#40: Boost Your EQ with Justin Bariso
#40: Boost Your EQ with Justin Bariso
Ready to take your EQ to the next level?
This week, Hala yaps with Emotional Intelligence (EQ) expert, author and speaker, Justin Bariso. Justin’s column draws over a million readers a month on INC.com , and LinkedIn has named him a “Top Voice” three years in a row. His recent book, “EQ Applied: The Real World Guide to Emotional Intelligence,” shares practical ways to increase EQ to improve relationships and careers.
In this episode, Hala and Justin discuss why EQ is action-oriented, how our brain’s emotional programming makes self-control so difficult, and why negative feedback is truly a blessing.
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#40: Boost Your EQ with Justin Bariso
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[00:01:21] You're listening to Young And Profiting Podcast, a place where you can listen, learn and profit.
[00:01:29] I'm your host, Hala Taha and today we're speaking with EQ expert, author and speaker, Justin Bariso. His thoughts draw over a million readers a month on Inc com and LinkedIn has named him a top voice three years in a row. His recent book EQ Applied: The Real World Guide to Emotional Intelligence, has a wealth of fascinating and practical advice to increase.
[00:01:53] Cue to ultimately improve our relationships and careers. And this episode we'll discuss [00:02:00] why EQ is action oriented, how our brains, emotional programming makes self-control so difficult and why negative feedback is truly a blessing. Hey Justin, welcome to Young And Profiting Podcast. It's so great to have you.
[00:02:14] Justin Bariso: Thank you Hala. It's great to be here.
[00:02:16] Hala Taha: Very excited for this interview. Emotional intelligence is one of my favorite topics to talk about on this show. And you have so much expertise. So really looking forward to this conversation, Justin, you are an author, a speaker, a consultant, you help organizations and individuals develop their emotional intelligence.
[00:02:37] An amazing and very practical book it's called, EQ Applied. And your thoughts on leadership and EQ draw over a million readers a month through your various platforms, LinkedIn and so on. So in your own words, could you introduce yourself to our listeners and tell us how you got into EQ and how you became an expert in this field?
[00:02:58] Justin Bariso: Yeah, sure. So I [00:03:00] have probably a much different journey than most people. Worked about 13 years for a nonprofit in New York city, we'll start at in New York city. And it was a great experience for me because it was a very mission-driven organization. Very forward-thinking very people oriented. And so that was where I, earned my chops and got training and beyond just like training in dealing with people, I had some great mentors.
[00:03:27] I saw how to actually put that training. And to practice, managing small teams, which eventually became larger teams, but then some years later, my wife and I actually got pregnant and this was very unexpected for us. We weren't planning to have kids and my wife is from Germany. So we made the decision.
[00:03:46] Yeah. Maybe an unorthodox decision for some, but we decided to move to Europe, to Germany actually, to be closer to her family. That was about eight years ago. And so I took all this training and experience that I had and I went out on my own and I started [00:04:00] consulting, just freelance originally for different organizations.
[00:04:02] And I was helping German executives, the German thinking in the workplace as much different. Yeah. The American workplace has a lot to work on too. But I would say in many ways, the German thinking was even behind quite a bit like I'll share, there's a phrase it's very popular in German and loosely translated.
[00:04:19] It says to not get scolded or to not get cursed out is enough praise. So that's their kind of thinking, that is in a lot of companies typical over here. So I was taking a lot of what I had learned and bring. Over here and helping German executives. And then eventually just stumbled into writing about this whole journey and it became more and more emotional intelligence focused just based on what I had experienced, but then noticing too that there was a gap because I was doing a lot of research on emotional intelligence and, a lot of the writing I noticed was.
[00:04:55] Well, Goldman's book was already 20 years old. It's brilliant, but it was two decades old [00:05:00] Bradbury's stuff was almost a decade old. And there wasn't, I found a lot of very relatable, very practical materials. So I started filling in this. What I felt was a gap in the space. And I did that mainly through my column, which is on.
[00:05:13] Inc.Com to me, it proved that there was a gap because the column just took off. In the beginning I had, I think my first column had a couple thousand readers and within a few years it was, over a million, I think we're averaging 2 million a month now. So it seems like something people were hungry for.
[00:05:31] What is emotional intelligence? It's gone through a resurgence because you have a younger generation of workers that didn't know it from the two decades ago. And also. They wanted real life examples. What does this look like? And how can I improve mine in that can of thing?
[00:05:44] Hala Taha: Yeah, that's amazing. And so for your articles, where do you base your information off of, is it mostly personal experience or do you do any sort of like research in the field?
[00:05:55] Like how do you get your information?
[00:05:56] Justin Bariso: All the above? I'm not a PhD, so I don't have any [00:06:00] clinical research, anything like that, but I would write. A lot based on personal experience, both in the US managing teams over the years. And then what I learned now, consulting with companies since then, since I started here in Germany.
[00:06:13] And when I did that, I worked eventually not just with German companies, but then again with us companies to a few also outside of both countries. So a lot of it was based on personal experience and working directly with. Teams, and then just reading and following the modern research from the PhDs and from the clinical trials now, and then turning that back around and say, okay, how can we apply that?
[00:06:37] Cause it's one thing to read these papers and to read the statistics, but how do we make this work in real life? And one other thing with the writing is, was identifying examples of emotional intelligence in pop culture in breaking headlines, because that was another thing I thought that people weren't really giving.
[00:06:55] Do credence to is I wrote an article, for example, this was actually based on a tweet. [00:07:00] I just came across. I don't even know how I came across it, but it was a lady who had applied for a job. She was really discouraged because she was applying, she had gotten reduced. Her company was downsizing and her position was made redundant.
[00:07:12] She was applying job after job and getting rejected, very discouraged. And then she just tweeted this great experience. She had applying with a company named DigitalOcean. Maybe some of your audience has heard of it. And she was just so blown away by the response she got, that it was from a real person.
[00:07:28] We really appreciate you applying. Here's how the process will work moving forward. So she knew exactly what to expect. And then she actually didn't get hired for the job. But the response again was just very human, very real. She didn't feel like it was an automated or canned response. They explained why she didn't get the job.
[00:07:46] They acknowledged her and said, we really loved this about what you had to offer, but this is what we were specifically looking for, that you didn't offer, which I thought was great because this also, it helps her to see where the gaps are on her field. In case she wants to [00:08:00] do some professional development or something like that.
[00:08:02] But I was blown away that she was tweeting a positive experience with this company that did. To hire her, and that's what I use my column for also is to elevate and give a platform to these companies that are doing right and encourage other companies to imitate that.
[00:08:16] Hala Taha: Yeah. I have to say your work is really easy to understand digestible, very actionable.
[00:08:21] And so definitely a breath of fresh air when it comes to this topic. Because a lot of times when I've been reading about it or discussing it with other people, it's very high level and you bring it down to a place. People can actually take action and improve their EQ, so kudos to you.
[00:08:38] Justin Bariso: I appreciate that Hala..
[00:08:38] Thank you. I have three small children, so someone taught me a long time ago. If you really want to teach something you have to teach it. So a six year old can understand it. And I appreciate that on the learning side, because I've read stuff and I'm like, what is this person trying to say?
[00:08:51] So I try to apply that in how I teaches well.
[00:08:54] Hala Taha: Yeah, really quick. I wanted to highlight that you are in Germany. You are the first person I've ever
[00:09:00] interviewed in Germany. So very cool. I always love being a global podcast. We have guests from all over the world. So shout out to all my European listeners. Okay, let's get into really dig deep into emotional intelligence to give my listeners some background on this topic.
[00:09:16] The term emotional intelligence was coined by Daniel Goldman back in 1995. And it was really thought of as the missing link in regards to people with average IQ was outperforming those with high IQ, 70% of the time. So this really threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed. To be the source of success, which was previously thought to be IQ.
[00:09:41] And now more and more findings are showing that EQ is actually the it factor when it comes to success. So in your own words, Justin, tell us why EQ is so important to one success.
[00:09:53] Justin Bariso: Definitely. So we're emotional creatures, right? We operate many times. On a motion. We have the
[00:10:00] ability to also be rational creatures.
[00:10:01] The fact of the matter is different areas of our brain operate when we're under high stress or when we're in an emotional situation. So emotional intelligence is all about identifying, understanding and managing those emotions. It's not about eliminating those emotions. Some people think, oh, emotional intelligence.
[00:10:18] You're trying to turn people into robots now. Emotional intelligence is about finding that balance between the rational and emotional thought, because you don't want what might be described as rational thought without emotion. You don't want that because we're emotional creatures. Emotion is great. It motivates us.
[00:10:34] It inspires us. On the other hand, we've all been in situations where we did or said something that we later regret. And oftentimes it's because we're an emotional moment and we're not in the practice of managing or even understanding, at times what those emotions are and how they're affecting us. So my job is to help people understand the role that emotion plays in their decision-making and their behavior, and then see how to understand that and how to [00:11:00] manage that.
[00:11:00] And I try to condense that into one very simple, easy to understand sentence. Emotional intelligence is making emotions work for you instead of against you.
[00:11:10] Hala Taha: Very cool. And so in your book, you say that we're living in an era of post-truth and that this era of post-truth makes it more essential for us to be, great at emotional intelligence or improve our emotional intelligence.
[00:11:25] You say in this era of post-truth, we lose the ability to think for ourselves and that our personal beliefs have become more influential than objective facts. So can you tell us more about this era of post-truth idea? Because I found it so intriguing.
[00:11:40] Justin Bariso: Sure. The way you were educated nowadays is through the media, right? And the media on many different sides is oftentimes biased information. We're getting facts presented us through a certain lens. And again, that's regardless of political affiliation or [00:12:00] reporter. All of us are influenced by our own respective upbringings, our training, all the above.
[00:12:07] And so the media is exactly the same. So a lot of times it can be very difficult to know what is true and what is false, what is exaggerated, all of the above. So emotional intelligence can help us because it helps to separate that and to see what is exaggerated to see what is not exactly it might be coming through.
[00:12:25] Factually, or it might be biased in one way or the other. And it's all about being able to read the news, to be able to see a situation. We all know that a situation can look different. Let's say a situation at work, depending on what perspective you're seeing it. The boss sees it different from the employee who sees it different from someone outside of the team.
[00:12:45] So being able to recognize those perspectives. And again, finding that balance with emotion. So letting emotion, influence how we think and how we examine, facts and situations as they're presented to us, but not letting our emotions run
[00:13:00] away with how we judge those situations.
[00:13:02] Hala Taha: Got it. So I recently had Scott Adams on the show.
[00:13:06] He is a cartoonist and created Dilbert and he wrote this book called Win Bigly. And it's all about how Trump used persuasion strategies to win the 2016 election. And it got me thinking, do you think that persuasion and emotional intelligence are connected?
[00:13:23] Justin Bariso: We need to tap into someone's emotions to persuade.
[00:13:27] And we talk about, for example, just think about any presentation, any sales pitch, any political speech that's given, they can cite statistics and they can cite facts and it can all be very interesting. And it may all be very logical and you may walk away saying, oh yeah, I should vote for that candidate or, oh yeah, I should buy that product.
[00:13:51] But if it doesn't touch you on an emotional level, you will not do those things. So emotional intelligence and persuasion are definitely connected because [00:14:00] persuasion is all about combining that data, the facts with a story, with something that touches a person. And once you do that, then you can motivate people to act.
[00:14:11] Hala Taha: Totally. So I would definitely recommend, if you listened to this episode, go to number 38 and brush up on your persuasion skills. I think it would be a nice pair of episodes to listen to. So let's define what emotional intelligence is in your book. You give a definition. The ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions and use this information to guide your actions and thinking, and your personal definition of emotional intelligence is the ability to make emotions work for you instead of against you.
[00:14:41] Now, the title of your book is EQ Applied. And so I'm assuming that you're suggesting that we should take action when it comes to EQ. So tell us why you believe that EQ is so action oriented.
[00:14:55] Justin Bariso: Sure it starts off with. Self-awareness, [00:15:00] we break down and, I don't take credit for this Goldman, as you said, he was big and popularizing the idea of emotional intelligence, which originally started with two college professors, Peter Salovey and John Meyer, who really, they pioneered the research, but Goldman's book is what really opened it up to the masses.
[00:15:17] And one of the first domains or facets of emotional intelligence is self-awareness and then another one is social awareness. So self-awareness is being able to understand emotions and how they affect you. So if I'm in a certain mood, being able to recognize that and knowing that may influence how I respond.
[00:15:34] If I'm in a really good mood, I may say yes. It's to something that I don't want to say yes to, if I'm in a really bad mood, quite the opposite, I might turn down a great opportunity or I might write an angry email that I later regret things like that. And then social awareness is extending it and being able to understand how emotions affect others and how a person might be reacting or acting in a different way, because. The way emotions are affecting them at the moment.
[00:15:57] So that's all the understanding, [00:16:00] right? That's all the awareness, but then to make it actionable is the next step. And these are the domains or the facets of being able to manage myself, being able to manage my relationships. So taking all that understanding.
[00:16:15] And then being able to put that in the practice. So I'll give you a brief example that I cite in the book. And I actually learned this from an unlikely source, Craig Ferguson the comedian television personality. And he says, before you say anything, you have to ask yourself three questions in your head.
[00:16:32] Does this need to be said. Does this need to be said by me, does this need to be said by me now? And if he makes a joke out of it, he's it took me three marriages to learn that lesson, but it's so true. If you put that into practice, we talk about. Thinking before you speak or taking a pause before you take action.
[00:16:53] And it's easy to say, but it's not easy to do in practice, but having those three questions in your head [00:17:00] can really help you. I know because I use this every single day of my life. I use it in my work life. I use it at home with my wife, with my children and, it eliminates probably 70% of the things that I would say, just realize.
[00:17:13] This might not be the best time to bring this up. And sometimes the answer is yes to all three questions. Yes. This needs to be said by me right now. And that's great because you can say it with confidence and not worry, how the other person is going to react. Cause you need to say this, but other times.
[00:17:27] You might say, okay, I do need to say this, but this might not be the best time for it. And recognizing that can make all the difference in the response that you get, from whether it's your partner or a colleague or that kind of thing. And then just, a caveat to that. So that's for someone like me, who tends to put their foot in their mouth, rather easily, but then you have other people who are more introverted and these probably are not.
[00:17:48] Necessarily the right questions to ask themselves, at least not all the time, because they already hold back from talking. So they might want to have another mental dialogue with themselves where they ask, will I regret not saying. [00:18:00] This thing that's in my head right now. And that could be the motivation to get them to actually speak up and say something that they really should say or should ask.
[00:18:07] Hala Taha: Yeah. I love that. So the questions are, does this need to be said, does this need to be said by me? And does this need to be said by me now?
[00:18:15] Very cool. And I'm like you where I put my foot in my mouth all the time. So I'll definitely take that advice. And if you're introverted, do not take that advice or else you'll never say anything when you're supposed to.
[00:18:27] So in your book, you break down into four distinct abilities, you were teasing them out when you were defining EQ. The four skills are self-aware. Self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Could you just unpack each one of these in detail for our listeners so we can start to understand them really well?
[00:18:47] Justin Bariso: Sure. Yeah. To get back into self-awareness again, this is identifying and understanding how emotions affect you. So it deals with a lot of things. It deals with the current mood that you're in, how the mood affects you. [00:19:00] It deals with what your tendencies are. So for example, What kind of emotions tend to influence my decision-making, do I tend to make decisions when I'm angry that I later regret?
[00:19:10] Most of us do. But identifying when that happened. We're all gonna make those type of mistakes. But when you identify, when that happens, it helps you to understand when it's happening or while it's happening. And then the goal is to understand, even before it happens, so that you can make adjustments.
[00:19:28] And like we said, nobody's perfect. So you will continue to make mistakes and we'll continue to be emotional creatures. Identifying that can help you to make better decisions can help you make decisions that are more in harmony with your values and your principles. So you're not making so many or doing so many things or seeing so many things that you regret.
[00:19:45] So that's, self-awareness, self-management, as we mentioned is now putting that into practice. So what are the techniques? And I go into these in detail in the book, and we just talked about it too. What are questions I can ask myself? What are exercises that I can practice to help me, [00:20:00] not only to understand how these emotions are affecting me, but to be able to actually.
[00:20:04] Act differently if I act the same way over and over again, if I always tempted to get an incident of road rage, every single time I get cut off on the highway, how can I change that habit? Cause habit change. And I know you interviewed someone recently, it was talking about this too. It's so hard to break habits, right?
[00:20:21] Especially bad ones. So what are the things I can do to help. Change these emotional habits. That's the self-management side. Social awareness then is applying that to others. So how can I understand? Others, how can I have empathy for others? And one of the greatest lessons I've learned in my own research with emotional intelligence and writing the book, I had the chance to interview Chris Voss, which I think you interviewed Chris Voss too.
[00:20:47] Is that right? Isn't he awesome.
[00:20:49] Hala Taha: Amazing. That was one of my favorite interviews. And when you mentioned before about habits was and he's great too. Yeah.
[00:20:57] Justin Bariso: So I got to interview Chris Voss with the book [00:21:00] who, for those that weren't able to hear that episode, he was the. FBI's lead kidnap negotiator for a number of years.
[00:21:07] And he's the one that taught me. I thought I knew empathy. Chris Voss taught me empathy at another level because he's the one that taught me this amazing phrase. Empathy does not equal agreement. And in just those few words he was dealing with. Kidnappers these terrorists criminals. And he had to learn to develop empathy for them because that's the only way he would ever get to persuade them to, change their course of action.
[00:21:32] So of course he couldn't agree with them. They were hardened criminals. They had broken the law many times in severe ways, but he had to understand where they're coming from. If he had any. Have, changing their mind. And so here's, the social awareness is understanding other people. Now we may differ very much from them as far as their thinking, their ideology or even, let's put it in a very simple context at work.
[00:21:56] And let's say someone comes to you with a complaint and it's very hard to relate [00:22:00] to that. Cause you know what they're complaining about. You've had to deal with that before and you're like, man, what is the big deal? Just toughen up. It's not such a hard thing to do, but you have to. I understand the feeling that they're dealing with.
[00:22:12] Okay. Maybe you were overwhelmed by that certain thing, but you have been overwhelmed at work. And if you can relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed. Now you can start to understand that person. Now you can relate to them better, and they'll be much more willing now to hear what you have to say, so that social awareness is being just able to understand others and how emotions are affecting them.
[00:22:33] And then the final kind of maybe hardest one is relationship management, and that's where you're taking all three of those other facets and putting them together. And managing your relationship with others so that you are able to build trust with others so that you're able to give and provide value in those relationships.
[00:22:52] And you're going to get value in return because when people trust each other, whether it's on the same team, whether it's at home [00:23:00] two partners, now you're going to get much more out of that relationship. So that's relationship.
[00:23:04] Hala Taha: Very cool. Thanks for breaking that down. So from my understanding emotional intelligence at crux of it is really about cultivating self-control.
[00:23:14] Can you start to explain to us why our brains emotional programming make it so difficult to have self-control and why we're just hardwired to not have self-control?
[00:23:26] Justin Bariso: It all goes back into the habits, right? Once you do something over and over again. You're basically, you're running a little path in your brain and it gets very easy to do that same thing over and over again.
[00:23:38] And even if you regret it, if you do certain accents that you regret, if you don't do anything to change that path, then you're just going to do it over and over again. So here's an experience I write about in the book to illustrate this since my own experience. Actually, as I mentioned, I have small children, so I might take my children to the park and I'm very.
[00:23:56] I'm always checking my email, right? So I opened my [00:24:00] phone, I get a message or I get an email and they are trying to play with dad. I'm trying to respond to this email or this message. I get frustrated. Next thing you know, I'm like yelling, just leave me alone for a second. I got to respond to this.
[00:24:13] They end up in tears, This is horrible scene. Who's at fault there. Okay. You could say I'm at fault, but if we break it down even further, the children are just trying to get my attention, which I've promised them. Cause I'm taking him to the park. I'm trying to do something for work at the moment, which isn't bad within itself, but the real problem, the underlying problem.
[00:24:33] I'm trying to multitask and I happen to be the worst multitasker on earth. I've discovered this about myself, but I
would hate it when that happened and I'd apologize to my kids. And then what would happen? I do the exact same thing the next day or the next week. So I eventually had. Build self-awareness I had to say, look, I'm doing this over and over again.
[00:24:51] I have to recognize that and I have to do something to stop it. So you can't just get rid of a bad habit. You have to replace [00:25:00] a bad habit. So I had to tell myself, okay, I have to completely silence my phone, turn off notifications and everything. If I'm taking my kids to park. Because if I try to do both things, it's going to end up bad.
[00:25:13] And if I know that there's a message coming, there's always exceptions. There may be something that you have to handle in a timely way, and you have to take your kids at that moment or whatever the situation is for your audience. But if you run into one of those situations, now you have to make the adjustment.
[00:25:28] So I have to tell my kids, look, you have my full attention. However, I have a message coming through in half an hour, so I'm going to have to check my phone. So I just want to brace you for that. I have to go away for five minutes and, make sure my wife's got them or whatever, and make sure they're taken care of.
[00:25:43] So I can go back, check my phone and answer whatever message I need. So here's where I'm replacing that bad habit, but it all came down to realizing how the emotion of, dealing with multitasking was actually the root cause of the problem. And that's helped me. I discovered this years ago and it helped me in [00:26:00] so many other ways of life.
[00:26:01] It wasn't just dealing with my kids. It was realizing that I couldn't get through a single task because I had notifications going off on my phone, or on my computer. And I needed to silence these. If I'm working head down on a specific task, like when I was writing my book, for example, Anything like that.
[00:26:17] If I'm trying to have a conversation with my wife and my phone goes off and it's immediately distracting me and that ends badly. Cause he's are you listening to me? So I had to realize the same thing and sometimes it was, Hey honey, give me just two minutes so I can finish this up. And then you have my full undivided attention and that simple action completely changes the tone and the nature of our conversation.
[00:26:38] So these are some simple ways that you can. Build emotional intelligence into your daily life.
[00:26:45] Hala Taha: Yeah. So there's a really big lesson in all of this. It's the fact that our habits are usually what's determining how we act when we become upset. Basically we develop these internal mechanisms for coping, with the things that upset us and they end up [00:27:00] being our habits.
[00:27:01] So for example, you might always act the same way when you get cut off on the highway, or you might always act the same way when you're. Boyfriend ditches you on a date or whatever it is. So you want to start to be aware of all these different habits you have when it comes to your emotions.
[00:27:17] What I'm curious about is if we have these habits that we might've been doing, since we were a child that we're so hardwired into our minds of how we react to certain situations, how do we recondition ourselves then?
[00:27:31] Justin Bariso: Yeah. That's. And there's a few different ways to do it. It depends on what kind of habit you're trying to adjust.
[00:27:37] So a lot of times these kinds of moments that you talked about, Hala where our emotions take over, we've mentioned earlier, how a different part of your brain is working at this point. The amygdala is really taking over when you're in that emotional moment. And Goldman turned this an emotional hijack, and I love that term because it really illustrates, your brain has been hijacked.
[00:27:57] You wouldn't normally respond this way, but now you're responding [00:28:00] this way because you've been hijacked by something bad that's happened to you or, whatever it is, whatever the case may be. So the key to breaking those habits is recognizing when they happen.
[00:28:10] And like we said, if you don't do anything about it and they're just going to keep happening over and over again. So self-awareness starts with. Taking some moments directly after it happens, or if that's not possible, then later that day or the next morning and say, okay, I'm going to buy out 15, 20 minutes to identify what happened.
[00:28:29] To me, why did I lose my temper? Why did I make a decision that I shouldn't have made? And like we said, sometimes it's not anger. Sometimes it's joy, we're in such a great mood and we're ready to agree to basically anything. And so we say yes, and someone says, I want to be on your podcast too. And you say, okay.
[00:28:45] Yes, I agree to that. And someone else says, I need you to do this task for me. Of course, I'll do that for you. And then we realized we've overbooked ourselves, right? It's like, why did I agree to do all these things? And my priorities are this and this. And now I don't have time for that. And then either, [00:29:00] we break our priorities or we ended up not delivering on what we've promised to do.
[00:29:03] That's how it can affect us to being in a positive mood. So taking time after that and identifying why did I make the decision and then developing a strategy for changing that next time? Next time I noticed that I'm in a really good mood or. I notice I'm in an emotional moment. What can I do differently?
[00:29:24] And then the strategy is it has to be something simple because if it's not simple, you're not going to do it. And so that's like the three questions. So if I'm an emotional moment, I'm angry. I just got an email and I said, I can't believe, they're saying this, I got to respond to this email right now.
[00:29:37] But of course that's the absolute worst thing I can do. So if I can ask myself the three questions, does this need to be said. Yes, I need to respond to this email. Does it need to be said by me, for sure. The emailed to me, does it need to be said by me now? Probably not. Let me take a walk or let me take 30 minutes and come back to it.
[00:29:54] And now your response to that email will be totally different than it was, half an hour ago or yesterday or whatever it
[00:30:00] is, but those three questions are simple. To help you make the change. That's just one. And I go over a number of these different, very simple techniques. And other one is what I call fast-forward.
[00:30:11] So if you find yourself in an emotional moment and you're about to do or say something that you're going to regret, just pause for a second and think forward, how is this action gonna affect me tomorrow? How's this gonna affect me three weeks? How's it going to affect me five years from now. And it sounds like a big thought process, but it really isn't.
[00:30:30] It takes a few seconds to run those questions through your head. And again, it makes all the difference in helping you build that self control and breaking those.
[00:30:40] Hala Taha: Yeah. We love to be actionable here at Young And Profiting Podcast, and I loved the analogies used in your book related to audio.
[00:30:47] You talk about tactics, like pause volume, you recording fast forward, which you just mentioned. Could you talk about some of these tips, maybe go over some of them so that our listeners can use them in practice?
[00:30:59] Justin Bariso: But [00:31:00] yeah, so I compare it to a media player or to watching Netflix, right? We're all watching Netflix and we've got all these controls at our hand.
[00:31:06] We can turn the volume or. What does that mean? One thing and I credit my wife for actually teaching me this. When you go into a conversation with someone, they often will mimic the tone that you take with them. So if you go into a conversation, upset and frustrated, guess what? They're going to come back to you upset and frustrated.
[00:31:23] If you can go in, in a cool rational way then they're oftentimes gonna react that same way. So the volume control is just that as being able to noticing, sometimes we don't notice it at first or sometimes we don't go into the conversation that way, but we see now that things are elevating well, noticing that and being able to.
[00:31:42] Dial it back a bit. Okay. Let me reduce my tone. Let me try to calm down. And that's going to calm the other person down. We talked about fast-forward, we've alluded to the pause, but let me break that down a little bit more specifically. So the pause, just like if you're watching Netflix, you might pause it for a second.
[00:31:57] So you can process what's going on. Think about a [00:32:00] scene or something like that. So the pause is when you notice that you're an emotional moment, not just moving forward and not just pressing forward, but stopping. And whether it's asking those questions, or like we said, taking a walk, sometimes it's not possible to take a walk or to go anywhere.
[00:32:16] But just pausing for five seconds before you answer a question can make all the difference, because if you respond purely based on emotion, then you might say something that you regret. Why did I say that? Or why reveal that? But if you combine your emotion with rational thought, just taking five seconds to think that through.
[00:32:35] And there's a great example of how Steve Jobs used this. I wrote about it for my ink column. If you just GoogleSteve Jobs. Great way respond to an insult and you'll find it. There's actually a video out there too. And you'll see that someone basically attacked him from the audience. It was shortly after his return to Apple and they attacked him from the audience.
[00:32:54] Like, why did you do this? And what have you been doing for the last few years? And you'll notice that [00:33:00] the first thing he doesn't respond at all. He takes a drink of water. He says a brief comment. I can't remember off the top of my head, but it takes him about 30 seconds before he gives the man a full name.
[00:33:11] And the first thing he says is, the problem with the situation is that gentlemen, like this are many times, and he agrees with the man and he just, you can feel how he just gains the whole audience. And then he turns the answer and to really, persuade the audience to his way of thinking.
[00:33:29] But it all starts with that pause and it just shows how powerful pausing for a few seconds before taking action is, so we talked about the pause we talked about fast-forward.
[00:33:40] Hala Taha: Recording.
[00:33:41] Justin Bariso: Mute. Yeah, exactly. So sometimes we need to shut up because if we continue speaking, when someone else is in an emotional moment, it's not going to do any good.
[00:33:50] They're not listening to us. We're not making any headway. We're not being persuasive. Whereas if we just mute ourselves, Then that gives us the ability to move on to the next [00:34:00] tool, which is recording. And it's just listening to what they have to say. And listening is such a learning exercise, right? You're not recording to get something you can use against them in a future way.
[00:34:09] No, again, we go to, it's all about understanding, social awareness is about empathy and understanding. Why do they feel the way they do? Why are they upset right now? And then recording, listening to what they have to say can help you get to the root cause of whatever problem. Maybe it has nothing to do with you.
[00:34:25] Maybe they're in a bad mood because of this or this, that happened to their day, and that can help you to see, okay. I just need to come back to them at a different time, or maybe it is something that you said or did. Okay. Why do you feel that? Have I done something to upset you? Yeah. Remember, last week you did this.
[00:34:39] Oh, man, that has nothing to do with our conversation right now. By listening first, that you've actually done something or, they're carrying something with them that you would never have learned if you didn't know, to just, mute yourself for a second and record what they have to say and turn it into a learning exercise.
[00:34:55] Hala Taha: Yeah. So all of these have just like a central theme, which is about stepping [00:35:00] back and trying to see the situation for what it is rather than how you feel in it.
[00:35:05] Justin Bariso: Exactly. And make no mistake. I do not argue that this is an easy practice. It's it takes years to develop. But the thing is, if we're not aware in the first place, we're not going to do it.
[00:35:15] And if we don't practice, we're not gonna to. Elite athletes. They get to be elite because they practice these movements. What they do over and over and over, they visualize what they're going to do in quiet moments. And we need to do that same thing and how we deal with our emotions and our emotional behavior.
[00:35:35] And when we do that, we practice that over and over again. I make no claim. That will be perfect. I make all kinds of mistakes. Sometimes I don't ask them three questions that I should ask myself. But those moments get fewer and further between, and you become an elite manager and understander of your emotions and that makes for better decision-making.
[00:35:54] Hala Taha: Yeah. Tell us why putting our emotions into words can be helpful.
[00:35:58] Justin Bariso: Sure. Yeah. So I [00:36:00] use an illustration in the book. If you go to a doctor for example, and you tell them you're in. Okay. Where are you in pain? Yeah, it hurts here and my arm. Okay. Where exactly on your arm? Here in my elbow. Okay. What kind of pain are you feeling?
[00:36:13] Is it sharp? Is it dull? Yeah, it's a sharp pain. Okay. When do you experience it? Exactly when I do this movement. So the doctor's goal is to get you to be more and more specific with what's bothering you or what's affecting you so that he or she can properly diagnose the problem. And that's the same thing with our emotional behavior.
[00:36:32] Maybe I'm upset about something. I recognize that I'm in a bad mood. Okay. Why am I in a bad mood? What kind of bad mood am I in? I'm very frustrated. Why am I frustrated? I'm frustrated because of this and this, but it all started this morning. When my partner said this to me. Ah, okay. Why did that bother you so much?
[00:36:52] It bothers me because he or she has been spending so much time at work lately and I'm not getting enough attention. Being able to put [00:37:00] your feelings into words and walking through that exercise helps build. Self-awareness helps build social awareness too, and that can help you diagnose what's going on so that you understand better.
[00:37:12] Hala Taha: How about controlling our thoughts to better manage our emotions? How does that play in all of this?
[00:37:17] Justin Bariso: This is one of my favorite points, because for some people, this is relatively new that they can control their thoughts, say thoughts in my head all the time and I don't put them there.
[00:37:25] I didn't choose to think about that. And that's absolutely true sometimes. We have some influence over it by what we, watch what we consume, but there are some times that certain thoughts will come into our mind that we didn't mean to have. And there's this phrase from, I believe it's actually German philosopher and it's been loosely translated.
[00:37:44] You can't stop a bird from landing on your head. But you can stop it from building a nest. So we may not be able to control every single thought that comes to our mind, but we can control the reaction to that thought. And if that thought, whatever it is, if it's a very [00:38:00] discouraging thought that can hold us back from doing something we want to do, if it's a thought that's motivating us to do something we don't want to do well, we can choose not to dwell on that thought.
[00:38:09] And then someone told me that's like trying not to think of the pink. How do you do that? Yeah, that's true. If you just tell yourself, don't think this don't think this don't think this it's not going to happen, but just like habits, you can't just get rid of a bad habit. You have to replace it.
[00:38:21] So you replace that negative thought with a positive one. If you're a negative. Hala, you cannot just start a podcast without ever having run one before and become one of the top 10 podcasts on iTunes for self-development. Obviously you got over anyone telling you that, or maybe your personal thought thinking that, but how did you do it?
[00:38:42] One of the ways is by replacing that thought everyone had to start somewhere. And how about Elon Musk? Where did he start? He wasn't. The CEO of Tesla and running five companies at the same time, how about by mom and dad, they, weren't always great parents with me and my [00:39:00] siblings, and knowing exactly what to do.
[00:39:02] And, you replace those thoughts with just getting out there and trying, and the next thing you know, you're interviewing. Great people, myself not included. I'm just a normal, I looked at your guest list recently. I was like, wow, I'm in really great company here, but that's a Testament to what you've been able to accomplish.
[00:39:18] And that's one great thing about emotional intelligence. Everyone has a level of emotional intelligence. Isn't something that you have to completely build from scratch. We all have it just like we all have different levels of traditional intelligence or what we might call traditional Intel. The key is how do we make it even better?
[00:39:36] How do we identify, what are our strengths and magnify those? What are our weaknesses and how do we work on this.
[00:39:41] Hala Taha: So speaking of identifying our weaknesses, what if we find it hard to self evaluate ourselves? Do you have any advice on getting an idea of, who you are in terms of your emotional behavior?
[00:39:54] If you cannot. Self-assess?
[00:39:56] Justin Bariso: Definitely. And let's just be direct in saying that some of us may be [00:40:00] better than that, others, but we all have blind spots. We all have things that we're missing and all listened to this podcast. Whenever it goes live. Oh, man. I didn't realize I was seeing it like that. I meant something a little bit more like this, and so getting perspective from others, having conversations with others and specifically with people that you trust, people that you can ask the hard questions to, how do you think. I'm managing this regard or even better where you think you may not have problems, ask others that you trust for that kind of feedback.
[00:40:32] And, in the book, I talk about the type of people that you can use for that. So if you're in a relationship. I'm asking your partner or your boyfriend or girlfriend or your spouse, that's one of the great people in your life that you can bounce this off of. But if you have close friends, you can do the same.
[00:40:46] If you have a mentor, At work or a colleague that you really trust and telling them off the bat. Look, I don't want you to tell me just what you think I want to hear. I want to know where my weaknesses are too. Have you ever seen me do something, where this [00:41:00] happened? And I have a list of questions in the book that you can use.
[00:41:02] And I encourage the reader to ask themselves that and then to ask someone they trust and can compare notes and that can help you to identify some of those blind spot.
[00:41:11] Hala Taha: Yeah. And so I know that you think that all feedback is a gift negative and positive. So how would you advise our listeners to take in their negative feedback without feeling down on themselves?
[00:41:23] Justin Bariso: Okay. It never feels good to get negative feedback, right? Because basically if you boil it down, someone is saying you're wrong or you didn't do this. And that never feels good. And our immediate emotional reaction to that is no, maybe you're wrong or no, you're missing the point. That's not what I was trying to do, but if we can step out of our emotions for a moment, there's nothing wrong with those emotions.
[00:41:42] Cause that means that you take your opinion, your work seriously. But if we can set those emotions aside from. And listen to what the person has to say. Then that's always a learning experience because sometimes there'll be right and we are absolutely wrong on this topic. And [00:42:00] bravo that they've had the courage to tell us that we have broccoli in our teeth and we don't want broccoli in our teeth.
[00:42:05] So now we know to take it out, or sometimes they're wrong and it's not right, what they're telling us. And they won't completely change our opinion, but now we're learning another perspective. And I promise you if one person thinks the way they do 10. A hundred, a thousand others think the same way, and now you've got a window into their perspective and that can help you to craft your message or to communicate.
[00:42:26] In a way that you say your message a little bit more clearly, or that it's more easily understood. This is what I call in the book, diamonds in the rough, because you get a very rough diamond. Is that feedback that doesn't feel good to listen to, but if you can. Carve it, if you can take away, not just the way you're feeling, but maybe the way they've expressed it, maybe they didn't communicate the feedback in the best way.
[00:42:49] And if you can chip all that away, there's a beautiful diamond underneath because it gives you a valuable learning experience. Then you can ask yourself, okay, what can I learn from this number one? And number two, [00:43:00] how can it help me?
[00:43:01] Hala Taha: Exactly and self-improvement is not an easy thing. It's not easy to look at yourself and look at your negative attributes and decide that you're going to change them and accept them, accepting these negative things about yourself is tough to do, but it's part of the journey.
[00:43:16] So on the flip side, how about compliments? Everyone likes to be praised. Everyone likes to be complimented, but how do we need to keep ourselves in check when it comes to these things?
[00:43:26] Justin Bariso: As you said, we all love that. To feel that we've done well or that someone enjoy is what we do. And that's great. And I think in the world, we get a lot less of that than we should going back to the experience of the German executives I worked with, they were not used to at all, ever hearing anything positive about that work.
[00:43:43] And that's just an awful situation that I was trying to help change, on a small scale. So there's not enough praises. Commendation, but on the flip side, as you mentioned, you have to be aware that some people will use that. There is an interesting study. I mentioned the book about clinically diagnosed psychopaths and [00:44:00] sociopaths and their ability to use empathy.
[00:44:02] And before. Came across this research. My thinking was all, they lack empathy. That's true on one perspective, but the reality is what this research has proven is that these types of people have the ability to control their empathy. They can switch it on and off and so they can use that.
[00:44:19] They can turn on the charm, so to speak to. Flat or someone to praise someone to get on their good side, to get them to agree to things, to manipulate them. And so being aware of that, and this is what we, what I describe in the book as the dark side of emotional intelligence, being able to use these skills, in a very manipulative way, how do you guard against that?
[00:44:38] It comes back to increasing your own emotional intelligence, because if you can identify. When people are doing that. And I'm not saying to second guess anytime anyone gives you a compliment, not at all, but being able to identify when someone is trying to butter you up or manipulate you or use emotions in a way to persuade you in a way that gets you to do something, that's not really in harmony with what you want to do.
[00:44:58] It's important to be able to [00:45:00] realize that.
[00:45:01] Hala Taha: Yeah, I love this topic. EQ is normally talked about in a very positive light, but like you said, there's a dark side of EQ. For example, the journal of nonverbal behavior stated that those who tend to exploit others for personal gain. We're also good at reading those people's emotions.
[00:45:19] So I thought that a really fun way to close out the episode would be with some real life examples of positive and negative EQ. And I thought Steve Jobs was a great example of somebody who used it both positively and also used it to not manipulate his workers, but I guess get things done. And not such a positive way.
[00:45:40] So could you just shed some light on how Steve Jobs used EQ in his career?
[00:45:45] Justin Bariso: Sure. Readers that do end up taking a look at the book, they'll see that I start the book with the example of Steve Jobs, just because he's such a great case study and both sides of emotional intelligence. So he had the ability to inspire.
[00:45:59] If you ever [00:46:00] watched one of Jobs as keynotes, they're much different than what we watch now from Apple. Can I use Apple devices, but the keynotes are nowhere near what they used to be with jobs at the helm. He used emotion to really, to build a feeling and like emotional connection to an object, a product, obviously they still succeeded that to an extent, but, he was able to do that at a very large scale.
[00:46:23] He was able to do that with his workers. Not everyone might know that when he left apple, the first time a big group of workers actually followed. To his startup, which was named NeXT. And this was interesting because jobs at that point, he was like 31 years old. He was very brash, very cocky, sure of himself.
[00:46:40] Why would people follow him? Because he also knew how to get the best out of people, and he was able to, and I interview one of his person that worked with him very closely for a number of years. And she talked about, she did her best work under Steve Jobs because he knew how to get the best out of her.
[00:46:57] So those are some of the positives. But he also knew [00:47:00] how to really, at times manipulate people, he spoke down to them and he made some regrets, Walter Isaacson's biography on jobs, which he had, all this access to jobs, countless interviews, and with his family and jobs admitted that, there are certain things that he was not proud of, how he dealt with his family in this kind of.
[00:47:17] Again, and this goes back to the crux, which is emotional intelligence can be used in different ways. And so in addition to learning how to develop ours and how to use it, it's everything that comes along with it. What about the moral character and the integrity? How can we use it in a way that we can be proud of?
[00:47:33] Hala Taha: Yeah. And so how about a leader who does it totally right. I know the CEO of Microsoft might be a great example, but I'll let you choose who you want to discuss.
[00:47:41] Justin Bariso: Yeah. I say this with a grain of salt because a lot of these people I haven't met personally, so you name a great one. Satya Nadella is when I feel it's a great CEO of Microsoft has done a great example of this communication, but I don't know such an Nadella personally, I haven't worked with him on a personal basis, so I'm hesitant to say someone.
[00:47:59] Is a great [00:48:00] example of emotional intelligence, but I love to pull out specific actions and examples. So one thing that he's done in the past, it was a time where a Microsoft programmers were working on this artificial intelligent bot and they are trying to work on the way that it processes and responds to communication.
[00:48:19] It was called Tay. And it was a quickly lift experiment because this bot taste, it learned really quickly, but it learned in the wrong way. And it was starting to spew out very racist messages and bolder messages, and they had to shut it down. And it was a talk of the town. It was the headline of every major tech blog and business insider and Inc and all these things.
[00:48:38] But what came out later was Nadella was email to his team, which was just a little excerpt. Look, learn from this experience. I'm quoting loosely here, fail forward. We don't learn without making mistakes, so Hey, I'm behind you. So let's see what we can learn from this and move forward.
[00:48:55] How would you feel after, something that everyone else was judging as a complete failure [00:49:00] for the CEO of a company, with thousands of employees to write your team? No worries. We can learn from this that's high emotional intelligence, because that's how you motivate people and get them to learn from our mistakes.
[00:49:14] So that's one example. I write a lot, Inc, obviously as a business centered publication. So I write a lot in the business world, for example, Elon Musk I've wrote from both sides, similar to jobs. I think Elon Musk is brilliant, but we've seen very specific instances of him using. Emotional intelligence in a positive way to motivate employees, to connect with customers.
[00:49:35] We've also seen it in a negative way where he's gotten attacked and he's responded in a very brash way. And I say negative because he says later that he's regretted, some of these actions. So anyway, those are a couple of examples, but there's a lot more in the book and a lot more in the column if readers want to find.
[00:49:50] Hala Taha: Yeah. So let's have you cover that in detail. Where can our listeners go to find out more about you and everything that you do?
[00:49:56] Justin Bariso: EQ Applied is available. Basically. Wherever books are sold [00:50:00] most easily, probably on Amazon. If you're not ready to buy the book, then please check out the blog. Also the name EQ Applied and lots of free resources there.
[00:50:09] You can check out real life, examples of emotional intelligence, real life tips, and there's excerpts of the book there too, that you can find. And then the column, my name's Justin Bariso, I write weekly on emotional intelligence for Inc.Com. So I encourage you to follow the column and hopefully you'll pick up something of value there as well.
[00:50:26] Hala Taha: Thanks, justin. I love this conversation and I appreciate your time.
[00:50:29] Justin Bariso: Hala. It's been great. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:50:32] Hala Taha: Thanks for listening to Young And Profiting Podcast . If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to write us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to the show. Follow us on Instagram @youngandprofiting and check us out at youngandprofiting.com.
[00:50:46] You can chat live with us every single day on YAP Society on Slack. Check out our show notes are youngandprofiting.com for the registration link, you can find me on Instagram @yapwithhala. Or LinkedIn, just search for my name Hala Taha. Big, thanks to the YAP [00:51:00] team for another successful episode this week, I'd like to give a special thanks to our loyal listeners without you YAP would be absolutely nothing.
[00:51:09] Thank you for all the kind reviews on Apple Podcasts. For sharing your thoughts on social media posts or comments on SoundCloud and YouTube. Our listeners are literally the best and your feedback keeps us going strong. Thank you so much for tuning in week after week. This is Hala signing off.
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