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About Amy Steindler

Amy Steindler's unique qualifications include 30 years of experience observing emotional intelligence at work in high performing corporate environments like investment powerhouse AllianceBernstein, media giant AOL-TimeWarner, international IT product distributor TechData, and banking technology leader Diebold. A Certified EQ-i Practioner and Emotional Intelligence Trainer, and Certified MBI Life Coach, Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary. She writes and speaks on topics related to personal growth, emotional intelligence, and personal and professional relationships.

How to Re-Energize Stalled Career Growth

Despite our fondest wishes, career progress isn’t always a straight, upward trajectory. For most of us, it looks more like the Colorado Plateaus, which the folks at Encyclopedia Brittanica (remember them?) describe as “dominated by high mountains … gashed by river canyons or scarred with dry gullies … great shallow basins, sunken deserts, picturesque buttes and mesas, and rare verdant sections of valley.” I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty accurate description of the vast and ever-changing landscape of my career. Steep learning curves. Deep river canyons where powerful external forces sweep me along at a terrifying pace until a back eddy mercifully ends the ride. Feelings of powerlessness as I contemplate impossibly massive projects. Working alone in vast empty stretches of desert, where not a single idea takes root. Plateaus in energy or growth that seem to go on for ages interspersed with abundant gardens of productivity. Sound familiar? When things aren’t progressing the way we’d like, negative emotions tend to bubble up, further stalling our momentum. Fear, worry, envy, and shame become our companions and our guides. In our worst moments, it’s tempting to let these emotions overpower our higher selves. These emotions commonly manifest in [...]

The Hurry in Your Head

A New York Times Op-Talk blog got me thinking about a common theme among my clients and friends: chronic overwhelm. The article focuses on breathing, reframing and working less as solutions, but in my experience, those can be helpful only after we’ve gone a bit deeper. Throughout my career, I created unmanageable to-do lists that at best simply paralyzed me, and at worst left me feeling lonely and inadequate.  I rushed around chasing my impossibly long list of daily goals and failed, leaving me exhausted, disappointed, and chronically late. Day by day, I created a habitual downward spiral, suffering the physical, mental and emotional side effects of living in a constant state of stress. I did this for decades. And while I blamed it on the demands of my job, I was fully responsible for the entire mess: the hurry was in my head. “Busy” is a story we make up about areas of powerlessness in our lives. Your to-do list isn’t making you miserable; what you’re thinking about your to-do list is. Shifting your thoughts will end the onslaught and bring you the relief you’ve been longing for. How? Step One: Awareness To shift out of a perpetual self-imposed [...]

Practical Emotional Intelligence: Mindful Interviewing

For interviewers and candidates, mindful interviewing can help accurately assess the quality of the fit Long before I began making my living as an emotional intelligence coach, I was a “headhunter.” I taught candidates how to ace an interview, and to prepare to meet the hiring managers (whom I was simultaneously teaching to dig beneath candidate résumés to uncover behaviors that were likely to repeat). Unfortunately, those techniques were more about increasing the likelihood that a candidate would be hired than about mindful and authentic matchmaking. I’ve come to realize that the process of interviewing is much more rewarding when candidates and employers approach the interview without focusing exclusively on the outcome, much like those lucky few who are able to go on a first date without trying to assess whether they’re eating linguine tonight with the person they’ll be eating linguine with for the rest of their lives. Approaching the interview with self-awareness, transparency, openness and authenticity gives both parties a chance to learn about important attributes that they bring to the table, and creates a conversation that can go deeper than the usual formulaic “Why-are-you-leaving-your-current-job/Because-I-am-looking-for-a-better-opportunity” Q+A. What constitutes a “mindful” interview? Typically, mindfulness describes a way of paying [...]

By |12:49 pm|Business Skills, EQ Skills|0 Comments

Emotional Energy Part Two: Sowing What You Want To Reap

Once you’ve raised your awareness of what you feel, when you feel it, and where you feel it, you can take full responsibility for regulating the emotional energy you bring to the events of the day. You’ll have an opportunity to consider how you are contributing to a positive or negative environment, and can make an informed decision about how you want to show up in the world. This last part—developing a sense of how your emotional energy may be perceived by others—is critical to successful interactions with peers, managers and direct reports, not to mention spouses, siblings, parents, children, friends and acquaintances. Try this simple experiment for a live-fire exercise in emotional energy. There are two parts, and you’ll try one part each day over a couple of days. Day One: Go to your local coffee shop. Before you enter, think of the worst, most negative thing that’s happened to you lately, and perseverate over it for a three or four minutes. Notice your body’s response, as you did in the previous exercise. When you’re good and deep into the awfulness of the situation, take it a step further. Blame yourself for the entire thing. Step into the coffee [...]

By |10:02 pm|Emotional Energy|0 Comments

Emotional Energy Part One: Developing Emotional Self Awareness

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of taking full responsibility for the emotional energy you bring into the room. Any room. Every room. Every day. But what does that mean, exactly, and how does one take responsibility for one’s emotional energy? Part of the foundational emotional intelligence skill set is emotional self-awareness, which I define in three parts: knowing what you’re feeling at the moment you feel it, understanding what triggered it, and having a sense of how your emotional state affects everyone around you. Knowing what you’re feeling in the moment isn’t always easy. We’ve all grown up with mechanisms for coping with intense feelings (which ironically don’t involve expressing them appropriately). The first step in emotional self-awareness requires an acknowledgement that emotions are felt. You can’t “think” an emotion, and emotion doesn’t reside in the brain (although the triggers for the chemical mechanisms that allow us to feel them certainly do). Where do you feel things? In your body, of course. Where the nerve endings are. The places where your knotted stomach and clenched fists, tight throat and bulging neck veins reside. For those of us who tend to live “from the neck up,” here’s my [...]

By |10:01 pm|Emotional Energy|0 Comments

Foundational EQ Skills

In a previous post about authentic networking, I mentioned that there is a process by which we can become more grounded and clear about what we really want to do in the world. This is the key to giving others the opportunity to tell you whether or not they can help you. Your level of clarity will also make it easy for them to give you specific help in the areas you need it most. Underlying the process of developing clarity and authenticity are the emotional intelligence skills that form the basis for well-being, work performance, high emotional and social functioning, and ultimately success in your own life, on your own terms. These emotional intelligence skills are part of the skill set called “self-perception,” which includes: Self-regard: a conscious understanding of your strengths and weaknesses; confidence in your unique gifts and your ability to overcome obstacles and to succeed in your life Self-actualization: a conscious and consistent pursuit of goals that bring meaning and purpose into your life Emotional self-awareness: the conscious awareness of how you feel, at the moment you feel it; an understanding of what triggered it; and a sense of how your emotional energy is affecting those [...]

By |10:00 pm|EQ Skills|0 Comments

Authentic Networking

I have attended many networking events over the years, but one stands out in my mind: a skin-crawling presentation--ironically on effective networking--during which the presenter quoted statistics on how many contacts it takes to be remembered by someone you’ve just met (5).  For two of the contact points, he suggested (1) taking a selfie with new acquaintances and then (2) texting it to the new contact the following day with a thank-you note.  To my horror, he asked me to help him demonstrate his technique for the audience. When he requested the selfie, it felt contrived and, frankly, icky—a violation of my privacy to satisfy his own agenda. I deleted the photo he sent me the next day (imagine the look of dismay on my face he had captured on-screen), and threw his card in the shredder. Unfortunately, the damage was done. He had already put me on his email marketing list without asking my permission. Unwanted messages began to fill my inbox within hours of meeting him. He did satisfy his agenda, however. I’ll never forget him, or the way he made me feel. Authentic networking is a mutually satisfying experience that happens when: -your career choice is in [...]

By |8:30 pm|Business Skills|0 Comments