Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Something surprising about the workplace

I remember writing an article about this a couple of years ago, and receiving responses from a lot of people questioning this concept.

This is one reason why emotional intelligence is so important to study and learn about.

In their Book, First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, Buckingham and Coffman list twelve important questions to ask employees - or to ask yourself, an the employee - and one of them is: DO YOU HAVE A BEST FRIEND AT WORK?

So many people wrote me to question this, and were confused about it, like it wasn't a Good Thing - or perhaps even possible....??

When I think back on my own earlier work experiences as an employee, the jobs that do stand out as the most pleasurable, and also the most productive (and I would postulate that the two go together!) were when I did have a best friend at work.

I think it has to do with the office or corporate culture. Enjoying the people you work with is conducive to optimal performance. This is particularly important in today's Information Culture.

Tell me what you think about this!

And have you taken Buckingham's StrengthsFinder assessment. I think it's one of the best ones out there. Email me for information, and let me interpret the results for you. It's very helpful in honing in on what you are naturally best at.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

TSA and Instincts

Oh, the uses of "intuition", an emotional intelligence competency.

From the Fort Worth newspaper the other day - the TSA is planning to five screeners "more latitude to use their instincts and experience to ID terrorists, and get away from the by-the-numbers mentality used to create the TSA."

More from the article:

  • They want to concentrate on looking for passengers who act out of the ordinary
  • Said Hawley, administrator of the TSA: "We have seen more images, more people, more shoes than anybody." He told screeners, "You know what normal looks like."
  • They plan to vet passengers' reactions and intent, not just search for banned items
Well, he tells one way "intuition" is developed -- by lots of experience. There are ways you use this in your own life - how you know the kids are getting into something they shouldn't when they're in the other room ... how you know someone's mad at you by changes in their routines (not calling you for a week) ... which line at the bank drive-in will move fastest (I always get behind someone who's brake light is on - they have their foot on the pedal! ... which fruit is ripe and which one isn't.

Intuition, aka gut instinct and gut feeling, is an important emotional intelligence, lifeskill as you can see.

There's always a flip side. If you want to know how to behave more "normal" at the airport, so you don't get singled out, email me for my new ebook on nonverbal behavior. No doubt they will single out people who look and act nervous, and you can learn more about that. Performers, speakers, teachers all practice looking "at ease".

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

The Daily Dish By Andrew Sullivan

For Good Friday, some beautiful thoughts and writing, about authenticity, and the hard times in life, from the above.

"Any authenticity that we are going to have as persons of faith and any authority that we are going to have as witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ will come because of our exposure to bruises and scars. There is no other way to authenticity. There is a certain counterfeit pose that one may maintain, but as to an entrance into the full, the true authority, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, that comes by exposure and by wounds. There is no other way. If one looks back at those who have deeply affected their generation, the discovery will be made that almost without exception they did it against some minus, some ache, some pain in their own lives ...

At some time, who can say when, there will be a crown of thorns pressed down upon your head. It may be some private anguish. It may be some profoundly disturbing condition in your own family. One annot detail the direction whence the affliction will come, but when it does, you will have every right to rail against it and to cry out against that kind of providence, even to argue with God, to withstand him to the face ...

But do one other thing. Take it. Accept. For was it not our Lord's word that the cup he looked into, the awful agony which waited for him, did not come from unfriendly hands: "The cup which my Father hath given, shall I not drink of it?"

I promise you this, if you can take whatever deep hurt that occurs in your life and hold it up before God and say to him, even in bitterness, of this which you despise and this which you hate, "If there is anything you can do with it, take, and use it," I promise you, you will be utterly amazed at what will occur,"
- Gardner C. Taylor,
sermon delivered February 1, 1978. A Charlie Rose interview can be seen with him here.

Keep these words for some time when they might be needed.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Get with the Group, just make sure it's the right one

From Garrison Keillor - what a great metaphor. This is from his story entitled "A Pagan's Thoughts at Eastertide" which you can read here.

There was a small epiphany in church last week when we sang the recessional “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded,” a German chorale in which we basses must jump around more limberly than we may be used to. A tough part compared to “When the Roll Is Called up Yonder” and I stood in the rear and struggled with it and then
as the choir recessed down the main aisle and came up and stood in the side aisles, three basses wound up standing near me, like border collies alongside the lost sheep, and I got myself in their draft and we sang our way to the barn. (Moral: get with the group — just make sure it’s the right one.)

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Honor Ray Garrett, Jr at SEC 75th Anniversary Celebration Dinner, June 25, 2009

“While Ray was achieving greatness, he simultaneously taught the rest of us with a kind, measured demeanor. Few men posses such rare abilities and fewer still choose to employ them.” - - Jim Reynolds, American Bakeries Company

June 25, 2009 75th Anniversary Celebration Dinner for the Securities Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission Historical Society will host a 75th Anniversary Celebration Dinner for the SEC Commission and staff, government officials, and industry representatives on Thursday, June 25, 2009.

This event honors the history of the SEC, founded in 1934 by President Roosevelt. Joe Kennedy was the first Chairman of the SEC. My father, Ray Garrett, Jr., was the 19th Chairman, serving from 1973 to 1975.

The dinner will be held in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. According to Carla Rosati of the SEC Historical Society, institutions are welcome to purchase a table and include a congratulatory message, with name and logo, in the program book to be distributed to all guests and added to the museum collections.

Ray Garrett, Jr. passed on in February 1980. He emceed a previous anniversary dinner and wouldn’t have missed this one for all the tea in China, nor the personal archives and roundtables that the Historical Society has promoted since its inception. He loved the SEC, the law, his family, and his colleagues, whose names were legion.

Of Ray Garrett, Jr.’s Chairmanship, Commissioner Al Sommer later remarked:

“Certainly it is not an exaggeration to say that Ray was one of the most dearly beloved people ever to serve on the Commission. You could walk the halls day after day and never hear a word of criticism of him, professionally or personally; never hear his integrity, or even his judgment, questioned; never hear his leadership criticized.”

— A. A. Sommer, Jr.

At this time we are beginning to approach all of Ray’s friends and colleagues to give them an opportunity to participate in hosting or sponsoring a place at the banquet table to honor RAY’S MEMORY.

Ray Garrett, Jr. had four children; Me (Susan Dunn), Nancy Worcester, Anne Norloff and Richard Garrett. He has eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Please contact Susan Dunn for details on how you can join us in honoring Ray’s memory and in the meantime be sure to save this date on your calendar:

A WAY TO HONOR RAY GARRETT, JR. and his personal and professional contributions to our lives.

MR. BOOKEY: “The other thing that hasn’t quite been mentioned — the real privilege I had, we had — all of us, we had what was called “The Dream Commission.”

“And The Dream Commission was when Ray Garrett was the chairman, and Irv was on the Commission, and Phil Loomis, and Al Sommer and John Evans, and they were the best. The absolute best. Stanley was the director. And they were smart. They were aggressive. They were energetic. It was leadership, and we loved it.

“And looking back, that was the prime time, folks. That was the prime time.”


Let's make it a date to remember.
Contact for more information.

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On Aging

Making the email rounds ... on aging.

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long. I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.

As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

Thanks to John for sending this.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Spitzer and the Triune Brain

ALPHA MALES BEHAVING BADLY is the name of the article by Clarence Day and it begins, "Here's the $4,000 question in the Eliot Spitzer case: Why did he do it?"

The analysis of Spitzer continues. According to "Alpha males behaving badly," by Clarence Page:

"... one of the legions of family therapists who have been called into action by journalists and talk shows in a post- Spitzer surge, told me that the answer boils down simply to this: “It’s in the limbic system.” Eh? That’s the pleasure center in the brain, she said, it handles “motor skills and primitive impulses.” Oh. In other words, the intelligent, angelic part of the brain that tells you, “No, no, this is wrong, you’ll never get away with it,” is completely overwhelmed by the devilish part that says, “C’mon! You can do it! You’re superman. You’re the expert on catching people who do this. You also know how to avoid getting caught!”

(Read the full article here.)

This is how I would explain this sort of thing. The sex impulse is actually in the reptilian) primitive brain - survival instinct. It is basic, an instinct. It is a "meaning-less" reaction. Yes, the limbic brain is about pleasure but it's where parenting, for instance, resides, and emotional bonding. Spitzer's behavior had nothing to do with emotional bonding. In fact, it would more likely endanger his bond with his wife and children. The neocortex is command central, where we go to think things through. It can be considered the crowning achievement of humans, homo sapiens ("sapiens" means thinking); that is, if it used. But again, it must function well in conjunction with the other 2 brains.

Conflicts can often be described by the operations of the 3 brains, the primitive brain being the strongest, of course, because it has to do with survival. I often use the example of a man experiencing lust (primitive), then going 'up' to the limbic, where he cares about his relationships, feels emotions rather than "instincts" and then 'up' further to the neocortex, where he THINKS, and realizes the action could endanger his marriage, career, etc. and, in Spitzer's case, his health and those of others as well. In other words, that it would be a stupid thing to do.

Empathy could also be placed in the limbic brain. Page says the part that would tell him “No, no, this is wrong, you’ll never get away with it,” -- I would add, and it also tells you, "And this would hurt my wife and family, hurt their feelings. The real $4,000 question here is, sadly, how will he ever regain the trust and respect of his wife and daughters.

Like Shakepeare's Othello, and Verdi's Otello, this man's entire life has been impacted - career and personal life. What is is about a man who "has the world at his feet" that makes him bring himself down, pare himself down to the human scale?

See my video on Otello"

So why do intelligent people do such stupid things? That's a large part of why the field of emotional intelligence developed. We see it often, and Spitzer is a prime example. Obviously the man's got a high IQ. But where is his EQ (emotional intelligence quotient)?

There is reptilian "pleasure"*, and also limbic (the extreme, enduring pleasure we get with our children and friends; our emotional connection to others), and also neocortex (for some of us, thinking philosophical thoughts, or analyzing someone's behavior :-) or solving a problem, are as pleasurable as it gets. And the neocortex is what separates us from the animals. We share the limbic brain with mammals.

It is a shame when we see our "alpha males" fail. It's a shame when we see anyone falter, but the "alpha male" does it in public. It is in the public eyes. Children can't help but hear or see about it. It seems such a waste, and, like the death of a parent reminds us of our immortality, their flaws, poor judgment and irresponsibility remind us of our own.

There is also the concept of noblesse oblige ... that we expect more from our leaders and high-up officials. It is one thing when your neighbor down the street does something like this. Quite another when it's a president, to take the Clinton example a la Day's article.

Why would Clinton do what he did, in the presidential position he was in? Why did Spitzer?

We are always interested in the WHY, because that's how we learn. If you'd like to learn more about the WHYs of life, I invite you to take THE EQ COURSE. With or without accompanying personal coaching, it is an enlightening experience. It's about the interface among the brains, how our brain and emotions work, and how to make your life work better -- and ultimately our health. We all have, and must deal with three "brains." The better we manage this juggling act, the better our chances for enduring success and happiness.

*Pleasure? A district attorney, accused of exposing himself to a 16 year old girl, told the judge: "I was under a lot of stress. It was tension release."

Niun mi tema (from Verdi's Otello) - no one need fear me any more

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Quote from No Country for Old Men

Went to see NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN yesterday. Have you seen it yet?

Of course the line "You cain't stop what's comin'" is good, but maybe because I'm a coach, this is my favorite line:

"Well all the time ya spend trying to get back what's been took from ya, more is going out the door. After a while you just have to try to get a tourniquet on it."
A good reminder to stay in the present, to move ahead, to come to some resolution about losses, and that "there is life after ...". An ending/loss can be seen as a transition. Some are monumental, and even then, we find that life goes on. I have seen people get stuck in the stage of the loss, and then 'more does go out the door.' It matters how you are able to handle the losses, disappointments and failures in life. I enjoy coaching people to minimize that sort of thing.

Clip from movie NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN:

The subplot, if you will, is about the effect the changing times are having on the sheriff, played by Tommie Lee Jones.

In one scene, the younger sheriff tells Jones what he has just said is "linear," and Jones replies that age flattens a man.

Does it? Is it a choice? What is "the tourniquet" for the slings and arrows of fortune?

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Emotional Intelligence, a transformational tool

Emotional Intelligence ... it isn't about IQ v. EQ, it's about integrating, consciously, how you think, feel, and act. It can be a powerful transformational tool. It's important to realize that as you start this journey (take the EQ Course, or full program, including coaching with me), you will experience some discomfort. Part of this is the energy is takes to become "aware."

For instance, just consider what it would be like to be tuning in to your feelings all day long ... you probably are not used to that, and it would cause some jolts in your day. For instance, consider if you were dissatisfied with the performance of an employee and it made you angry. If you default mode has been to just yell at the person, and instead, you stop and think about different responses you could make, different alternatives, your procedure will be slower.

It could however, be far more productive in the end.

Most of the tenets of emotional intelligence, once you have learned about them and practised them will become nearly automatic, and things will move faster and more smoothly.

Any transformation takes time, and also there is a period of two steps forward and three steps back.

I invite you to give it a try!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ray Garrett, SEC, Emotional Intelligence


Ray Garrett, Jr. was Chairman of the SEC at a time when, in the words of Joel Seligman, " my view, may have been the most consequential post-World War II period in United States securities laws. Among that SEC's several achievements was the enactment of the 1975 Securities Acts Amendments, which unfixed brokerage commission rates and attempted to facilitate a new national securities market system."

"Certainly it is not an exaggeration to say that Ray was one of the most dearly beloved people ever to serve on the Commission. You could walk the halls day after day and never hear a word of criticism of him, professionally or personally; never hear his integrity, or even his judgment, questioned; never hear his leadership criticized." -- A. A. Sommer, Jr. (fellow SEC commissioner)

From Ray Garrett:

"I would rather find ways to make it attractive and profitable for people to do good things, rather than compel them and hit them over the head and make them do it. One gets better results by harnessing natural human instincts to lead people in the right directions, as against forcing them." [Ray Garrett, Jr., The Institutional Investor, March 1974]

Who could you say this about? You could walk the halls day after day and never hear a word of criticism of him, professionally or personally; never hear his integrity, or even his judgment, questioned; never hear his leadership criticized. Could you say this about the boss you work for? If you're the boss or senior partner, would your colleagues and employees say this about you?

To learn more about Emotional Intelligence, take THE EQ PROGRAM. Email me for information - .

Thursday, March 13, 2008

From today's mailbag:

"You were a godsend to me when I was so desperate, giving me access to your full EQ program, which was a major contributer to my recovery from depression ... I genuinely benifited from your EQ course, as it helped me to understand fundemental things about how I 'tick' and allowed me to learn to separate my feelings from my responses as a prime example. Chemicals certainly had something to do with the cycle ... but ultimately as you say, EQ development is a lifeskill to get you through all kinds ofcircumstances and I firmly believe having learned so much, that most psychology patients would be better served doing [this]course before ever visiting a shrink, as in many cases their only problem is a low EQ." --Mike Maliepaard

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer, Hubris and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence, Spitzer ... and self-sabotage

According to article on - go here for full article.

``It's another instance in which a very smart, very powerful man brings himself down through his own hubris,'' said William Cunningham, a political consultant who worked on the senior staffs of former Democratic New York Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. ``We have seen it with Richard Nixon, we've seen it with Bill Clinton, very successful people who think they have their own set of rules, and self-inflict their own wounds.''

Good time to learn more about emotional intelligence? Take THE EQ COURSE. Email me at for more information. The current demand is overloading my email capacity, so please keep trying until your email gets through. I'm adding more amp as we speak.

HUBRIS - another word for self-sabotage, and lack of self-awareness.

If you don't know the meaning and roots of the word hubris ask me about my mythology course. There are some words that simply stand for all time.

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Spitzer from the Emotional Intelligence Standpoint

Spitzer - the dark side of EQ - A CAUTIONARY TALE
A man known for his ethics takes a predictable tumble - or is tumbled. There's lots in this we just don't want to acknowledge or think about.

If you live in the same world I do, there is a noticeable silence re: what has happened with Spitzer. Who wants to talk ... there is danger all around.

This is reptilian or primitive brain territory - the strongest pull in our lives there is. It governs survival, which includes sex and aggression. Surely powerful people went after this powerful person who went after powerful people. And surely he would trip up in the primitive brain area ...

It's loaded with stuff we just don't like to think about. Aggression. Retribution. Violence (which is at its worse, actually, when it is not physical.) This reminds me of the tragedy of Otello (see my thing on youtube about this) - that's the Italian spelling, for Verdi's opera. Iago decided to do Otello in, and at the end of the play/opera, what do we have? A man with no professional nor personal life left. Attributable to his own hand, no one else's.

As Jung would say, it's best to get to know your "shadow" side because the reptilian brain LURKS in all of us. If you don't familiarize yourself with it, it does more than LURK
Take my EQ course and learn more about this. This is probably the highest-LEVEL EQ course out there. Many call it "the missing piece."
Or call for EQ coaching.
email: and 817-741-7223.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Gatland back in Dublin with Emotional Intelligence

Thought you might find this of interest

A WRU delegation flew to Auckland to meet Gatland little more than a week after Jenkins's sacking. "I had only been in his company a few minutes when I realised he was a unique individual," said the union's chief executive, Roger Lewis. "The perception is that he is hard and driven, which he is with his winning mentality, but he is also sensitive. He has incredibly high emotional intelligence, an awareness of people and situations. Sacking Gareth Jenkins so quickly was a brutal necessity: it was tough on a man I like, but we had to send out an unambiguous message that we had to change."

How to achieve that balance is the juggling act. :-)

For the full article, go here:,,2263583,00.html

To increase YOUR emotional intelligence, and sensitivity and awareness fo people and situations, contact me about the highly acclaimed EQ COURSE. I have trained people worldwide. I train and certify EQ coaches, so come learn from the teacher. Email me at .

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Definition of Low Emotional Intelligence

Meet the Bosses Who Could Win the ‘Awful"
By Alan L. Rupe
When bad boss behavior occurs, it generally happens in an atmosphere in which the law is ignored, company policy is ignored and the line separating good business practices from boorish conduct—and often unlawful conduct—is crossed. A dose of stupidity, mixed with a larger dose of arrogance—that’s the formula for winning an Awful Award.

To read the article, go to .

A good working definition of low emotional intelligence is "a dose of stupidity mixed with a larger dose of arrogance." It's the arrogance that keeps the person from realizing they're acting stupid, i.e., doing things that don't work, that alienate other people, and that eventually can sabotage one's career.

If you'd like to learn more, email me at for my various effective, efficient and outstanding Emotional Intelligence programs - there's one to fit your needs. Just ask me.

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