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Doctors at Work Podcast.

Episode #49

What is emotional intelligence, and how can it help you at work?

Mat Daniel

09/12/2023

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise, understand, and manage our own emotions and the emotions of others. Much of what we do as doctors and leaders involves emotions. In this episode I explain what emotional intelligence is, and share some tips for developing it.

If you’d like to learn more you can watch this episode with slides on youtube. You can also read more on my website.

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to Doctors at Work. My name is Mat Daniel and this podcast is about doctors’ careers. Today I’m talking about emotion intelligence. I outline what emotion intelligence is, why it matters, and give some tips about how you can improve yours. The fact is that whether we like it or not, emotions are involved in pretty much everything that we do as doctors at work.

So being able to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and being able to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others, that’s really useful. In addition to the podcast, I’ve also got some slides that accompany Um, what I’ve talked about today and those will be on YouTube. So the link for that will be in the writeup if you want to look at the slides themselves. I hope it’s useful.

https://youtu.be/bdPsw4j0s7g

Today, I’m going to talk about emotional intelligence. Now, if I asked you what makes a good leader? Here is a list of things that people typically come up with. People talk about the leader being inspirational. They pushed you to do your best, they had you back, they listened, they were supportive, honest and consistent.

And if you look at that list, there are a lot of things there that involve emotions. So, inspirational, they supported you, they had you back, they listened. And those kind of things are all relevant to emotional intelligence. Emotions are involved in being a good leader. So what actually is emotional intelligence?

I’ve got a list of definitions here, um, different people define it differently. You could say that emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationship, cope with challenging, cope with challenges and use emotional information.

in an effective and meaningful way. Or you could say it’s the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour. You could say that it’s the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions, and to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others.

Or you could say it’s simply the ability to understand and manage emotional encounters. Now, personally, I think the Goldman definition is the most accessible one. So the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. Now, individuals who score highly on emotional intelligence are better to handle everyday stress.

They have a greater number of meaningful close relationships. They’re more socially competent in general. They have high levels of well-being, and they show better psychological function. And if you look at research that has examined emotional intelligence, versus IQ, um, people have found that IQ can predict on average about 6 percent of an individual’s success in a given job.

Whereas emotional intelligence is maybe responsible for about a third of that. And when looking at star performers in organization, emotional intelligence typically accounts for 85 percent of that performance and IQ or technical skills only for 15%. And you can see how that’s important because most of us in the workplace, we focus on our technical skills, but actually it’s emotional intelligence that accounts for an awful lot when it comes to being a star performer.

And in a survey of multimillionaires, the top five factors listed as most responsible for their success. We’re all reflections of emotional intelligence. Now, the good thing is that emotional intelligence is something that you can develop and that it improves. It increases with age anyway. So even if you do very little over time, emotional intelligence is going to improve.

You can work at it and you can develop it. And more isn’t always better. The balance of the components matters. And I’m going to come on to that back in a minute. Um, and I think looking at emotional intelligence, it’s useful to look at it as a development tool. So examining emotional intelligence is not about assessing or judging because it doesn’t really matter where you are.

And remember also, it’s the balance that’s important rather than just how much you have. But if you look at emotional intelligence is a way that you can develop yourself as a leader. Now, the model that I actually, I quite like to talk about emotional intelligence in detail is the EQI 2. 0 model. I like the Goldman definition.

So that’s about recognizing, understanding, and managing your own emotions and the emotions of others. So that’s a very easy definition that captures things, makes it easy to comprehend. Um, but I really like the EQI definition because this has 15 subscales. Um, and I like it because it identifies very specific aspects of it.

You know, if I said to you, you know, managing your own emotions, you know, what does that mean? So the Goldman definition, um, understand, uh, recognize, understand, and manage that’s useful, but, but exactly what that means. It’s not quite as granular whereas the EKI definition I like because it’s much more granular.

Um, and I’m going to talk you through the 15 subscales so that, you know, what the 15 components of emotional intelligence according to this definition would be. So the first three are grouped together as self-perception, and within that you’ve got emotional self-awareness, so that’s being able to understand your own feeling and their impact, the self-regard, which is respect and acceptance of your own strengths and weaknesses, and self-actualization, which is about improving yourself and pursuing meaningful objective.

Then the next three are grouped together as self-expression. So that’s about emotional expression, expressing your feelings verbally and non-verbally, independence, being self directed and free from emotional dependence on others. and assertiveness expressing feelings, beliefs and thoughts in a socially acceptable manner.

Interpersonal skills. So there we have interpersonal relationships. So develop and maintain mutually satisfying relationships. We have empathy. So that’s about recognizing, understanding, appreciating the feelings of others. and social responsibility. So that’s contributing to society or your social group or to welfare of others.

The next block is decision making. So here we have impulse control. So that’s ability to resist and delay impulses. Reality testing, so that’s about being objective and seeing things as they really are. And problem solving, so that’s about the ability to solve problems when emotions are involved. And the final group of three is stress management.

So that’s about flexibility, being able to adapt your feelings, your thinking and your behaviour to change. stress tolerance, being able to effectively cope with stressful or difficult situations, and optimism. So that’s about remaining hopeful and resilient despite setbacks. And you can see why splitting them into those 15 categories, that’s now becoming much more granular.

So we started off with the Goldman definition. So emotional intelligence is about recognizing, understanding and managing your own emotions and the emotions of others. Whereas now with this model, we’ve split it down into 15 very, very specific components of emotional intelligence. Okay, so now let’s see how, how might that work out.

And now imagine that, um, you’ve been working very hard rotas, do a lot of nights, um, and, um, weekends. You’ve just finished a really important, um, stint of work, um, and it is coming up to Christmas and you’re going to fly away to join, um, your family and you’ve really been looking forward to that. And you arrive at the airport and it turns out that your flight was cancelled and your flight was the last flight that was going to take you to where the rest of the family are now.

What on earth do you do with that? Um, I’m guessing that for an awful lot of people listening, the gut reaction is going to be real anger. And some people would absolutely explode, um, when this happens, um, and would just go absolutely mad. So let’s use that scenario, um, and think about how emotional intelligence might apply there.

Okay, so let’s think of emotional self-awareness. So there I am. at that um, check in desk and it turns out that my flight has been cancelled. So emotional self-awareness, I would need to know what’s coming up for me. You know, I’m angry, I’m upset, I’m worried, I’m distressed, I’m going to miss my family, I’m not going to go to join them.

So that’s being aware of the emotions that are arising in you. You know, self-regard, sort of, that would be about valuing myself. You know, okay, so I’m really angry. Does that make me a bad person because I’m angry? Well, you know, it’s, it’s just the way the things are. Or I’m really upset. Does that make me, does that make me weak because I’m really upset?

You know, I’m going to cry because I’m not going to see my family. You know, that doesn’t make me a bad person. So self-regard would be recognizing, well, you know, I might get upset or I might get angry, but you know, I still value myself for who I am. And self-actualization in this context might be thinking, you know, Okay.

Actually know what’s important to me and what’s important to me. Maybe, you know, I’m a nice person. I don’t want to give the person at the check in desk a really hard time, or what really matters to me is that I want to go home. I want to visit my family and they’ll self-actualization then is, you know, okay, well, that’s the bigger picture.

You know, I want to be able to fly. So how can I best achieve that? And clearly, if I shout to the person at the check in desk, then they’re probably not going to be anywhere near as helpful. Um, as they might be if I try and work with them, because, you know, they’re probably going to be more likely to help me if I work with them.

Emotional expression in that context might be that, that, you know, yes, if I’m angry or yes, if I’m upset that, that I’m willing to share that because, you know, if I’m angry and I bottle it all up and I’m really upset, then over time, the cumulative effects of point of bottling up emotions, you know, that’s going to show it’s going to leak up somewhere else.

So I can express myself. Um, and I might need to, and I guess the thing is, is it comes, comes back to, um, assertiveness. And in relation to assertiveness, then would be, I need to express myself. I need to express my frustration, my anger and dissatisfaction, but how I do that matters. Yeah. So it’s not about bottling up emotions, you know, emotional expression, um, is useful, um, but it’s about doing it assertively.

So that means that then how would I. express those emotions in a way that is helpful in a way that’s productive in a way that’s useful rather than in a way that is destructive. Um, and in terms of how might independence show up in that situation would be that that, you know, yes, I’m angry. Yes, I’m upset, but I don’t rely on anybody else.

You know, if I’m upset, I don’t rely on anybody else. I don’t have to turn to anybody else to deal with that because of course I’m upset, or of course I’m angry. Um, but it’s being able to stand on my own two feet and being able to deal with those emotions in a difficult scenario. So we talked about self-perception and self-expression, you know, then let’s move on to interpersonal skills.

How would interpersonal skills play out in that scenario? So of course, if I demonstrate Empathy to the person that’s checking me in and build interpersonal relationship, I’m actually much more likely to get what I need because, you know, if I say to them, you know, gosh, you know, that’s really disappointing, I can imagine it must have been really tough for you as well because you’ve probably been telling an awful lot of people that the flight’s been cancelled and I’m pretty sure that a lot have been angry and upset.

You can see that straight away, I’ve built a relationship and I’ve demonstrated empathy. Um, and By building that relationship with the person, they’re probably much more likely to be helped. And then social responsibility also. You know, well, there may be other people that have greater needs than me. You know, perhaps, you know, my need for this flight isn’t as great as somebody else’s might be.

You know, or maybe I can be helpful to other people. Perhaps there’s a flight going from another airport and it means catching a taxi there. And if I’ve got the money to pay for the taxi, then I can perhaps pay for some people that haven’t got the money. And I’ll take people with me because, you know, I’m going there anyway.

So how does decision making show up in that scenario? Well, impulse control, you can see how that’s going to be really important because my first impulse might be to be angry and to shout or to cry and to be really upset. But if I control that impulse and say, you know, okay, you know, what’s, what’s the bigger picture here, you can see how that would be really helpful.

Reality testing would be the next aspect of emotional intelligence. You know, okay, so my flight’s been cancelled and I think the world has ended, but you know, has it really? You know, maybe I can get to my family a day later, perhaps I can fly from somewhere else, you know, maybe I can do a zoom call, you know, the world won’t end probably if I don’t meet my family.

And then again, you know, problem solving. Okay. So I have a problem here. You know, I, there’s really strong emotions on my part. and on the part of every passenger that’s there and on the part of the check in, um, desk person. So how can I work with emotions to solve the problem? And I’ve spoken about that already.

So the idea here is that, you know, if I understand and manage my emotions and I build that relationship, I’m actually probably going to get much more done. And then final component, um, is stress management. So flexibility. So, you know, I might be thinking, gosh, you know, the world’s ended. I’m going to be really angry.

but I could be flexible with my way of thinking, which might be, you know, gosh, this is really sad, you know, for me, yes, it’s visit for the family, but you know, I wonder what everybody else is going through, or can I actually go and fly from somewhere else? What else can I do? Stress tolerance, that then is about how much I’m able to absorb stress and optimism.

And in some ways, they are linked. So, you know, I can look on the positive side and deal with the stress and try get. Um, so hopefully you can see how those 15 facets of emotional intelligence play out in that particular scenario. Um, so you can see how it’s being applied. And of course, not every facet might be relevant in every situation, but a lot of the time, um, it’s really useful to look at different facets.

So that’s why I like this. 15 item model because it becomes very very granular.

So how can you improve emotional intelligence? Well, the good news is I’ve told you that if you do nothing as you get older, it’s going to get better. But there are things that you can do. And I’m going to highlight some thoughts and some ideas about what you might be able to do.

So the first thing would be around mindfulness. So remember that we talked about emotional intelligence being able to recognize your own emotions. So in recognizing your own emotions means being aware. of what’s going on for you. And the concept of mindfulness here is really useful. I’m not talking about sitting in the dark at room.

I’m not talking about the kind of mindfulness where, you know, your hospitals might be sending you, um, on, um, on, on courses that say, you know, if only you were more mindful, then, you know, we would have more beds, you know, and of course, you know, those kind of discussions. I know a lot of people find that upsetting, including me.

So I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about mindfulness, um, in its genuine format as it was intended. And mindfulness then is about awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment and without judgment. So paying attention specifically and not judging. So if you think of that, you know, if you are noticing what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling and what you’re doing, you can see how that will be useful because that would help you notice what’s going on.

with you, with your emotions. And then related to that also is that you can notice what you think and feeling and doing, and then making conscious decisions about actually how you want to do that. And mindfulness is something that you can work on. Um, you know, meditation would be useful for that. So simple breath meditation, that would be useful, you know, activities like yoga.

You know, going for a walk and paying attention to what’s going on. So I’m not going to talk about mindfulness, but mindfulness is something, um, that, that you can practice. And by practicing mindfulness, you get better, um, at noticing what’s going on without you. And that helps you with emotional intelligence because you get better at recognizing your own emotions.

The other concept here that is useful is the idea of granularity, um, of emotions. Um, and if you’re watching this on, um, YouTube, you’ll see that I’ve got a slide of, um, a hundred different emotions. So, you know, we all say, I’ve kind of, I’ve said, I’ve used the term angry, I’ve used the term sad. But actually, you know, emotions are much more granular.

You know, maybe in that scenario at the airport, you know, sort of perhaps actually, you know, maybe what it is, it’s frustration. You know, or maybe it’s stress or perhaps it’s concern because, you know, you’re worried about the fact that you’re not going to, um, make it home. So, you know, angry is, is, is one of the emotions, but actually, you know, maybe angry isn’t the right thing.

You know, perhaps I’m worried because I’m not going to make it home or maybe I’m frustrated because, you know, I’ve been working really hard and I’ve done lots of long shifts. And now the last step is that I can’t make it, um, to see my family. Um, so yeah, so granularity of emotion, you know, giving emotion specific label, you know, giving it.

giving it a name, you know, noticing what emotion is coming up for you and giving it a specific name. Um, and of course, you know, when it comes to being flexible with emotions, you can then try and convert some of the really hot, powerful emotions into something that is a little bit less intense. Yeah. So I might be, you know, frustrated.

That might be a really intense emotion, but I might sort of say, you know, okay, how can I convert that in emotion into disappointed? Yeah. You know, frustrated, very intense, disappointed, a little bit less intense. And that can be a way that you can then begin to manage yourself, but it starts with noticing your emotion and, you know, and maybe giving it a specific name.

So I’ll move on to how you can, how you can, um, understand your emotions and, you know, and how you can manage them. And typically when something happens, there’s an activating event. And then there’s a consequence that arises from that. So again, if I think of the airport scenario, activating event, you know, there is, um, the flight’s been cancelled, consequence, you know, I’m angry or I’m upset, whatever it might be.

So there’s an activating event and a consequence happens. And the issue is that there’s usually a belief that occurs between the activating event and the consequence that typically people are not conscious of. And this would be typical. from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Cognitive Behavioural Coaching.

So if any of you have knowledge or experience of that, you will recognise that this is where this comes from. So again, if I think of the airport activating event, there is the flight’s been cancelled. You know, my belief is that I’m not going to see my family. My family is going to be angry. You know, the world is going to end.

Christmas is going to be ruined. And consequences then, you know, I cry or I’m angry. But there’s a belief that occurs. Between the activating event and the consequence. And typically, we are not conscious of that belief. We don’t examine it. Now, once you’ve examined that belief, you can then move on. And then you can sort of start to debate that belief and potentially discard it.

So, you know, the belief is I’m not going to make it home. Well, is that a fact? Well, you know, Maybe I could go from another airport, or maybe I could go by train, or maybe I could go tomorrow, um, and that, um, Christmas is going to be ruined. Well, you know, it might not be perhaps, you know, for my family, and we could move Christmas dinner to Boxing Day, for example, if I can’t get there for Christmas.

Um, so you can kind of, you know, you can debate that belief and see, um, whether actually, you know, it is correct. And you can then sort of start to experiment with, you know, with other ways of thinking, you know, okay, so instead of thinking that, um, that, that, that I’m not going to go home. Um, how else can I think about that?

So I can think, you know, okay, you know, actually, you know, maybe that’s an opportunity, you know, I’ve been really busy. So perhaps what I needed more than anything else, it’s just a really good night’s sleep because, you know, the flight was going to be really late and I was going to arrive at my family in Akkad.

So maybe I’ll just spend the night in a hotel. I’m going to have a really good night’s sleep. I’m going to fly out tomorrow. The family can move dinner to Boxing Day. And you know, I’m going to get a good night’s sleep and we’re going to still get the family get together. So, you know, all of a sudden something that was a disaster, I was angry and upset.

I’ve seen a different side to it. Yeah. So there’s different ways that you can think about it. And I really like this idea of converting gremlins to gurus. So, you know, a gremlin would be, you know, I, I get angry, um, or I get really upset and I’ve converted that gremlin into a guru, which is actually, I’m capable to think laterally.

I’ve fixed the issues. I’ve thought of different solutions and actually I’ve managed to get a really good night’s sleep in the meantime. So converting gremlin to gurus. The other things that can be helpful would be logging your triggers. and examining pattern that’s going on. So maybe if I take that much more into workplace, workplace context, for example, so, you know, if you know that, you know, wherever you’re really busy, then you tend to be angry.

You’re now starting to notice what’s going on wherever I’m busy. You know, I’m getting angry or, you know, you can log your triggers. So for example, that, you know, whenever people force me to do something that I think is just wrong, you know, that’s the kind of stuff that’s making me really upset and wears me out.

Yeah, so you can start to log and examine patterns, you know, or you might say, whenever a particular. person does something, you know, that’s the person that they always fall out with. And then you say, okay, you know, what’s going on here? Why do I always fall out with this person? Why do I always struggle with these circumstances?

Why do these things always make me tired? Um, why does this particular thing, you know, create really stressful emotions in me? So whatever’s going on for you in workplace, you’re logging triggers, you’re examining patterns. And it’s useful, particularly when you have really strong emotions. So, you know, if you’re really, really stressed, really, really upset, you know, noticing those emotions, the thoughts and the body sensations.

And then of course, you know, once you’ve started to identify the triggers, You’ve looked at patterns, you, you’ve done a long way towards trying to deal with that and get into the stage when you can examine those things and then consciously start to choose responses. And the key things then to summarize all of these things I’ve talked about is about noticing what’s going on, you know, giving it a name and then choosing a response.

And when it comes to choosing a response, I really like this idea of the choice point. Um, and the choice point is a reminder that no matter what happens, there is always a choice that we can make. So typically, when difficult situations, thoughts, or feelings turn up, our automatic reaction is to put us into fight or flight survival mode.

Because, you know, From evolution point of view, that was a really useful strategy because, you know, if there’s a noise in the bushes, if you thought that actually there’s a tiger coming to eat me, that’s a good survival strategy. If there’s a noise in the bushes and you thought, you know, oh, there’s a person who’s very attractive in there then that’s not going to be a great survival strategy. Yeah. So evolution has given us a survival strategy, which is that when difficult situations, thoughts, feelings turn up automatically, we tend to go into fight or flight mode. We get hooked onto doing away moves and react ineffectively. We behave unlike the sort of person that we want to be because the reality is that most of the difficult situations, thoughts, or feelings that turn up now, they are not a threat to our life.

They’re much more complex. Yeah. So, instead of those difficult situations, thoughts, feelings, um, moving us away from being the kind of person that, that we want to be, automatically putting us into fight or flight mode, what you want to do is you want to move in a different direction. You want to, um. Act like the kind of person that you want to be.

And that might not be the automatic reaction where you go, that’s something that you might need to spend time developing. So being the kind of person that you want to be. And the kind of things that can help you there is, you know, what are the consequence of the away moves? What’s that costing you? So again, you know, if I think in a workplace context, for example, you know, if there’s a person that I don’t particularly like at work, Um, and you know, I might not fall out with them, but I might simply say, I don’t want to work with that person.

I don’t want to have any of the, any interaction, you know, what are the consequences of that? Well, you know, okay. So maybe I’m missing out on opportunities or perhaps patients would deserve me talking to that person and working better with that person. So I’m missing out on opportunities, perhaps is the wrong thing for the patient.

And I say, actually, you know, what matters to me? Well, I do want to be a good colleague. I do want to be a collaborator. I do want to put patients first. So, you know, whenever that person turns up or whenever they say something, rather than me walking away or refusing to engage with that person, you know, what matters to me is, you know, I do want to be a good colleague.

I do want to put patients first. So by recognizing. That if I don’t interact with that person, there’s going to be consequence. And what do I want to do instead? That can be a really powerful way, um, that I can then use the idea of making conscious choices to make choices about being the kind of person that I want to be.

Or if I’m really busy and really stressed at work, and you know, and I have a thousand and one things to do, then again, you know, the automatic reaction might be that I say, you know, this is all too much. You know, I give up, you know, I want to leave it all. Um, I’m probably going to end up having a fallout with somebody.

The next person that comes along and asks me to do something else for them, you know, they’re going to be in for a shock because, you know, that might just be the one thing that pushes me over the edge. But, you know, but what’s the consequences of all of that? I’ve then fallen out with another person. I’ve done less work because I’ve spent so much time worrying and stressed that actually I haven’t managed to deal with any of the work.

So the fact that I was stressed meant I ended up doing even less than I would have done. Whereas, you know, what do I want to do? You know. People will ask me to do stuff. I want to be a good colleague. I want to be a nice person. And you know, what matters, you know, what, which of these jobs that I have to do, which of those matters.

So maybe I spend some time prioritizing and I kind of say, well, actually, you know, I shouldn’t be stressed because if I’m stressed, then I’m going to do even less. So let’s spend some time prioritizing. Do the stuff that’s really, really important. And I need to accept that I simply am not going to be able to do all of that stuff.

Um, and I need to be kind to myself because, you know, yeah, it’s going to be really difficult when I’m stressed when I have so many things to do. So a little bit of self-compassion and kindness is also then important.

And I really like the concept of thinking, feeling, and acting as being three legs of a three legged stool. The three of them go together. How you think influences how you feel and act. How you act influences how you think and feel. And how you feel influences how you think and act. And of course this is common sense because you will all know that if you are really stressed and you do some sports, you’re going to feel better.

You watch a movie you’re going to feel better. You go for a run it’s going to make you feel better. And the reason why I like the concept is because changing how you think and how you feel. That can be quite complex and quite difficult, but actually changing how you act, that’s often much easier to do.

So when things are difficult, and if you’re really struggling to change how you think and how you feel, then focus on changing how you act, because changing your behaviour, that can be a really useful shortcut to changing how you think and how you feel. Okay, so let’s bring some of all of some of that together.

So, um, remember we started off talking about emotional intelligence being about the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. And then we went through a very granular Um, 15 item model that looked at specific things, um, and I’ve given you, um, some examples and some suggestions and some thoughts about how you can develop your emotion intelligence.

So let’s, let’s try and put all of that together. So when it comes to recognizing your own emotions, the key thing really, that’s going to help you with that. is going to be the ability to catch your thinking, notice what’s going on. And mindfulness is a strategy, something that can help you there. So develop mindful practice.

That means you’re going to get better at noticing what’s going on for them and also naming your emotions and specifically being very granular about emotions. You know, there’s lots and lots of different emotions. Try and be specific about exactly what this emotion is and, you know, and give it a name. So noticing and naming.

So let’s move on then to understanding your emotions. So the key questions here are, what are my beliefs about this emotion? You know, what does this emotion mean for me? Um, and what behaviour does this emotion lead to? And then you can use the activating event. belief, consequence, dispute, um, an experiment model, the ABCDE model, remembering that usually we go on automatic, there’s an activating event and we go to consequences straight away.

And there’s a belief in the middle that we usually forget about. Yeah. So it’s, you know, there’s an emotion. What do you believe about emotion? What behaviour does that emotion lead to? And then when it comes to managing. your own emotions. Um, again, the ABCDE model can be helpful because you can start to experiment with different ways of thinking and seeing what happens.

Also, you can remember that emotions are data and emotions are your allies. Emotions are your friends. Emotions are not an enemy. Emotion, emotions are data that tells you, you know, are your needs being met or maybe If you’re talking about relationship, are the other persons needs being met? How does this sit with my value or with their values?

So emotions are giving you some information, um, about that. Um, and again, you know, if you think from workplace context, you know, if you are, you’re really worried about. you know, being in a cardiac arrest, for example, or, you know, you’re worried about doing a particular type of procedures, um, and you’re really stressed and you’re worried, you know, what, what, what does that tell you?

Yeah. So if you’re really stressed about something, then I’m guessing that emotions are telling you that this is something that matters to you. Yeah. Doing a good job matters to you. Patients matter to you. You know, being competent matters to you. So it’s actually emotions are data. Yeah. And if you’re stressed because you’ve got lots of stuff to do.

Yeah. What, what, what does that stress tell you about the kind of person that you are, um, and what’s important to you? Yeah. Um, and then you can link it and you can say, well, you know, if I’m stressed about doing a particular procedure and that’s telling me that actually, you know, I really need to, I really need to go and learn a bit more than yes, I need to go learn a bit more.

You know, if I’m stressed about a particular procedure. And that’s telling me that I really value patient care, then, you know, that’s a good thing. So, you know, stress is my friend because, um, worrying has then made me take a step back and say, you know, do I have the skills? Am I the right person? Is this the right thing?

And all of those things, then all of a sudden, they become useful. And, you know, it’s less about, you know, worry is a problem, but worry now becomes my friend. Worry is useful because it’s helping me reflect and it’s helped me think, you know, is this the right thing for the patient? Um, remember also that a lot of the time.

Um, there are certain emotions that have to be accepted. You know, yes, I get angry because I can’t make it home for Christmas. In that scenario, I’m going to have to accept myself as I am. That doesn’t mean that I have to like being angry, or it doesn’t mean that I have to like a colleague that doesn’t share my values.

You know, I might have to accept that this is a person I have to work with. I might have to accept that stress and being busy. Um, and having too many things to do that all of those things are part of the job. I might have to accept that, but accepting them, that’s not the same as liking them. Yeah. Um, I don’t have to like it, but you know, I have to accept it.

That’s just, that’s just the way that things are. And the other, um, two aspects of managing emotions, um, one is the think, feel, and act. Remember that acting is usually a shortcut, you know, changing your behaviour is a shortcut, and then the idea of choosing your emotions. The automatic reaction might be taking you into survival mode, which isn’t really.

what you want, um, and having a choice when it comes to difficult emotions, you have a choice as to how you want to behave and how you want to act. And remember that knowing what’s the bigger picture, what matters to you, what are the choices of acting in a different way, those kinds of questions, um, can help you, um, can help you deal with that.

So thank you very much for listening. Um, remember we talked about emotional intelligence as being able to recognize, understand, and manage your emotions and the emotions of others. Um, emotional intelligence is a really useful, um, skill to have, um, in the workplace and it’s something that’s well worth developing.

Um, I mentioned right at the beginning that it isn’t just about how much you have, but it’s about balancing. And if I go back over some of the examples that I’ve given. So, you know, if you, if you think, you know, a certainness and anger, you know, they need to be balanced because it might be great that I’m very assertive and I’m very capable of expressing my own emotions.

But if that isn’t balanced with sufficient empathy, then it becomes problematic. Because, you know, in the airport scenario, I’m really good at expressing myself. I’m very assertive. I make it very clear that I’m angry. But if I’ve not demonstrated any empathy for the person in front of me, it’s going to go nowhere.

And again, you know, if I think in a workplace context, you know, if you’re really busy and there’s a job that you need to do, and you’re very forceful in putting your point across and making the case for what you want. But the person that’s on the other end is really stressed and you’ve not demonstrated any empathy for them.

That can be really difficult. Or, you know, sort of say that you’re requesting a test for somebody and the waiting time is really long. Again, you know, if you lack social justice, if you lack, um, that fact to, if you like, the ability to see how your request sits into the overall hospital function, that’s also going to be problematic because you’re very assertive and you’re very capable of making the case for what you want, but you have, you were incapable of recognizing how your request.

sits in the grand scheme of things, how your request sits in with everybody else’s priority. So it becomes, it becomes problematic. Um, equally, if you’re really, really empathetic and you understand other people’s emotions and you really engage with them, you’re giving everybody all the time, but you’re not very good.

at expressing your own emotions, that might mean that you’re not very good at asking for help. So all the time you are, you spend your time offering help to other, doing help for others, being a listener for other people. But if you’re really good at empathy, but you’re not very good at expressing your own emotions.

Then that’s problematic because actually you never get to fill your glass because all the time, you’re giving yourself to other people, but you never ask for help back. And that’s not going to be a sustainable strategy in the long term because you need to fill your glass as well. So developing emotional intelligence overall.

Is useful and developing specific elements is useful, but also remember that what’s important is balancing the different facets of it. You know, it all needs to be in proportion to everything else. So more isn’t necessarily better. So I hope that that was useful, um, and I hope that the concepts that have introduced and some of the tools that have given you, um, will help you succeed and thrive and work.

Thank you very much.

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