A little better…

Well, getting away from my desk this evening was good! Max and I got haircuts then went to Fresh Choice. Fresh Choice is one of my least favorite places to eat and the kids love it. What’s up with that. I think they care more about “choice” than about “fresh.”

Then we went to Max’s accupuncture appointment. I wish I had one too. Our usual Chinese doctor, Dr Lucy, wasn’t available so we saw someone else. He was amazed by how “normally” Max treated the whole thing. Not to say Max likes getting stuck with needles (au contraire), but he’s surprisingly mellow about it.

We started this when Max was 2 and about to go for his 3rd course of antibiotics for the same ear infection. Conversations had started about needed tubes surgically implanted. The treatment didn’t seem to be working, was costing a ton, and none of us was happy. But still we really questioned ourselves — aren’t you supposed to give your baby antibiotics if he has an infection? Aren’t you a bad parent if you do something else? Reasoning that millions of people don’t, we decided to give it 3 days. 3 days later with accupuncture and Chinese herbs, his infection was way better. He went off and on for 18 months and had no more infections.

My pediatrician brother-in-law points out that many children just grow out of ear infections, so maybe that’s it. On the other hand, in the last year we haven’t really being going to Dr Lucy much, and Max has had 2 ear infections. So I think we’ll be going once a month at least during cold season…

So, back to the present, I’m still feeling like I have a cold and by back hurts, but I’m not QUITE so cranky.

Gloomy, Reunion

It’s another gloomy day. Where the hell is Spring??? I have a cold. The day is stretching out unpleasantly in front of me. And I just RSVPd to a party for my 20th high school reunion.

Looking at the list of who’s coming I was hit by all the wonderful and awful memories of middle and high school. The sense of bullet-proof unstopability simultaneous with this total powerlessness and dread. The names include people who I desperately longed to be like, who I desperately longed to like me (“like” being euphamistic, in the second case, for lust), and who I took totally for granted. There are also a lot of blissfully happy memories. On a day like today, I guess, somehow that sense of the totally open road is eclipsed by the memories of loneliness and loss.

My best friends in high school were the theater geeks. We spelled it “theatre” because that was more sophisticated. I don’t know if we really thought we were cool, or if it was a booby prize because we weren’t as cool as the actually cool kids (all jocks, of course). Of course they were as busy working at being cool as we were working at being anticool. We were all furiously chasing after some image or other. What a colassal waste. I’m sure the institutions and cultures of American high schools has made the fortune of many a therapist. Maybe many an EQ consultant too.
One surprise was seeing how many people are bringing their kids. My high school classmates are still frozen in my head as 18 year olds. How can they all have kids??? Oh. It’s 20 years later. Where did that all go?

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing if I can see these people as humans instead of as icons of what we wished to be. I suspect for all of us (well, most of us) we came to see those paper-doll cut-out figures were ultimately pretty empty.

Is Gossip All Bad?

We has a great conversation last night about gossip (at Mount Madonna School – amazing place). On our school climate survey the lowest scoring question was, “People here don’t gossip much.”

One of the parents pointed out that gossip isn’t necessarily done with harmful intent — people could say they “gossip” because they are concerned and sharing important information. Personally I wouldn’t call that gossip. Princeton WordNet says:

n 1: light informal conversation for social occasions
2: a report (often malicious) about the behavior of other people; “the divorce caused much gossip”
3: a person given to gossiping and divulging personal information about others

So there is a dimension that’s just “chit-chat,” but there’s that “often malicious” in there. What do you think? Is there something inherently malicious or undermining in gossip?

Anyway, one of my favorite questions: How do we use the tendency to gossip in a positive way?
What’s so good about this is that it acknowledges people are as they are — and we still have choice… and we still have the opportunity to influence others. It’s a very strengths-oriented approach: What do people do well, and how can that come into service of a larger purpose?

Sopa de Limon

The 2nd best remedy for feeling yucky.

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 avocado cut into cubes
  • 1/4 c salsa, chunky
  • 2 tortillas, crisp over flame (on gas stove) or in pan, tear into pieces
  • 1/2 lime.

Put all the stuff into 2 bowls, eat with your true love who also has a bit of a cold and comisserate.


Just came home from some errands, feeling a little sorry for myself (too much work, not enough $), and saw our roses are blooming.

YAY. So brave w all this rain.
Also saw there is a gopher running amok. Gotta kill it.

Life in the garden is much simpler than “real” life.

Take it serious?

Well I just finished Julie/Julie by Julia Powell and I loved it (enough to write a review which I don’t really do), and now I’m inspired about this whole blogging thing. (By the way, her blog is cool: What Could Happen?)

Really the first few posts I did we just ads for what I was working on, which is cool if anyone cares, but I think maybe I’ll try actually blogging.

So I can’t believe it’s actually noon already. The day goes by in no time, it’s scary. I still haven’t eaten breakfast – again! I wish that would help my diet. Shit. But I did nordic track this morning, so 1 step ahead, 1 back… maybe that’s why this morning sitting down to work seemed kind of overwhelming.

I love working at home, but sometimes it would be great to have a bunch of people just to bs with and not really work… I think it’s an under-appreciated part of “work” — kind of a recovery time. Because people are herd animals, maybe we need to herd around sometimes? Maybe that’s why gossip is so insidious.

Today I’m going to my kids’ school to present the data on the school climate — gossip is a problem. That’s been true in just about every school I’ve measured, but we don’t have that question on our corporate survey. Maybe I’ll just stick it on there to see what happens.

EQ Certification

For the 6th year in a row, the July EQ Trainer Certification boasts a remarkable group of change agents. It’s reassuring to know that, amidst the strife and consumption, there is a large group of people deeply committed to bringing heart and wisdom into the world.

For the first time since 9-11, we have a highly international group — EQ allies from India, Nigeria, Singapore, Dubai, and the US. It’s been a sadness to me that our global allies have stayed away for these years (and no surprise – nor blame to them), so I’m especially glad to see people traveling here again.

What happens when you take 26 people committed to learning about emotional intelligence and bring them through a series of powerful learning tools? There’s something nearly magical in the intensity of awareness, connection, optimism, and purpose. I feel priviledged to be a part of it, and humbled to be helping to lead it.

Curriculum Factory

The last few days have been a whirlwind of curriculum. Still part of the Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, been working on new modules for the EQ Leadership program and the Selling with EQ program. Next week we’re focusing on the EQ Change Management program. Gasping for air!

We’ve had over 400 people take the new English version of the SEI (Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Test) so we’ll be revising the norms and we’ll begin selling the English version in a few weeks (the test was develop in Italy, in Italian, so now we’re adapting it).

I’m a little overwhelmed by the zillion projects on my desk, but glad too. It’s an emotional intelligence training camp here! Got to keep my own emotions in synch so I can do the work I’ve set out.

Medicine Wheel

I’m tired! Traveling sucks something from me. But is was a great – brief – trip to Calgary.

The Youth Solvent Addiction Centers (YSAC) are doing incredible work with 1st Canadian teens. This is an incredibly resilient, caring group of people with real courage and depth. They face an impossible challenge and do it anyway.

The YSAC treatment programs are based on the medicine wheel. Four quadrants:





Of course emotional intelligence comes into that fourth one. And it pervades the way they operate. For example one of the executive directors was talking about knowing what was true with kids because we can FEEL what’s true. This attention to “deeper knowing” is probably a turn-off for some people, but it rings so true for me – even with my rather scientific world-view.

Today I’m working on our new EQ Leadership curriculum.

I’ve also been working on revising the materials around our Organizational Climate Index. Currently working on a new version of the report. Much fun!


I left sunny springtime in California and arrived in winter in Calgary. I’m glad to be here though, I am speaking at a conference on youth solvent addiction. This is a group of people who have incredible resilience and a true commitment to their noble goals. And a field where emotional intelligence could be really valuable!

I just posted several new courses on http://www.6seconds.org/new/

I also updated the 2005 EQ training calendar: http://www.6seconds.org/training

I’m tired. This is my 3rd travel week in a row, and all this course putting online stuff put me over the edge. Time for bed!