Subscribe to Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes
Subscribe on Stitcher
Subscribe on Google Play
Subscribe on Spotify

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #170 with Robin Hills,[i] the director of Ei4Change, a company specializing in educational training, coaching and personal development, focused around emotional intelligence, positive psychology and neuroscience.

Watch this interview on YouTube here

Learn more about Robin Hills here

See past Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episodes here

On Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

✔︎  What is Emotional Intelligence and Why is it Critical for Future Workplace Success?

✔︎  How can we Learn, Measure, Practice and Assess Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

✔︎ What is Resilience and how can we strengthen this skill in ourselves and others?

✔︎ During Difficult Times, What Should We Keep in Mind That Guarantees Happiness and Future Success?

I’m Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies that we can use to improve our own productivity in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments. My vision is to bring the experts to you, share their books, resources, and ideas to help you to implement their proven strategies, whether you are a teacher working in the classroom or online, a student, or in the corporate environment

This week’s guest, Robin Hills, who I found out is well connected with some of our past guests, Dan Hill from EPISODE #163[ii], who taught us how to “Read the Emotions in Others” and the author of The Leading Brain, Friederike Fabritius from EPISODE #27[iii] joining us all the way England this week. Robin has taught over 250,000 people in 185 countries how to build resilience, increase their self-awareness and understanding of others.

After my interview with Dr. Perry this week, I have been thinking about the upside-down triangle, or Dr. Perry’s “Sequence of Engagement” where he mentioned that ALL information comes in through the brainstem, and we have been programmed to REACT to what we take in from our 5 senses, instead of take a few minutes to PAUSE, and RESPOND. I’m hoping that our conversation with Robin will give us some practical ideas that we can all take away, to make ourselves better teachers, leaders, and parents, looking at emotional intelligence through his lens, and make us better supervisor/leaders in our workplaces, parents, teachers, and coaches.

If you want to learn more about Robin’s programs, you can see books, courses, and audio programs through his website[iv] that cover the most comprehensive and detailed education of any emotional intelligence organization and are today used in educational establishments in different parts of the world.

Let’s meet Robin Hills and see if we can Sharpen Our Saw with our EI skills.

Welcome Robin!

Q1: Robin, thank you for joining me today, all the way from the UK, where I was born (Worthing, Sussex). Welcome!

Intro Story: Robin, I was watching another podcast you did[v] recently to learn more about you as I was thinking up some questions on your work and saw some of the English Countryside behind you. I haven’t been back to England since 8th grade when I went on this school exchange program. Seeing the trees behind you, and thinking of my questions, I remember this experience I had that is relevant to what we are going to talk about today. Can I share this story with you, with the idea that you give me some EI insight into what you see?

So, I was back in 8th grade and there was a school exchange program where I would go to England for 3 weeks, and someone would come stay with me for 3 weeks. Since I came into the program late, I was partnered up with a boy for this exchange, and we were very different personality wise. I arrived from the big city of Toronto to this small town in Bristol, called Hallatrow, and it was a cottage-type house that they had made up beautifully for me coming. I was comfortable in this home with a neat loft to sleep in, but I just didn’t connect with my exchange partner, James, socially, at all. I remember looking at him and feeling this awkward silence, not knowing what to say, so said nothing at all. I’m sure we can all think of times when we were younger, and lacked these important social skills, but this memory stuck out to me, because now I look for people who are different from me, to learn from.

I just didn’t have the social skills back then to try to make things work or find a common ground (I’m sure there was one) so I spent my evenings doing what I enjoyed and would go running in the forest till the sun went down, mostly so I could avoid having to get to know my exchange partner.

INTRO QUESTION: I know that a lot of these Emotional Intelligence Skills we develop with life experience. And if I was to see James today, I would work hard to find some sort of common ground that we could have a conversation and how we could have learned something from each other to make us better, stronger people in the future, which is behind why I began doing this work with young people in the first place.

Can you share what drew you to choosing this field for your work, and if you could go back to when I was a guest at James’ house, what would you have done to help us to connect better?

Q1: Since these skills are so important for success in life and the workplace, after we leave school, but we know that learning is ongoing, and these skills must be practiced. Can you share how you would first pinpoint areas of improvement for someone (what assessment you use/what you look for) and then how do you create an action plan for that person to practice these skills?

1B) Have you ever wondered why some people appear to remain calm in the face of disaster or some sort of difficult situation, while others fail to cope? I took this from your book on resilience in the workplace where you say–

People that are able to handle themselves well and remain calm in a crisis have, what psychologists call, resilience – an ability to cope with problems and setbacks. I know there is a lot behind this question, since we all have different life experiences that shape us, but what makes someone more resilient to setbacks than another person and how could we strengthen resilience in ourselves?

Q2: What are some strategies for managing stress in the workplace, especially these days when there is already so much turmoil that came along with the Pandemic and I was talking with some friends this morning on the hiking trails, before our day began. There seems to be an unsettling feeling in the air, still so much uncertainty in the world. What have you seen working well?

Q3: What about leading others, especially when they might be emerging from a setback to a comeback?

Q4: Since we know that emotional intelligence are skills that need to be practiced, what are some ways to advance these skills to have more impact on your future results?

Thank you, Robin, for speaking with me today. I know that if we revisit Dr. Perry’s Sequence of Engagement, and look at the ways that REGULATE ourselves before we can “get to the CORTEX” or our decision-making, thinking brain, we now have many new ideas and strategies that can make us more creative and effective in the workplace.

If we think back to my story with James, I think it’s clear that I have always used exercise as a way to regulate, and calm down my brain when under stress. If only I had learned the importance of learning how to form diverse friendships when I was younger, with my story with James, there was more to that story, with tons of adventure that I uncovered running in the forests in this small town in Bristol that would have been fun to have shared with someone else. While deep in these woods, I came across a clearing, and within these trees, I discovered a movie set, with cameras, lights, and people running around yelling directions to each other. I had run into the filming of Robin Hood, and they had used the forest I had discovered to recreate Sherwood Forest, and I ran into this guy, obviously dressed as Robin, played by Jason Connery, Sean Connery’s son, after watching some of the filming, was given a signed copy of his photo to remember him by. It was something I’ve never forgotten, but looking back with an EI lens, the sad point of my story is that I missed the chance to connect with James if we had discovered this movie set together. It would have been much more fun to have discovered a movie set in the woods with someone else, but everything looks different in hindsight.

Q6: To close out James, what’s next in this field of emotional intelligence? What do you know, immersed in this field, what we might not know?

Thank you for your time today. For people who want to learn more about your books, courses and speaking topics, is the best place your website?


The Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment




[ii]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #163 with Dan Hill on “How to Read the Emotions in Others”

[iii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #27 with Friederike Fabritius on “The Recipe for Peak Performance”


[v]Emotional Intelligence with Robin Hill Published on YouTube  Sept. 7, 2021