A CykoMetrix Spotlight Production
Every week, the Spotlight shines on an amazing professional with a story to tell and lessons to teach. Welcome to the CykoMetrix Spotlight.
The following is an adapted
transcript of the exchange between Sylvain Rochon, CMO at CykoMetrix as host,
and Patrick Rhein, Life Enhancement and Executive Coach
at Peak Potential International. www.peakpotentialinternational.com
Sylvain Rochon: Welcome to Psychometric Spotlight. My name is Sylvain Rochon. I'm the chief marketing officer at CykoMetrix, a psychometric platform that allows people and companies to use psychometric assessments, to elevate their clients' companies, do continuous development, and to really work with them to increase productivity, their return on investment, and all the good stuff that all companies want to do.
Today I have a really good guest that happens to be an old friend of mine, who's been a consultant in emotional intelligence and and executive coach for many years. In fact, he's been providing high-impact training and coaching for organizations internationally in both the private and public sectors for the past 20 years. His areas of expertise are management and leadership training, sales, business development, emotional and positive intelligence, executive coaching, mentoring, relationship organizational team, coaching, communication, stress and anxiety management - a whole lot of stuff. He's also a certified emotional intelligence instructor and qualified coaching training institute coach. As well as an organization, training, and relationship system coach. A lot of certifications, lots of experience. I'm so happy you're here.
Patrick: Well thank you, Sylvain. I'm also excited to be here with you and be able to hopefully add value to people's lives through this interview.
Sylvain: Well, thank you so much and since we've known each other for many years, but not professionally that much. We’ve known each other mostly through other activities.
Patrick: That's true.
Sylvain: It took me a while to reconnect with you, so I think it would be great to catch up and connect with the people that are listening and reading the blog. Where does all this intelligence come from? What's your past experience to frame next you will say. Tell us a little about your path.
Patrick: Yes. So, thank you for giving me this opportunity because I think it's important to frame information so to understand where it comes from and all that. Basically, in the 80s, I was a career counselor and head-hunter, and I was working with psychometrics to really try to match people to the optimum job and the optimum company. So, trying to analyze and understand people psychologically speaking, and then to see if it's a good match. So, from that time, I was already fascinated by human psychology, understanding how people work, and what really makes people integrate well in various situations.
So, in the 90s, I started to go into training and development. I acquired different certifications along the way, including this emotional intelligence because what I realized is that we are just emotional beings, okay? We have this rational brain on one side, but we are full of emotions, and we just try to cope in our world, assessing what's going on and reacting to what's happening. What I also realized is at school, we're not taught how to deal with emotions. We are taught to be good robots - good working robots like high performance, and calculus, and grammar. Elements that are important for sure but, what about emotions? This is where everything is happening.
And so, I understood that concept and I was fascinated by it. So, when I did my certification in ‘99, in Quebec actually, because I was in Asia at that time. I basically lived in eight countries on four different continents. I have to say eight and a half countries … I will explain the half in a moment. But yes, that gave me also a bigger perspective and understanding. You know I've always traveled a lot, and I'm always interested in how people react, and why, and understanding them. And so, whatever culture you're in, they are some commonalities and emotion are in the center. so, understanding how that supports relationships, productivity, self-management, stress management - it's all connected to the same elements, and so wherever you go in the world, that's the common element we have as humans now. It is true that some countries are more emotional than others. Some are more analytical than others. Like, if you take, for example, Quebec. I mean, I love that movie that represents such a good contrast between Ontario and Quebec, which is “Good Cop Bad Cop”.
The first one, I mean, was so typical. So, a stereotype, right? You know the Quebec person is more relaxed, more emotional. Then the Ontarian more paused, and more in control, or not showing the emotions the same way, right? Everybody has emotions but then it's more showing or not showing. So typically, Latin people have a tendency to show more emotions and to be more in the emotions than Anglo-Saxons. Their culture is more about control and not showing the emotion as much.
So, I think it's always interesting and therefore I continuously want to grow and learn various elements and components of emotional intelligence until I understood that it's everywhere. It's in the relationships like I mentioned just before. It's in stress management. It's in the workplace. It's in your personal parenting. It's everywhere. Then I discovered recently another component of emotional intelligence called positive intelligence. That's also very fascinating because it's all a bit connected but, it's a different concept, different understanding. I'm also personally doing my certification in that concept. I can tell you a little more about it later.
Sylvain: Yeah, absolutely. I want to ask you about this because, in our previous discussion, we talked about emotional intelligence, which is very well known. It's an entire area of study in psychology. There are a lot of psychometric tests that measure its different aspects and, there have been many attempts to validate its different measurements. But positive quotient or positive intelligence is a specific approach from different research. It is a new thing that you introduced to me to recently. Can you define what it is, and how you measure positive quotient versus perhaps the standard assessments?
Patrick: Yes, yes, absolutely. So, I'm going to first maybe speak about where it comes from. So, you have like four main research branches about the brain circuitry. There is this positive psychology, there is neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and performance science. Those have been a foundation of research. Chamine, is the author of this book "Positive Intelligence". Basically it is some combination of all these four branches that are put together into positive intelligence. So, what is it? Well, we have these two sides of the brain, the dark side... I don't know if you're a Star Wars fan.
Patrick: So, you know, you have the dark side and you have the Jedi side, right? The dark side is what we would call the saboteurs. It's all the chatterers, these voices that are the result of our education, of media, of society, of what they want us to believe in. It takes over the Jedi side or that inner wisdom side that we have. It's a protective mechanism. So, it's good to have it. I mean, there is nothing wrong with having this dark side in us. It's about balance. It's about the spectrum but, if you are constantly overwhelmed by the saboteurs or by the dark side, maybe it's not serving you or serving your surrounding for that matter.
So it's important to everything you start, whether it's emotional intelligence or positive intelligence, it all starts with self-awareness. If you start to realize that, okay well, maybe I'm feeding that dark side too much by clicking on the negative news all the time, reading negative news all the time, and being over surrounded by negative people. Are you going to really be a positive person? It's going to be tough right? I like that story. Do, you know the story of the two wolves?
Sylvain: Well, there are a lot of stories with wolves and this one doesn't ring the bell.
Patrick: Yes. Okay, let me tell you about it. It's actually a story told by the Cherokee. One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regrets, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It represents joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked the grandfather, which wolf wins? The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Sylvain: Okay. Very simple. Somehow, I didn't expect the ending.
Patrick: Exactly, right? So, we have this in us, and we feed one or the other, more or less. What is important to realize is we have two sides of our brain. One is the limbic system. This is the left brain and the brain stem. Then we have the middle prefrontal cortex, the empathy circuit, which is part of the right brain. We need that. We have that too for a reason. One is to survive, to be safe if a tiger attacks you, you're not going to think. "Oh peace, and love, and harmony" and "So cute little cat" he probably going to run, right?
Sylvain: Well, you usually try to survive in that situation.
Patrick: That's why this survival brain is important to be there. If you put your hand on a hot stove, what are you going to do? What's going to happen? Are you going to leave it there for long?
Sylvain: All right, you are afraid of pain or at least you try to run away from it.
Patrick: That's right. Our brain is designed that way. It is searching for pleasure and avoiding pain. This is how it works in our brain. We avoid pain and we search for pleasure. So that's a typical response and the limbic system is designed for that to save us from pain, or from a burn, or from everything related to that.
So, what motivates us through negative emotions is well, let's say the left brain is fear, stress, anger, guilt, shame, insecurity. It’s like a bunch of negative emotions. But then, what motivates us through positive emotion is empathy, curiosity, creativity, passion, and purpose, this is what we have in us. All of us. So again, which one do you want to feed more?
Sylvain: You want to feed the good side.
Patrick: Yeah. The one that gives you more satisfaction, more pleasure. So that's to simplify how it works in our brain. Now, what Chamine has designed in his book and tried to explain is that there are two concepts. One is what he calls the saboteurs. He found ten saboteurs, and then five sages.
You have the master saboteur which is the judge. Do you agree with me that we keep judging all the time? Whatever happened to us we judge good or bad.
Sylvain: I think a lot of people are suffering from being judgmental of themselves. Yeah.
Patrick: Yes right. It's themselves, other situations, and events, we're constantly evaluating and judging. And then this master judge, master saboteur has accomplices. So you justify his judgment with other things, it could be a controller, or it could be a hyper achiever, or it could be a restless, or stickler to be perfect or even a pleaser which can be "Oh yeah. We're pleased to get more loved or whatever". And it's all in the spectrum again right, hyper-vigilant so it can be all good in some situations but if it's too much, it becomes bad basically.
There's the avoider, the victim, and the hyper-rational who will say, “okay well I can give you a real reason why it's like this” and so on. So, you can dive into these concepts by reading the book of course, and it is good to know they are there and to put a name on them because you can identify them better. So, this is part of this muscle that you want to build which is the self-awareness muscle, the mental fitness muscle. I think it's really important to know what's going on in our brain to understand the ramification of everything and then to take your remote control and switch to the happy channel, right?
So that's what I'm always asking. Which happy channel are we going to choose? I love these five sages' power. The sages, they basically lie in the shadows, the sages being the light that shows you the way to move forward. You should empathize towards people but towards yourself too. So, if you judge yourself as you said before, you should judge yourself negatively and so on, be empathizing with yourself. Try to see maybe it's not that bad, or maybe I'm not that bad, and so on. Then, you have the second sage, which is the explorer. I love that one, because it's like, okay, let's explore. Let's open ourselves to what are the possibilities, what are options. Then the innovator is the third one. We say, okay, let's be creative around possibilities. Navigator, which is the fourth one shows us how to navigate toward this new perspective that we have acquired. Then the activator which is, “okay let's do something about it. Let's take action.” So, these are the five natural inner powers we have within. And to be just aware of this can change your life because each time there is an event, each time something happens to you and you look at this from that perspective, from that lens, you can change your inner power drastically. That can be with stress management. It can be with trauma or resolution. It can be with productivity. It can be with a relationship. It can be with leadership. With everything, you can really apply to everything.
Sylvain: Now, I want you to move those definitions to a more practical sense. So, what roles do these concepts play in the workplace in a tangible way? We all have these two wolves, as you say, or these different voices that speak to us. How do they play out in the workplace? How, as part of your work, since you are a consultant… what kind of advice do you give regarding this to improve the conditions of your clients?
Patrick: Yeah, and that's a great question. Well, everything starts with self-awareness as I mentioned before, right? But if you want to give me some specific cases, I can answer that directly. So, if you have anything in mind that you'd like to give me as an example, we can talk about it right away.
Sylvain: Okay. Well, there are some typical examples. We are going to take one which comes up as a general case. You've probably heard the expression that people don't quit their job, they quit their manager, right?
Sylvain: That's an expression because often there is miscommunication or some kind of problem regarding a team leader, or manager, or boss. That's often why a person is going to have discontent and leave a company. In a practical sense, attrition is a real financial ROI and morale problem in companies. So, what if there seems to be an issue with a manager causing stress or miscommunication inside a team? Well, how does PI help to either manage or rectify that particular problem of a manager that is causing stress and perhaps even causing people to quit their job?
Patrick: Right. I think I'm from the perspective of that person who is frustrated for example because it started with frustration and if it continues by maybe not expressing the frustration, or not being able to communicate that frustration in such a way that it's apprehended positively. So, there is a first aspect, which is understanding the power of the saboteurs and the sages. So, when you say the saboteurs are more on the bad side, the dark side, the sages are the light and it's a gift. If you see any event happening to you or frustration, and you see that as a gift, and an opportunity, note it down as a gift, and an opportunity because that changes everything. Instead of having this frustration building up inside you, you say, “okay, well, what is the gift in there? What is the opportunity to connect differently with my manager instead of communicating my frustration. How can I learn to communicate better in order to reach out?” First of all, you know you're going to empathize with your managers. Okay, well he's doing his best. He's probably under pressure. He probably has to respond to some requests, and he doesn't have the time to think about the power of his word. Maybe he’s not even aware of it. Maybe you have a particular sensitivity because of some past experience, or because of some educational component, or whatever it is. Everybody has some story behind their frustration, behind their behavior.
I worked a lot with behavior styles, this, and other behavioral psychometric assessments. We have to understand what people are all about and, try to take on us the responsibility of our feelings. Usually, people blame others. It's so much easier, because it's an escape strategy. Now, I'm hurt. So, if I'm hurt what am I going to do? I'm going to respond to it in a negative way and I'm going to attack, instead of being responsible. So, I'm attacking by saying, “okay, well my manager is an asshole. He doesn't know how to talk to people. He doesn't really understand me. He doesn't.”
Instead, we should ask ourselves, “Why do I feel that way? What's going on inside me? What is the gift for that feeling? What's the opportunity in there? Can I maybe, develop a better sense of myself finding out what's going on in me? Can I maybe try to understand what's going on in his head? Can we find a middle ground to communicate about that?” It is my opportunity maybe, to be the wise person here and communicate with my manager and try to see what is the best option?
So let's explore. So that's the empathize and let's explore option. Let's explore opportunities and options over how to go forward. How to move forward in that. Let's be Innovative and try to say, okay. Well let's be in that situation where I can speak about that or, create an environment where I can show up differently and so on. Then you can go and navigate through the different opportunities and options and activate, and not just keep it inside yourself forever, but activate some action that gets you really moving forward to get results. Does it make more sense now?
Sylvain: Oh yes. Absolutely. I think you make a really good point as a consultant because your task is to identify the opportunities or problems depending on how you see them, right? To intervene and help. The initial statement was we quit managers. We don't quit the job. The usual instinct from my experience is that people will blame the managers. Well, the manager may be having some issue and that’s why the person is quitting.
But like you said, in reality, it’s more complicated than that because the person that's quitting may be quitting because of something internal to the person. Or the dynamics between that individual and the management, the manager. The rest of the team may be fine, right? It's often more complex. So you use psychometric assessments, right? We have a platform that facilitates measuring those behaviors as well. It allows you to illustrate what is perhaps going on there. In each case you can goo through data that shows what's really happening. Does the person have, let's say, high neuroticism as an example? Then you hear reports that the person is kind of confirming that by having kind of a very high rate of fluctuation between emotional states. By definition, that doesn't make the person bad. It just means that that's how the person is.
Patrick: I appreciate that. I want to just stop on that. Because that's an important component of understanding and being more compassionate towards others. It's not about changing other people. It's about being able to accept the way they are and to maybe adapt ourselves to them. Or them to us but we cannot change them. People are the way they are. If they want to change, they will and maybe we can create an environment and make them aware of their behavior, and then the effect that it has on us. Number one is being ourselves responsible about how we feel towards an event like this or a situation, or somebody who is neurotic, or somebody with a different reaction. You know that? Like you said, that person is who she or he is, and it is how we respond to that is the key.
Sylvain: That's right. That is the job of the trainer HR consultant, whoever that is, whose role is to help right? We want to develop these teams. Sometimes it's the communication style. Sometimes, it's personalities or not listening enough. There are lots of different reasons why the dynamic is not working. There's always a way to adapt.
Patrick: There are a wide layer of reasons. Many layers of reasons. Many colors of reasons or justifications why people are a certain way. I think it's important to have that wider understanding of the diversity that we're in. When we speak about diversity and inclusion, this is like the big trend right now which is great. But we have to understand on many levels. Not just colors, religion or gender. It's psychology. People became who they are because of the events that have affected them, traumatized them. We all have traumas on different degrees of impact in our lives. They have impacted us more or less, and we have coped with them more or less. So, we are reacting in many situations with different ways and different colors and it's that diversity of reactions and diversity of feelings that is important to understand.
I wrote a book, I don't know if you're aware of it called, "Be different, be you". Okay? So, it's all about recognizing that we are all different. This is the beauty of our humanity. It is to be different and, to accept the differences - not only accept, but encourage the differences. Why? Why would we encourage the differences? It's not typically a natural element of mankind because we try to belong to people who are looking like or being like us in the same tribe, in the same way, but, if we learn to recognize and appreciate the differences, and learn from these differences, we're going to enter a better world. We're not going to have a war between Russia and Ukraine. And this, and the convoy, and all this stuff we're living in, which is just a power struggle, and we have to be all the same, and we have to all be vaccinated, and we have to all be robotically managed. But if we say no, this is enriching. This difference is enriching. It's an opportunity to learn, to grow, to accept, to be more flexible because this is the key of mankind.
I was in a situation where, if I don't like somebody, well, I'm just not going to connect with that person. I don't like them. I don't connect with them. It's easier. It’s an escape strategy. Now, what I do if I don't like somebody. I want to get to know them better. I want to see how I can develop some kind of friendship and sometimes chemistry. If you don't have chemistry with some people or sometimes their behavior and their style you cannot bear. Well, I'm making voluntary efforts to be close to these people and to not let them get under my nerves and to escape. I'm trying to appreciate the differences. I'm trying to look behind this. I love this book, “Nonviolent communication” or the speaking piece from Marshall Rosenberg. You're heard of them?
Sylvain: I have not.
Patrick: Okay. I highly recommend it. It's a way to communicate or to understand what is behind the voice, or the chatter, or what the person says. What is behind this? Sometimes we say something, but we don't mean it or we're not able to express it the way we really think. It's this non-violence communication or speaking piece, which is from the same author. Speaking pieces is a bit faster version of non-violent communication because that non-violent communication is quite a book. But yeah, really interesting to just try to understand other human beings, and try to connect with them whoever they are. Because coming back to what you said, they are the way they are. So, it's about how we apprehend that difference.
Sylvain: Through the traditional way of thinking, and I do mean traditional as in past tense, is that there are certain archetype that make up an excellent worker in a very broad sense. For the longest time, we wanted to train people that be like machines, manufacturing workers and other jobs. So uniformity and conformism were a value in schools and otherwise.
Sylvain: But according to more recent research - there have been some interviews in the past in this series talking about this - that shows that in many cases, a team that is as diverse as possible, will provide better business outcomes.
So, it’s encouraging from a business perspective, from an ROI strictly for executive perspective, right? We must encourage the notion of a wide diversity of personalities, cultures, of ways of thinking, ways of communicating, and so on. Now the challenge for people that do measurements in the consulting arena and the challenge with the very diverse workforce or teams is that there is going to be a lot of opportunities for clashes too, because of the non-uniformity. So, there's a need for a lot more empathy. In your experience, what do you say to this shift in this mentality of as diverse as possible? Have you seen the results of that or the challenges associated with this?
Patrick: You know this is exactly what I liked in Canada when I came to Canada. It was like that when I arrived in Toronto. I stayed there for 20 years. Right now, I'm in British Columbia on the other side, but when I arrived in Toronto, I was fascinated by the integration of all these races, religions, and acceptance of everybody, working in harmony together. It was very enriching for me because I was in Taiwan for three years where you have less diversity, much less diversity. You arrived in Toronto and you see a wide range of humanity just in one city. One kaleidoscope of humanities, so I loved that. What I like in the Canadian Human Rights Charter the is emphasis on the respect of the diversity of the cultures, and now there is like a tendency in Canada to have diversity represented. Whether it's on the language level, which is at least with some people speaking, French and English, whether it's men and women, whether it's a visible minority, whether it’s different countries represented in that same organization. These organizations, like you mentioned, are definitely more powerful because the people who work there are connected to their environment, to their tribe, so to speak. So, the company is widely represented.
I remember I went to the bank, they said they wanted to hire Chinese and Indian and, Quebecois and like different people representing the different diversity we have in Toronto. So that's smart, because automatically you increase your return on investment. Your right is higher and then it's about how to communicate together. So now, that's of course, a little bit challenging. So, this is where we come in as consultant coaches and say, "How do we help them to move forward towards this?" I feel blessed because I've been around the world, and I've traveled a lot and I lived in different countries, so I had to adapt to the different cultures. In ‘96, I left Switzerland to go to Asia and leave from Europe. I mean, being from Europe you have access to a lot of diversity. Just in Switzerland, it is surrounded by Germany, Austria, Italy, France, and these nations are so different. You don't need to go very far to just, “oh now I’m in Italy. Wow!” What a difference! What a contrast! Italy and Austria are just next to each other and what a difference!
So, it's interesting. Even the German part of Switzerland and France. Wow! You can see when you cross the border that you are in a different country. A different country without speaking with people. It's fascinating. So that has sculpted me to really understand, so when I went in ‘96 from Switzerland to Asia, it was a culture shock because that's completely different. Asia and Europe are almost the opposite.
Sylvain: Day and night.
Patrick: Yeah, day and night. Absolutely, the west and the east. Yin and Yang. So, it was interesting to see how I responded to this environment and I had my ups and down, right? But I learned and I loved it. I discovered it and I loved that culture and it's in my heart now. I stayed. I was supposed to stay six months and I stayed three and a half years. So, six months in Hong Kong and three years in Taiwan, and so, basically, I have had a little bigger scope and understanding, how different people react. Also, I lived in North Africa at some point in my life, and I worked all over Europe so I kind of understand different cultures.
But it's always a learning experience, because you not only we come across different cultures, you come across different people that have different, how do you say marks, right? I mean different ingrains. They come with their education with their trauma, with their perspective. They have a culture, but you cannot judge them. Here's where the judge is coming. You cannot judge "Oh! yeah. He's from Quebec. Oh! yeah. He is from Switzerland. Oh! Yeah, he's from the US", and put them in a box already. No, no, maybe they have an influence from their culture, but they are still individuals, and they are still thinking differently, and they see feelings differently. So why don't you explore? Why don't you try to understand, to empathize, to see what's going on, and take the time, and if we all would take the time, we would live in a better world, for sure.
Sylvain: Well, you know what Patrick, there's nothing to be said after that last comment. We could live in a better world if we understand. So, I think we should leave it to that thought. I would encourage anybody that's watching this, or that's reading this, to please contact Patrick if you want to have support. If you have questions or you want to have this coaching, his information is in and around this video or blog. Engage! This is a person that he has been around a lot that will be able to help your teams in the workplace and also in your personal life because nothing is isolated to a specific area when you work with emotional intelligence and emotions and motivations.
Patrick: To your point Sylvain, people ask me sometimes if you are a business coach or life coach? You know, it's one and the same because when you work with business, maybe you give it a little emphasis at the beginning on business but, everything is interconnected, interrelated. So you go in your life. It's about work-life balance. It's about understanding what's going on because maybe if it doesn't go well in your work maybe it has an impact on your family and vice versa. So, yes. It's all about mental fitness. Mental fitness is the concept of becoming more aware of what's going on and being able to activate the remote control because, ultimately, we are all in control. It's just about understanding yourself, understanding others and making the right choices.
Sylvain: Thank you, Patrick. Thank you for being here with me.
Patrick: Thank you for giving me the opportunity of expressing all that
and asking the right questions. I could go on and on and on.
About Patrick Rhein – www.peakpotentialinternational.com
has been providing high impact training and coaching for organizations
internationally in both the private and public sector for over 25 years. His
areas of expertise are management and leadership training, sales, business
development, emotional & positive intelligence, executive coaching / mentoring,
relationship organizational team coaching, communication, stress & anxiety
management. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence Instructor and qualified
CTI coach as well as an Organization and Relationship System Coach. Patrick’s
previous experience as a career counselor was in recruitment and in managing
and evaluating personality assessment tests.
He is a world traveler and has lived in 8 countries on 4 continents.
This international experience has given him a great understanding of the
dynamics of today's changing global
business environment and the role of an individual within worldwide business
He has excelled as:
Out of the office
Community involvement in different projects related to
the human rights, personal empowerment and diversity. He is an active member of
the International Coaches Federation and the Coaches training Institute. He also is a supporter of several Chambers of
Commerce. Patrick is also the author of the book “Be Different, Be YOU”. Finally
enjoys year round nature and outdoor activities, is a friend of many cultures
and speaks several languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
About CykoMetrix - www.CykoMetrix.com
CykoMetrix is a leading edge combinatorial psychometric and
human data analytics company that brings the employee assessment industry to
the cloud, with instant assessments, in-depth analysis, trait measurements, and
team-based reporting features that simplify informed decision-making around
recruiting, training, and managing today’s modern workplace.