When Erdem Ercan talks about his history as a coach, he omits the fact that he has several certifications from different EQ approaches all over the world. He loves team & 1-1 coaching by EQ competencies and the Six Seconds model. Perhaps it is modesty, or his intense focus on is work that causes him to spend the majority of our conversation talking about his work with clients and how his years in business and as a dance instructor have all prepared him to make a big difference in the lives of his fellow Turkish citizens. Erdem is founder of Six Seconds Preferred Partner, Hayatin Ritmi in Istanbul, Turkey.
Erdem:I am now living in Istanbul, the biggest city in Turkey. It really is my pleasure to be the Preferred Partner for Six Seconds in Turkey. I have graduated from Middle East Technical University in Management. I have worked for the past 17 years as a professional in mid and upper management positions and as an entrepreneur. I am now the founder of Hayatin Ritmi, which means in Turkish, the rhythm of life. I think it covers me because on one side, I have been dancing Tango for 18 years, and Greek (Sirtaki) dances for twelve years and given lessons on both. This is one side of me. The other side is the founder, the leader of this organization and a professional coach.
My EQ journey started 8 years ago when I was working as a coordinator of sales in a jewelry company. I wondered why people paid that much money for a little stone, and it was happening at a table in one/two hours. I wanted to know the emotional and rational side of this. It took me to EQ. I started to read, and take courses about it. Then learned about Six Seconds. At the time, I took many courses from different approaches in different countries. Then I went to the Six Seconds web page and I wanted to be in the course. I was in London last year in April, and took the EQPC course. And since then, I really thanked myself for this choice.
Six Seconds: What was it about the course that was so different?
Erdem: One thing, it is really practical and down to earth, it is easy to take it in your life. You can see your progress. You can see the tools and advance at every step. You can measure where you are from your first point. It is scientific and global, and also includes a great family. I feel this touch; the kindness and really supportive manner of people inside the Six Seconds organization. The other thing is the vision, and how the people inside Six Seconds handle the vision which is “ 1 billion people practicing EQ in the world ” I match my inner vision with the global vision and it is a big advantage.
Six Seconds: How does EQ connect with being a good dancer and teacher? Is it a metaphor for EQ?
Erdem: Yes, in dancing generally, but for me very especially in Tango. You are listening to music, you are touching someone, and it is a trigger for emotions. On the other end, you need to be rational, because you have to take care of your partner, and your space because there are other people around you.
As in our philosophy, EQ is for you and for others to blend the rational and emotional data to create the optimal results. While you are dancing you have to feel emotion, but you have to lead, you have to manage this identity, you are both as an identity, so you have to care of the rational data otherwise you hit the others, or you can’t catch the music.
It is a metaphor for our trainings. I use it in my work as a powerful one.
Six Seconds: Can you translate that into examples of work with your clients?
Erdem: As a coach, I bring happiness and effectiveness. I should use it on myself first. One month ago, I had a conversation with my assistant. On the phone, I got the feeling that she was down. At first, we gave up what we were going to talk about and shifted to mention the feeling, and we agreed to shift our feeling to hope and another emotion which will give us better results. First we matched. O.k. we are here, then we created different solutions and went further. We generally use inside out in our team: o.k. let’s find out the emotion, mention it, then shift it, and go to the other steps. This is a brilliant method that I learned from Six Seconds.
I have a leader from a transportation company that is my client. After getting the assessment he figured out two points he wanted to strengthen, one is “recognize patterns” and the other “pursue noble goal”. After giving him coaching, he told me, “I can now recognize my patterns and this has given me a lot. Now I understand why the result is always the same.” He also found out that he missed his noble goal.
Later he told me, “I got it”. After the coaching sessions he told me , “Now every morning I have been waking to sunshine in a different manner than before. Because now, what I’m doing is better looking because I give my shining to what I am doing. I engage with my general purpose in life so that everything has more energy and is aligned with my goal. “ For a coach this is the best thing you can hear.
Six Seconds: Tell us about the climate that’s contributing to the need for EQ in Turkey.
Erdem: Did you see my face when you started the question? I am sad. I am sometimes broken. I am very concerned. Because we are losing human beings everyday, because of the bombs, because of a war in our southeast part. Our politicians scream to each other, like, ‘I am the best, the other is nothing.’ Nowadays, empathy and collaboration are trending downward.
The State of the Heart report showed this. I really think that EQ nowadays is at a very critical, important point. Everyone has an idea, but when expressing our ideas, how can we manage our emotions while getting into the others’ emotions in our conversations? We really need all competencies in our model nowadays in our country.
I really think that I can spread this philosophy to as many people as I can and get them aware of it. You can lead, you can become aware of yourself, you change, and others change. We are going to change. We need this tolerance, we need this empathy, to be respectful of others’ emotions and thoughts.
Six Seconds: As we are speaking I thinking about the tone of our leaders, and how it can effect our national EQ.
Erdem: The political environment in America can affect the entire world. So we’re also watching what you are doing there. We are also afraid of the tone of the voice and content of the voice, so it’s also affecting us here. I recently heard a speech by Obama, and I really appreciated his tone.
RG: What excites you about the work that’s ahead and what are some of the projects you are planning at Hayatin Ritmi?
Erdem: What I realized in my life when I started teaching Tango courses. After ten years I started to give some courses. What stopped me for not giving courses is that I thought this is my passion and I don’t want to lessen down my passion by making money at it. A friend of mine really pushed me to share what I know. He said, “ You know a lot, so give me some knowledge.” I was at first like a shy person. But then I realized I love to share my knowledge and bring happiness and change to a person’s life. This makes me a trainer, and trainer of trainers.
The main drive of coaching is to create positive change in the other’s life. So I love this. Now I am giving trainings, coaching and all this business is really defining me. Because every morning when I wake up to having a coaching or training, I know it is time to create positive change. If I get a smile on the face of others, this is the inner motivation inside my heart.
Six Seconds: Anything you’d like to add we missed?
Erdem: It’s a great pleasure for me being a part of Six Seconds family, and working with this deep, meaningful, and practicable tool to give our energy to change the other’s life. I have a lot of things to do in Turkey to get my vision to improve the quality of life. Because my heart wants to spread this knowledge and tools to everybody that I can touch.
Erdem Ercan was interviewed by Six Seconds’ Communications Manager, Rachel Goodman.