Eric: I’m Eric Pennington and welcome to The Spirit of EQ podcast. Today’s show is going to be about a case study around EQ. We have a very special guest today, Matt Vaive. You want to let our listeners know where you’re coming from and maybe a little bit of background of you and your company and know why you got interested in emotional intelligence.
Matt: So I’m from Albuquerque New Mexico. Not originally but I’ve been out here 38 years and I have a pest control business. And for a long time I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get involved and help make the world a better place. I joined Optimist Clubs and a lot of different things that just didn’t really do what I needed. And in reading about you and I’ve been hearing about it from Jim Vaive for a long time. I started seeing this as a really good path for me to try to get back to society.
Jeff: The case study we’re going to talk about in a few minutes that came from some training you had in New York. Is that correct.
Matt: That is correct. I was at practitioner training in New York. And one of the things you have to do to get certified is to do a project that involves brain profiles. So I saw a good opportunity to do that with my business and with my employees. We had some really good results brain profiles are a form of one of the assessment tools.
Jeff: You want to just describe the brain profiles and the dashboard and things like that?.
Matt: Well there’s three different brain profiles and they give you different ideas of what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are, and some ideas of even things you can do to try to work on your weaknesses and become more balanced. I also did a dashboard as you mentioned with my employees and I included myself on that, to try to get an idea of how the business team worked together and some strengths and weaknesses.
Jeff: And you had every one take the assessment which is about 72 questions I believe.
Matt: My wife and I had just taken in within the month before that for our training and then we took it again for this. And it was interesting to see some differences between those two tests between the two assessments.
Jeff: Okay do you think that difference came because of the training and mindset maybe?
Matt: When I got back from training I had to dive into an extreme data situation with my business converting from one software to another. And so I was extremely focused on that for quite a while. And I think that really showed up in the results and I’ve taken it again because I’m going through another training now for assessor training and so I’ve taken it again and I’m back where I was before New York.
Jeff: Good that just illustrates the point that emotional intelligence is not static.
Matt: It’s really a snapshot in time.
Eric: So Matt I have a question for you. What was maybe the most compelling thing that came out from the profiles for you as an individual but then also maybe and if you think about your team at your company.
Matt: So for a long time my son has been working for me for five years and there was a lot of disconnect between the way we communicate. And so what this really helped me see was how his brain works and what he needs to function and what he looks for to make it through the day and to create decisions. And so it’s really helped me communicate with him. That’s a big part of it. And then I’ve also used that with another employee who has a completely different brain style than my son as to what he needs to make it through a given day. And service our customers in the way we need to and that kind of thing. And so then it also showed us a weakness of the group and so we discussed that. What we discovered was that health was our main weakness. And so there’s a lot there’s a lot of parts of health of course. There’s spiritual. there’s mental. There’s physical. And so one of the things that came out is the guys would like to work out more. And so what I did as a business is I bought a gym membership for everybody. And so I’m paying for that on a monthly basis. So that was a direct result from our project and from the dashboard.
Jeff: So you all shared your brain styles with each other so everybody could see what the other person.
Matt: I didn’t do it individually. I wanted everybody to have a feeling and to see that everybody is different.
Jeff: Ok. And how did your team take that?
Matt: Well, not my son, although he said that we should do this more often this kind of thing, the employee that I did it with, because I also did with my wife and myself. The employee texted me later and said that was one of the best days he’s had because we spent about six hours doing all of this stuff.
Eric: Did you have any of the and for lack of a better way of saying, any naysayers, anybody who is a little fearful of doing these assessments.
Matt: Well I think part of the reason they didn’t is I was paying them. So they just thought whatever you know paid. So everybody was so positive afterwards it was just. Showed me that it was very effective tool. And everybody is always curious about themselves. And if you put it correctly they’re interested in learning how to make themselves better. If you put it in a negative way and tell them that they’re messed up for example then they’re going to just put up a barrier and fight you. But if you just say these are some strengths and these strengths can help these imbalances and that kind of thing then they accept it much easier.
Eric: I know we’re going to go through a number of the things that you guys went through. One question that leaves out in my mind is what kind of impact do you think this will have on your customers?
Matt: Well one of our goals is to make the customer feel like they’re important and so to do that you need to get past your own feelings of inadequacy of anger or whatever is going on through your day. When you walk up to that customer’s house you need to be able to release that and really focus on the customer. And I think everybody’s understanding that there are different ways of doing things different brains styles that they can actually embrace each customer easier than they were able to before. We’re not done. You know I’m going to try to do this once a quarter with the guys and just try to see if it eventually just evolves into something even better.
Eric: And Jeff I know has has a question for you as well. You just mentioned that when you look at you know because a number of organizations when they do this type of work they understand sort of the intrinsic value but I guess where I’m going as well is is there something where you feel like you’ll be able to measure and see an uptick in profitability. Right. Growing the business.
Matt: That’s definitely part of the goal. You know maybe tighten up schedules a little bit because they’re able to get through things quicker because they understand more, or they understand their own motivations a little better by me understanding their motivations, I can make things work better for them. like one of my guys is extremely data oriented. And if he doesn’t have the data he kind of shuts down. And so my goal, for what he’s doing for the day, is to make sure for each job he does do that day, He has all the information he needs ahead of time.
Jeff: That is so important when you start adapting what you’re doing to fit the other person. Especially in your case since they know that you’re doing that will give them a little more buy-in. The question that I wanted to ask is if you did use one of them or three of the steps engage activate and reflect could you just kind of describe those briefly?
Matt: Engage is to bring up something that reaches the people you’re talking to. So you engage them by making it interesting. And we would use an example that they both found interesting rather all four of us find interesting and talk about it and then we would activate by doing a different. EQ learning is a lot of hands-on activities and games and cards and different kinds of charts and different kinds of things that everybody has a piece in doing. And so we did a number of activities during that day that really got them looking at how everybody’s brain functions differently.
Jeff: And then reflect.
Matt: We took a lunch break after doing all these activities. And had them look back. We sat for a while and just thought to look within and then we discussed everything that they’ve been through for the day then I also have to look at the last six months because I also had them do that before they took the assessment. And then we discussed how that affected them. And how they see that this kind of tool can help them become more balanced.
Jeff: You mentioned that each person presented a work issue without you asking how did that come about or why do you think they did that.
Matt: That actually was one of their activities. It wasn’t without asking one of the cards we have as think feel act and it’s a set of cards that you can buy and it has situations that you can put out on one card. And then you have how you think about it or you feel about it and then your reactions to it. And so they were able to put together a scenario and one of the guys had one where his reaction was perfect. I mean he did exactly what was important for that customer to retain customers and make that customer feel good. But inside he was feeling awful and he just felt like I can’t keep doing this because they were so bad to me I didn’t feel good about it. But the situation worked out well with the customer. But what I talked to him about is you know his pausing there’s this thing called a six-second pause where if you pause before you react then you can actually think about it and get that chemical reaction out of your brain and come up with a much better solution than just reacting off the cuff. And so we talked about that with him. What he did was perfect it’s just how he felt about it.
Eric: Matt I was going to ask you something as it relates to the reflect thing and I know when you embark on projects of this nature or endeavors it’s a lot of information so a lot of analyzation in that kind of thing. Do you think it’s important for whether it be your employees or employees of maybe a listener for them to have regular intervals to reflect? And so a lot of this can sink into behavior.
Matt: Are you talking about like throughout a project or throughout our session or are you doing it every couple of weeks or every month or what do you mean.
Eric: Actually that future forward like that every couple of weeks every month type thing.
Matt: I think it’s extremely important to keep the process going because what do human beings tend to do they tend to lapse tend to fall into what’s comfortable and you’ve been dealing for me. In my case, I’ve been developing procedures and processes and how to deal with things for 62 years. And so. Harder for me to become better at this. I have to practice it all the time. And so yeah I think we’re almost to the point where we’re going to do another project. I’m just happy to have the timing worked out with employees and the work and all that kind of stuff.
Jeff: I’ve got a question for you as a business owner going into this. Did you have any fears or hesitations about digging this deeply with your employees including yourself?
Matt: Not at all. I don’t have a problem being introspective. I didn’t have a problem digging deeper with my employees because I saw only positive results could come from it. You know one of the things you can possibly find out is maybe one of your employees is not a good fit for the rest of the team. So that’s positive as well. So I wasn’t nervous at all. I was just excited to start the process.
Jeff: If you could talk to another business owner what would you tell them going into that project.
Matt: As a business owner you need to do this and you need to do it regularly. We’re very jazzed about it. That’s why we’ve actually started another training. Both my wife and I. It’s really awesome to be able to do it with your partner. It’s an amazing experience because we bounce things back and forth off each other all the time. And so we started another certification that’s going on currently and we have another one coming up in June. So we’re definitely taking this forward.
Eric: So Matt I’ve got to ask you know you mentioned your wife and I’m always intrigued on that side because you know I’ve been married for 27 years so it’s always interesting to learn more and more. What were some of the things that leaked out for you if you care to share? They came out from it by you guys going through it together.
Matt: As far as the dashboard I didn’t really see anything that would kind of point at our relationship. We’re both what’s called an Inventor and that gets pretty deep as you know explaining what that means exactly but it’s ended up being that we’re both very similar to the way we look at things. But there are differences and there are things that she needs that I through my whole life and thought that’s just that important as an example one of the things she needs is she needs to go through things step by step. I tend to go if there are 20 steps, then I tend to go 1, 5, 9, 13, I got 20 I’m done. And she likes looking at she likes to look at every single step. That’s when you can go from five back to four and then start going back forward again and that makes me crazy. So I have to obviously look at that and realize that’s important to her and that I have to respect that.
Eric: I think all of us can relate to that. And that’s great.
Jeff: And that’s the idea of this whole process that you’re going through is to do that on different levels with different people in your life whether it’s your spouse or your work people just to be able to understand how they work and also understand how yourself works. That’s always the starting point.
Matt: And I would like to say that I got it all under control you know because I’ve been doing this for a few months or any but I have what I am getting better at is realizing when I do something incorrectly and it’s usually right afterwards and realize if I had done this I could have had done that much better. And so I think that’s one of the next steps in getting myself to a better place.
Jeff: It sounds like you’re doing that engage activate reflect more and more in your life and that just takes practice. I don’t always work that well that way either.
Matt: Yeah I mean even the big guys out in California doing this you know they fail every now and then too. So we’re human. And the only thing we can do is realize that you’ve done it. If you need to you apologize you work on being better next time.
Jeff: I would like to say one thing. The certification that this project and also for the next certification is through Six Seconds which is the company that Spirit of EQ works with and they just provide amazingly good products and training. When you go through, it does change your life.
Matt: It definitely does. I mean it’s the point where now my goal at the moment is to really ease myself out of my business currently to get to a point where my son can take you know what I can just focus on EQ.
Jeff: If you have any questions or suggestions or comments please contact me at Jeff@SpiritofEQ.com. You can also find that on our Web site. And if you have any questions for Matt and send them to me and I’ll make sure he gets them.
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