Amy Jacobson is an EI and human behavior specialist based in Perth, offering emotional intelligence training & workshops across Australia and the international markets. The Wiley published Author of ‘Emotional Intelligence: A simple and actionable guide to increasing performance, engagement, and ownership’, Amy’s mission is to break down misconceptions around E.I. and help as many people as possible to increase their emotional intelligence.
In this episode, we discuss what emotional intelligence is, why it’s desperately needed today, and how to get it.
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] Clément: [00:00:00] Hello there and welcome to another episode of unleashed love. My name is Clément Yeung and I’m your host. And today we have Amy Jacobson joining us, who is an emotional intelligence expert author consultant. And she’s been doing this for a long time, over a decade. And so we talk about, and by the way, we’ve had conversations about emotional intelligence on this show before, but this one is really great because we’re seeing it from a different perspective.
We’re seeing it from someone else’s experience and knowledge and skill, and there’s a lot of practical tips and advice in this show for you in your personal relationships and your professional relationships. And there’s a reason why. Emotional intelligence is one of the most popular investments when it comes to learning and development within organizations around the world.
It’s one of those things that if you don’t have it, it really gets in the way of you living the kind of life you want to live and leading you to where you want to be. If you like it, [00:01:00] please do leave us a rating and review on the apple podcast platform. Because every single one we get helps us reach a wider audience.
And with that, not going to take any more of your time. Let’s jump right in emotional intelligence. Can you tell me how you became an expert in, or at least an author in emotional intelligence? How did that even happen?
Amy Jacobson: [00:01:20] A bit of a story too. I’ve always been fascinated with the mind.
And even when I think back to when I first finished school, which was some very long time ago but when it is finished school, I was really fascinated in the mind and I wanted to go into more forensics and criminology really. I just couldn’t quite understand how some people’s minds were that different that they could, it could lead them to do such horrible things.
And when I started to dabble in that area, I quickly realized that I’m a very visual person and trying to switch off from what I was reading, what I was hearing was really hard. So I parked the whole mind work for a while and fell into corporate [00:02:00] world. Like I think a lot of people do actually fell into insurance of all places, and I absolutely loved it, loved the insurance world and still do.
But what I found myself doing throughout that industry was more, again, really watching and studying people’s minds and how they worked different in the workplace. So how, you could simply comes down to the way that they communicate their relationships. They have the way they talk, the way that they apply their skills made such a big difference compared to what actual skills they had.
So I spent quite a few years in corporate world working amongst different teams and working on their emotional intelligence and seeing the difference that a few, different skillsets and a different approach could take. And then I realized it was just so many more industries out there.
So many different people and my interest just grew and grew. So I left the corporate world and set up my own business and just started to really pour myself into research and basically just [00:03:00] be around as many different people as I could. And just really understanding what made them tick and what made them different from other people.
Clément: [00:03:07] Interesting emotional intelligence. Can I just ask you, what does that even mean to you? Because everyone has a different meaning for it. So how do we define emotional intelligence?
Amy Jacobson: [00:03:18] Yeah, it’s sorry. Emotional intelligence is very much a, I think there’s a misconception out there it’s for a long time, it was looked at as a bit of a buzzword and it’s probably the most common question I get because emotional intelligence is, it can mean just so many different things to different people.
If I was to narrow it down, I was telling you my simplistic version first, and then the official version of what emotional intelligence is and where it come from for me, emotionally intelligence is not so much about what you do and what you have the ability to do. It’s more about how and why you do it.
So it’s, throughout our lives, we learn so many skills and our ability just grows and grows from a [00:04:00] technical point of view, from a doing point of view. And the emotional intelligence is a way that we take those skills and actually deliver them. So it’s the height, the how, and the why behind it, rather than what we know and what we can do.
So that’s one simple way that I would say it. The other simple way that I always narrow it down to is simply just owning it, like owning who you are owning, what makes you tick owning the way you respond in certain situations, owning the way that you make other people feel only the way you communicate.
It’s just, it’s learning. What makes you tick and owning? What makes the people around you too, can have the impact that you have on them. So it is very, I think that when you look at emotional intelligence and compare it to your IQ is all of that stuff that you actually learning through schooling and through what place sensory, external mains and the emotional intelligence is just bringing it all together and delivering it.
Clément: [00:04:52] Yeah. I’ve always, I never heard of the explanation of emotional intelligence of what it is that way [00:05:00] before. So thank you. I do find that when I talk with some of our guests about AI, right? It’s something that yeah, everyone has their own way of addressing it and defining it.
And for me, I’ve always. Really been fascinated by it because it’s, it seems to be one of the governing foundations of any kind of relationship. So when you get into a personal relationship or a professional one, your ability to manage your emotions in order to take the right actions or make the right decisions is so important.
And I don’t think we spend enough time. I know we don’t spend enough time, especially on the curricular level. Like it’s not part of, at least when I was growing up, it wasn’t part of my schooling to look into what’s really governing what I’m doing. Where is that? What are these emotions that [00:06:00] I’m feeling?
What are these behaviors that I have? Where did they come from? How do I. How do I deal with them? How do I recognize them first? How do I deal with them? Are they good? Are they bad? All of that. Where do you normally start when it comes with? I would imagine you’ve worked with a lot of people and so you’ve got some kind of approach to helping them to get into a position where they can make better decisions and they can start to take more control of their lives.
How does it all look like to you when you’re talking to someone for the first time and they have a problem with where they are right now in life and they want to improve, their emotional intelligence. How does that journey begin for you?
Amy Jacobson: [00:06:37] Sure. Sure. What you pretty much just described there is pretty much the textbook definition of emotional intelligence.
So it does come back to, and I think, Daniel Goldman is probably the most well-known emotionally intelligence or threatened person out there. And he really coined emotional intelligence back in 1990 of you, your self-awareness yourself, regulation, empathy, social skills, and [00:07:00] motivation. But what I tend to do is because I have seen so many people that have already read books, been on courses, watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, all about emotional intelligence.
They still seem quite lost because the language that we use when we talk about emotional intelligence is not the kind of language that we usually use on a day-to-day basis. So you’re already need to be emotionally intelligent to understand what it’s actually meaning. And while people find it really fascinating to learn about it and to hear about it right.
Still that struggle, that gap between. Okay, that’s great. Now I know what it is. How do I actually put it into day to day for me? Like, how does it align? How do I actually work on this? So for me, those five stages that are out there that self-awareness self-regulation empathy, communication, or social skills and motivation, I’ve turned them into a five step around, own it, face it, feel it, ask it and drive it and that are [00:08:00] in it.
And face it stage is that is the part where I always start for me, it’s about really sitting down and speaking to people and understanding how aware of themselves I are. Like you said, what values and beliefs do they have and where did that come from? What has led them to where they are today?
Because I think we look at our lives and we, I might just programed on in that way, but we’re always very quick to. To take credit where things have gone and where we’re not happy with others. We are quick to give a reason as to why that’s happened, or it was out of our control that we had to do this.
So we needed to do this. And for me, the first part of emotional intelligence is really taking that blame and that victim out of our lives and actually owning who we are and where we are today. The person that we are, where we live, the car, we drive the job that we do, how we respond in situations, it’s all come down to the decisions that we’ve made along the [00:09:00] way.
Clément: [00:09:00] So usually it’s effectively, you’re saying taking responsibility.
Amy Jacobson: [00:09:04] Yes. It’s that initiative. It’s the accountability and the artistic side, which is, I think where we struggle because I have a lot of people come to me with concerns around, the relationships they have with their partners or the relationships I have at work or finding it really hard to work or live in certain environments.
And. Oh we always go out looking for a fix. So looking for that quick fix, like how do we fix the situation, but we’re always looking to fix the other person or to fix the situation rather than actually saying you know what, the only thing you’ve got control of in this is yourself. So what are your real options here when it only comes down to you?
So it’s really taking it back to those basics for people and getting them to understand the way emotions work and what we’ve actually got control of in this world.
Clément: [00:09:52] When you’ve worked with your many clients or, the workplaces you’ve been part of what would you say is [00:10:00] the common recurring challenge that you find that most people find the most difficult?
Is it the first steps taking responsibility or is it something that happens further down the line? Because I, I want to understand where the biggest blockages are for us to get to the point where. We’re able to be a lot more in control of our lives.
Amy Jacobson: [00:10:22] Yeah. So I would say the biggest blocker and certainly the hardest thing to do around emotional intelligence is the second step.
And that is face it. That is just self-regulation that is managing your emotions. I think, I have a lot of people come to me that say, I know who I am. I know what triggers me. I know I respond in this way, but I just can’t stop it. Help me to control that. When this happens, I don’t want to respond like that, but I find it really hard not to.
And I think, managing those emotions and managing how we respond in certain situations is the undercurrent of empathy. It’s the undercurrent of communication of motivation of [00:11:00] everything that comes with it is really being able to own it and control it. And I’m probably the biggest part of that, that I find when I speak to people, is that You’ve got to want to do it.
Like you’ve got to want to change. That is a, you can’t force emotionally intelligence on to anyone. Everyone has the ability to be emotionally intelligent, but it comes down to how they choose. And I actually don’t believe that there is anybody out there that we would call an emotionally intelligent person because it comes down to the situation that you’re in.
I teach emotional intelligence and I wouldn’t call myself an emotionally intelligent person. I would say that I respond in an emotionally intelligent way, but there are times when my kids have asked for it. Whether they’ll say mom, that wasn’t very emotionally intelligent. It wasn’t like emotionally intelligence is actually, it’s a response from us rather than I don’t think there’s anyone in the world that is emotionally intelligent every minute of every day.
Clément: [00:11:55] Okay. Interesting, good point to make. So if you’re listening to this, you’re not supposed to be [00:12:00] perfect. I was going to joke and say the plumber’s toilet is always blocked anyway, so don’t worry about it. Look at me and they say, oh, Hey, relationship expert. You might have, why aren’t you in a relationship?
I’m like, Hey, I’m taking some time out and I’m an expert, by the way, I invite experts and we talk about relationships. But yeah, I noticed recently, I just want to give you a little bit of a story because I feel like w examples, help people get some perspective, but I, so I’ve been dating people and I learned something really powerful.
Again is not the first time I’ve seen this happen with me, but I got very emotional about someone that I saw when I first got to the south of Spain. I left the UK, I left the lockdown. I’d been speaking with this person for a couple of months. Amazing person. Lovely. But I started to get very emotionally attached.
And and it’s very difficult to do that when you’ve never met them for the first time. And when I finally got to see them and things didn’t line up because how could [00:13:00] they right. I started to feel quite hurt. I started to feel quite, I would say self-critical and I didn’t take it.
I didn’t take it well, because I felt like I’d failed. I felt like I’d failed in, in setting my own expectations. I felt like I’d failed in managing my my approach. I felt like I’d maybe lost a lot of time. And yeah, it was a really interesting experience because. Up until now it’s been years since I felt that way, absolutely. It has been more than a decade. And you can have these resurgences of experiences that you thought you were over it that you thought had gone completely from your life, but if you’re not paying attention, it’s going to hit you. And like you said, it was we’re not always, I supposed to be acting in exactly the most appropriate way.
But as long as we’re able to catch it, like I did, as long as I’m able to look back at it, very good, as soon as possible and say, [00:14:00] oh, okay, now I get it. And that’s where I made the mistake and Hey, you know what? It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t her fault. It was just what happened. And let’s just let’s just take stock of everything and move forward with a bit more confidence, with a bit more assurance with a bit more compassion.
Then I think you’re in a good position. At least move in the direction you’re supposed to be going in, because I think we get weighed down by a lot. This might be something else that you’ve seen where people just get stuck on something. They get stuck on. I’m not good enough. They get stuck on I need to be like this or they get stuck on I’m a bad person.
And so they can’t ever break free from their own self judgment, their own self criticism. And they can’t be just a normal,
Amy Jacobson: [00:14:48] Yeah. Yeah. And I think you’ve hit on something really important there in that, and as I said before, that the first step in emotional intelligence is about owning and being becoming self-aware and you’re right.
[00:15:00] We’re not always going to be perfect. I think it’s really unrealistic to think that we can get to a stage where, we never have a problem and we’re always coping really well, but it’s that, it’s the ability, as you said to pick up on the situation and to also have the skills and know how to move on.
And that’s key for me. And I say to a lot of my clients to say, you know what, emotional intelligence is not about not feeling emotions, emotional intelligence is about only those emotions and feeling all the feels, but also not unpacking your bags and staying there. It’s knowing how to move on to that next stage, which is always really important.
We are going to find those loops and those loops that you were talking about, sometimes we do go into what we call an emotional hijack, where that information is coming in through our senses, which it sounds like it may have been something that happened to you in that situation, that information coming in through our five senses, it doesn’t quite align to what our, either what our [00:16:00] expectations are or where, or it doesn’t feed us enough information or assess of a trigger in our mind that, which then a bypass is our neocortex, which is a logical part of our mind.
Then it goes straight to our amygdala, which is our emotional mind. So what we find happens is where actually you’re responding emotionally with no thinking brain and no logical brain in there. And sometimes we can just get caught in a loop and that loop can just go round and round and round.
And that can lead to things like anxiety or, there’s really those thoughts where we start to struggle and we start to. Even kicking in the chemicals in our brain to help us to pull out of those situations. And if we aren’t first off self-aware enough to be able to see it happening. But they not knowing how, what skills to actually use to be able to stop and say, okay, I don’t want to feel this way anymore.
I’m not going to feel this way anymore. The key here is that. So often we look and we think, I CA I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I don’t respond like this anymore, [00:17:00] but a key for emotional intelligence is not just making that call. It’s the next step. That is so important to say how do you want to feel?
Because we’re always feeling right. We’ve always got an emotional response and our triggers and our emotions are connected through neuro pathways. So unless we decide how we’re going to feeling stead and start to work on reprogramming or creating that new neuropath. Mine doesn’t have any other option.
All it knows is to respond to that old way. And that’s how he gets stuck in that loop where nothing seems to change.
Clément: [00:17:31] You told us a little bit about how you got started with this entire journey, and then you got into the, the criminal psychology aspect of it. Are there people that just will never be able to get emotionally intelligent?
Amy Jacobson: [00:17:48] Look, I think there will be people in their life that never respond emotionally intelligent, but I don’t think that’s because they can’t. I think it’s because they choose not to. So I truly [00:18:00] believe that we all have the ability. But the abilities absolutely pointless. If we do not have the desire or the want to do it.
So sadly, yes. I think there’s some people that go through their whole life, not being emotionally intelligent and you can see it just reoccurring every time. And unfortunately, some of those people are not aware of it, either. Some of those people are the ones that you actually hear quoting the fact that they’re emotionally intelligent.
Always to be cautious, as I said, I’m the first person to say there will always be times when we are challenged and I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but it’s having that desire. It’s having the awareness. It’s having the want to be able to be emotionally intelligent in some situations and reading a book or going on a course does not mean you’re going to walk out emotionally intelligent.
Clément: [00:18:51] I agree. I don’t know if you’re a spiritual, I don’t know if you are into, things about being present and meditating and [00:19:00] all of that kind of connection to the source. But I am a little, and there’s this thing called the backdoor to the ego where if you’re not careful, you’re ego can find a way to feed itself by being spiritual or by pretending to be spiritual.
So let’s say you’re meditating, you’re doing yoga. You’re doing all these things that are actually really pretty great, but you’re, you end up using it as a way to strengthen yourself identity rather than let your identity disintegrate, which is essentially what being present is. It’s letting everything just, that’s not important.
That’s not actually you fail. So that you can reveal yourself. And I just thought I’d bring that up because there, there seems to be a lot of different ways that we can be caught off guard by our brain, our mind. And it is it’s a tough terrain out there. [00:20:00] It really is, which is why I’ve created this podcast, which is why I talk to people like you.
And I try to get to the bottom of things that I think can really help. But the student really only appears sorry. The teacher only appears when the student is ready and I really firmly believe that you have to be ready to move to the next level in your own development. Otherwise, You can’t accept advice.
You can’t, you’re not going to seek it. And so people will try to help you, but you’ll never notice until later when you finally are ready and you might remember something, you’ll be like, oh yeah, they were really trying to help me. And they really did. It makes sense. It might be a father. It might be a mother.
It might be some person you met somewhere. I remember once I was boasting about something online, this was decades ago. This was like maybe 15 years ago. I was boasting about something once I bought something and I wanted to tell everybody about it. And someone who was following me on Twitter [00:21:00] and Twitter, she said, you spend too much.
And she’s a very respectable woman. She’s a serial entrepreneur. Good for, I was friends with her and she’s just a very outspoken person, which I really appreciate. And I got so offended by it. I got so hurt by the fact that this woman. W was literally telling me who I was and I thought, okay, how sh how can she know?
Here I am posting like pictures of me wearing like fancy outfits and stuff. And I just remember, yeah, the, these are the kinds of things. These are the kinds of you don’t have to accept that, but if you can see the reasoning behind it, if you can be open-minded enough and disconnected enough from your own identity of who you are and what you’ve built yourself up to be in the eyes of society and everybody around you, if you can disconnect yourself from that so that you can make better decisions.
I think that’s a really good start. And that’s like taking ownership. That’s the responsibility phase, [00:22:00] right?
Amy Jacobson: [00:22:01] Yeah, it is. It’s really being comfortable in who you are. But, so I think some of the examples you’ve just said there, like they been. They’re getting pushed into driven emotionally by fears, that fear of judgment or the fear of not being right.
And, even speaking about the ego part in our mind, it is, our brains are programmed to want to be right from when we were young, going through school, going through everything we’ve been rewarded for being right along the way. And there is that desire in there, especially in the subconscious mind to find justification, to support.
What we’re saying or what we’re thinking so that we feel that we’re right. And that’s how we say that kind of that passion and interests. The very fine line between the going from passion into the egotistical place. When that ego, she said the back opens and that ego starts to get fed because we’ve feed it justification to show we are right, like ed his ass.
Like it’s not, there’s not something wrong with us. There’s something wrong with them. It’s, that’s their problem, not ours. [00:23:00] And even to that point, when you mentioned, hearing somebody else tell you who you are is if you spend too much money, there is that fear of judgment that then kicks in that is what makes her think she’s right.
Because if she’s right, then that makes me wrong. And does she really know me, which is she mean by that? And it triggers all of these emotions with us. Then we start to question ourselves and you go through that emotional roller coaster where you get angry. And then you’re like maybe they’re right.
And you start to doubt yourself. And that self doubt self worth comes into it. And it can very much take us on a rollercoaster ride and everything that you’ve said, climate. I think this is the biggest challenge with emotional intelligence in that every second of every day, we’re feeling an emotion like every single second.
So there are constantly things that will challenge us and whether it’s other people, whether it’s situations, whether it’s thoughts, whether it’s ourself and our comfort level within ourself, our emotional intelligence is challenged constantly throughout every [00:24:00] day. And it’s not until we get to the point where we have so comfortable.
Within ourselves to be able to take information like that and process it and work with that information rather than against it, that we start to get out of that justification and defensive side of our mind and into start really that ownership and accountability and being able to control who we are.
Clément: [00:24:22] Yeah. Yeah. And that’s why I think we’re still talking about the very first parts of this journey because they are the most important, they’re the hardest I’m going to say something controversial now or at least start a conversation about it because there are measurements out there.
If you ever use these or being interested in them or, believed in their efficacy. There’s some measurements out there like indexes that are carried out and put together every year. I think it is on the. EDI of the world. So based on country or location, [00:25:00] and you if you look at it and you think that okay, these guys have accurate data then you see there’s some kind of trend in terms of geographically and culturally, where you are in the world and aligned with your emotional intelligence as an individual.
Is that something you’ve ever seen? The emotion intelligence kind of index of the world?
Amy Jacobson: [00:25:23] Look, I’ve come across it. And I am a little skeptical when it comes to it, because I think even measuring emotional intelligence, because as I said before, like to me, you’re not going to get a person and say, okay, that person is emotionally intelligent.
That person is 80% of my actually intelligent and this to working on it. These people, are moving up into this phase. So me, I think the true measurement is going to be at as a society. And as a country is how open we are to flexibility and adaptability and open to each other. So I think it is going to come those environments and those cultural awarenesses [00:26:00] do help for people to become more emotionally intelligent.
It’s some of the rules or the legislations that, all of that kind of stuff that comes with different nations. Yes. Can give you an a bit of an idea, but you’re only really measuring it off the people that have set those rules or those legislations in place. You’ve really to really get a true measure of emotional intelligence.
And from a worldwide point of view is extremely hard to do. And I think it is going to come down to that acceptability and an honest look, I’m going to be belaboring. I think measuring anything like these short, it gives us a starting point and it gives us a conversation. But that is the tip of the iceberg.
It’s what we actually choose to do with that data. It’s what we choose to do with the results. It’s what we choose to do after that. That is so much more important because I just think that data is just so great and so open to bias. I don’t think it’s probably a true rate on where we’re all at. [00:27:00] Yeah.
Clément: [00:27:00] And plus we don’t want to box ourselves in, I think a lot of the time when we, yeah. I think a lot of the Mo the biggest success stories come from those groups, those kind of cohorts of people that are the least advantaged in terms of these reports, in terms of, the, the aware awareness of that group of people and their potential.
So I would say, I don’t know, maybe it’s not that effective to really look at these kinds of things, but I used to live in the Philippines and I love the Philippines, and I think it’s an amazing place in many ways. What I did notice while I was there, culturally speaking was that people are incredibly emotional and so critical thinking in the workplace, for example, is one of the most important places to really strengthen their their potential, their capacity, their ability to actually do business.
So you’re I guess you’re working with the information that you have and trying to fill in the gaps. But [00:28:00] we’ve talked about the first two steps, which is own it, face it. And then we’ve got three more in your book. I’m just curious if we can like, touch on this a little bit.
What are those remaining three and and yeah. How does it.
Amy Jacobson: [00:28:13] Yeah, so the third one is feel it. And for me, the third one is when we start to get out of our own mind. So that own it and face that we know is really understanding who we are and what makes us tick and where we’re really. I think becoming one without our own self, to know those decisions that we’ve made along the way and why we are who we are.
One want you to feel it’s about getting out about our own mind and actually starting to understand the people around us. So it’s getting to that point where we know that no, what makes us tick as know what makes other people tick and that’s okay. And for me, I always use a statement that was said to me almost 15 years ago, when somebody turned to me and said, other people are not a failed version of you.
And this for me is what feel it is all about that other people are not a failed version of you. They are [00:29:00] themselves and treating people, we hear a lot of people say, treat other people how you want to be traded, where I tend to disagree. I think you should treat other people how they want to be treated and really start to understand what makes them tick and how to empathize with them.
How. How to I have a relationship and that kind of leads into that is your whole empathy side with them. And that is your leadership. That is your, your empowerment side. That is just how you actually make those people feel when you’re around them. And that leads really well into that fourth area, which is the Ascott.
And that then determines how well you feel it, how well you feel other people will actually determine how well you communicate with them, which is the ask it’s space. And that’s where we start to realize that. Communication is not actually about us. It’s about the person receiving it. So communication really great communication is about asking the right questions and asking us ourselves the [00:30:00] right question to say, okay, what is the purpose of this?
Why are we communicating right now? What is the end goal that we want to get to, rather than getting hooked up on the conversation or the process? Just knowing, okay, if we want to get to this end goal, this is the best way we’ll go around it. And sometimes we have to put our pride aside in order for that person to, to connect in with that end goal.
Actually communicated in their way rather than our way. So those third and that fourth step, they are, they feel it. And the ask it really come hand in hand and that’s where we start to change the words that we use and the language that we use, knowing that each word carries a different emotional undertone and influences a situation.
And these days, communicating technology through technology is very different to communicating face-to-face as as your story showed as well earlier on. So that’s third and fourth area. And for me, that is, yeah, it’s it’s taking everything you’ve learned in the first and second phase, and then understanding how that works for [00:31:00] other people.
Clément: [00:31:02] You said something really cool that I, I want, I’m going to make a clip out of it. So it’s probably going to show up in our Instagram, but it’s something to do with not making someone feel how you’d want to be how you’d want to be made to. But making them feel how they want to feel or allowing them to be who they want to be.
Something along those lines. I really love that. I love that because it’s something that it’s so easy to miss and it’s so easy to get caught up in let’s say glib expressions and oh yeah. That’s, that makes so much sense to me. That sounds like it’s a good aspirational thing. Treat someone how you’d want to be treated.
But it makes, it’s such like a nuance of communication that when you change just that one word or that one aspect of that phrase to be treat someone how they would want to be treated, I feel like, wow, that’s such a profound shift in, I, it makes you aware of how much we project on other people.
And projection is one of the toughest aspects of relationships because you’ve got [00:32:00] all this history and you’ve got all these expectations. And you’ve got all these needs and wants and desires and it’s so incredibly difficult not to put that pressure and weight on the shoulders of your partner and judge them based on those things.
And so a great is a super expression. I’m going to remember that. But I just wanted to riff on that. It’s just it’s just very difficult for us not to be able to, to not, to be able to notice when we’re actually doing it and separate our ourselves from all of that. I would say it’s not negative necessarily, but it is a kind of like a grayish cloud that follows us around
Amy Jacobson: [00:32:38] I think it’s very much, it shows just how much we live in our own head to even say a saying like that, to say, treat other people how you want to be treatable.
Actually, it’s not about us. So why would we treat them the way that we want to be treated? So it’s really just changing it to say, get out of your own head and start to think about them [00:33:00] rather than yourself. And it’s there’s another well knowing saying out there too, which I tend to disagree with as well.
And that is, I hear people describe empathy as putting yourself into somebody else’s shoes. And again, it’s not something I would encourage either because as soon as you put yourself into somebody else’s shoes, We start to judge. So if we feel like we’ve put ourselves into their shoes, we start to really take judgment on them and think, I wouldn’t have done it that way.
Or I wouldn’t have done that. And then I wouldn’t have ended up in that situation or why didn’t they just do it this way? Where empathy to me is actually putting yourself in the same emotional state as somebody else. So empathy is about understanding that if that person’s really angry, then when was the last time I was really angry, what is the best thing?
And the worst thing that somebody can say to me, where if you’re putting yourself into their shoes, you might be looking at the situation that they’re in going where they’ve got no right to be angry or they’re overreacting, or, they shouldn’t have, [00:34:00] they shouldn’t have got to that point in the first place.
So I get, it’s another really, well-known saying that people see that, they see the best in and they want to believe that it’s a great thing to put yourself into somebody else’s shoes. It is again, so one-sided that we’re stuck in our own mind. And I think it’s emotionally intelligence is about really noticing in that, knowing how to get out of your own mind and actually putting other people first and working out how to do that when you’re totally comfortable with who you are.
Clément: [00:34:28] I just want to ask you something which is not related to this flow of your process. But what’s the main reason? What’s the main driving force behind people looking to improve their emotional intelligence. What’s the major culprit for that gets them motivated. Oh God, I’ve got to change my situation.
Amy Jacobson: [00:34:49] it’s people wanting. I think people tend to start looking at their emotional intelligence when they look at their own life and they want more like they’re looking and [00:35:00] thinking, is this it like, is this really, it is, this is this all I’m here on this earth to do? Or is this as good as my relationships get with other people?
Is this as good as my job’s going get it’s really asking that question because I think as much as we encourage people to get out of their own head out, we are driven. We’re driven by emotions. Everything in this world has been created to satisfy and an emotional need or a human need, even to the point where, you know, even when we worked, we do stuff for charity or volunteer work.
We think we’re doing it for somebody else, but we actually are doing it because of how we feel by helping someone else. So I think when people find the desire to improve their emotional intelligence, They are looking to improve their life in some way to get more quality out of it, to increase their engagement with other people, to increase their performance, to increase their success, to find and be more.
And in the path of that in order to be [00:36:00] that and to feel like that their relationships must be great. Their, their workplace must be great. Their home life must be great, how they feel internally themselves must be great. So that’s where the desire is to really hit that peak of what they know they’re truly capable of.
Clément: [00:36:17] Yeah, that seems to make sense. In terms of your own view, on how things are developing with human humankind, civilization, are we. Becoming more emotionally intelligent or are we becoming less emotionally intelligent? Is there maybe a time in the past where you feel like we really had it under control?
We were really, we knew what we were doing and now we have some somehow lost that or are we actually evolving how we should be?
Amy Jacobson: [00:36:47] We’re evolving. I really do. I look back even as recent as two years ago, and this is pre COVID pre everything that was happening. And the number of people that I even had said, having [00:37:00] that even had saying to me, people aren’t ready to hear about emotional intelligence, Amy I heard a lot through the media.
We can’t use the words, emotional intelligence yet fast forward to where we are today. And people are so much more open. They are ready for it. And while COVID has had an impact on our ability to maintain our emotional intelligence, I think it’s thrown a lot of people into emotional hijacks for obvious reasons.
It’s really. It’s really challenging people in their emotional state, more than probably anything else has in their life. I think what it’s done in what it’s done in that process is actually opened up people’s minds to want to build it. And it’s brought it to the forefront and I’m seeing organizations on saying people I’m seeing people just stop and slow down in their lives and realize that their emotional state and their emotional intelligence is just as important as all of those other external materialistic measures in their lives.
So it’s a bit [00:38:00] of a catch 22. I think that as. As a weld at the moment, our motions are very tested and our ability to be emotionally intelligent is probably under a greater test than it’s ever been before with COVID. However, I think how our awareness levels have really increased and I think they will continue to increase them.
And we’re seeing just on, on research every single day, that emotional intelligence is coming up in the top five skills of the future. And a lot of the time now it’s number one or number two. So the awareness is there and I feel like we’re definitely going in the right direction.
Clément: [00:38:35] Okay. Interesting. A long way to go.
Yeah. I like that. You’re so positive about it. We have to be optimistic. I do think that there’s somehow a paradox in the sense that you mentioned when things like COVID happen, it’s terrible, but it’s almost, so it’s also like a catalyst. To push into motion. Many of the things that are [00:39:00] it’s like a yin yang situation, right?
Every, every moment has its good and its bad. And so COVID has projected SRE has pushed a lot of us toward being stronger versions of ourselves because we’ve got no other choice. There’s no other option. We’ve got to roll with it. We’ve got to figure out how to deal with it. But at the same time, it’s bringing out the worst in people in many cases because it’s just a hard time.
It’s just a really difficult time to deal with. And we’ve got all these social movements going and whether you believe in them or not, and whether you think they’re helping or not, they’re happening. And it is a, it’s a fascinating time. Yeah. And history, I read quite a bit. Yeah. I’m no expert, but I am quite a big fan from a distance of stoicism, which is something, if you’re listening to this and you don’t know what that is stoicism was like a kind of like a trend of a way of life back in the days when, you know the Roman empire was around and the ancient Greeks were around [00:40:00] and it’s essentially just understanding what are the things in your life that will corrupt you and keep you from being the kind of person you want to be, or where you want to get to, and just shutting them out.
And in order to do that, you’ve got to be. Emotionally strong because those things that will corrupt you are going to make you feel good. Like it could be alcohol, it could be sex, it could be procrastination could be fun things. It could be anything that distracts you from being that from growing as a person.
And I’m not saying that those things are bad because I don’t believe that. But with my own experience in my own life, I recognize how important it is to keep a balance in my life with, the, for example, alcohol, I was an alcoholic for a long time. And I used alcohol as a way to make myself feel good, or at least alleviate a lot of the stress, which is an [00:41:00] emotional drive.
And when I stopped drinking and I had to make that very difficult choice of I’m not going to drink anymore. It was so difficult. So we’re talking about, a very simple process of five things. And on paper, it looks very straightforward. It looks very, I guess you’ve created it and designed it in a way that people can follow it and not get confused by it.
But when you actually go to do the work, when you actually step out of your bubble and you start that okay, own it, face it. It’s oh my God, this feels really bad. This, I feel like I’m going to explode from the inside out because the anxiety starting to kick in the cortisol start and then the adrenaline it’s I don’t like this anymore.
Let’s make it stop. And that’s the difficult, that’s the hard thing for me is okay, you’re ready for this journey, but do you [00:42:00] really. Do you really want to have it as much as you think you do, because if you don’t, it’s a lot easier for you to just stop. How do people keep that going? How do you help people keep that going?
Or do they have,
Amy Jacobson: [00:42:14] yeah, so that’s perfect. That is the fifth step that I work with. So we go through it, own it, face it, feel it, ask it, and the last step is drive it. And the last step for driving is all around motivation and it’s working. The functionality of the brain and how to actually leverage that motivation side, leverage the chemicals in our brain, leverage up purpose and actually achieving things in there.
And in funny, you should mention stoicism cause I’ve actually got the daily stoic, which I think is an amazing book. And I’ve done a lot of work with as some side companies around rising Kings and rising Queens around the do a lot of work in that space and really understanding. And as you said, it’s smoked it, that alcohol or sex or sugar or anything like that, it’s a bad thing.
[00:43:00] What it is actually understanding why or what relationship you have with it. So why it is that you will pour a glass of wine or grab a beer it’s why you’re turning to sugar or turning to sex or turning to shopping or turning to social media. It’s understanding the relationship that you actually have with it.
And that’s coming back to that, that’s what is making you tick really? What’s driving you. So this fifth step in the drive, it is all about sitting down with people and getting them to really focus on what their true purpose is and what their priority is at that time. Because as you stay black, we can have all of the best intentions.
However, if our priorities not immediately aligned to. That’s when it doesn’t happen. That’s when we don’t follow through for such a complex organ, the brain is there is a very simplistic side to it. That is pretty much the carrot dangling in front of us, right? Your brain will always weigh up whether you are aware of [00:44:00] it or choose to or not, you have waves of what do I stand to gain and what do I stand to lose?
And if what I’m going to stand to gain is not strong enough or not big enough to outweigh what I stand to lose or vice versa. Then our subconscious mind will hijack the whole process and just make it not happen. And where we really start to work in that space and understand what is it that triggers dopamine in our mind?
What is it? That’s triggering that the cortisone, the adrenaline, all of that kind of stuff. We start to see where our actual priorities lay and just how important they are to us. And we hear it a lot. Like the amount of times I would hear people say, I’m going to try to go for a run today. And in straightaway sight to them, you’re not going to go.
And I can tell you why you’re not going to go because your subconscious mind has already decided it’s not going. And that’s why you use the word. Try. If you were going for a run today, you would have said, I’m going for a run today. And it’s just understanding the relationship that your subconscious mind has with [00:45:00] your conscious mind and simply changing.
And the amount of people I’ve worked with that all we’ve had to do is start by changing that language, getting them to understand well, why is it actually important for you to go for a run today? What do you stand to gain from it? What do you stand to lose? And then instead of saying, I will try to go for a run.
I want to hear you say, I am going for a run. And once you decide you are going for a run, tell me what time are you going for a run? What course are you going to run? How are you going to do it? What are you wearing when you’re running? Because the more that we can get really specific. Our brain national research tells us that our brain actually cannot determine the difference between something that has actually happened.
And I visual image that we’ve embedded in our mind. So that’s what we start to work with that really the way that the brain works. So in order to embed that memory in there, that visual image in that might be in the future, which then helps us to actually achieve it. It’s absolutely fascinating. I [00:46:00] love that side of it.
Clément: [00:46:02] Yeah. I think I’ve heard that before somewhere and I agree. I agree with it. I agree with that. I use, I’ve, I don’t do them anymore, but I used to do accountability calls out. So someone would call me and we would call each other in the morning and we would say what we’re going to do. And we would decide, this is what we do.
And at the end of the day or in the morning, the next morning, we would talk about what we did the day before. And it was a good way of getting that traction. It didn’t always work. It didn’t always happen the way that we wanted it to, but it was almost like you’re using a lot of leverage there to keep yourself on track.
And there’s a lot of tricks that there are available to us to be able to keep us on track and keep us moving toward these emotional intelligence goals and things. But I wanted to say something to you and I don’t know if you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t, but I think that we’re born with [00:47:00] unlimited potential.
I think we’re born all with this blank canvas and we can choose how we want to paint on it and fill it up. And I think over time that potential somehow gets narrow. Into what it is that we’re moving toward and how we’ve structured our lives in our understanding of things in our perception, which is, just part of the journey of life and that’s how things work.
And it’s beautiful in that way, but I feel like it’s also sad because the longer that we wait to actually take action on things like this, the harder it becomes, which is why phrases like can’t teach an old man, an old dog, new tricks are so cliche. It’s they’re true. And I think that’s a really good point to end this conversation and kind of close up this conversation is I feel that if you are in a situation where you’re not happy with how things have worked.
[00:48:00] If you feel like maybe you could have more control and take more ownership of your life so that you could have more freedom and more more happiness. I think now is the right time to start looking into what is it that I’d need to do to be able to shift things right? And that’s maybe perfect time for them to get in touch with you and buy your book and start reading about it.
Amy Jacobson: [00:48:28] I absolutely agree with what you’re saying. I like to think that every person, every baby that is born has emotional intelligence skills and has the ability to bait instantly, emotionally intelligent. And then he has some people say, some people are born with it. Some people aren’t. I think that there are some people that naturally have emotional intelligence, but I feel like it’s all of those defining moments through your life that you’re referring to, that do narrow down the path and they start to create our values and our beliefs based on those defining moments, which then [00:49:00] creates that structure to us.
And we respond emotionally based on those experiences. And I think, and I’m 42 and I’m still learning every single day. I don’t think that there is an age where we stop that ability. Like they’ve proved that neuro pathways can be formed every single, the quickest way to form a new neural pathway in your mind is to brush your teeth with the opposite hand.
If you do that just every morning for two weeks, you actually create a brand new neural pathway in your brain. There are so many different things to do. And I think you’re absolutely spot on climate. There is, it’s never too late to start doing it. Like you can actually, I take that back. There is a time where it’s too late and that’s when your life is over and you regret it.
Start it now, don’t hold back and there’s always a way to do it. And to become emotionally intelligent to make more out of your life. [00:50:00] The only thing that’s holding you back is how bad you want it. If you want it bad enough, it’s possible. You can make it happen. You really can. And I’ve seen it happen with so many people at the moment, just changing who they are and you start to change within yourself.
And it’s like a domino effect on everything around you on your relationship and your kids on, the people you just come in contact with. It is highly contagious. So go for
Clément: [00:50:28] it. Yeah. There’s and there’s yeah. Yeah. I know what you’re saying about that highly contagious aspect of it because I so in the past I have said things like, okay, so I’ve started the journey into, let’s see.
Natural health. I went to university and I studied naturopathic nutrition, my father and my father’s as pharmacist by trade. So he’s all about the, or he was all about the Western allopathic medicine. And up until that point, when I was maybe 23, 20, 20, 22, 23 we weren’t [00:51:00] really eating raw vegetables that much in the family, everything was cooked, everything was, and I saw, okay, Hey, there’s a lot of nutritional benefit to this.
I bought a juicer. I bought like a blender and started doing it in the family kitchen. And they were like, what are you doing? What, why are you juicing these things? And isn’t it better to anyway after a while, Let’s say five years later, I, I’m talking to them and they say, juicing’s really good for you.
You should try it. I’m like, I was the one who told you about that. You know what I’m saying? It’s so funny. And but that’s just one example of it, like where it may be contagious and starts people thinking and letting them get the kind of like confidence to try something new. So I agree with you, but that neuro-plasticity thing, which I think that essentially is what you’re talking about is neuroplasticity.
I wanted to come back to that quickly. You mentioned how brushing your teeth with the other hand is one of the quickest ways to create a new neural pathway. And I heard, and I’m not [00:52:00] an expert either, but I heard, and maybe you can help me with this. I heard that when you are working on your neuro-plasticity, which is essentially, forming new connections in your brain and your neural network, it can help facilitate.
With the absorption of new information easier. So for example or it can help you see things from a different perspective. So for example, like I’m playing the guitar. Okay. This last year I picked up a guitar that I haven’t touched for 15 years. And I started playing and I started singing and I started trying to get through that problems that I had with the chords and the the motor kind of synchronization and it’s difficult, but I feel like just like learning a new language, it’s starting to open up my brain and helped me see things differently.
Is that what you’re referring?
Amy Jacobson: [00:52:55] Yes. Yes. So I started a man. I’m trying to remember his name. [00:53:00] I saw an amazing speaker probably would have been about five years ago. And he’d done a lot of research into this space and he was the actual one, the one that referred to changing the hand that you brush your teeth with.
And the other two areas that he said was the best thing that you can possibly do for your brain and for you in your role. You’re in rural area is actually learning a musical instrument or learning a new language. They are the two biggest things that he said that from a simplicity point of view, yet, if you just want to test it out.
And I know I went home that night and I’m right-handed. So I started brushing my teeth, my left hand, and I would highly recommend to do it before you get dressed, because it is really messy. It is really messy. The first couple times you do it. And I had my kids doing it as well. And it does, it just, it completely changes the way because you’ve got to actually stop and think like how do I actually do this?
And that’s where he was saying too, around the musical instrument and the language as well. It challenges your mind in [00:54:00] a completely different way and just opens up. Or if you’re full of urine, you’re a plasticity and yeah, it just, it can have an amazing impact. And I think, that just shows, it shows that your brain is never set in stone.
It’s never closed. It’s never shut up shop. And that scene, this is as much as I can learn. There is always an opportunity to learn. Sure. It can be more challenging as we get older, because as you said, we’ve narrowed down our options and our like how open we are to things. But definitely working on that neuro-plasticity side opened up our mind and just opens up the opportunities.
Clément: [00:54:35] Yeah. Yeah. W we’re built to evolve, we’re made to adapt. That’s what humans are about adapting. So it would make sense that not just physically to our environment, which is what most people think of, but also mentally and emotionally, no matter what, it’s still got some potential there it’s been a real pleasure talking to you.
Honestly. It’s been amazing. And I love the whole topic of emotional intelligence. It’s something that I think is desperately [00:55:00] needed. So how do people get your book and how do people get in touch with.
Amy Jacobson: [00:55:04] Sure I’ll start. My book is available worldwide at a lot of in place are like bricks and mortar bookstores.
More internationally. If you’re outside of Australia, you can find it on any of the online platforms. So through your Amazon book type. Yeah, I think there’s actually quite a few big ones in the European areas and UK areas that hold it as well. If in doubt, just head onto my website, which is finding your why with the letter y.com.edu.
And there is a whole page on the book in there that you can click into it and it’ll take you through to links as well. But I do believe I’m trying to remember the big store in UK is a Waterstone
Clément: [00:55:42] Waterstones.
Amy Jacobson: [00:55:43] Yeah. Yeah. So Waterstones is stocking it as well. But if you jump onto any of your website is published through Wiley.
So any way that stocks Wiley books pretty much has mobile.
Clément: [00:55:52] Excellent. Thank you so much for joining me.
Amy Jacobson: [00:55:56] It’s been an absolute pleasure. I love speaking a fate for the half, a passionate in this [00:56:00] area as well. And I can see you definitely through, and it’s been a lovely chat. Thank you for having me.
Clément: [00:56:05] Hey, thanks for tuning in.
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