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Event Recap - Raising EQ: Getting smart about our Emotional Intelligence”,

Speakers:  Catherine Houdeck & Mary Welty Dapkus
MLK Library
Date:  Saturday, August 25, 2018
Time:  9:30 AM 12:00 PM
Sponsor: WIA
Blog by: Neela Shukla

Event Overview

“Raising EQ: Getting smart about our Emotional Intelligence”, an interactive workshop held by two talented women. Catherine Houdek, a professional business coach originally from New Zealand who works with bay area executives and their teams to co-create smart strategies for growth. Mary Welty Dapkus, a professional intuitive and certified life coach, works with clients to develop, integrate and activate a dynamic relationship with their authentic selves.  Both their specialized experience reflected in the workshop. The topic Emotional Intelligence was explored and discussed in relation with personal and professional life. We understood theoretical and practical aspects of Emotional Intelligence through various exercises.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a term created by two researchers – Peter Salavoy and John Mayer – and popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1992 book of the same name. The Definition in the Dictionary says “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” It is complex, so Houdek and Dapkus took us through various exercises and discussions on the practicality of EQ.

To help understand EQ, the presenters gave an easy formula known as “KCG”: K - Know Yourself, C - Choose Yourself, G - Give Yourself. Know Yourself gives us answers to our what emotions, Choose Yourself provides the answers to how and Give Yourself delivers on why. This important tool guides us through a process that improves our decision-making ability and response-ability.

Another tool for improving EQ, pausing six seconds to reflect, was also discussed and explained. During this mini-workshop, Houdek and Dapkus referenced toolkits from “Six Seconds” and offered a simplified, easy-to-understand version for maximum impact.

Six Seconds is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people to create positive change. Their mission statement follows: “We think the world would be a better place if a billion people were practicing the skills of emotional intelligence (EQ). So, we research and share scientific, global, transformational tools & methods to support that goal”. Emotional intelligence is a learnable, measurable, scientifically validated skill set that fuels better effectiveness, relationships, well-being and quality of life. 

Emotional Literacy

All participants were prompted to talk about their feelings and that led to discuss on the issue of Emotional Literacy. Houdeck responded to one participant’s emotional response that ”being emotional is different than having emotional intelligence”. We were asked to pick up the flash card depicting how we felt in the morning that day and to express that emotion verbally. This exercise made it very clear that expressing our emotions is complex. Our thoughts, emotions and words do not necessarily match, and subtle differences are sometimes ignored or omitted. The same is true when we try to understand others’ emotions. Just being aware of this helps reduce misunderstandings and leads to a more productive and safe environment.

Effectiveness and Relationship

In the middle of the workshop, we were given a questionnaire that dealt with our effectiveness in a relationship.  We took time to write out our answers which gave us opportunity to reflect. Effectiveness is a tricky term, at work place its dependency to your team mates or consultants makes it the needing of the skill EQ and not IQ. Relationships was discussed and practical tips were given through-out the session..


Spend 6 seconds

Six seconds  , a non profit organization, has developed evidence based tools and it is based on the research on emotional reactions, “it takes about six seconds for the molecules of emotions to get absorbed into your body after you have had a reaction.

KCG Model- Know, Choose and Give emotions to yourself and others.

Success is defined not by the position or title in the company or the amount of money one makes in a company, but how effective you are, and how are the relationship you have with your consultants and people, how well you feel and the quality of life you are creating for yourself.


All participants, both women and men of architecture, benefited from the Emotional Intelligence practical tips and insights offered during this interactive, energized workshop, all of which could be applied in professional and private life. By agreeing to respect the privacy of all participants in the beginning of the workshop, this was a safe environment where each participant felt free to discuss his or her personal story with one another, giving us a unique, personal perspective into their lives.

Success is a combination of effectiveness in relationships and contentedness in life, and emotional intelligence is one skill that will definitely help you climb the ladder of success.

World Economic Forum has listed “Emotional Intelligence” as 6th amongst top 10 skills required for employment and workforce in 2020.

Further Reading


Book- Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

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