Emotional Intelligence: Tools for Top Performance

Dr. Relly Nadler: Today Cathy and I want to take this opportunity to share some of the tools, tips, and strategies that may help you in the beginning of the new year.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg:  I’m very excited to welcome everybody to the new year along with you,Relly. We are going to talk about your exciting new news at eiCentral. I would love to hear more about what you have been doing and what you are preparing for the new year and how all of us can get better emotional intelligence. We all sure need it. Hopefully, we’ll talk a little bit about some other tools and tips and ways of appreciating how we can also apply all of the science behind your work to do what we are doing in Fearless Leaders. I think it is going to be a pretty exciting show.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Typically, Cathy, we really like talking with other folks and bringing in cutting-edge information to our audience. Then, also, you and I are doing some exciting things. Leadership Development News is now in our 8th season here, just getting going. If you go to iTunes and register, you can get one each week as they come in. There are probably over 300 shows now that we have. We have over 90,000 downloads a month of our various shows.

Today we want to present some tools for you. Cathy has some tools around being a Fearless Leader. You can visit her at www.drcathygreenberg.com. There are some free downloads there to assess your true talents for lifelong satisfaction.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: We are going to talk a little bit about why we do what we do, for those of you who are just joining us. For those of you that have been with us, our perspective often evolves with the marketplace and our evolving work. We have been working with many different industries, sports athletes, military professionals, Special Operators, and niche businesses; entrepreneurs. We are very fortunate and as we touch these communities, organizations, and arms of the services, Relly, they teach us. What we try to do in all of our shows, and we will do throughout the 2015 year, is bring that science and that leading edge topic on emotional and social intelligence to you.

Relly, talk a little bit about why we do what we do and why it’s so important.

Dr. Relly Nadler:  So one of the things that we like talk about is why is leadership development so important at this time. It’s a great opportunity if you are listening to this and you are a leader or a manager. We really need more leaders. With the baby boomers retiring; about 10,000 I think every day are retiring. If you are a baby boomer, if you’re a Gen X, or Gen Y, or even the newest generation coming in, we need a lot more leaders because a lot of the brains and the knowledge is leaving and there are less Gen X who are coming into the workforce. There are about 78 million baby boomers, about 46-48 million Gen X, and Gen is about 75-76 million and its going to swell again.

What we are losing are not only brains but brains who are able to integrate and utilize emotional intelligence. The baby boomers, because of not being brought up so much on technology, had more face-to-face time. When we talk about EQ, Cathy, we know that the boomers supposedly have more EQ. I think it’s just a product of technology. With all of this technology that we have; more people are looking at a screen and their phone than at a face. If you just look moment to moment; am I looking at my screen, am I looking at my phone, or am I in front of someone where I have to change my message.

We need more leaders and we need more leaders with emotional intelligence. About 40% of organizations today say that they don’t have enough new leaders coming in. This is a prime time if you are a leader and if you want to get some tips for how you can raise your emotional intelligence.

The reason is, when you look at how smart someone is; IQ, and you look at their technical expertise, those are called threshold capabilities. You need those to get your job but the further you move up, its all these aspects of emotional intelligence that both Cathy and I promote, teach and coach about, that you need also.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well you know, one of the things that strikes me as we have evolved this show is that the rate of uptake of behaviors inside of organizations is actually not as fast as our uptake toward things like technology. I’m sure that you have seen many people, children in fact, absorb and learn how to use technology very rapidly. It’s what I would consider a bonus at this point if we can get people to target one or two emotional intelligence competencies that would help them embrace a better and more satisfying life in addition to technology. But you know what the underlying factor there is Relly, is that most people want immediate gratification. So when you download an app that’s what you get. Learning a behavior takes a little bit of work.

Relly, I wanted to talk to you about the holidays. My brother said it so well as we were getting ready for Thanksgiving, he said, “I just want to get through this season.” It’s like..he said it with some joy and laughter, but it can be very difficult and it can be wrenching. I went to a holiday party and it was an ugly sweater party. It was a group of wonderful people but there was a woman who was introduced to me shortly after she came through the door and barely had her coat off. She started to cry. The host introduced me to her and said, this is Dr. Greenberg, maybe you should talk to her for a few minutes. I spent a few minutes with this woman who is lovely, and she had just lost her father and she was developing a little bit of anxiety about being out in the public and this was the first social function she’d been to since his passing.

I tried to console her and express to her my concern for her understanding of what was going on so that she could, if you will, reintroduce herself to her new life without her father. You’ve been blogging now for a long time now on the Psychology Today site, which is one of the most respected journals in our industry. You talked about holiday hysteria and hijack and I think that this woman really is a great example of that. I think in the blog you talked about the truth about emotionally intelligent holidays. How do you get through a holiday and can you talk a little bit about what you did in that blog?

Dr. Relly Nadler: Sure. I’ll highlight this Cathy, about the holidays and part of that is, I think, that it applies to other times too. I think everything is just enhanced and magnified during the holidays. We come up with what I would call some dire results. I will go through this D.I.R.E., and say what goes wrong during the holidays, like you were talking about this woman that it may have been the first holiday without her parent there. It brings up a lot of emotions. What happens is that it is usually around expectations. It’s not usually exactly like we want it to be.

In my world we have two kids, one in college and one in high school, and it’s just not like it was when they were younger. So, all of these expectations that the holidays are going to be this great family time and we are planning these things together, let’s say a meal together, and they say, “do I have to really be there? You know I kind of would like to go out with my friends.” So you get these little micro-hurts over and over, or you could call them insults. Or you spend all of this time trying to buy the perfect present for your significant other and of course it’s never really perfect unless they tell you what to get. That’s what I do with my wife; she just tells me now what to get. All the energy, and we are going to talk about the energy that we put into just doing the right thing, and maybe 50% of the time I did something that she really liked. I spent hours trying to shop and she go, “huh, oh, that’s nice. Did you get the receipts for it?”

So again, the little micro-hurts about okay, I spent all that time. The other thing is that I think our emotions are more intense during this time and we are also more reactive. So we can get hijacked. That is the holiday hysteria and hijack. We can be someone we don’t even like. So part of that Cathy, I can kind of give a couple of examples and this is the acronym of DIRE. This is for executives and leaders also. I love this term. We have decision fatigue. You shop for the perfect present, you spend all of this time, and all these minor decisions, whether it’s the holidays or your day-to-day when you are back at work, these minor decisions use up your cognitive control. It uses up your cognitive fuel. We don’t realize this but the more that you are making these big decisions or minor decisions, you have less cognitive fuel for the next decision. It’s called decision fatigue.

Decisions key helps explain, and this is from a psychologist by the name of Roy Baumeister, why people get angry at colleagues and family, splurge on clothes, and buy junk food in supermarkets. So this decision fatigue; think about whether it’s the holidays or think about decisions that you have to make at the end of the day—why do they have all the junk food and everything at the checkout counter in a grocery store? Because you’ve got to decide over the five different types of Crest toothpaste; which one should I get? Should I get it with fluoride, should I get the big one, should I get the little one. By the time you’ve expended your mental energy, you are at the checkout counter and you are saying to yourself, “maybe I’ll get this magazine, maybe I’ll get this candy bar.” It’s because we are depleted.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: It’s not a maybe for me, I just pile stuff into my cart.

Dr. Relly Nadler: I think you are like all of us. So that is the decision fatigue, and then you have inflated expectations and that explains itself.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: So that is the “I,” right?

Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s the “I.”
Then the one that the person at the party you went to had is that we are reactive and we are regressed. What does that mean? When we have these emotional reactions it’s usually in the Amygdala; blood and oxygen leave our prefrontal cortex and goes back to where the crises is in the Amygdala. But I also think about, and this would be interesting if you would comment on this, that we regress. I think when we are back with our family all of the sudden we become that younger person. It’s like all these buttons happen that we are not the responsible adult that we are in our world and we get back into those family roles with our siblings. In a sense, the “R” is not only are we reactive but part is that we regress. We may become this 8, 10 or 12 year-old. So we are more reactive, we are move impatient, we are more immature because all of the triggers and all the buttons say “on” now when you are with your family.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Now, let me make sure that the audience is getting this. The word is DIRE. So we got “decision fatigue” where we have reduced cognitive capacity because we are making too many decisions. We’ve got “inflated expectations” because the holidays obviously create a lot of anxiety and the things that we want to see happen don’t necessarily happen in the order in which we have embraced in our heart of what we spiritually would like to happen. And now we are up to “R,” “reactive and regress.” Am I tracking here?

Dr. Relly Nadler: Then we have just one more. The reason we are reactive and regressive goes back to some of the inflated experiences. It’s the same thing in the corporate world. When your internal expectations—here’s what I’m expecting to happen—and external reality are different it’s an error message in the brain. I always like to say it’s like hearing a truck backing up with the beep…beep…beep sound. You go, “what’s going on, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be.” So that error message allows you to be more reactive and then you regress. So that’s the “R.”

Then the “E” is “emotional hurt and reinjuring.” We often reinjure ourselves. It’s the emotional hurts and that is where probably the example you gave of the woman coming in at the holidays. That hurt was oozing out and it goes back to some of the being reactive. It goes back to the inflated expectations. Some of that same reinjuring happens. So it’s the same kind of hurt but we talk about it or we revisit. In a sense, we are just oozing pain.

Want to know about the tips, tools and strategies to raise your emotional intelligence? Listen to the complete recording of our interview above, without commercials.

Happy New Year!



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