S1E15: Knowing And Respecting Your Limits - Emotional Intelligence with Lou Russell

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This is a podcast episode titled, S1E15: Knowing And Respecting Your Limits - Emotional Intelligence with Lou Russell. The summary for this episode is: <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: inherit;">Moser's Director of Learning, Lou Russell is joining us again. This time, we're discussing emotional intelligence or EQ as it's commonly known. What is EQ? Who invented it?&nbsp;Can you change your EQ? Those are some of the questions that we will be discussing in today's episode.</span></p>

Angel Leon: Hello everyone. And welcome to this week's edition of ASCII Anything presented by Moser Consulting. I'm your host Angel Leon, Moser's HR advisor. And in this week's episode, we will be talking about emotional intelligence or EQ as is commonly known. Who invented EQ? What is EQ? Can you change your EQ? Those are some of the questions that we will be discussing today by welcoming back Moser's director of learning, Lou Russell. Lou, it's great to have you back on ASCII Anything. Emotional intelligence is a great topic and I'm eager to learn more about it. How are you?

Lou Russell: I'm good. Thank you. I've got good EQ today, emotional intelligence. I'm good. I think that's one of the things people, when you say EQ you can have bad EQ or positive EQ, I'm sort of on the positive side right now.

Angel Leon: Well, that's good. That's good. So let's start with who invented EQ. I'm curious as to know where did EQ come from?

Lou Russell: Well, there's a little bit of controversy about that, of course. At the same time, there was a thing called multiple intelligences that was very popular probably in the 80s. But basically Daniel Goleman has most of the credit, I would say at this point. He has most of the credit for doing more of the research and getting it into books.

Angel Leon: Okay. So Daniel Goleman. Great. So what is the make up of EQ?

Lou Russell: Well, the idea of EQ is that it's basically concerned with helping you notice your emotional energy and then making choices to react to whatever's happening to you. So a lot of people don't even know that it's in them. It's there and they get freaked out. And then what's interesting is they don't have access to any of the things you would normally be able to do. They can't write. They can't listen. They can't smile at people. It shuts everything else down. So it's a very small piece of how we look at different intelligences, but it's very powerful.

Angel Leon: So I understand there are three internal capacities of EQ, self- awareness, self- regulation and motivation, which focuses on the self, correct?

Lou Russell: Right.

Angel Leon: And then there are two external capacities, which are, social awareness and social regulation. What else can you tell us about those?

Lou Russell: Exactly. So that's really interesting because the first thing you're going to do, you really want to start working on your self- awareness and noticing that maybe you're getting mad about things that are stupid, so you should not do that. And then motivation is kind a funny one, that's one in the middle, because what happens there is if you're not motivated, you wouldn't be on this podcast, right? Motivation is you go, well. Yeah, of course. Because we're studying it right now. So social awareness then is now looking out at other people. And this gets a little dicey too, because as you're looking out at other people, it's good to help people and it's good to acknowledge people, but sometimes you can get sucked into someone else, which is a negative side of that social awareness as well.

Angel Leon: So what about social regulation? How do we regulate while we're interacting with others?

Lou Russell: Yeah. So a lot of times-

Angel Leon: That's a tricky question, right?

Lou Russell: Yeah, it is. It's really a tricky question. And I think personally, that with social regulation... So for example, my team, I can tell how they are feeling socially because we work together all the time. And I know when one's having a bad day, everyone's struggling with something, I'm able to see that. I see that through my social regulation. On the other hand, you could also say, in social regulation, I'm going to tell all of you exactly what to do all the time. And that's what we don't want. The social regulation of someone else bossing you around, that's not really the point of it.

Angel Leon: Well, and I guess you could also apply those social regulation aspect to the workplace, right?

Lou Russell: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Angel Leon: So if you're working as a team, if we are working with each other and going back off of what we had in our initial conversation way back at the beginning of the year about leadership, if you're social regulating, if you're working as a team, you have the leader, you have the rest of the group and as a leader, you want them to be working as a cohesive unit, right?

Lou Russell: Right. Exactly. And I think that's sort of relevant too for all the quarantine that we've been in since then as well. I think not being able to directly see someone socially is a problem right now. And I think that's going to have to come back too, because we're a bit isolated and that social regulation has been in little boxes of Zoom. So I think that's a thing too. We'll see how that turns out.

Angel Leon: So speaking of change and the way we're kind of doing business nowadays with the pandemic, can we change our own EQ or can you change your EQ?

Lou Russell: You actually can, which is really fun. It's not easy though. It's sort of like, can I exercise? Can I lose weight? Sure. You can, but it's going to take work. So the statistic is that you basically have 80 opportunities each year, that if you were noticing and learning from it, you would grow from. So there's 80 opportunities a year for most people in the sense of emotional intelligence. Usually we acknowledged three. So that's a pretty big hole, right?

Angel Leon: Yes.

Lou Russell: Which means we're not really regulating right now. We're not doing a good job with that.

Angel Leon: Three, that's about, you're just leaving 99.3% for the rest out there. So what happens then with the other 77? Are we just not acknowledging them? Are we just not paying attention because maybe the other three are so important that we might not be paying attention to those other 77, or are they just small enough where we just don't care?

Lou Russell: I think we're just busy, really, and we just go flying by it. And we just say," Well, let's go on. I don't feel well, but we're going to go on anyway." So we just kind of run over it, I think. What some people do is they avoid the negative emotion and pretend they're not having it, that's very bad for you. Or they might say," I'm doing positive thinking right now." And won't that be helpful? Probably not. So this is all more about recognizing the situation versus keeping a count, I think.

Angel Leon: Well, that's what I was going to say, because when you avoid your negative emotions, you're basically just avoiding the problem completely.

Lou Russell: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. You're cruising right to 80.

Angel Leon: Exactly.

Lou Russell: Right now I don't have time for that.

Angel Leon: I agree. I agree. We're all worried about something else. So moving on and going along the same lines of the question I just asked you about not acknowledging those other 77 instances. So in speaking about what happens when you're mad? I'll use myself as an example, why can't I think well when I'm mad? What's allowing me not to just kind of think clear and just go ahead and solve the problem right away, or maybe just get out of that madness if you will?

Lou Russell: Right. Well, that's what's interesting. Usually, approximately if you have a strong negative, and this is a negative emotion right now, we're not talking about positive emotions. If you have a strong bad emotion, it usually takes minimum of four hours for it to go away. And in the time when you were in that space, the brain is very smart. It's trying to save you. It's saving you from whatever you seem to be worried about. The brain knows you're worried. So boom! It just closes everything else out. You're literally blind. All you can see is fight, flight or freeze. Those are the only things. And then now we have one that somebody else made up, which may or may not be good. But I think it's interesting. It's called flock, where little gangs get together to make fun of everyone else, or something like that. I think of it as mean girls, which is horrible. But in general, four hour emotional hangover is the low end. That's the low end. And it's interesting because you literally can't go back to work. You go back to your work and now you're still in that mode, where you're going, I can't believe they did that to me. Your brain keeps just pulling you back, pulling you back. And I think you and I talked about this before, but my brother was in the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off. And I found out about it and basically, he was found and everything was okay, thank God. There were people that were not okay, of course. And it took about, I would say maybe two or three hours before we got word that he was fine. I would tell you that I couldn't work for two days. That's how long your inside, your emotions are trying to protect you because they don't believe that that stuff's gone. And the more intense your fear, the longer it takes you to get balanced again. And that's very interesting. And I think most people don't look at that and realize what's happening, they fight it. You go, well, I'm just mad. So I'm just going to keep going and then it's just absolute horror right there yelling at people and all that kind of stuff. So the awareness bit is so important to say, wow! Something different is happening to me. And I'm going to make a choice, whether I'm going to let it go or not, how important is this? In that case with my brother, it was incredibly important. I couldn't do anything else. I think that that kind of stuff is just fascinating how much your brain is able to try to keep you on track, even though you're trying really hard not to be.

Angel Leon: Well in that instance, the flight, fright or freeze, in that instance, I definitely understand just how anybody would freeze. Because you're talking about a close loved one, a brother who is going through probably the worst experience of their lives. And you are 500 miles away not getting any news, not understanding what's happening at all, except for what you see on the news. And just not being able to reach him, that must've been just heartbreaking. And yeah. It definitely leaves you on that fright of even freeze because some people just freeze at the thought of having probably lost a loved one or their loved one being in harm's way. So that, I definitely understand that part. So there is something that I was reading on this topic last night, something called reptilian brain.

Lou Russell: Oh yeah. The reptilian brain. Yes.

Angel Leon: Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Lou Russell: Yeah. Well then that's actually relevant to what we're just talking about. The reptilian brain is your fight flight or freeze. That's the most that has come from the caveman, it's the thing that keeps your brain... You know what I mean? It's been there forever. And once the reptilian brain is, they say, once the reptilian brain is engaged in some extent, everything else is shut down.

Angel Leon: Everything else is shut down. It was interesting, I think back to that situation. It was interesting to me that the first thing I did, I was in my office on the computer like everyone always is. And the first thing I did when I heard it somehow, I don't even remember how I heard it. I closed my door. What was that? But it was almost like a reaction to, I know I'm going to get reptilian right now and I'm going to do it by myself. Well, it could also be in some way a sort of defense mechanism, just because of the situation that you're going through, how close the individual is to your brother. You just want to use the term, shut the world away from you. And so by closing the door, you might be just doing that in your own brain.

Lou Russell: Right. Right. And also keeping other people from bothering you, because you can't manage that. In that situation, you can't manage it at all. You can't manage saying, hi, I want a cup of coffee. No, get out of here. So yeah. And I think everyone can do this. I really do. And I am very happy that I learned about this because even yesterday, I went in for a doctor's appointment, you know what they were scanning or whatever. And I'm working on my breathing, just trying to not get freaked out about this and you can do it. It's just a practice.

Angel Leon: Right. So how can one develop or grow their EQ?

Lou Russell: Well, it mostly is practice. Everybody has a capacity to grow it. There's nobody that can't do it. It's a capacity to heal, but they just don't see that they can, they don't believe that they can at that point. And there's always a tension to go, all right. I give up. I'm out. This is all goofy stuff. I don't know. I think you have to be truthful with yourself, that's really hard also, to think you really aren't able to pull your way through it. I think that's important. And I think you have to help those you, because in a team, it's even more important. You have to be able to communicate effectively. You need to stop making up stories about what the person's saying and actually listen to what they're saying. And that's the social side, the team side is super important in work for sure.

Angel Leon: Yeah. And I think as we touched on earlier, if you're in a team- based environment, this might be a little bit easier because you recognize those around you and you know that the wellbeing of the team and the positive outcome of the team depends on all of you working together.

Lou Russell: Yeah, I totally agree. It's especially true with leaders, I think. Because the leader can see someone on their team and you can see them go reptilian, basically. And then here's what a lot of leaders do, they go," You better stop being reptilian right now, because we've got a lot of work to do." They don't know the impact of that. If you see reptilian, you're very quiet and gentle with the person until they come back in four hours or whatever. But it's interesting because we have the inaudible because we're all running around so much that you just climb over people, which is not.

Angel Leon: So speaking of getting reptilian, I do have a question. How do people know when they're getting reptilian, and can they stop it in time?

Lou Russell: Yes you can. But you don't have much time, maybe 90 seconds.

Angel Leon: Okay. That's not a lot of time.

Lou Russell: That's not a lot of time. But it's a body feeling and if so, if you're not a person that really notices how your body is feeling, once you get so you'd notice that, which is, I think incredibly interesting. Because I have had times where I'm standing there or sitting there wherever I am and I feel this reptilian. I feel it. I can see something's not right and then I have a choice and 90 seconds. But I can look for it now or I can see something different in it. It really is a body sensation. It's not really someone yelling at you or something like that, that may trigger it. But it is really this body sensation that's something isn't right. And you're literally going, okay. I'm looking at my body inside, what is it? What is wrong with you? What's your thing? And then you can decide how you're going to mitigate it or not.

Angel Leon: So basically if you feel your body is going, I guess the word numb might come to mind, but you're feeling just going into that stasis of just, for 45 seconds. So let's use that 92nd window that you've given us. So if at the 45 second mark you're starting to feel dormant, you're starting to feel like you're about to go on there, wake up, right?

Lou Russell: Right. And then in our EQ profile, we have a whole bunch of projects you can do. There's a project for self- awareness, there's projects for social awareness. So the projects are really interesting. So if you look at those and you've tried them before, you can take one out, even just deep breathing. That's a really simple one. Or some people like to do something like take their finger and just keep tapping it on their hand. Just something to divert the whole bit. So you can get down to a good breathing level and be more aware of what's going on around you.

Angel Leon: So that makes a good segue to my next question, which was going to be, what does Moser offer as far as profile goes? I understand we do offer some sort of TTI profiles.

Lou Russell: Right. Yep. Yeah, we do. So they have a whole bunch of different stacks, like sandwiches where you put all these pieces together. So we do have one that is standalone EQ, that's all it is. And they call it emotional caution at that point and the ones that you were talking about, self- awareness, self- regulation, social awareness, social regulation and motivation. And so you can have a person take that. I would say that that's a good one to talk to someone else about it too. Just doing it yourself is probably not as effective. Not a pro or anybody, just someone, like your friend or whatever. I think that's important. And then we have a lot of other profiles that can be tacked on top of that. We can also do behavioral, we can do a disc profile, we can do driving forces, which is your motivation. And so you can end up with a profile that has basically four or five sections, but the EQ can also be just standalone. And I think that's always a really good place to start, especially if you're doing any coaching, it's really good for coaching.

Angel Leon: Right. And I was thinking about that, because some of these profiles can be used just beyond what we're talking about here. They could be put for hiring and things like that, correct?

Lou Russell: Right. And we have another standalone from TTI that's called the stress quotient. And it has, I can't remember off the top of my head, but I want to say it has about eight characteristics of stress and it tells you which ones are bugging you, which are your go- to manic things, you know what I mean? And Nancy who has started working for me recently, she said," Well, lucky for you. You were the lowest on my list." I'd be like," Well, I guess that's good. I'm not sure." But yeah. It's interesting. And again, both of those can be changed at any time. So when you do EQ once or you do stress quotient once, you don't have to say you're done. I wouldn't do it the next day again, but maybe in three or four months or six months or whatever, especially if you had a job changer, or we came out of COVID or something like that.

Angel Leon: And with that, we also want to let our listeners know that, well, Lou's team is currently offering a free EQ evaluation to the first 10 people who go to listen. moserit. com and click on this episode and look in the show notes where we will have a link for you to receive this offer. All right. So with that, Lou, it was great to talk to you again. Thank you once again for joining us today in ASCII Anything.

Lou Russell: Thank you. So much fun. I love talking about this stuff. It's hard to make me stop. So I appreciate your work.

Angel Leon: Thank you very much. I know I learned a lot from you today and I'm sure our listeners did as well. So again, thank you for your time. And I'm looking forward to having you back on the show.

Lou Russell: Thank you.

Angel Leon: Thank you for listening again to this week's edition of ASCII Anything presented by Moser Consulting. We hope you enjoyed this conversation about emotional intelligence and how it's important for your own success. We'd love it if you will join us again next week, where we continue to dive deeper with our resident experts and what they're currently working on. In the meantime, please remember to give us a rating and subscribe to our feed wherever you get your podcast. Until then, so long everybody.


Moser's Director of Learning, Lou Russell is joining us again. This time, we're discussing emotional intelligence or EQ as it's commonly known. What is EQ? Who invented it? Can you change your EQ? Those are some of the questions that we will be discussing in today's episode.