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Doctors at Work Podcast.

Episode #78

How can you develop your emotional intelligence? With Tracy Davis

Mat Daniel


What is emotional intelligence and how do you develop it? Tracy tells me that emotional intelligence is about how you relate to yourself and to others. We all have a tendency for events to lead to emotions without us pausing and considering what is going on, so the key is to actually slow down the move from event to emotion and examine the thoughts that are determining how we feel. Once we recognise the thoughts as well as emotions at play, we can then make choices based on how we really want to be, instead of doing things that we later regret. Better emotional intelligence makes us happier in the long term, and it also improves workplace interactions with colleagues.

Tracy L Davis, MD PhD is mid-career dermatopathologist and anatomic pathologist in the southwest U.S., currently working in companion diagnostics in the pharmaceutical industry at Roche. Her career has also spanned hospital practice, academic medicine, and private practice. Outside of medicine, she is also a speaker and certified life coach who is passionate about Happiness Studies. She is the author of the weekly newsletter, The Happy Physician: A Practical Guide. She helps physicians who want more out of life, despite seeming to “have-it-all”, to create the life they dream of, so that they can achieve greater happiness and live their best life.

You can find her at, and

You can also watch at
Production: Shot by Polachek

Podcast Transcript

Mat: [00:00:00] Welcome to Doctors at Work. My name is Mat Daniel and this podcast is about doctors careers. It’s part of my mission to help other doctors create successful and meaningful careers. Today we’re talking about emotional intelligence and I’m having a conversation with Tracy Davies and she tells me that emotional intelligence is about how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to others.

The problem is that we have a tendency For when it’s a certain event happens that straight away there is an emotion, and sometimes we do things that we later regret. But the reality is that there’s also a thought that occurs somewhere in between the emotion and the event, and that thought is something that we often don’t examine.

So in order to be more emotionally intelligent, we need to slow down. that link between an event and an emotion and an action, and actually examine what thoughts are at play. And once we understand the thoughts and emotions at play, that allows us to choose actions based on the kind of person that we want to be.

Better emotional intelligence will not only lead to [00:01:00] happiness in ourselves, it will also improve our workplace relationships and

Tracy: interactions. Welcome

Mat: Tracy, tell me about yourself.

Tracy: Well, thank you for inviting me to be on your podcast. Um, my name is Tracy Davis. I am a pathologist with subspecialty training in dermatopathology. I live in the United States in Arizona, which is in the Southwest portion of the country. And, um, I’m a certified life coach as well.

So currently I’m would, would be what I call mid career pathologist. So I’ve worked in academic, private practice in hospital settings for the last, uh, 17 years. And, and last year made a big change and moved to the biopharmaceutical industry. Um, I’m also the author of a newsletter on LinkedIn called the Happy [00:02:00] Physician.

Mat: Thank you very much for joining me today, Tracy. And the topic for us today is emotional intelligence. What is emotional intelligence? Great

Tracy: question. I like to think of emotional intelligence as sort of like a superpower. It gives us this, uh, opportunity to, uh, recognize, like, stress triggers and respond in an appropriate manner.

And to dive into that just a little bit deeper, it really shapes how we interact with both ourselves and with others. And I would say it can, um, it can make our lives better. It really, I, I like to write about this topic and how it relates to making us happier, um, both professionally and in our personal lives.


Mat: me a little bit more then about what this means in practice. You said it’s how we relate to ourselves or how we relate to the world around us. Maybe let’s kind of start with the first one. Sort of what, what’s emotional intelligence in relation to how we relate to ourselves? [00:03:00]

Tracy: I think it’s the idea of understanding why we feel the way that we feel and, and to expand on that, you know, Quite often, I think many of us respond sort of instantaneously to different triggers.

You know, an event might happen, or somebody might say something to us, and it potentially kind of rubs you the wrong way. And we have this immediate emotional response to that. And oftentimes, Like if you were to ask somebody, well, what happened here? It would be, well, so and so said this and made me angry.

And, and in fact, the distance between the person saying whatever it is that they have said, and you know, me being angry about that is a much larger distance than we probably give it credit for. And in between that is a thought. Um, and that thought could be, this reminds me of some other time where I was slighted.

in the past. And [00:04:00] because of that, I am actually angry. So emotional intelligence is really about Being able to slow down that sort of event, thought, emotion, um, sequence and then ultimately how we respond to that. So, um, you know, if you’ve ever had the experience of responding kind of harshly right in the heat of the moment and then later regretting that, saying, Oh, gee, I wish I had responded differently or in a more positive manner.

you know, emotional intelligence, strengthening your emotional intelligence skill, um, would allow you to, um, to be able to navigate those types of, you know, triggers in our environment.

Mat: So this sounds interesting, because if I think event emotion, Very short distance. I mean, I think that happens to me all the time, Tracy.

Something happens and straight away there’s an emotion. Is it just me or is that how we

Tracy: humans are? [00:05:00] I would say you are in great company. It happens to me, it happens to all of us. And it most definitely is a skill set. Um, you know, one of the benefits of coaching is to become, you know, more aware. Of ourselves and in, you know, emotional intelligence is a great example of that.

So, so you’re definitely not alone. And I would say it’s a skill set that we could all benefit from.

Mat: So there’s an event that happens. And then, you know, there’s an emotion I recognize that something happens and straight away that there’s an emotion that arises in me. So how do I go from that? to slowing down and, and identify.

And you said there’s a thought in the middle, which, which for an awful lot of us, you know, we just don’t see it because we go from event to motion. So I like that analogy. So how, how do I go from that instant instinct jump, you know, fight or flight into, okay, you know, there’s a [00:06:00] thought in the middle and let’s, let’s spend some time thinking about

Tracy: the thought.

Right. And so learning how to do learning how to do exactly that will change your life. I promise you it is an amazing skill set. And the first is the first step really is being able to recognize. that this process is going on. And, and so I often will tell my clients, let’s say, okay, the first step is to stop and just take a breath and think about what, what just happened in my immediate emotional response.

Um, and then to ask ourselves this question, you know, What is really going on here? You know, is it truly this situation, or is it something about this that reminds me of something else I still have sort of unfinished emotion related to? Once you’re able to navigate that, And, and kind of slow down, [00:07:00] analyze, you know, what’s really happening here.

Then you can choose, okay, how do I really want to respond in this situation? And, um, so I’ll encourage clients to think about, you know, what would my, the best version of me, how would the best version of me respond in this situation? What if my loved ones or my children were nearby? How would I respond?

And, you know, it can seem a little artificial, uh, to start with until, um, until we gain a little bit of experience with, with going through this process. And then after the fact, you know, one of the benefits is you, you respond to more professionally, probably. with less emotional charge. Um, and then we also don’t regret what we say later.

So I think we could all relate to, you know, having, um, having the thought that, gee, I wish I could rewind, you know, to 10 minutes ago and do that a little bit differently. I

Mat: think the challenge is that maybe if you, [00:08:00] if you’re capable of slowing yourself down, And sort of saying, okay, you know, there’s something’s happened and there’s an emotion and you slow down and look at the thought and then you consciously choose what kind of a person you’re going to want to be.

Um, that, you know, that, that sounds, that sounds good. I think the challenge, I wonder, maybe for me or for a lot of people is, is the slowing down, you know, sort of how, because I don’t know, there’s something very, I mean, why, why is that? Why are we as humans like that? That something happens and bang straight away.

There’s an emotion that happened, you know, why, why are we like that? And where does that, where does that come

Tracy: from? Yeah, that’s a great question. And, you know, my belief on that is that at some point in our past, usually when we’re kids, you know, we have learned. A lesson or experience experience something in which that was the response, which got us through that moment.

And unfortunately, our brains just kind of take those lessons from childhood and bring them forward [00:09:00] and start to, um, you know, use them a little bit inappropriately. And, and so I think it’s in many ways, it’s a protective mechanism gone awry. Um, you know, from something that we learned as kids and, and said, okay, well, in this situation, this, this was how I, uh, you know, for lack of a better word, survived the situation.

And, and now that I’m an adult, um, it, you know, I haven’t changed that because it worked previously. So, so for sure, I think it’s, Um, it, unless we become aware of kind of that loop thinking, um, it can be hard to break. And, and so part of that is becoming aware, where does this thought come from? Um,

Mat: so maybe it’s a habit that perhaps was useful to us, you know, in a playground, but actually when it comes to.

You know, your, your office meeting, your professional, your multidisciplinary meeting that then actually, you [00:10:00] know, it’s not something that’s useful, but it does happen all the time. Because, you know, as I sort of say, certainly, I’m, I’m sure that I do that a lot. And I certainly have colleagues around me that do that a lot.

Um, The, the, I mean, how, how, how, how much can people improve, you know, is this something that, you know, you either are emotionally intelligent and you’re not, and some people are just born luckier than others, you know, how, how much of this can we learn and train versus how much of this is, is just, you just either have it or you don’t

Tracy: have it.

Oh, I would definitely say the former. Certainly there are some people which have strengths. In emotional, like inherent strengths in emotional intelligence, but it is definitely a skill set, which can be learned if one is open to learning about themselves and becoming more self aware. And, and there are a number of ways that one can actually do that.

Um, you know, skill sets that can be strengthened, which would [00:11:00] help in the context of emotional intelligence, as well as, you know, other, uh, other things in our lives. I want to just pause too and say I like the summary of the, um, habits and skill sets that we learned on the playground and applying those to, you know, our professional interactions.

It’s, it’s a great, um, visual of, of how sometimes things can go a little awry.

Mat: Um, You said that, um, it’s a skill set that we can learn or we can become more self aware. So how, how does one become more self

Tracy: aware? Yeah, you know, there’s a number of different, um, modalities to become sort of more self aware.

And sometimes that can be after the fact. So, um, for somebody who’s, you know, just starting out learning about emotional intelligence, and maybe that’s not one of their personal strengths. Um, you know, after sort of an event that [00:12:00] didn’t go so well, um, there’s a lot of utility to just taking some time to think about that, to maybe perhaps journal about that, and to really, um, practice the, the skill set of, of, you know, Sort of trading places with that individual.

Um, and, and so that will help develop, uh, empathy, um, as a skillset. So, you know, uh, that’s one place to start. Um, you know, the next place of course, is learning to, uh, really regulate. Or self regulate our emotions. And, you know, that, as I said, you know, taking a deep breath and taking time to really think before we respond, um, can be helpful, um, helpful as well to help, uh, sorry, to help develop that skill set.

So there’s

Mat: some actions there that we can do, as in, we take a breath, we reflect, you know, we, we, we pause, we think. So there’s [00:13:00] actions that we take and through taking those actions, then. We learn about ourselves and then that means that we become more self aware and we get better at how we handle the emotions that, the strong emotions that come up that otherwise might just whisk us away, sort of in a direction where actually we probably wouldn’t want to be going had we thought about it for any length of

Tracy: time.

Yeah, exactly. It’s really kind of twofold. So there’s that first part that building awareness and you know, so we become, you know, developing that skill set in and of itself is useful because we can start to step out of ourselves and really take a look and examine our own thought process, you know, in the moment that, you know, the second part of that is learning.

Okay, well now how do I respond? And, um, you know, um, a positive manner, um, something that’s going to be appropriate, you know, for the situation. And [00:14:00] so there are additional sort of soft skills, things like learning how to resolve conflict and, you know, learning to more effectively communicate, um, And also, I think, just this, um, sort of understanding a different point of view.

Um, you know, those, those three sort of general soft skills, um, are helpful, I think, for the second part of now, how do I respond given that I recognize I’m being triggered, uh, you know, in, in the, In this situation,

Mat: and in the beginning, we started talking about that emotional intelligence is about how you relate to yourself and how you relate to others.

And I was gonna I was gonna pick up the relating to other separately. But it sounds like we’ve already talked quite a lot about. the link between how I relate to myself and my self perception, self insight, then there’s a very clear link between that and then how I relate to [00:15:00] others. Is there anything else that we need to say about emotional intelligence as, as how we relate to others?

Tracy: Well, I think that like you, as you just nicely stated, I think practicing the skill set of becoming aware of oneself, and then also, um, strengthening our ability to empathize with others, it’s a sort of natural extension of that same, same skill set. And so what we learn to apply to ourselves, we can then easily apply to others.

And I would say, probably the more important thing initially in, um, Developing the skill set is understanding ourselves and our how we feel why we feel and sort of what’s going on there on a deeper level. And at that point, it becomes much easier to take that same thought process and apply it to somebody else.

who perhaps is acting, you know, more brash or a little bit in the moment, [00:16:00] um, and allowing them some grace and, and not allowing someone else’s behavior to, to trigger us again.

Mat: I’m interested if I have, if I see something in the workplace, you know, when Somebody is very much behaving without very quick.

Something happens and there’s an emotion and an action follows. And I noticed that. And let’s sort of say that, you know, maybe I am emotionally intelligent enough so that I don’t get triggered, but how do I, how do I as a colleague help somebody in the work who does that a lot?

Tracy: Right. Well, it’s, it all comes down to awareness.

And so, you know, first of all, a colleague has to have an open mind to, to maybe some personal self growth and, you know, approaching somebody, um, When it’s not in the heat of the moment is probably a better opportunity to invoke a little bit [00:17:00] of self awareness there. Um, so sometimes, uh, you know, when I speak with clients, I’ll, that we talk about this, uh, situation.

Um, first of all, find an appropriate time, you know, to bring it up and to bring it up in a way that’s nonjudgmental. Um, you know, here’s something that I have learned that helps me. respond to situations similar to what just occurred, for instance. And, um, you know, I mean, we all, we all worked with one another and the more emotionally intelligent we are collectively, The better we work together, the happier, um, and more constructive our days are.

Um, so it’s certainly a great skill set, um, to share with one another, to teach one another. But like I said, it all has to start with somebody being open to the possibility of learning about it.

Mat: Um, and just [00:18:00] talk a little bit more about, you know, the benefits of it. So, um, and I guess the question whether I have it.

How do I know whether I am? Emotional intelligence or not, as the case may be.

Tracy: Yeah, it’s well, that’s a really great question. I think the, um, you know, as we were discussing earlier, you know, when we have an example of something that happens, that’s kind of triggering to us, you know, do we recognize in ourselves, our ability to respond to that in a positive, constructive way?

Or are we allowing that emotion to kind of carry us away and, and, and take an action that maybe we regret later. And so I, I would say the one way to think about that is, you know, how frequently does that happen? Um, on a given week, because, you know, we’re human, it’s, it’s not always going to be maybe a hundred percent of the time that we’re going to respond in a way that we want to, but certainly you can see, um, the trend.

And so [00:19:00] if in on any given week, this is happening on a daily basis, where I feel wronged and I’m angry and I say something I regret later, you know, versus maybe it only happens once a week, or maybe it only happens, you know, once every few weeks. So, so that’s one way to think about, you know, how to measure how you’re doing.

Mat: I hope you’re enjoying the show. Please click subscribe so you’ll be notified when new episodes become available. This podcast is part of my mission to help doctors create successful and meaningful careers. You can be part of that mission too by forwarding this show to one person who you think might benefit from listening.

Thank you. Now on with the show.

Tracy: And

Mat: what are the benefits of being emotionally intelligent to me personally?

Tracy: Well, the benefits really, um, you know, so, so my interest is in creating greater happiness in our lives. And, [00:20:00] uh, so I would say, I would argue that that’s one of the, I mean, in addition to the professional benefits, and certainly, you know, if you’re at work, you don’t want to say something that gets you in trouble at work.

Um, but you know, in the long run, when we are able to think about a situation and react in a more positive. manner, that translates to greater fulfillment in our day. And that ultimately leads to greater happiness in our work life, and our professional life as well. You know, being physician is, can be a very stressful environment.

We deal with Um, very challenging situations, sometimes, you know, on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis or even more, and, you know, being able to sort of discharge of those emotions that are not helping us will allow us at the end of the day to feel better [00:21:00] about ourselves and to not carry that negative emotion with us.

And I would argue that that is going to lead. to, you know, a happier existence in the field of medicine.

Mat: I’m interested in this idea that, that what we do with those negative emotions, because I guess, so I now have this vision of, you know, there’s a barrier. I don’t allow any negativity to come into my life.

I live in a sort of happy, positive bubble, or, or, you know, Or I’m kind of thinking, you know, there’s all of this negativity and I just absorb it and I’m like a sponge and there’s an endless supply of sponge into which I can just absorb that. So where’s the, where’s the balance between, between, I don’t know, between absorbing those negative things or managing them?

And because, you know, emotionally, emotionally intelligent, we talk about it, it’s about making choices and understanding. Rather than about absorbing or, or, or blocking, I think, is that my, is that my understanding

Tracy: correct? Absolutely. I, [00:22:00] yes, I’m glad that you made that distinction because, you know, employing, um, emotional intelligence skills does not mean blocking out the emotion.

And it’s It’s very, um, very much managing that emotion. So, you know, it’s okay that somebody has said something and I’m angry about that. Um, you know, I’m human. It’s, I get angry. That’s a normal, uh, normal emotion. But what I do with that is what’s important there. And so, you know, for the individual that is constantly, um, you know, frustrated and angry and absorbing, you know, as you said, like a sponge, these negative emotions throughout the day, you know, this sticks with us.

This has, you know, implications for our health and our mental wellbeing, even our physical wellbeing. Um, and, and it can lead to, um, compensatory Behaviors, [00:23:00] things like buffering, things like, you know, overeating or watching too much TV or partaking in, you know, gambling or other behaviors that are not sort of helpful, um, as a way to cope with all of that negative energy.

So, um, rather than absorbing all of this energy and carrying it around with us. You know, all day, every day, weeks on end, um, if we’re able to sort of discharge that and manage those negative emotions, which are going to come up, um, you know, from time to time, uh, overall, it’s going to improve our health, improve our mental well being and our, you know, basic existence.

It will improve our, our home life with our, you know, families.

Mat: So I like that. So it’s not, it doesn’t mean absorbing all of the negativity, it doesn’t mean putting up barriers, sort of to keep negativity out. It’s about, you know, that there are, that their emotions exist. And, and [00:24:00] I guess, you know, that those emotions, that that’s giving us information.

It’s telling us something about ourselves. It’s, it tells us what kind of person you are. It tells us what’s important to us. Um, and then, then, you know, we make choices with, with that information and, you know, we, we do, we do what we want to do, so that we’re not ruled by them, we don’t block them, we don’t absorb them, and it’s about, well, this is information that tells us something about ourselves or the world, and then, and then it’s, it’s, it’s consciously making the decisions, and that, it’s that consciously making the decision about what I do with it, that’s, that’s That seems very powerful, doesn’t it?

I’m not being ruled by my emotions. You know, I’m not, I’m not sort of, you know, being thrown about in the wind of emotions, you know, there’s this emotions, they tell me something and, you know, and I’m consciously deciding what I do with that. Cause that sounds like a very powerful position

Tracy: to be in.

Absolutely. You know, so oftentimes we are triggered around the idea that we [00:25:00] think the world should be different, that people should be different, or that, you know, somebody ought to recognize that this is how I want things done. And it’s this, it’s almost, um, egotistical kind of in the way in that we expect the world really to bend to, to what we want it to be.

And, and that’s just a way to set us up for disappointment, right? So it’s, it’s much better to think in terms of. You know, um, I desire this to be, um, this person to treat me in this way, and they still might not, um, but rather than being angry, um, you know, and saying that they should treat me in such and such manner, if I think about that in terms of I desire them to treat me in, you know, a respectful way, that if they don’t, then I’m left [00:26:00] disappointed.

And being disappointed is actually better than being angry, um, in the long, you know, in the grand scheme of things. And so, you know, kind of pairing that thought process with emotional intelligence, helps gives us a little bit greater insight both into our own behaviors and thoughts and feelings as well as others, um, thoughts and

Mat: feelings.

Can we talk a bit more about sort of this, this should, because you know that happens a lot in my head, the world should be this way, this meeting should be run in a certain way, we should be working, you know that, that exists in my head all the time, but also in some of the discussions. That I have with people around me, you know that that that often comes up and actually, you know exactly the example that you that you say is well this is how I am and you know they they should be in a certain way that accommodates me.

And you know that that story that people have you know this is how I am and the rest of the world should be in a certain way. to accommodate me that, [00:27:00] you know, that, that’s very problematic, isn’t it? So, I mean, why, I wonder why, why do we think like that? Why do we think that the world should be how I think the world should be?

Because I think we all do that. Please tell me, Tracy, we all do that. It’s not just what plays in my

Tracy: head. Again, you are in good company. I do that as well. And, you know, in some circles we talk about that is this idea of the manual, you know, so everybody has their own book of rules about how the world should work and how people should do this, that and the other thing.

And then of course we’re, Or, you know, disappointed or angry or frustrated when people don’t read our rules. Well, the thing is, is that, you know, people don’t know what it is that, that are what our expectations are. And, you know, so part of that comes down to communicating, um, you know, this, this is my expectation so that we have an agreement of, of what we both want from a given situation.[00:28:00]

Um, I think too, that, um, I just lost my train of thought.

Mat: I’m interested in how that agreement because the reality is, you know, if I think for myself and the people around me know that conversation about how the world should be. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with anybody around how I think the world should be and how you think the world should be.

I mean, maybe sort of, you know, if there’s projects and perhaps sort of, you know, you negotiate, don’t you sort of, if you say, okay, you know, how, how, how are we going to do, you know, day case tonsillectomy and you know, and then sort of, but you know, but I probably, well, I probably do have a view of how day case tonsillectomy should be, but perhaps I know that that’s not my world because, you know, there’s a patient and there’s many, many of us around that patient and, you know, Maybe the way that I rationalize that is well, it’s not my world.

It’s the patient’s world. So, you know, so it’s not me being in my world It’s about the patient So we all come around the patient and then I tell [00:29:00] you how my world should be and the anaesthetist says how their world should Be at the pre assessment nurse says how their world should be and then somewhere around the patient We negotiate something about how the patient’s world should be and you know that kind of that seems quite You know Quite, I think that’s quite easy because we can probably all agree that sort of that we’re going to, or hopefully most of us can agree that we’re there for the patient and we negotiate that.

But I’m wondering maybe sort of some of our professional meetings or business meetings, you know, have I ever sort of sat down with my consultant colleague and says, well, this is, this is how I think the world should be. And they sort of said, well, this is how I think the world should be. Um, I’m not sure that we have Tracy.

So it’s quite difficult, I think, to do that, isn’t it? To, to have that. discussion, probably because we all assume that everybody agrees with us. Is

Tracy: that, is that? Exactly. That is the key is that for most of us, we assume everybody agrees with our point of view. And, you know, as soon as I say, you know, the world should be [00:30:00] this way, this meeting should have ended 10 minutes ago, whatever.

Um, you know, I am giving up sort of my happiness in that moment to something I have no control over and, you know, as soon as we start sort of, um, basing our, our happiness on things that are beyond our control, we set ourselves up for for failure in that situation. And it’s this idea. The world should be this way.

Um, or that person ought to have known that this was going to make me angry. And it’s, it invokes a kind of, uh, mind reading skill that the world should be, um, privy to my internal thoughts and automatically understand that. Um, so if I’m not able to communicate that this is how I want my clinic set up or whatever the example might be, um, at least [00:31:00] getting that out there.

This is the expectation that I have. This is how I would like it. Then there is no sort of, um, guesswork on the part of, you know, your colleague in the clinic, you know, helping you to get ready for your date, for example.

Mat: And as, as we discuss it, it kind of, it’s, you know, it sounds hilarious that we think, and I assume that you know how my, how the world should be, because of course it’s, it’s hilarious.

But the reality is that in the real world, I think that’s what we do, isn’t it? We just, we just assume that everybody knows what we’re thinking, um, and what we want, or, or I think, I think sort of that, that happens a lot.

Tracy: Well, I agree. I think that makes sense because, you know, we each have our own reasoning and thought process about, you know, How the world is as we see it and it, you know, I liken this to the idea of, um, you know, wearing rose colored glasses.

So when I see the world through rose colored glasses, of course, everything looks rosy. But, you know, not [00:32:00] everybody has that same pair of glasses. Some people are wearing blue colored glasses or green colored glasses. And to them, the world is very real and very different from my perspective. And, you know, so circling back to.

Um, sort of the, the empathy portion of emotional intelligence, it’s, it’s that understanding that we all see the world from a very different point of view. Um, and to each of us, it makes sense, but it doesn’t necessarily overlap 100 percent with the next person, you know, to your right.

Mat: I’m wondering now, would, would the world be better if everybody saw the world like I do, or, you know, what, what are the advantages of the fact that everybody sees the world differently to how I see the world?

Tracy: Well, I think, you know, it’s our, we are completely blind to our own blind spots, right? And so if everybody saw the world in the exact same manner, we would probably be missing out on some pretty cool things in the world. And, you know, so bringing [00:33:00] that diverse, uh, viewpoint To, to work to our personal lives, I think makes our lives more, more full if we are open to seeing the world from somebody else’s perspective and understanding what that means, and it may actually change our perspective of what we think.

Mat: Let, I’m interested in imagining a workplace full of people that are not emotional intelligence. And then imagining a workplace full of people that are, can you sort of paint, paint me a picture of, you know, of, of a, of a clinic full of people that lack emotion intelligence and then full of people that have emotion intelligence.

Tracy: Well, I think I’ve worked in both situations.

Well, you know, so. In a workplace where less people are skilled in emotional intelligence, I would say there’s a great deal more conflict, more tension, you know, people are less happy, [00:34:00] more anxious, uh, with their work. And, you know, in a physician setting, you know, in a doctor setting, That can translate to poor patient outcome.

Um, you know, if we’re not effectively communicating and, and helping one another and working in a productive manner in a clinic. So, so there’s, you know, it’s, it’s more benefit than just ourselves and the people that we’re interacting with, it can actually translate to worse patient outcomes. Now to contrast that with a clinic setting where everybody is highly emotionally intelligent.

Um, you know, one of the long, one of the overall benefits of that is that patient outcomes are going to be better. And the reason why is that people are able to interact with one another. Um, you know, the, the physicians and the staff are able to interact and are productive. Um, manner without a lot of misunderstandings or if there are misunderstandings, they’re able to, [00:35:00] um, deal with those appropriately and quickly.

So we have less, less stress, less anxiety, less tension, um, and less sort of emotional knee jerk reactions, um, you know, in perhaps, you know, critical situations.

Mat: And maybe if I can bring us to a close, I’m interested in what would be, what would be your top tips for physicians when it comes to emotional intelligence?

Tracy: Yeah, I think, you know, just to start with becoming aware of our own thoughts and feelings. And the best way to do that is to really spend some time getting to know, you know, our feelings and that may stem from Um, you know, sort of analyzing or thinking about an interaction that you wish after the fact had gone differently, um, you know, practicing that skill set will help bring that awareness closer [00:36:00] to the point of that, um, of that trigger actually happening.

And once we gain awareness at that point, working on our skill sets. Um, you know, our soft skills like conflict management and good communication and good listening skills. Um, so we can pair our awareness with an appropriate reaction. Um, even when things aren’t going our way.

Mat: Wonderful. Thank you very much, Tracy.

Tracy: Thank you. This has been really fun. Again, thank you for inviting me.

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