u-h.

Steve Seid:
Is that right?

Kurt Dupuis:
That just shows the awesome stuff that dogs do. So, I just recently saw one of a dog that was a quadriplegic. It couldn't even walk. And there was a two minute shortened, a truncated video of a PT vet. Is that a thing? Recuperating this dog and getting it to walk on a treadmill and getting its muscles going again. And at the end of it, the dog's frolicking through the forest, and I'm like, dogs are pretty cool.

Steve Seid:
They're awesome. And I don't want to say everyone should have a dog, cause that's not true. The truth is if you're not invested in it, it's the worst thing to adopt a dog and just be like, "Oh, I don't want it anymore." And we deal with those certain situations in our volunteer work at the shelters, unfortunately, but for those that are committed, I mean, I don't know, man. I could never picture my life without a dog in it. I just couldn't. But anyway, that's me. I love dogs. I thought this was a great heartwarming story. I hope you guys all enjoyed it as well. This is The Whole Truth signing off. We'll see you next time. Thanks everyone.

Kurt Dupuis:
You can find The Whole Truth and subscribe for free on Apple podcast Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. We'd love it if you took the time to rate and review the show on Apple podcasts. It helps others find the show. And for more episodes of The Whole Truth, go to www.touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. That's touchstoneinvestments.com/thewholetruth. All one word.

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