Emotional Intelligence: How to Be ‘Good With People’

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Emotional Intelligence: How to Be ‘Good with People’

In a world that often prioritizes intellectual prowess and technical skills, emotional intelligence is often underestimated. It’s the key to having meaningful relationships, feeling happy within yourself, and building a successful career. 

Let’s explore what emotional intelligence is, why it has such a profound impact on our lives, and the practical ways to enhance your emotional intelligence that I share with my therapy and coaching clients when they see me for emotional intelligence coaching

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

So, what is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence refers to the capacity to recognize, understand, manage, and use your feelings effectively, to understand and manage yourself, and to connect with others. It requires several key skills, including: 

  • Emotional awareness — Knowing what you’re feeling. 
  • Managing emotions — Regulating your feelings to achieve your goals. 
  • Understanding and navigating the emotions of others empathetically. 

These skills allow you to communicate more effectively, navigate complex social situations, and make personal decisions that lead to positive things in your life.

Emotional Intelligence: The Heart of Relationships

At the core of healthy and loving intimate relationships lies emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence helps you build strong emotional connections, helping you express your feelings openly and honestly and understand how your partner feels. 

This responsiveness builds a strong connection and deep emotional intimacy. Couples with high emotional intelligence tend to resolve conflicts more effectively, as they can manage their emotions, listen empathetically, and respond in constructive ways that improve their relationship. The result is a relationship built on mutual respect, understanding, and a deep, enduring connection.

How Emotional Intelligence Makes You Happier

Emotional intelligence is also closely linked to greater contentment and happiness. By mastering the art of emotional regulation, you can navigate life’s ups and downs more smoothly, maintaining a positive outlook even in the face of obstacles

Emotional intelligence empowers you to savor the positive moments and find joy in everyday interactions. The self-awareness component of emotional intelligence allows for a stronger sense of self, helping you align your actions with your values and create a more fulfilling and authentic life.

Success in the Workplace

In the workplace, emotional intelligence is the skill that sets good performers apart from great performers, especially when it comes to leadership

Having higher emotional intelligence helps you work as part of a team, promoting respect and understanding with your coworkers. It helps you view potential setbacks as opportunities for growth, rather than becoming discouraged and unmotivated. Emotional intelligence makes you more adaptable and resilient, which are traits you need to manage rapidly changing workplace dynamics. 

Leaders with high emotional intelligence inspire, motivate, and drive their teams to achieve collective goals. They are adept at conflict resolution, active listening, building strong working relationships with colleagues, and communication — all skills that help them lead their teams to success. 

Enhancing Your Emotional Intelligence

So, how can you reap the benefits of improved emotional intelligence? Here are several strategies that will help you raise your emotional intelligence

  • Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques help you develop emotional awareness, allowing you to tune into your “emotional guidance system,” recognize and understand your feelings and your reactions.
  • Reflect on Emotions: Regular reflection on your feelings can improve your understanding of how they influence your thoughts and actions.
  • Develop Empathy: Actively trying to see things from others’ perspectives can enhance your ability to connect with their feelings and improve your relationships.
  • Manage Stress: Learning and implementing effective stress management techniques can help you regulate emotions and prevent negative spirals.

While self-help strategies can improve emotional intelligence, partnering with a therapist who practices the unique specialty of emotional intelligence coaching is a game-changer. We offer a structured approach to understanding and developing emotional intelligence, tailored to your specific needs.

A therapist who practices emotional intelligence coaching can provide a safe space to explore your patterns, your past experiences, and your current challenges. This work can help you heal emotional wounds, develop a healthier relationship with your feelings, form stronger relationships with others, and experience greater emotional wellbeing. 

Career counselors who specialize in emotional intelligence coaching can be invaluable if your goal is to improve leadership skills, navigate workplace challenges, or get ahead in your career. And professional growth is personal growth, which means the benefits will spill over into your personal life as well. 

If you’d like to get started with an expert emotional intelligence coach on my team, I invite you to schedule a free consultation

With love, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby 

P.S. — You can find more advice on building your emotional intelligence in my “Emotional Intelligence” collection of articles and podcasts. It’s all there for you!

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast

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Music in this episode is by Age of Love with their song “The Age of Love.” Under the circumstance of use of music, each portion of used music within this current episode fits under Section 107 of the Copyright Act, i.e., Fair Use. Please refer to copyright.gov if further questions are prompted.


  Emotional intelligence is really the key to growth, love, happiness, and success, but we’re not often presented with that as being the path forward to create the things that are most important to us. And it’s really a shame because there’s a ton of research showing a direct correlation to better relationships, more satisfying careers, but also feeling better on the inside, having better motivation, being more emotionally resilient and adaptable when people learn about emotional intelligence skills and how to apply them to their day to day lives.

And so on today’s episode of the podcast, I want to give you an overview of what’s really going on when it comes to emotional intelligence and how to use some of these really fairly simple skills and strategies to begin making an impact, a positive impact on every area of your life. So I’m glad you’re joining me for today’s conversation because it’s a really important one.

Come on, dance with me. Come your body, your dance with me. Come your body, your dance with me. Come your body, your legs. Dance with me. Move your body, your legs of me. Our mood music today is the Age of Love. It’s an early techno standard and for reasons you’ll understand in just a moment, uh, it made me reminisce about one of the time periods we’ll be talking about today in my own life.

Um, but you know, just what a beautifully symbolic title, Age of Love. Because at the most basic level, that is what emotional intelligence is. This is all about and by developing your understanding and abilities in this area, you have opportunities to become more loving, more lovable, both for the benefit of yourself and for others.

So it’s really worth investing in. And if this is your first time listening to the podcast, I’m so glad you’re here with me today. I’m Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby. I’m the founder of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. My background is as a licensed marriage and family therapist. I am also a licensed psychologist and I’m a board certified coach.

So that’s why I like to say I specialize in growth, love, happiness, and success. And that’s what we talk about every week on this podcast. So if you’re a growth oriented person who’s interested in having better relationships, healthier relationships, you know, feeling good on the inside and also feeling like you’re making a positive impact on the world, you are in the right place and I’m glad you’re here and tell you what, emotional intelligence.

This is linked to all of the above. So let’s just dive right into our topic today. And I’m actually going to begin with a story about emotional intelligence and what it looks like in action. So, So, Many years ago, there was a young person, like many people of my generation, at some point, I picked up a flyer with a illustration of like psychedelic spaceships on it or something, called the number on the back from a payphone, and, uh, arrived some hours later at a warehouse in the middle of the night with thousands of other young people, and there are lasers and smoke machines, and Thumping music and all the things.

And there she was, the young woman who would become my very best and most cherished friend in the whole world. Her name is Amy. We met that night. A night to remember. And um, and, uh, Amy. always from the very beginning had a lot of very natural emotional intelligence. She always had just so many friends.

She was great at telling stories and so much fun to be with and, and always very good with connecting with people and, and just being very like socially savvy. She really epitomized that and, and that I think is important to talk about because I think many times when we think about having emotional intelligence and what it means to have emotional intelligence, that’s what we think of, you know, somebody who is good with right?

Um, by virtue many times of their personality being extroverted, Um, and it’s important though to broaden our understanding of what emotional intelligence really is because it’s not the full story. And I think that misperception about being a socially competent person becomes very limiting to our growth in this area because it’s like this monolithic thing.

You’re good, good with people, right? you’re, you’re not. That mindset does a few things that really creates obstacles for all of us. First of all, it leads to a fixed mindset about emotional intelligence and what it is. So if you’re familiar at all with the work of Carol Dweck, she wrote the book Mindset.

It’s all about growth mindset. Excellent read if you want to check it out. There’s this idea that there’s a fixed mindset, meaning that you’re either good at something or you’re not. And if you’re not, You need to sort of hide that fact because it’s not going to change. So like, I’m good at math, I’m bad at math, where do you go from there, right?

So people who perceive themselves as being bad at math, uh, avoid math and And I think a lot of times the same thing happens with emotional intelligence. If we don’t really understand what it is or how to grow, it turns into this, I don’t even know what to do, so I’m just going to hide this and, you know, try to self compensate or maybe feel badly about myself.

cultivating a growth mindset and a growth mindset is much more useful and productive and is associated with, frankly, much better outcomes when it comes to growth and learning. And a growth mindset says that we’re all on a spectrum of development. We are all learning different things and by learning.

And practicing and failing and trying again, we get better over time when we put intentional effort into the things that are of value. And emotional intelligence is one of those because it is not a monolithic good with people thing. It’s actually comprised of a number of very specific skills and domains that we’re going to be talking about today.

And by understanding those, And by practicing those specific elements, we can cultivate these abilities in ourselves and have so many positive outcomes in our lives because of it. Um, it is also important to consider that. It’s vital really to do a lot of reflection and even get a growth partner when it comes to doing work around emotional intelligence because most people believe that they have much higher emotional intelligence than they actually do.

So if you assess people and take their self reports, people will rate themselves very highly in emotional intelligence. Unless people know that they struggle in these areas and are, are more reality based, but I think it goes back to that like growth versus fixed mindset. Like if you rate yourself as being lower in emotional intelligence, it goes back to, you know, like, um, identity.

stuff, how I’m perceived socially, like it, it impacts people’s self esteem and self concept to say, I have things to learn in this area that feels really vulnerable a lot of times. But it’s also true that we have things to learn when it comes to emotional intelligence and by even just being open to that idea and by cultivating a growth mindset around it, it creates this, um, opportunity to learn and grow and then experience a lot of positive impact because of it.

So I just wanted to mention that and, and also just to, to float the idea that we’re going to be learning a lot about emotional intelligence in this presentation today. But if you really want to develop yourself, it’s. It’s important to get a trustworthy partner for growth in this area because of the blind spots.

When it comes to emotional intelligence, we don’t know what we don’t know. Um, for reasons that you’ll understand as we go through this. But to have somebody who can provide you with feedback about maybe how you’re coming across. who can help you unpack some of the things related to your own emotional experience can be very important and also to Give give you some like real and effective coaching around things to do differently That you might not know either what they are or when to deploy them without somebody giving you that real time feedback because otherwise We don’t know how we are being experienced by other people.

And so that kind of feedback can be vitally important to this work. So um, that’s one thing to consider and just to be thinking about as we’re talking about all the different dimensions of emotional intelligence and how to use them for your own benefit and for the benefit of others over the course of today’s episode.

Let me tell you a related story about Amy and emotional intelligence that’s going to, I think, open a door to understand the other domains that we’ll be talking about. So, flash forward probably about 15 years after the rave where we met. Um, you know, we’re both older now, married, kids running around. I’m in Denver at this point, she’s in Los Angeles and we were on the phone talking about something and I don’t even remember what it was, but at the time it was very, um, upsetting to me.

I was going through something, feeling all activated and I was telling Amy about what was happening in my life. And she said something to me that was. The most incredible thing at the time, I finished retelling her what was going on with me and she said, I can understand why you would feel that way. I think anybody going through that would feel the same way.

And it was such a simple thing to say, but I remember at that moment feeling like I had just been struck by lightning almost like the very best like a cozy warm feeling lightning but but I had never until that point had anybody in my life validate me and really like see the world through my eyes and communicate empathy and understanding to me the way that Amy did in that moment.

And mind you, this is also after having been in therapy a time or two. I mean, there was just something about this experience that was so remarkable. And I can’t, again, can’t even remember what I was upset about, but. The level of emotional intelligence that Amy showed me in that moment was truly remarkable, and even though it sounds like a very simple thing to do, it’s actually quite complex and related to these different domains of emotional intelligence.

Um, so moving into this, let me just give you a rundown of what was really going on behind the scenes there. So, first of all, emotional intelligence is broken down into a few different pieces. It’s not one thing. In order to have a high degree of emotional intelligence, or EI, you need to have a lot of self awareness.

You need to know what’s going on inside of you. Additionally, you need to be able to manage your own feelings. While also being very aware of what’s going on inside of other people, as well as how to manage or relate to other people in a positive way. And this all ties back to, um, the emotional intelligence research that was popular.

popularized by Daniel Goleman, um, in his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence. He was really the, um, the, the thought leader in this area. And he developed these four models, these four domains. And diving into them a little bit more deeply, the first of these, self awareness. This refers to your ability to recognize and understand.

What you are feeling and it’s a foundational skill of EI because understanding our own emotions is the first step to being able to manage them effectively, which includes, you know, being aware of our own emotional triggers, understanding how our emotions affect our thoughts and behaviors and vice versa, and understanding the different outcomes.

strengths and limitations we have and which ones to deploy in service of our own emotional well being. And furthermore, to be aware of and connected to your own emotions sets the foundation for being able to accurately understand what is happening inside of other people. We cannot have empathy for others.

Unless we are familiar with our own emotions, it’s, it’s like how we recognize things in other people. And that’s one of the things that was going on, you know, that day that Amy and I were on the phone, she was able to recognize what I was feeling accurately because she was connected to her own feelings.

As I was talking, she was able to, you know, relate to what I was saying and show me empathy in that moment because of it. But another big thing that was happening there was related to self management. And again, this involves the ability to effectively manage and control your own emotions, especially in stressful situations.

And Like being able to stay calm under pressure, uh, being able to, uh, you know, be having emotional reaction to something or to someone and being able to manage that well enough so that you’re able to do the other parts of EI which is have empathy for them and then be able to respond well. But it’s related to other things too, like being adaptable.

being resilient, having a positive outlook and, and generally just maintaining your emotional equilibrium, no matter what’s going on around you. And that is a complex process, but that’s what allows us. to stay flexible, to be, um, just like fundamentally okay most of the time on the inside. And then also it’s vitally important to ensure that our reactions to other people are constructive.

And again, I don’t remember the details about what I was upset about that day, but I also don’t know if what I was talking about was potentially upsetting or triggering or anxiety provoking to Amy, because if it was, she was managing all of this. inside of herself so that she was able to be fully present and responsive to me in that moment.

And I think it’s just worth highlighting. I mean, think about all the times you’ve tried to talk to somebody when you’ve been upset or hurt. And They start feeling all anxious or activated or feel like they need to fix things, like let me tell you what to do or they, you know, wind up having such a reaction to what you’re saying that you wind up either taking care of them or never mind, right?

It turns into an emotionally unsafe experience for you. So that self regulation piece is vitally important. Um, and then of course that flows into the ability to be aware of other people. And this is talking about your ability to accurately read and identify the emotions of others and understand what’s really going on with them.

Like not just how they’re feeling. But why they are feeling the way that they are. Because if you can understand that, you have all this information about what’s really happening that helps you manage these moments so much more effectively. And it’s also vitally important that we are managing our own feelings because when we are super flooded or activated or in a lot of pain, like, we’re very much consumed with whatever’s going on inside of us.

We cannot put ourselves into somebody else’s shoes in that moment and really understand them. And it’s very important when it comes to emotional intelligence and relationships, because unless you really know how other people feel and why that makes sense, we don’t have any insight into how to solve this problem or how our actions or next steps might affect them.

And so, you know, going back to my conversation with Amy, because She was very tapped into her own emotions. She had a frame of reference for mine. She was able to keep herself calm. Uh, she was really genuinely able to understand my point of view. I mean, she was very much seeing the world through my filter.

through my little porthole in front of my eyes, like my context. She put herself right into that, which is why she was so well able to understand why I felt the way that I did. And then of course, another super important component of this is other management or relationship management. And this domain involves our ability to really effectively manage and navigate relationships and social interactions and like, micro moments.

I mean, it includes things like being able to listen effectively and show people that we’re listening, effective communication, conflict resolution skills, and also, um, collaboration, right? So relationship management is the accumulation of all of these other pieces. It’s about using and understanding our own emotions.

And those of others, and then taking all that information to be able to manage the interactions that come next from a place of clarity and confidence with the result that stronger and more positive relationships are built because of it, and that we’re also really effectively solving problems together.

And Amy was able to know what I really needed in that moment because of understanding me. You know, she knew that I didn’t need her to problem solve. What I just really needed was to be seen, understood, validated. And she was right. I mean, in that moment, all Like, angry, activated energy just drained away.

It was this very powerful interpersonal experience that created a deeper connection with Amy. But it also fostered a lot of trust and allowed me to, like, feel like I didn’t have to fight to be heard, right? Like, my perspective had been legitimized, yes, I have a right to feel this way. And in doing so, I could feel myself relaxed.

So if in that moment Amy had followed up with something like, I wonder if XYZ or I wonder if it would be helpful to talk about blah, blah, blah, like, you know, going into a collaborative solution or problem solving, I would have been very open to that in that moment because of the connection that I felt with her, the trust that I felt with her, um, it would have led to productive things.

I’m confident of that. And so these are the different domains of emotional intelligence and the things that are important for us to be thinking about as their own thing if we’re in either, you know, relationships with other people that are feeling difficult or if we ourselves are experiencing emotional turmoil that we don’t really know how to manage.

So breaking this down it becomes much more actionable as, as we’ll talk about more here in a minute. But so, so going back to emotional intelligence and what it really is and how it really works, um, I think what you can see is that, you know, the, the easiest, uh, definition is that when we have a strong emotional intelligence skills, it allows us to be able to recognize and then respond effectively to the emotional realities.

of ourselves and others. And it’s also true that most of the time, that’s the biggest part of what’s going on in any given moment. Our intellectual brains get very focused on Solving problems on information on data like these intellectual concerns that, you know, are, are also not insignificant. They matter, but when it comes to how well you feel and your relationships with others, there’s this other 80 percent of reality that.

You won’t see, much less understand, unless you’ve developed strong emotional intelligence skills. I think of it as having the ability to see in color. You know, if you’re not connected to your feelings or those of others, you are literally not going to even know what’s happening half the time, much less what to do.

So, By developing these skills, you get so much more information. I know how I feel and why. I know how to maintain my emotional equilibrium without overreacting, without numbing, right? Um, so that I can Stay present with me, but also with others. I also know what somebody else is feeling and why that makes sense.

And because of that, I can understand how to relate to other people in any given moment so that we can have a strong connection, solve problems together. But if, if you’re not. Incorporating these kinds of, um, this kind of information, even if you’re right, like intellectually, X, Y, Z equals whatever, you’re often going to be wrong when it comes to how you’re operating with other people or even how you’re handling things inside of yourself.

So this is very, very important for all of us to be doing a lot of good work around. And so the other thing that’s important to consider as we mentioned at the beginning is that what we’re talking about today is connected to all of the important things in life. Love, happiness, and success. I mean, our relationships with other people, how we feel on the inside, and also how we’re doing professionally.

in our careers. It goes to emotional resilience, flexibility, grit, motivation, you know, and that’s another thing I saw in Amy over the years. I mean, we’ve been friends now for 30 years, and through that time, she has been adaptable. She’s changed careers, gone back to school, moved Moved, you know, um, have ups and downs that life has to throw at her and always remains positive, optimistic, and she’s had good outcomes because of it.

Um, she had the good fortune of being blessed, I think, with a lot of strong emotional intelligence skills to begin with, but for the rest of us, we can all learn how to do this and it’s fundamentally important, again, because it, it goes back into so many different things. Our emotional well being, our motivation and grit, you know, our feeling competent and able to do hard things over the long haul, um, healthier relationships, but also I think what’s important, you know, when you’re tied into your own motivations, your own feelings, we’re able to make more values based choices.

When you’re disconnected from your own emotions, it’s like this, this internal guidance system gets turned off. We don’t even know the things that are important to us if we’re not taking information from our feelings. And so that’s another really important byproduct of doing this work. And certainly in professional settings, I mean, if you’re any, any kind of position of leadership or responsibility or management over others, a big part of the job is not like, you know, knowing a lot of things.

It’s really figuring out how to connect with other people to help them be their best to help, you know, make, create and maintain alignment in the teams. So that we can all work together towards positive outcomes and to ensure that people are having a relatively good time in the process. Uh, there’s a lot of meaning that goes into people’s occupations, right?

It’s the accumulation of who I am as a person, what I’m good at, what I’m passionate about, what I was put on this planet to do, right? This is my mission. This is how I bring value to the world. And to minimize. The amount of personal meaning that is tied up in our professions is a real mistake. And it’s also a mistake to not pay attention to how people are feeling as they’re going about the day to day lives of their jobs.

Um, when people get burned out, when they get traumatized in the workplace, or when they decide to leave a job or even a profession. It’s It’s not usually about the work. It’s about how they were feeling emotionally as they were doing it. And so if you are a leader, it’s vitally important that you’re thinking about these things and also broaching conversations with the people who are trusting you to lead them and to support them in their profession.

And certainly as individuals, I mean, the ability to be professionally successful, yeah, we need to go to school. We need to learn a lot of things. But when it comes to the end of the day, it’s how able are you to manage your own feelings and behave appropriately when you are part of an organization, whether it’s.

It’s being part of a big team or even if you’re an entrepreneur, I mean, you’re still going to have clients and it’s those relationships that are going to make or break anybody’s career. And I’ve personally worked with a number of extremely intelligent people over the years who struggled consistently, went through, you know, job after job because they did not focus on the emotional intelligence skills that they needed to create positive outcomes for themselves.

So this is really important. And the other thing that is really cool is that in emotional intelligence work, well, I don’t know if this is cool or not, one of the things that I’ve noticed through the years is that, um, the only place it seems like emotional intelligence is really discussed as being a thing is when it comes to workplace settings, you know, uh, the powers that be in giant corporations have hired very smart organizational psychologists.

to come in and, you know, do some research around what’s the difference between, you know, organizations who do well, where there’s low turnover rates, we’re getting things done versus organizations that are chaotic and dysfunctional. Um, also, you know, taking a look at people who are able to do well in their chosen professions and advance over the years versus people who, who struggle habitually and have, you know, come to the conclusion that the, the answer is.

emotional intelligence skills and how well developed those are for people in organizational settings. And there hasn’t been the same amount of attention and research going into emotional intelligence for personal well being and personal outcomes, right? We have mental health treatment, we have marriage counseling, but I don’t often hear about the importance of emotional intelligence skills as they relate to having better outcomes with those kinds of personal matters.

So, um, this is something that I’m, I’m working on. So my practice growing self, I mean, we specialize in love, happiness, and success. And so the clinicians on my team, therapists on my team are acutely aware for how is this person’s emotional intelligence skills? Where can we support them and help them grow?

And that’s often a focus of the work. So somebody might come in for marriage counseling and we’re doing marriage counseling. And, you know, there’s a fair amount going into assessment of where is this person in terms of their emotional competencies and what do we need to teach them, how do we need to coach them in order to develop in these areas.

And that’s, I think, why, you know, the clinicians on our team, in addition to being licensed marriage and family therapists. switch alone sets them apart from 95 percent of other people who are, who are offering couples therapy. But this, this kind of focus on emotional intelligence skills is part of what creates the level of transformation that people experience when they work with clinicians in our group.

And similarly for individual therapy or life coaching as well, you know, a lot of times. Well, it certainly can be helpful to connect the dots, right? Like, why do I feel the way that I do going back into our family histories, our family of origins, our life experiences? Like, yes, that makes sense. I have arrived in adulthood with feeling this way and with these

But when it comes to the day to day of, you know, so now what? How do I actually feel okay most of the time? How do I be a resilient, you know, genuinely joyful and purposeful person? Most of the time, content person who’s committed to growth and personal evolution. You know, how do I figure out who I am and what I want?

It goes back to these emotional intelligence skills, tapping into how I feel and why, being able to manage those effectively so that I’m in a good place most of the time. I mean, that’s really the core of it. And again, I think why people have so much benefit from working with therapists on our team who are very much focused.

So, um, and it is also true that most of the time, you know, 99. 9 percent of people, unless they happen to be in therapy or coaching with somebody at Growing Self, the only time they’re having this conversation is on the job. If you are fortunate enough to be working with an employer who is. Savvy to these things and who’s making it a priority to support your growth in these areas at work.

This translates into a lot of positive impact for other parts of your life. And so I just wanted to bring up something really quickly that there is a myth of. separation when it comes to personal development and professional development. That is absolutely not true. When you are in a situation where you have opportunities to learn and grow professionally, particularly when it comes to the incorporation of emotional intelligence skills, it will have a direct positive impact on your personal life, how you feel day to day and on your career.

personal relationships as well, and also vice versa. But if you are in a situation right now where you’re feeling stressed out about your job or you’re experiencing, um, you know, pain points or friction around your relationships at work, you have had your feelings hurt at work, or you’re trying to figure out how to manage.

Um, relationships with coworkers or even how to manage your own stress levels or to be able to, to function and feel good about your job day to day. There’s a lot of value to growing in place. One of the things that I dislike about standard issue career counseling and career coaching is that it often, um, you know, has this.

This idea that if you’re in the right job, then everything is going to feel great. So there’s this goodness of fit model. If people are unhappy with their current place of employment, the conversation becomes. Let’s find another job that’s more in alignment with who you are and what you want to do. And there’s value in that.

I mean, you can absolutely decide that you’re in a place that has a toxic culture or that there’s not a future for you or that you’re doing things that are really not actually in alignment with whatever your mission is. And so there is value in creating change there, but there’s also, I think, a lost opportunity if we’re so quick to just get out of one situation right into another, before taking the time to do some reflection and thinking around.

What is actually making me feel so stressed out and what is it about my way of being and specifically some of these emotional intelligence skills that if I took the time to work on these, not only would I have a better time at my job without having to change jobs, I would also benefit so much from this personally, because any work that you do in this area in service of your, your profession is yours to keep and even if you do wind up leaving this company and going to a different one, you, you are, you have been changed.

You have been transformed by the opportunity to grow in these ways. And so, you know, it’s, it’s this analogy instead of just jumping ship, um, dig in a little bit. As a couples counselor, I could tell you, and I think we could all see this, like, if you’re experiencing challenges in your relationship, um, the answer is not always just to find a different relationship, right?

It’s to, to think about, what’s going on with me that is, At least co creating this experience, even if ultimately you decide to get out of here and go do something different, it’s very valuable reflection to think, How am I showing up? How am I communicating? What’s going on with my triggers? How am I reacting to people in ways that are important?

Thank you. Maybe contributing to me not having the kind of relationship that I want, even things like, you know, being able to set healthy boundaries or advocate for yourself, or if you’re doing a lot of people pleasing, like to be able to grow in place and think about what do I need to do differently either here or next time is really valuable work.

So I just wanted to mention that out loud. And again, if you’re in a setting where. Uh, particularly emotional intelligence work is being offered to you, jump on it because any of your professional experiences that are bringing up feelings for you, whether it’s feeling burned out, whether it’s feeling frustrated and, you know, just, you know, different scenarios with your colleagues, whether or not you’re struggling to set boundaries with yourself and others or communicate effectively.

These are all incredibly valuable growth opportunities and doing this work at work will benefit your emotional well being and your relationships in every part of your life. So that’s just something to consider. So now I’d like to shift into talking about what to do with some of this. So we’ve talked about the different domains of emotional intelligence, how they work, why.

But if you’re ready to grow in these areas, I’d like to talk about some specific things that you can be thinking about and doing differently, like, you know, starting now. So for example. One of the first and most important things that any of us can do related to developing our emotional intelligence skills is making it a point to develop self awareness and recognition for what is even happening inside of us.

day to day. So simple strategies that can help you do this, um, involves oftentimes growing through our dark emotions. I think we’re often socialized to reject feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, pain, fear, whatever it is. And this work involves listening to it. What is stressing me out? What is my mind getting?

stuck on right now? What are the pain points that I’m experiencing? And why is that? Why does this make sense? But the first step is just understanding what are the themes here? What is habitually creating these feelings inside of me? Because it’s very, very easy to minimize our own feelings, numb them out.

Brush them off. You know, I mean, we all feel bad when we get invalidated by other people, but we are real good at invalidating ourselves. So it’s time to stop that and instead practice tuning in. You know, just even start keeping a journal. How do I feel today on a scale of 1 to 10 can be a very simple thing to do that can help you get insight into how you’re feeling.

And then once you have a little bit of clarity about how you’re, you’re feeling, then comes opportunity to reflect and do some intentional reflection, which is getting under your own hood and don’t gloss or minimize, don’t turn on the TV and forget about it, right? But really get curious about how you’re feeling.

Do some journaling, talk about these feelings with somebody. It is the practice of taking all these nebulous. physiological sensations that are emotions, right? And being able to translate them into language to label them is how we make sense of them. And so if you have a, if you have an Amy in your life, you could certainly talk to them.

But otherwise, I mean, this is why people talk to therapists or to coaches is to help themselves understand what’s going on on the inside. And the goal here is not to change the way that you feel necessarily. But the goal is to say, why does this make sense? Why does this make sense? Because when you understand that, when you can understand where these feelings are coming from, what is generating them, that’s how you learn how to, um.

be able to manage them more effectively and also make decisions accordingly. So that brings us into the next piece of this, which are skills and strategies that you can use to manage yourself. And again, the goal here is not to not have feelings. It’s to be able to navigate them effectively, including being able to take wisdom and guidance from them.

So one of the most You know effective things any of us can do when it comes to managing our own feelings is first of all spending some time in Identifying the stories that we’re telling ourselves about whatever is going on Because it is how we interpret the world that creates our emotions many of the times and when you can Shift your mindset into a perspective that helps you feel better many times you will feel better emotionally and be better able to manage things.

And this is not my opinion. This is the foundation of very high quality evidence based forms of therapy, including CBT, ACT, DBT, all the letters, but it really comes down to cognitive skills and strategies to help regulate, regulate your feelings. But as you do this work, you also have the opportunity to crack into some of your core beliefs.

your expectations about yourself and others, you know, the, the rules that you have subconsciously developed. Also though, it, it helps you tap into your values and what is truly best for you. Um, including who am I, who do I want to be in the world? And is this thing that’s creating a lot of pain for me? You know, is, Is the problem not actually the pain?

Is the problem the fact that my emotional guidance system is telling me that I’m in the wrong place and that I need to take effective action. I need to listen to this and follow it rather than try to change the way that I feel. That can be a very empowering, um, exploration to engage in. Again, it’s difficult to crack into get the help of a good therapist to help you differentiate.

Like, am I feeling badly because I’m thinking about this? You know, in an unhelpful way or am I feeling badly because this is actually a bad situation that I need to change? It could be different to suss that out, but really, really effective. And that is where it’s very helpful to talk with a therapist. a coach rather than just a therapist who’s been trained in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions.

And I’ll say this, as a licensed psychologist, um, somebody comes in, they’re feeling really badly, they’re stressed out, they’re having trouble sleeping, they’re just not having a good time at work, whatever it is. If I put on my psychologist hat, it would be extremely easy to be like, check, check, check, okay, major depressive disorder, here’s what we’re gonna do.

This is a disorder. The goal here is to change the way that you feel. So let’s get you started on antidepressant. Let’s do some cognitive behavioral therapy because the, the interpretation is that the feelings themselves are the problem. Same situation. If I put on my life coach hat, I might do a little bit more digging around.

Well, how does that make sense? And hear a story about a person who is legitimately in a job that is not a good fit for them. It is a toxic work environment. They are really not feeling fulfilled. And the, the goal then becomes not Let’s get you on antidepressants and try to change the way you feel. It’s, well, what would change in your life if we began listening to this and helping you create an action plan to move forward in a way that’s really more in alignment with who you are and what you really want in your life.

Totally different conversation, totally different outcomes. But this is why it can be extremely helpful to. Seek support from a therapist who has a lot of competence and training in coaching psychology and coaching modalities so that you don’t come in feeling badly because of, of something that needs to be changed and wind up, you know, doing mental health treatment that actually keeps you stuck in the same place due to pathologizing, you know, something that is not actually a disorder.

Getting off my soapbox now, but I just wanted to, to offer you that as a way of understanding what kind of, what kind of help to get. So doing the self management is extremely important. And then once we’ve done that, well, we can go back into this idea of other awareness and other management. When you’ve done a good job of developing empathy and recognition for yourself and keeping yourself relatively calm, it becomes easier to have empathy for others.

And then comes a reflective process of understanding. What are they feeling and why? Doing some journaling, talking about this, talking with them about this, right? Like, how are you feeling right now? And getting curious about it, like, how does this make sense? From your point of view, not with the intention of criticizing it or, you know, trying to fix it, but really genuine curiosity so that you do have accurate information about what’s going on inside of other people, um, that is part of how you will get Thanks.

Uh, the level of understanding that you need to be able to, to find a path forward. And then of course, going into other management, when you really understand how other people are thinking or feeling, then it becomes clear on how do I want to navigate this? And of course, different situations will always call for different things, but at a baseline, to be able to communicate accurate empathy.

angry about this situation and to validate that. When I look at this through your point of view, I can understand why you would feel that way. That’s what Amy said to me that was so powerful and it was also very sincere. I mean, in that moment, she really did understand how I felt and why. And to give somebody else that kind of understanding, All the anger can melt away and they’re like, yeah, I am legitimate for feeling the way that I feel because of my perspective that is entirely subjective.

And then when you have that information, you can be responsive to people and you also can develop a response. Effect for the system itself. Understanding that people are feeling the way that they feel because of what they’re thinking, how they’re interpreting things, but also ’cause of what they’re experiencing.

And a big power question here, , is how am I contributing? to their experience. How are they perceiving me? How are the things that I may have done or said or not done contributing to how they’re feeling in this moment? And being open and responsive to that will help you grow, but it will also create this connection where you’re able to be responsive to them and be able to say, I can understand.

Why you felt that way when XYZ happened, and thank you so much for telling me this. Here’s what I’m going to do differently in the future because I really care about you and I care about this relationship and I want this to feel better for both of us. So these are hard to do. It requires the ability to manage your own feelings if you are getting feedback from somebody else that is maybe less than positive, but this is how it works and this is why we need to think of EI and these.

multi dimensional pieces. So I know that this was a ton of information and I hope that it helps you chart your course. I want to leave you with some resources for growth. Um, as we’ve talked about, one of the biggest obstacles to doing this work are the blind spots. Bots that we all have when it comes to understanding how we feel, what to do with emotions, being able to tell the difference between things that are actionable or problematic inside of ourselves, and certainly when it comes to being able to understand how we’re really coming across to other people.

Um, you can certainly seek out professional emotional intelligence coaching, particularly through your job, if that’s an opportunity. I will also tell you that couples therapy is one of the best ways to get insight into this and also coaching around, you know, what to do differently. Um, ideally with a therapist who is well versed in emotional intelligence coaching and employs that in couples therapy.

But when you’re doing this kind of work with your partner, it’s just such an advantage because you have this person who knows you very well and who cares about you sitting there with you saying, actually, here’s how I’m perceiving you in this moment, which again, can be hard to hear, but it’s extremely valuable.

It’s priceless. Really, if you really want to grow in these areas. And then, of course, getting involved with, with therapy and or coaching, uh, if you just want to do this individually to get more clarity into how you’re feeling and why that is and what to do with it so that you are better able then to, um, you know, have empathy for others and be able to navigate your relationships more effectively.

So crash course in emotional intelligence, what it is. Why it matters, and I hope it was helpful for you. And thank you so much for spending this time with me today. Um, if you’re interested, I have so many more resources on emotional intelligence for you on my website at growingself. com. You can come over to the blog and podcast and navigate to the emotional intelligence section of our website.

There you’ll find all kinds of articles, podcasts. that I’ve created for you, um, and lots of free resources to help you learn and grow in these areas. And of course, if you would like to have a conversation with me or one of the other amazing clinicians on our team, you’re welcome to do that. You can request a free consultation to come and talk about what’s going on with you and your hopes for your own growth and, and how we can help.

So, but again, thanks so much for spending this time with me today and I will talk to you soon. Okay, take care.

Therapy Questions, Answered.

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