Six Seconds CEO Josh Freedman is interviewed on WBZ News Radio 1030 on the Jordan Rich show, talking about how to use EQ to navigate emotions in and out of school.

Listen here to the whole interview with Josh Freedman and Jordan Rich

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Some highlights of the interview:

Jordan Rich: What is a good working definition of Emotional Intelligence?

Josh Freedman: “It’s a simple idea: We all have feelings, let’s be smarter with them. Emotional intelligence is about being more aware of emotions as a source of insight to help us know what’s going around inside ourselves and around ourselves. When students and teachers practice these skills all kinds of good things happen, including better discipline and academic learning.”

High angle view of a teenage girl lying upside down on a chair

Jordan Rich: Is this a way to cut down on stress?

Josh Freedman: “We’re seeing the effect of stress going up 30%. When people are more stressed they are less able to solve complex problems. Our kids are in an environment that is extremely complex, it’s imperative to give kids the skills to cope with that. “

Jordan Rich: Is EQ something that can be taught?

Josh Freedman: “By being less reactive and more purposeful, people are able to handle emotions much more effectively. I interviewed students who had gone through an EQ class in school, they all said they learned to listen better to other students and their teacher. They were more collaborative. There was plenty of drama in this middle school, but we were very much on the same side. “

Jordan Rich: How do you measure “EQ”, these days? Interviews? A written test?

Josh Freedman: “We actually publish an assessment tool. We’re really measuring skills you use for emotional intelligence. In EQ we’re evaluating tools for how people solve emotional puzzles.”

Jordan Rich: Are adults a more difficult population to reach with EQ?

Josh Freedman: “We did a large project with the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy, and they found it was really valuable. Kids are in learning mode because they are more open, but once people get a sense that this makes their lives better, it’s not so hard to teach them to enhance their EQ skills.”

Jordan Rich: Some of us had psychology courses in school and they were fun. Are EQ classes the same way?

Josh Freedman: “This is real adaptable psychology that you can use in the classroom. Some schools have a SEL program that is a little too abstract, but when we can foster trust and deal in real emotions, kids love it. There is something special about learning more about each other, they really look forward to it.”

Jordan Rich: What about the rise in violence and suicide? How does EQ work to save lives?

Josh Freedman: “For example, there have been a lot of efforts to reduce bullying, zero tolerance,etc. research shows they don’t do anything. When you introduce a hands on social emotional learning program to schools, kids feel better about themselves, they do better in life and there is a reduction in the kinds of behaviors that can lead to bullying and violence.”

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