Get Engaged: Say “I DO” to “EQ” and Effective Workplace Communication

HRDQ-U Webinar | Get Engaged: Say “I DO” to “EQ” and Effective Workplace Communication

60 minutes

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of the people around you. You can have the highest IQ around, but without the ability to relate to your emotions and influence others with effective communication skills, you can’t take your career to the next level. Teams that have high EQ develop more collaborative and creative work cultures, achieve goals and complete projects on-time, and develop stronger relationships with internal colleagues and clients.

This session will explain techniques and tips on how to be a more effective communicator at work by fostering your emotional intelligence skills. Topics include learning to “Read the Room” at work, how to effectively communicate to colleagues while working virtually, how to become a more active listener, and how to utilize storytelling at work to better communicate your message to all audiences. Participants will learn and practice techniques that enable them to control their emotions and evaluate emotions of others so that they can decrease conflict, minimize stress, and cultivate a positive work culture.

Attendees will learn

  • Learn techniques to become a more effective communicator at work.
  • Enhance social skills and relationship building techniques with colleagues.
  • Learn to control emotional reactions at work and self-regulate.
  • Understand the importance of storytelling as a business communications tool.
  • Learn how to better communicate virtually with colleagues and clients. 


Who should attend

  • Managers and supervisors
  • Training and HR professionals
  • Anyone in a workplace environment


Heather Zell

Heather Zell is a communications professional and certified emotional intelligence coach with more than 20 years of experience in various fields such as media relations, marketing, business development, TV production and coaching. Her career began in entertainment television as an intern at Late Show with David Letterman. Since that time, she has worked for several businesses, healthcare companies, and advertising agencies, and has a background in television news. She has developed communications plans for corporate clients, nonprofit groups, and national organizations. In addition, she has won national awards for her public relations and outreach work.

She is happiest when helping clients build their businesses through training and helping them overcome obstacles that ultimately achieve business goals and objectives. In addition, she has a passion for emotional intelligence coaching and speaking to companies about how to best tell the story that reflects their brand.

Outside of the office, Heather enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, drinking a nice glass of wine on the beach with her mom, podcasting with her sister, and sailing with her soulmate. Heather is a pop culture and TV junkie, and you can often find her eating Pringles and watching well-scripted TV on the couch with her best furry friend, Mr. Fletcher the bernedoodle. Connect with Heather on Twitter, LinkedIn and at

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Get Engaged: Say “I DO” to “EQ” and Effective Workplace Communication


Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, Get Engaged: Say “I Do” to “EQ” and Effective Workplace Communication. Hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Heather Zell.


My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar.


The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions, please type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll answer as many as we can during today’s session.


Today’s webinar is sponsored by HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars. HRDQ-U virtual seminars are engaging soft skills training classes, with real-time interaction and expert trainers Enroll your organization’s learners in HRDQ -U virtual seminars and let them develop the performance skills that they need from their home or office. And on any device from desktop to mobile.


Learn more at


I’m excited to introduce our presenter today, Heather Zell. Heather is a communications professional and certified emotional intelligence coach, with more than 20 years of experience in various fields, such as media relations, marketing, business development, TV production, and coaching. Her career began an entertainment television as an intern at Late Show with David Letterman.


Since that time, she has worked for several businesses, healthcare companies, and advertising agencies, and has a background in television news. She has developed communication plans for corporate clients, non-profit groups, and national organizations. In addition, she has won national awards for her public relations and outreach work. Thank you for joining us today, Heather.


Thank you, Sarah, and I am having trouble advancing the slides, so everybody forgive me for one quick second.


Um, I think maybe when we switched back over E, you may have followed that, Sarah.


I don’t have keyboard and mouse control, if you try and stop to stop sharing your screen, and then maybe re share might help just fix that glitch there, OK, that is what we’ll do once.


This is why we love technology, right? Oh, there they are. That’s what I was supposed to be showing you a couple minutes ago, but now we’re good.


So, hi, everybody. Thank you so much for spending time with us today.


I, as I know that, Sarah, let everybody know. So, I am a certified emotional intelligence coach, which is super exciting to me.


And as we look at this first slide, who cannot relate, my brain has too many tabs open, right? In the world that we all live in right now. E-mails and text and social media. And, you know, binging television shows while you’re out of your social media and texting your friends about it. And work assumes, is that everyone is just feeling a little bit overwhelmed.


And I think, for me, in these last few years, the thing that helped me the most is really trying to get in touch with my emotions, learning how to control those emotions. And then using some emotional intelligence to really get the best out of what you’re doing. Whether it’s, you know, work in your career or in home, or with your friends. And so we’re gonna go through a lot of this stuff today.


um, and kind of let you in on some, on some secrets that really aren’t secrets you know this already. It just really kind of helps you put everything into a little bit of perspective.


So, what is social and emotional intelligence? So, it’s really the ability to be aware of our own emotions and those of others in the moment. And use that information to manage ourselves, our relationships, and our communication.


I mean, how many of us have found ourselves in a situation where maybe, we were involved in a conversation, that was maybe going a little bit self, and we’re not exactly, always sure how to respond, and so today, we’re gonna give you some of the tools that you need to handle some of those situations, and then just make the best out of your work relationships and your social relationships.


I think I know what might be happening there.


It looks like you maybe are deselected off of your PowerPoint, because the: yeah!


your little taskbar at the bottom pops back up at the top.


OK, here we go, Let’s see.


I think we should be good now.


Hmm, hmm, Let’s see, there. There you go. You’re sorry, everybody. We’re back here.


So objectives for today’s session learn techniques to be a more effective communicator at work enhanced social and relationship building skills We all know how very important those are. Learn how to control reactions at work and learn how to be a better communicator and understand the importance of storytelling as a business communications tool and that part is really a lot of fun. I get to tell a lot of stories for a living, and so we’ll go through how that can help you advance your career and your business.


So social and Emotional Intelligence is really about behaviors. And I know, you know, people often think, can behavior truly be changed?


So And the answer to this question is yes, it absolutely can mean. you are not always going to change somebody’s personality, so there’s a lot that goes into the makings of a person Right there. Genetics.


Their personality and their behavior, but what if that’s that behavior is their environment that they’re in, and your ability. Those are my fancy Star Wars techniques there. But really, their ability to control the behavior and the environment that you’re in. And those are the things that you absolutely have 100% of control over. And I know everyone says, oh, I really don’t. But you really do. And we are going to tell you how today.


So in the Social Emotional Intelligence model, there’s four quadrants to this, right? So it’s awareness, self-awareness, and other awareness.


And then managing that awareness. So self-management and relationship management. These four things together really create your social and emotional intelligence quadrant.


So self-awareness. So this is hysterical, right? We talk a lot about personal power. So I have a burn, a doodle who is about a year and a half old at this point. And he definitely thinks he is the lion when he looks in the mirror. And that he is always in control.


But really self-awareness is all about emotional self-awareness, acute self-assessment, and your personal power. So personal pallor doesn’t necessarily mean that you are overpowering everything all the time.


It just means that you feel confident about controlling your emotions and your behavior. You have a competent direction and where you are going in business, and you have it under control, and that’s really about controlling our personal power, and we’ll talk more about that.


Self-management. Oh, self-control, right? We all wish we had more self-control. Like, maybe, when I bought too many things on Amazon last week or, maybe I ate that desert when I’m really trying to lose weight.


But when you’re talking about stress management and self-control in business, it’s really about managing your behavior. Because when you manage your behavior, you keep your integrity intact.


Innovation and creativity, when everyone is able to work together in a more collaborative environment, really helps drive achievement, and goals, and then resilience, stress management, and realistic optimism. So I am a half or class, half full person, I would say.


And I’m sure, I bet a lot of you are, too, but in some times, your glasses empty, or your glasses half full, and that’s OK.


But it’s really all about how you are managing when you get yourself into those situations.


So other awareness, so other awareness, tactics would be our empathy. You know, so, some of us have great deals of empathy. We feel for people.


And I like to say, in the last two years here, I think that that is what we’ve lost a lot of, and how we deal with each other, and in how we deal with each other’s differences and the difference of opinions.


And so, this is really going to help, I think, everyone understands, you know, how do you channel that empathy to work for you?


Situational and organizational awareness and service orientation.


How are you serving others in the role that you’re in, and how are you being a good steward of your own personal brand? So, you’ve got your work brand, but then you have your own personal brand that’s out there, and you are that, wherever you are. If you’re at work, if you’re online, if you’re out with your friends, if you’re posting on social media, you know, it’s just really important to make sure that you are controlling emotions in all those areas.


And relationship management. OK, so who does not love Ted Lasser? I’m sure a lot of you have watched this. And Ted is really great at relationships and communication. Conflict management is so huge that when you are able to control your emotions in different situations, you really are able to really manage some of those conflicts that you might be experiencing in your work life.


Inspirational leadership. So how do you build a great relationship with your team so that you can then inspire them to go on and do great things on their own and really be proud of the work that they do?


Building bonds with people, teamwork, and collaboration, and building trust. Because relationships are really all about, Can I trust the people that I work with? And that is a really important question to ask yourself, and you will figure out how to build better trust as you move forward with your EQ skills.


So we’re breaking down the emotions piece by piece. So this is what I like to call the emotional pizza.


And so I’m going to ask yourself to take a second.


Think about something here. So what was the strongest emotion? You felt this week at work?


You know where Wednesday already, so we’re halfway there. So I’m sure you’ve had some instances where you might be feeling one way or another Were you triggered by a specific incident or person?


And how did this emotion affect your behavior?


So what were you feeling when that happened and what did your did your behavior? What resulted in the way that that affected you? And your behavior for the day?


So I just think about that. You know, when you maybe have a difficult meeting coming up, or something that you’re not Sure, OK is, you know, Can I handle this? It’s good to kind of get in touch with your emotions. And this is a really great exercise to do even a couple of times a week.


Controlling your emotions at work.


So when we get upset, and in a business situation, your brain is actually being highjacked. I know that sounds so crazy. But that’s exactly what’s happening.


So when you feel threatened and afraid, you have something called the amygdala in your brain that activates a fight or flight response by sending signals out to release your stress hormones.


And this prepares your body for a fight, right? Are you going to fight this? Are you going to run away, how are you going to handle it? And this response is triggered by emotions, like fear, anxiety, or anger. And take a look at your brain, right. There’s the thinking part of your brain, and then there’s the feeling part of your brain.


So it’s actual it’s an actual hijack. And so today, what we’re going to do is kinda teach you how you can control and stop the hijackers from taking over your brain when you’re in that mode.


So this is one of my favorite slides right here.


And really, everything comes down to with emotional intelligence. You can be responsible for your own actions. You are always in control.


So, if you look at the word responsibility, it means response and ability, and that means that you always are in control and have the ability to control your response.


You may not always be able to control the other people that you’re communicating with, but you always have the ability to control your own response. And that’s just so very important to remember as we move forward.


So, controlling your emotions at work. I like to call this the Boom Box method. I mean, I’m probably dating myself now, right?


But, but who remembers the boom boxes of yesterday’s past, So this is a really great method to kind of give you some really cool tips to remember, as you move forward about controlling emotions in different circumstances.


So there are seven tips that are involved in this. And I know everyone loves this. Say, anything, right? You’re holding the boom box up in the air, and this is John … really pouring out all of his emotions to the girls, that that girl that he loves. But these are some important steps here when we think about a boom box, and we think about controlling everything at how this works.


So when you are in any conversation whatsoever, So maybe this week you have a meeting scheduled with someone, And you look ahead at your calendar, How many of us do this? And you say: oh, I’m Friday. I have a meeting with so and so, and I’m reading that, and I don’t really know how we’re gonna know They’re gonna be upset about something that happened, And I’m gonna need to kind of control that situation, and so these are some tips on how you can do that.


So in every conversation, It’s Always important to pause and take a minute before you speak. I know we are all so used to just speaking, and, and, you know, like, when you’re looking at that calendar invite, in your head, you’re already preparing, OK? I think this might be a difficult conversation. And I’m gonna say this, this, this, this, and this.


But you haven’t even been in the conversation yet, and so it’s so important to just pause and take a minute and hear the other person out.


Volume control.


Something to recognize when you are communicating is, when is your volume going up?


Are you finding, yourself getting a little upset about the conversation?


Recognizing maybe through your own body language, when it’s time to dial it back, just a little bit.


And mute the mute button, it’s not physically hitting your mute button on Zoom.


But it’s hitting the mute button.


Just stop yourself and listen.


So, I think that a lot of times we respond so aggressively to just respond back when we’re in a situation where we’re communicating with other people.


But really, it’s very important to understand that, you know, everyone says there’s always three sides of the story, right, your side to the other person’s side. And then, and then, you know, there’s a little bit in-between.


And it’s just really important for you to understand everyone’s point of views, to take a second and stop yourself and listen to that.


Tune in. Don’t listen to reply. Listen to understand.


I know that I, myself sometimes need time to maybe practice these, these methods, so listen to understand when someone is talking. They may have said something at the beginning of that sentence that you didn’t love or that you want to jump on, but they may finish out their thought in a way that portrays the situation in a way that maybe you hadn’t thought of before.


And then also record, remember key points of your conversation.


So, if, if you’re on an hour Zoom, or you’re on an hour meeting with your team, remember key points that stuck out, that you can then go back and revisit later, or maybe, help someone with those points, and reconnect to make sure that they understood that you were also listening to the conversation.


So, Playback.


Revisit the conversation after everyone has had time to process. So, it’s always good to lead a conversation sync and when you’re communicating at work.


So, maybe you had a talk, or maybe you had a big brainstorm, and there were a lot of ideas, it’s always good to take a little time and process that look at your notes.


and then think about, OK, how has this affected everyone?


And now, what can I do to further our project along, and fast forward?


So this is one of my favorite points.


Always think about how this communication and your decisions will impact your future.


So when you control your emotions, and you have a really great conversation, that’s really back and forth, and everyone is listening, and everyone is collaborating.


You fast-forward to look at, maybe, how that project’s going, and you realize, it’s going really well because we did X, Y, and Z But if you make a snap judgement, or maybe you send a difficult e-mail, think about what that looks like in the fast forward for a week or two weeks to now. How did that serve you? Did it serve you well? Didn’t hurt you a little bit? Did someone come back and say, I didn’t like the way you made me feel when we were in that situation? So, just a couple of things to think about. And I like to credit Justin burrito here who’s written a couple of books on this. He actually has a method that he calls the Netflix met method. I encourage you all to maybe get a book and check it out. He writes amazing books about EQ.


So relationship building and an EQ.


Relationship building is so incredibly important, and I cannot stress to you enough.


Um, why?


Relationships are truly everything. Make communication easy and comfortable and be responsive.


So, I one thing that I like to pride myself on is responding to people.


And I know that we are so crazy, like we open our inboxes and there are so many e-mails in our Inboxes. And. And, you know, it’s hard to get to everybody, but even if you don’t know an answer to a question, it’s always so important to respond so that person doesn’t feel like they’re not important to you, or you don’t care about their issue. Even if you don’t know the answer to a question.


Very important to respond and to treat clients and co-workers as individuals, I cannot stress to you enough how personalizing your approach with each individual person really helps you build your relationship.


This is one of my favorite quotes. If you believe businesses built on relationships, then make building them your business. So, I kinda have an interesting story to tell here.


A couple of years ago, I was on a game show. So I was on a $100,000 pyramid with Michael Stray hand, the Reboot. And it was so much fun.


But the reason why I was on that game show, what’s because a casting producer. I’m going to use the language that the kids used these days, slid into my DMS on LinkedIn.


And sent me a private message, contacted me, because, as it turns out, 10 years prior, I had met him, and we formed a little bit of a relationship.


And he never forgot me, and it was really only maybe a five-minute conversation.


But it lasted and tracked me down and said, I just wanted to put her on TV, and it’s so important, like serendipity is one of my favorite words.


But really, it’s all about controlling your relationships and building those relationships in a way that you remember that everybody you meet, makes an impact on you and you on them.


So here we go, the key thing to build your relationship as being a good listener. This always reminds me of the Hamilton, right. Talk less smile more. Alvare Hamilton fans out there, speak less, listen more.


It’s really all about listening to the people that you’re, that you’re bonding with, that you’re building relationships with. Find out what their needs are, and then deliver on those needs.


Be a person, not just an e-mail address.


So, I admit, when we all get busy, we, we tend to fire off e-mails, Um, what?


But, really, is that the best way to just answer something, or never take time out, to say, hey, why don’t we, at least, to zoom, Or, you know, maybe, when we get back to fully meeting in person, Let’s schedule a meeting in person. So, we can go over all of this, because it’s very easy to hide behind e-mail, and I think that personalization really gets lost there.


Admit, when you make mistakes, and take responsibility at work, I know this is so hard for all of us, but, really, you really can do it. It’s achievable. I know. I love when I take responsibility and say, oh, shoot, I dropped the ball, I forgot to e-mail someone. And I also love when other people will say, you know what? That just fell off my radar, but I’m gonna put it back on today, And I think that when those conversations are had, you can really accomplish your goals and show gratitude.


Um, so, I am going to give you a little gratitude challenge at work. This is my favorite quote of all time by Maya Angelou.


The Great Maya Angelo.


So, people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.


And I bet you that there are times in each and every one of your careers, where you can remember where someone either didn’t make you feel so great by something that they did or said, or someone made you feel wonderful by something that they did or said. And those are the things that stick out in our minds.


So, what I’m going to challenge you with this week is to send five e-mails of gratitude to co-workers or clients, or someone that you personally have a relationship with.


Because it’s just so important to keep that relationship solid by doing that, just to reach out and say, hey, what you didn’t work this week was really great. Or maybe you’re in HR, and you send an e-mail to one of the leadership team, and say, I really liked the way you handled that difficult situation. We had, with an employee of this week, you really listen to her needs, and you really spoke to her, and I really appreciate you for that. And I think that once we start building a culture of gratitude and thanks, that we all just really have a better appreciation for each other as humans.


So reading of the room, so this is such an important part in communication skills and can the scale be taught.


So, um, I will tell you that that is my little Burger Doodle as a puppy. He’s the little middle guy in the back there of that wagon. And he, he, he, I, I’m, I’m doing a good job at reading him these days. And his needs, even though he’s a little demanding, much like probably some clients are of yours. So, whether it’s a meeting, a presentation, or a one-on-one, it’s always so important to know your audience and how to derive them.


So always be familiar with who your audience is.


So here are some do’s for reading the room and some quick tips for that.


Always be present when you’re in a meeting. I know it’s very difficult. I’ve been on a bunch of zooms where people are firing up e-mails and working because maybe not everything pertains to them. But then they’re really missing the opportunity to build a relationship or listen to what’s happening in that conversation.


Focus on others.


Keep your perceptions in check.


So how many times do we go into a meeting, perceiving or with the perception that we know exactly what’s going to happen. But we don’t always know, and so it’s always important when you’re reading the room, to keep an open mind. When you’re presenting, and I can’t wait until we’re also presenting live back in rooms.


It’s important to breathe from your diaphragm and kind of take control of her presenting and how you’re speaking to others.


Take a deep breath, I know we’ve said that a lot over the last year and a half, but it really is important to take deep breaths.


Another couple do’s for reading the room, paid attention to body language, Um, you know, one of the things that, that, I know, we’ve all taken those personality quizzes, and one of the things that I’ve always been very lucky to be fairly good at as being a real leader, like how can you relate to other people in a room? to help them understand your point, and for you to also understand, there’s.


So, what’s important to shift emotions, if you feel emotions rising in a room, to bring it back, and really kind of shift gears a little bit, until you get back to that positive place.


Be honest and show respect.


I know there’s that saying of no idea is a bad idea. And then we all think at our heads all that was a really bad idea. But it really is important to be respectful when someone has an idea that might not work for this, but it’s really important to foster that relationship and build that creativity. And I think we all learn to do this in the mask era smiles, smiling with our eyes, it’s just really important to be warm, and it’s something that you can actually practice and stand in front of a mirror, and say, Am I am I doing this correctly? But you absolutely can do that.


Reading the room don’t I mean, who remembers Poltergeist, right, it’s Halloween, it’s the perfect time to show the slide. Don’t be distracted when you’re reading the room. If you were on your phone, and not present in a room, it’s a very clear, and it makes other people in that room feel that you don’t care about the matter at hand. And so it’s really important to show them that respect. Don’t give into negative energy. Like, Carolyn, don’t go to the light, so don’t fall into that negative energy. Don’t assume you know how other people are feeling in the room.


Ask them how they’re feeling.


You won’t know how someone feels unless you ask.


And definitely don’t make it all about you. Make it about the team.


I’m reading the rooms, just a couple of reminders here. As we’ve said, it’s been a hard two years with everybody working remote.


If things are bothering you in a meeting, try to shake it off like Taylor. It’s what I always, I always tell as some of my teams, shake it off, like Taylor, be empathetic, so this is really where empathy comes into play. And check in, often on your team.


People have been in a space where it’s been very difficult for them to manage work-life and home life and homeschooling and picking kids up and dropping kids off. And, you know, it’s great. Just to check in on your team, pick up the phone, and call them and say, how are you doing? What do you need from me? What can we do together to make sure that you’re having a better work experience?


So, e-mail, communication, tips.


How many of us wish we could say this? I wish I could unsubscribe from my work e-mails. In fact, I’m very good friends with the surgeon. Who told a very funny story one time about how he was receiving all these e-mails that he didn’t really think pertained to him and he would just send a one word response that said, unsubscribe and I do that. You can’t just unsubscribe from your e-mails. And so, he knows that. Now, he’s like, Yeah, HR didn’t like it very much. But it’s a funny story about how we all wish, sometimes we could do that, but.


Last, we must read our work e-mails and go through, so here are some communication tips on how we can communicate better through e-mail and building relationships.


Couple of points here. Make good use of subject lines.


Be polite, keep your message, clear and brief.


I know I have a tendency to write long e-mail sometimes, because I feel like I have so much I need to cover them. But I, myself, know that I appreciate smaller e-mails, shorter e-mails, that I can just get through and respond, and get that response out pretty quickly. And be polite in your e-mails.


So proofread, don’t overcommunicate, and I know we all love the pit. And this is what you can say to yourself when you’re reading an e-mail.


When you can pivot from a negative phrase to positive lens. So I had a colleague, and our offices at one point were directly beside each other, and when we would get upset and about to send a difficult communication, we would say, Come to my office and read this. Is this, Is this too aggressive? Should I title this back? And, and so, it’s funny. And I would say, well, maybe we don’t wanna say, quite honestly, I or any of those use. Any of those trigger phrases that are negative. So, you always want to pivot to the positive phrases.


So, reading to pick up the phone.


This is one of my favorite tips.


Take a minute and don’t respond when you’re angry to an e-mail.


It’s so important to kind of step away and breathe and say, I’m not going to send it back just yet.


Ask a colleague to read your e-mail. If you might not be sure, like I did, it’s kind of like a buddy. Check it work, right? Is there someone that you trust or a manager that you trust to say, I’m kind of having this difficult interaction with this client or a colleague. So can you help me figure out if this is really the best way to do this? And check your tone.


My favorite is if you are going back and forth between 5, 6, 7 e-mails, and you’re both kind of missing the point.


Pick up the phone and call. I know that we all work in this busy world, where that’s not always realistic. But it’s just so important to hear someone’s voice really understand what they’re trying to say. And the tone in the e-mail might just because they’re busy, or they sent it quickly, and really, you may really be reacting to something that’s not there. And so it’s still so important to pick up the phone and have those conversations, especially when we can’t have them face-to-face.


So we’re going to get to Storytelling.


And so how many of us tell stories at work?


In terms of getting our Personal Brand out, there are business brand out there. So I like to use this Goodnight Moon example, and I’m going to tell a quick story, because we all remember being told stories as a child. I mean, these stories that, that our parents read us, when we were little that, we maybe now read to our own children, you remember those stories, and it’s because they make an impact on you.


I was working at, for a hospital system, and I was a director of Business Development, and part of my job was to maintain hospital census, and I was asked to do an employee orientation and speak to brand new employees that started. And I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to say about our role, or what we did, and how that worked.


And I was kind of having a bad day that day at work, and I met a patient named Elizabeth.


Elizabeth had been in a really bad car accident and had a brain injury, and we really weren’t sure the extent of her entered her injuries at the time. And she was not showing any emotion.


And she was a huge Cody Simpson fan was like The Australian Justin Bieber at the time. I don’t know if any of you are nobody’s incentives. And the staff reached out to him because he was going to be in town for the jingle ball.


And he came to visit Elizabeth in her hospital room, sat alongside her bed.


And Sarah needed her, and said, you can’t come to my concert.


So I’m going to bring the concert to you, and she cried.


And for the first time, we’ll realize that she was still there, and she was still able to react to her emotions.


And from there, her prognosis, I mean, everything started to come back, and so it was such an amazing moment.


I think I’d never tried so hard with a patient or a patient’s family, and so the next day, when I went into that employee, um, session for new employee orientation, I stood there, and I told them about her, and this is why we do what we do. And this is why we do the work that we do. And so this is why storytelling is so important, and can have such a great impact on people.


Why do we use stories to communicate, and we do it to build connections, to evoke emotions and reveal feelings, and make your communication meaningful and relevant?


So, does everyone know Steve Hartman from CBS News? He is one of the world’s best storytellers. He used to do a segment on CBS, called, everyone has a Story. Everybody has a story. And he would open up a phone book, and he would point to a name, and he would call those people and say, Can I come out in the interview you? And no one knew who they were, and he would find the story, the best communicated.


Who those people were, and, and it’s magical, and it really show to everyone that every person, every brand, everyone has a story that needs to be told.


So, tips for developing your story: identify and develop a clear direction.


Be authentic, untruthful, be consistent, involve your team.


And don’t be afraid to show emotions. So when you work in Human Resources, or maybe you work in marketing, what is your brand story?


So when you’re recruiting new employees, what is the story of your business? What would motivate those people to work there? So these are some things that we look for in talking about stories.


So I’m going to show you a story. I think some of my friends from Penn State Health are on here.


Penn State Health is an amazing organization in a hospital system, that tells great stories. And I am going to share one of those stories with you now from Jason Plotkin who is a videographer, photographer and one of my favorite people on the planet and an amazing storyteller. Here we go.


Welcome back to this Special Good Day PA. We wanted to leave you today with a video that is sure to put a smile on your face. It seems every workplace has at least one person who everyone knows. Penn State Health, Holy Spirit Medical Center, Danny Hoover in Environmental Services is one of those employees. Danny has walked the hallways of the Medical Center for nearly five decades, performing his duties with dedication and a friendly spirit.


Here’s Danny’s story.


Oh, a guy? Danny, who? Looks you talked about you?


It’s OK, so Dan’s quiet. Everybody in the hospital knows Danny.


He started here in 17 years old, 65. Can tell you probably every insurance hospital is probably getting it at some point. He goes and all the little closets and perhaps a cardboard box. She breaks down and all smartphones Armstrong gets a lot of pressure off of our regular trash guys. Who are collecting the red bag, waste, and the patient weeks?


People know me.


I came off the top.


What I’m here for.


Danny is watching our show this morning, and we say, Hi. We also want to thank you for being such a dedicated employee and always brightening every Wednesday at Penn State Holy Spirit Medical Center. Stay with us. We will be right back.


So what did Danny’s story accomplish? It was amazing that we were able to recognize Danny on TV like this, because everyone loves Danny. But we recognized an employee for his commitment and dedication to service to his job. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel recognized?


We set a great example for other employees to follow of someone that shows such dedication to the work that they’re given, and to building relationships with those that they work with.


We celebrated diversity and inclusion in the workplace by telling Danny’s story, which is so very important, to make sure that everyone feels included in, that they have a place, and we created a feeling of appreciation for our healthcare workers that maybe not, aren’t necessarily on the front line, but are doing an amazing job to help everybody else get their job done, and elevated the brand of This is really who they are.


And so, EQ in the workplace.


What results can you get out of making sure that you develop EQ for yourself and your teams, your colleagues, and even your family and friends?


You see greater productivity at work.


When you use EQ, retention of top performers, when you can really build better relationships, people don’t want to leave their jobs When they feel understood.


And heard employee satisfaction and engagement. Make sure that they’re more engaged, because they’re feeling like they’re heard, they feel like you’ve listened to them, they feel like they really contribute to ideas and creativity, and collaboration. Then profitability. When your teams leave your brand, your clients are more inclined to also live your brand and to want to be a part of that brand. And that is so very important.


What else can you do? So this is a great slide.


I got my certification in emotional intelligence from the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence.


They are a wonderful organization; they have created an assessment that can be taken for employees, so employees are able to be coached. You can assess what their EQ score is, offer training programs, individual development programs, and introducing the concept of EQ and effective communication into your entire work culture, and these are some of the things that I do.


This is just a brief look at the social and emotional intelligence profile, and what we learn here in terms of what’s a person’s emotional self-awareness.


What are some of the low points?


Like if I look at this slide, Empathy is a little bit lower on the scale.


So what can we do to kind of help maybe that person understand and be a little bit more empathetic? and so, this is kind of a snapshot, it’s a 15 minute assessment that can be taken by employees, to kind of show you where they stand and then what areas can you coach them in so that they can be more successful at work?


And so I think at there, I will leave it at questions if anyone would like a deeper dive for your team.


I know we had a kind of an overview on several different topics here, but you can always contact me. That is my e-mail address and pep talk. That coach is my website. Where you can also contact me directly through there, and I see all of those e-mails.


Great! Thank you so much for spending time with me today. So do we have any questions?


Yes. So if you have any questions for Heather today, please type them into the questions box and we can answer some of those for you today while we’re, we’re together with our remaining time. And we did have a question come through a bit earlier from Diana, and Diane. I would like to know how do you connect with your employees? when all they ever say is that they’re fine and when you’re trying to check in with them.


Yeah, that’s hard, right? I’m fine, it’s all by my boyfriend joke. We joke about this sometimes. like, how are how was your day? It was fine. Everything’s fine.


I think it’s important to really Carve out some time to talk with them and more of a, you know, in more of a direct way, And the best way to get to the bottom of are they really fine is asking questions? So just the question in general of how are you?


It’s easy for them to just answer fine or not, fine, or I’m OK, right, or I’m good.


But really ask them questions that get deeper into the problem of no, what can I do for you to help you move to the next level?


Or, are you getting the collaboration from your team that you feel you need? Are you getting the support from me?


Or what kinds of support can I offer you to make sure that you’re actually doing well, and getting what you need out of your job? And it’s really important to kind of ask those open-ended, more elaborate questions so that they feel that they can open up a little bit more, and so that you can dig a little deeper. And it is hard, and it’s especially hard when people are remote and not in person right now, because you also, it’s difficult to kind of read their body language, but, but keep plugging away and make sure you’re asking all the right questions and questions, get you everywhere.


Great, and then we had another question here from Sherry and Sherry asks, if an employee’s drive and competency are high, but their empathy as well, how do you encourage more emotional engagement?


That is a great question, so I always say that coaching is really the best tool. So the assessment tool that I showed you, that really gives you an evaluation of all of their strengths, and we don’t necessarily call them weaknesses, but where they could really maybe adapt and change a little bit to bring that level up.


And so it’s good to know where all of their strengths lie. And, and I know high achievers sometimes work so fast that they’re always 10 steps ahead. And that’s part of the reason why. So sometimes they just really need to slow down.


But it’s also good to put them on teams, where maybe there are a few other people who have very high empathy.


And that way they learn how to work with those individuals, because they all need to move that project forward as a team. And so I like to team people up who have different strengths on one project, so that they all kind of learn how each other works, and then sometimes that person may pick up some of those empathetic cues from their colleagues.


Great, and we have another question here from Theresa, and Teresa asks: what can we do to build trust within our staff?


Theresa, that is such a good question.


Really, the key is to be honest with your staff to keep them in the loop on everything that you are able to tell them.


Um, I know, sometimes it’s really hard when you are a Leadership or you were in HR, and there are some things that you know, that not everybody is able to know.


But really pulling them into process and making them feel part of the decision-making process. Whether it’s, you know, this is a project that we’re taking on. What are your thoughts on this project? What do you think could be really great about this project? What are some concerns about this project? and making them feel that they’re involved in the entire process? Because really, that is what when someone feels involved from the ground up.


Like, I’ll give you an example, right. I created this entire presentation right from the ground up.


Using help from some slides.


You know, from some things that I’ve done in the past, but I built this, and I feel very part of it, and I feel very attached to it, because I worked very hard on the project.


And so I think that when you have involvement at the ground level, from your employees, and buy in from them, and make sure they know exactly where your thought process is, it really helps them build trust with you, and understand that they, that you are there to really watch them grow, and learn, and achieve success.


And this next question we have here is from Gail. And I would like to know, what can you do when you’re in a virtual meeting, and one of the team members says something that shows low, EQ, and your high EQ tells you that the participants are uncomfortable.


I think what you can probably do is bring it back.


So I always like to go back to that slide with Ross from Friends, and say, So, if there is a moment where someone says something that makes everyone uncomfortable, you can certainly pivot that into a more positive conversation. And it really depends on what the topic is, but just so that you turn it into a positive and bring the conversation back.


So others don’t think that you also support maybe those views, or something that may have not exactly been politically correct in that environment. And if you can physically see by someone’s body language who that may have bothered, it’s OK to also connect with that person offline later.


And also connect with the person that made the comment and say, you know, I know you may have thought this way, but let’s talk about what may have been a better approach to that conversation when we were meeting with others. And it’s OK to have open conversations about those things in the workplace.


And Meryl has a question about, you know, when you’re giving feedback to your team member.


And the question is, you know, if you have some tips on when you, when you have to critique someone, but you don’t want to sound unkind and how you could maybe go about giving that feedback in a constructive way.


That’s it. That’s a really tough situation to be in. It is hard and no one likes.


No one likes criticism, and, you know, there’s a, there’s a reason why we call it, there’s a difference between criticism and constructive feedback, and I always like to understand where that person is coming from Because a lot of times people may think they’re doing a really great job, but they’re just not as focused as maybe you need them to be. And so asking questions in that session is, now How do you think it’s going? Like, what, what do you think is happening at work? Like, what do you think you’re really strong at, and where do you think you can really develop some skills? And I want to know what skills you feel you could develop, and let’s talk about how we can do that together to make you more successful.


And then that way, you’re kind of putting the onus back on that person to kind of admit and say, You know, I might not be that great at time management. So I really could use some tips on how to get all this work done in a week, or, you know, I’m having a problem communicating with this client, how can I better communicate with them, or what’s worked for you in the past, and really having that open line of communication with each other, and figuring out how you can best move forward.


Great, and we have another question here from Veronica. And Veronica would like to know, what can you do if you have co-workers that you need to partner with on critical events or projects, but they are reluctant to share any information, and are very hesitant to reach out if they are in need of assistance?


Hmm, that is, that is a good question. I would say that, you know, again, the open dialog is so important with them.


Maybe having setting up some time, or maybe calling it a fact finding session, where you talk about, OK, what information have you gathered versus what I’ve gathered, and how are we best going to work together to put this presentation together? I mean, I think everyone’s had that science project back in school, right, Where I know the only reason why I think I passed chemistry and 10th graders because I had an amazing lab partner, because obviously, PR and communications with my thing, but science was not my thing.


At grant, I bless his heart, did so much of that lab work, but I would always say, what can I do to help you? And so just maybe reach out and say, I really need your information, so that we can better collaborate, because I really want to make this project the best of both worlds. So, how can we work best, or what works best for you when we’re putting this project together? Like, how would you like to work? Like, What’s the best way for you to funnel your information to me and me to you, and really having that open dialog.


Great. And we have a question here from Kelly, and Kelly asks, what are some tips to talk yourself down before you have an emotional reaction to something that a co-worker did, or said?


So, I think it’s really important to hit that pause button, and hit that mute button, and, and maybe take a step back.


If it’s in person, you know, maybe just take a step back and say, no, I just don’t see it that way, or that’s not the way that I feel this is going, or this is the direction that that’s going. But I’d really like to better understand your thoughts on why you feel that way.


I think it’s just a very important to make sure that before you have a giant emotional reaction, and, honestly, breathing exercises are so important.


I have taught myself over the years to take a step back and say, I’m not going to be angry and upset, and really, truly, I don’t know if that person is upset with me, if that person is upset with the situation, or if that person is really upset about something that happened this morning at home, And we all know that everyone has a lot going on right now. So breathing is so important to take a couple of breaths.


Think in your head before you react and speak.


and kind of walk yourself through, and I know you don’t always have a lot of time where you get to react, but walk yourself through in your head, how is my reaction really going to impact this situation negatively or positively, and how are we going to move this forward?


Great, and we have time here for a couple more questions. This next one comes from Alex. And Alex asks, do you really think emotional intelligence can be taught?


So, Alex, I will tell you that about 10 years ago, my answer to this question would have been no.


But now with everything that I’ve learned, I think the answer is yes.


And, you know, Will a person that maybe is lacking a little bit of EQ get to the same level of a person who has EQ off the charts, maybe not?


But I think there is a way to get that person to incorporate more empathy and understand the way that they impact other people’s feelings and emotions. And a lot of times, that starts with them understanding their own emotions, and why they have those.


And so I often like to think that coaching somebody into that, and kind of showing where their strengths and weaknesses are, and talking about how they feel in certain situations, really helps get that conversation, started for them in terms of, hmm, hmm, hmm, maybe I could work a little bit better at controlling my feelings, or controlling my responses, and once they start to think in that mindset, then their EQ will grow and will come along and progress.


Great, and this next question we have here is from Kayla and Kayla would like to know how long should you wait before responding to a difficult e-mail?


Well, Kyla, I think that really depends on, you know, how time sensitive is that communication?


Do you need to respond to it right away?


You know, definitely take a second, step away, get a drink of water, practice your breathing, that we talked about, and maybe think about, why is this person really acting in this way? And what could I possibly do in my response to change that? And so, it’s just important to make sure that you aren’t just firing off an e-mail what you can do if you feel the need. And sometimes, people just need to get it out, and they just need to write it down. And I have done this, where I’ve opened up.


I’ve closed my e-mail, but I’ve opened up a Word document, and written the response that first came to my head, that I would just be ready to put down on paper instead.


And then I read it through, and I realize that it may not be the most effective way to communicate in that response.


So, what you can do in that instance is look at what you’ve written on that paper, think about it, think about how you would feel if someone sent you that response and craft a much more positive response. That’s probably going to move you in a much more positive direction.


Great. And then, the final question that we will answer for today before we conclude our webinar event today is from Tony and Tony as in a situation where there’s a team member on their team who lashes out at others.


And they’re not always wrong for, you know, maybe why they’re lashing out, or their reason behind it. But how do you make them, or encourage them to take responsibility because of the way that they’re communicating is currently hurting the team?


Yes, it sounds like they need to see that slide about responsibility. And if it’s your, you have the ability to control your response. I think it’s really pulling that person aside and getting to the root of understanding their frustrations, and, you know, I think we’ve all been in a situation where we don’t agree with something that’s happening, or we wouldn’t take a project in a certain direction. Or we feel that maybe something’s not happening fairly.


It’s really pulling him aside and saying, I think people will better understand you if you are more able to control your emotions, when you deliver that message.


And it’s truly all about sitting them down and saying, hey, let’s talk about some of your frustrations. Why are you feeling this way? What has you irritated or what, you know, what is something that we can work on together to say? Let’s get to the root of this problem and let’s figure out, how we can show more healthy emotions at work. I mean, the healthier our emotions are in our dialog and our communication with one, another, the better. Our team building will be and if we really want this project, to be, Great, let’s figure, out, a way that we can talk to each other the way that we all want to be spoken to. And sometimes people are really responsive to that because they can think of a time where someone lashed out at them, and they hated that situation that they’re in. And this is really their way of being able to control that, so that they’re not being the person that may be hurt someone’s feelings, or, or causes there, to be a ref in that relationship.


Fantastic! And that will here. Bring us to the end of our session today. Job well done. We had some great questions coming through, offering some great conversation here, and thank you very much, Heather.


Well, thank you, and thanks for everyone for spending time with me today. I really had a great time, and I hope everyone learned some things.


Yes, this was fantastic session, and today’s webinar was sponsored by HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars. You can check out our curriculum of more than 80 virtual instructor led online seminars at And that will then bring us here to the end of our session today. Again, thank you so much, Heather, for joining us.


Oh, thank you so much, Sarah, for having me.


And thank you all for participating in today’s webinar, happy training.

© 2021 HRDQ-U. All rights reserved.


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