The Emotionally Intelligent Manager | HRDQ-U Webinar

The Emotionally Intelligent Manager: Essential Skills for Leading Others with Confidence



Did you know…?

  • Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the single strongest predictor of performance
  • 90% of top performers score high on emotional intelligence
  • A UC Berkeley study found that emotional intelligence was 400% more powerful than IQ when predicting who would have success in their field

When it comes to defining intelligence, we typically think in terms of IQ or “intelligence quotient.”  A few decades ago, however, a new definition of intelligence began to take shape that had nothing to do with conventional notions of intellect.  Emotional intelligence, or EQ, refers to our capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and others.  Furthermore, research suggests that EQ is actually more important than IQ for success in jobs at all levels.

In this program, you’ll learn about the four critical dimensions of EI—self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management—and how these competencies drive our behavior and impact our outcomes:

  1. Self-awareness is the foundation for the other three competencies: if we are unable to recognize our own emotions, it will be virtually impossible to manage them (let alone the emotions of others).
  2. Self-management, or impulse control, flows from a base of self-awareness.  A leader cannot hope to manage emotions in others without first possessing the ability to manage their own.
  3. Social awareness, the third domain of emotional intelligence, is the ability to empathize.  Empathy, the sense of being “on the same wavelength” with another, is perhaps best described as an attunement to how others feel in a particular moment.
  4. Relationship management is the fourth and final EI domain.  Familiar leadership competencies such as influence, conflict management, and teamwork fall under this category.

In addition to familiarizing yourself with these four domains of emotional intelligence, you’ll learn ways to strengthen your own EQ to better manage stress, build fruitful relationships, and achieve superior results at work.

Attendees will learn

  • The four dimensions of EQ and how they impact your effectiveness.
  • How to strengthen your ability to identify your emotional state “in the moment.”
  • How to manage your emotions more skillfully under stress.
  • How to become a better listener to build empathy and connection with others.
  • How to recognize behaviors that foster strong, trusting relationships.


Dr. Michael Brenner is the founder and CEO of Right Chord Leadership. Dr. Brenner collaborates with leaders and teams at all levels to strengthen the essential skills needed for peak performance. He achieves this by drawing on more than two decades of experience as an international leadership consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker, and educator, and more than 35 years as a professional musician.

Michael is the creator of the CHORDS Model™ which consists of six key “notes” all successful leaders and teams play: C (Communication), H (Harmony), O (Ownership), R (Respect), D (Direction) and S (Support).  He has partnered with leading organizations in a variety of industries, including law firm Ballard Spahr, Godiva, Burlington Stores, QVC, SAP, Penn Medicine, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Michael has been a featured speaker at many industry events and conferences around the world, including Southeast Asia, Canada and Australia.  He holds a doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Adult and Organizational Development from Temple University. He has taught courses in organizational behavior, systems dynamics, negotiations, and interpersonal relations (among others) at Immaculata University, Temple University, and La Salle University.  Currently, Michael is on the faculty of Penn State University and American University.

Additionally, Michael recently completed a certificate program on the neuroscience of leadership from MIT and is currently writing a book based on the CHORDS Model™ aimed at developing young leaders. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn, through email at and at


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On-Demand Webinar Recording
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The Emotionally Intelligent Manager: Essential Skills for Leading Others with Confidence


Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, The Emotionally Intelligent Manager: Essential Skills for Leading Others with Confidence, hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Doctor Michael Brenner.


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 HRDQstore the What’s My Communication Style. You can learn more at


And I’m excited to introduce our presenter today, Doctor Michael Brenner. Michael is the founder and CEO of Right Chord Leadership. He collaborates with leaders and teams at all levels to strengthen the essential skills needed for peak performance. He achieves this by drawing on more than two decades of experience as an International Leadership consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker, an educator, and more than 35 years as a professional musician.


Michael has partnered with leading organizations in a variety of industries, including Law Firm Balance are Godiva, Burlington Stores, QVC, sappy, Penn Medicine, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


He has been featured speaker at many industry events and conferences around the world, including Southeast, Asia, Canada, and Australia. Michael holds a Doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Adult and Organizational Development from Temple University.


He has taught courses in organizational behavior systems, dynamic negotiations, and interpersonal relations, among others at Immaculata University, Temple University, and LaSalle University.


Currently, Michael is on the Faculty of Penn State University and American University. Additionally, Michael received, recently completed a certificate program on the neuroscience of Leadership from MIT and is currently writing a book based on the Chords model aimed at developing young leaders. Thank you for joining us today, Michael.


Thank you so much, Sarah for that spirited introduction and for all of your assistance in making this webinar a reality and I know all your hard work.


You know, I’m aware of all your hard work and what goes into scheduling these webinars and I appreciate your assistance. I also want to thank everybody out there in virtual land for joining us today. I know you all lead busy lives and could be doing any number of things right now, but you’ve elected to, to join us here for this program on emotional intelligence, and for that, I am very thankful and very grateful. Lots to get to today and not a whole lot of time together this afternoon, so let’s get right to it.


As Sarah mentioned, this is, this is me here.


I am the founder and CEO of a company called Right Chord Leadership, which is a leadership and team development company located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.


So let’s get things started with a little participation on your part. And I have just a very simple question here.


What’s on your mind these days, ladies and gentlemen, what’s what are you thinking about these days? What, what kind of things are our comprising your thoughts? What’s keeping you up at night? What are you dwelling on?


What’s making you anxious?


Anything like that go ahead and in the, I believe it’s the questions field, if you’re accustomed to this platform, and just go ahead and type your responses right there in the field.


And I’m going to ask Sarah to just read off a couple to me once they come in.


Oh, yes, we have some responses coming in, keeping healthy.


Taxes, of course, tax season, COVID, retention of employees.


COVID and its variants.


Family, interviewing, and not having qualified candidates, returning to the office soon, health and wellness, Vanessa says everything. Carter said staying mindful. Leslie says, will COVID ever end?


And working remotely, working after the age of 70, Mark Marta says, difficult staff, oh, we have lots of responses coming in here.


Yeah, yeah.


Right, right. I wish we had time to hear them all, because they all have merit, but just the ones that I heard from, Sarah. Yeah. Right. I mean, what aren’t we thinking about these days? I mean, Family obligations professional obligations of the health obligations. Certainly, you know, coven the kids are kids in school and the list goes on and on and on.


So this question, what’s on your mind these days, and your responses are really at the heart of why, I think a program, such as this, on emotional intelligence, is so critical.


Now, And I’m going to be spending the next, you know, 55 minutes or so.


Trying to make a persuasive case. Why?


Now, in light of all the things that you’re thinking about, all the things on your mind, all the things on your plate, we need to leverage our Emotional Intelligence, or EQ.


If we have any hope of being effective with our bosses, our colleagues, our families, our neighbors, et cetera, et cetera.


So when you look at the definition of emotional intelligence, which is from doctor Daniel Goleman, one of the pioneers of emotional intelligence, and he said, emotional intelligence is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions well, in ourselves and others.


It seems like a fairly simple thing to do to just read it off the screen like that.


But, but I assure you, what is sort of encapsulated here on the screen is, is a lifetime of work. And, and, you know, some people never get out of the starting gate in terms of being aware of their emotions, and how their emotions are affecting others, and how their emotions are affecting their results, and being able to regulate their emotions, and so forth.


But I’ve met quite a few people, or maybe some of you, on this webinar, are a little stronger in some of these areas.


So wherever you fall on that continuum, again, given the demands, being placed on our energy, on our time, on our resources, our ability to exhibit emotional intelligence, I think, is absolutely paramount.


So, one of the ways that my clients find helpful when thinking about emotional intelligence and what it is, comes from my world of music, because I’m also a professional musician.


I’ve played music since I was a little kid and I currently perform, you know, in various bands around Philadelphia. So this is me playing the saxophone. It’s a tenor sax on the left. A soprano sax in the middle.


And I can get around on a flute a little bit there on the right. These photos are kind of also show you a more recent photo.


Yeah, right.


No, I’m just kidding that photo dates back to the mid-eighties.


The reason I’m showing these photos of me playing music is because my musical background is, is at the heart of this metaphor that I think may be helpful to you. And here’s the metaphor for those of you who are musically inclined.


You know that what we’re seeing on the screen now are chords.


So, you see that the notes stacked on top of each other, indicating that those notes should be played simultaneously.


That’s basically what a chord is. It’s a series of notes played at the same time. And just like a chord played on a piano, can sound very pleasing to the ear, or very harmonious.


And you go, wow, that’s, that’s a beautiful cord, some chords that you can play on a piano, or strum, on a guitar, have the opposite effect.


They sound very harsh; they sound what we would call discordant to the year. And, you know, you kinda go like, Oh, that’s kind of a harsh sounding chord.


And here’s the metaphor.


We play courts to, we play cords every moment of every day, day after day, week, after week, month after month. They’re not musical cords.


They’re metaphorical courts, right? So, the question at the top of the screen here, I think it’s helpful when we think about Emotional intelligence and the chords that we play every moment of every day.


Sometimes the cords we play are out of tune.


And that happens when a particular situation we find ourselves in and the chords we’re playing in response to that situation are misaligned.


And I’m sure we’ve all experienced that, but when our chords are in Harmony, and whatever the situation or the circumstances are calling for, we are, we are playing those chords.


Then we can be operating an optimal effectiveness. So throughout this webinar and, you know, long after the webinar, I think it could be helpful to ask yourself periodically, what chords in my playing right now? And my playing the kind of cords that are gonna get me optimal results in this situation or maybe my cords are a little a little out of tune. And I need to play some different courts to get some different results. So, that’s the prevailing metaphor that I find, you know, can be helpful for folks.


I truly believe that the chords we play or don’t play at work, at home, greatly impact our success.


And now, I’m going to set about trying to prove or make a persuasive case for that assertion.


Before I do, let’s take a look quickly at some of the research that’s been done on emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, and there’s a whole lot of it out there, but here’s some data that I found particularly compelling.


Earlier, research on emotional intelligence suggested that it’s actually twice as important as other factors, such as technical abilities and analytical reasoning for effective performance and jobs at all levels. So, keep in mind, Emotional Intelligence isn’t just for senior leaders, it’s for everybody throughout the organization. Senior leaders, managers, supervisors, directors, you know.


And the folks on this, on the floor doing, you, know, doing the heavy lifting so everybody can stand to gain by learning more about emotional intelligence.


Now, when you talk about management or leadership, nearly 90%, huge number of the differences between star performers and average performers in leadership positions was attributable to emotional intelligence factors, which sort of makes sense.


If you’re a manager or a leader in an organization, you probably have pretty good, you know, that you’re, you’ve honed your skills required to do your job, right, Otherwise, you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t continue to be employed in that position.


So, assuming everybody can pretty much execute on the tasks that are associated with their job, what makes the difference between outstanding performance and average performance? It’s the emotional intelligence factors that we’re going to be talking about during this webinar.


So, if I have a group of people, and they’re all, let’s say they’re all engineers, I’m going to assume that more or less, they’re all pretty good engineers. They understand what it takes to be a successful engineer, the tasks, and the knowledge required to be a good engineer.


But, so what I’m going to look for, are the few, who, not only have the skills to be good engineers, but who also have the emotional intelligence skills. Because I know those are the people who are going to be able to handle conflict. Going to be able to be persuasive and influential, going to be able to navigate through periods of stress. All the things that we’re going to be talking about today.


Sup, that’s a brief introduction to Emotional intelligence, otherwise known as EQ. Let’s take a deeper dive into four dimensions of emotional intelligence, which I call the fantastic four.


Makes them easy to remember.


And they are as follows, self-awareness and we’ll go into each of these.


You know, accordingly, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. So I call those the fantastic four. Let’s start by looking at the foundation of emotional intelligence, self-awareness.


Recognizing your emotions and the potential impact they’re having, not only on you but also on the people around you. So let me ask you a question here. Can you think about this in your own mind?


Look at these little guys here or gals?


Is this a typical day for you?


You know, And I imagine, I can’t see you, but I would imagine a lot of you probably are to have a smile on your face. You’re like, Yeah, right.


Some days, maybe most days, are spent, desperately trying to just keep up, you know, just trying to keep our feet going underneath us like these, you know, little hamsters, or what have you were running from meeting to meeting. And we’re being bombarded, with texts, and phone calls, and our boss wants to see us.


And the nurse said, our child’s school cause, because she’s not feeling well. We have to take the cat to the vet.


We have to take, you know, this one, to soccer practice and that one, to play practice.


I mean, it’s never-ending.


So in the chaotic and hectic lives that we lead, it’s very easy for, especially, busy managers to get disconnected from their emotions.


And by that, I mean, how many times do we stop during the day to check in with ourselves and ask ourselves, how am I feeling right now?


I don’t mean physically, I mean emotionally, how am I? How am I doing right now?


It’s pretty rare that I meet somebody with that level of awareness, because we’re just too darn busy.


This can be problematic. Why?


Because, on the surface, it looks like Mike or Sarah, or Joe, or Susan, is doing OK. Yeah, they might seem a little anxious, or a little stressed. But on the surface, they’re getting their job done. They’re managing their responsibilities.


And it looks like they’re doing OK.


But under the surface where you can’t see some dangers may be lurking dangers in the shape of some emotions that could be bubbling away under the surface unseen by those around us.


For example, maybe we’re a little frustrated that we can’t get an answer from a colleague that we need to finish a project. Or maybe we’re a little irritated at something that somebody said in a staff meeting.


Or we are experiencing a little resentment over the fact that somebody got some kudos or maybe even a promotion that we thought maybe we deserved or perhaps we were disappointed in something that happened. Right?


So these seemingly minor emotions are just kind of percolating and bubbling under the surface.


When we are disconnected from our emotions because of our busy lives, often these seemingly minor emotions are ignored and ignored, and ignored until what happens, that situation, that expression that somebody shared with us, that moment boom.


Everything leaps to the surface.


All that stuff that’s sort of been bubbling away under the surface that we’ve been able to kind of control bursts out in a display of rage or display of frustration and that’s when we save things and do things that we end up regretting.


So that’s the, that’s the danger of becoming emotionally disconnected from our feelings, which is, you know, everywhere around us, right?


So, what’s the solution?


We gotta plug back into the message is that our emotions are telling us, and I’m not sharing this with you in some kind of like new agey kind of way, like we don’t have to go to a mountain top in Nepal and, and, you know, and go to the top and sit in silent meditation.


Or when it comes to increasing our self-awareness, all we really need to do is to take steps, to make that connection between our emotions, and how we’re responding. We have to put those emotions on our radar in a much more explicit fashion, perhaps, and what we’re typically accustomed to. So I’m going to show you a way to do that relatively easily, and it’s something that I do quite frequently.


It’s another metaphor.


So I like metaphors, because I think they are helpful in helping to retain information.


So when we were flying maybe some of you are still flying these days, but less so we all have to go through the metal detector. And the scanner, of course, scans us for metal.


I want you to think about an emotional scanner that’s not scanning us for metal, but scanning our emotional mindset, our emotional state so that how we’re feeling from moment to moment is not a subconscious thing. But is something that we are keenly aware of and here’s something that you can do, you know once twice, three times a day if you’re so inclined, it’s very easy.


You just imagine a line that goes from 0 to 100, and periodically throughout the day, you can ask yourself, where am I on that line? A zero is the least stressed.


You could possibly be, you know, it’s, you know, sitting on a beach, if that’s your thing, with your toes in the sand, watching the surf, come in, and you’re relaxed, you’re chill.


Everything is just totally cool, Right, 0 and 100 is the most stressed you could possibly be, it’s deciding to cool off in the surf.


And you know, right next to you, you discover our finnie friend.


And he’s circling you know, eyeing you up as a hot lunch.


So, we have zero, not at all stressed, 100 super stressed, and what I would say is, in the morning, when you get up, have the awareness to ask yourself where am I on Mike’s 0 to 100 line? Am I a 10 or a 20? That’s good, I’m in a good emotional state for me to be productive today.


If I’m an 80 or 90, let’s say you had a fight with your spouse the night before or, you know, something happened, and you wake up. You’re like I’m an 80.


I better play some different chords, IE, you know, do something, if I have any hope of having a productive and successful day today, I can’t stay at this AT and hope to have a good day today, so it starts with self-awareness.


It starts with being keenly aware of our emotional state in the moment.


So I say do it in the morning, do it in the afternoon, Let’s say you have a stressful meeting with your boss or stressful conversation with a colleague, take them home and go, where am I right now.


I’m a 70. I’m an AT, OK.


First step awareness, the next step in the process is what are you going to do about it?


What different chords might you play in order to get yourself in a productive space?


OK, so, I say work that muscle, this is a simple tool. I’ve learned at years and years ago. I use it. It’s effective.


It’s effective in times of relaxation Where I’m like, I’m feeling productive right now. I’m feeling like I can get a lot of work done. I’m in a good emotional space.


And I also use it when, you know, I get a bit of disappointing news, or I have a stressful conversation.


And it really helps prevent those emotions from getting away from me.


And when we control our emotions, as opposed to our emotions, controlling us, then ultimately, we are the master of our emotions, rather than vice versa.


So which of the following describes you best when you are in your manager’s role at work?


And in the questions chat window, and I’ll ask Sarah to just get a sense for the majority.


Are you feeling energetic, optimistic, and inspired? Typically?


Are you feeling calm, focused, and ready to get down to business?


When you have your managers hat on at work, see, do you find yourself?


feeling cranky, frustrated, and annoyed?


When you are at work, or D, gloomy pessimistic and wishing you could just go back to bed.


Now, I realize there are other options that we could pick, but for right now, which one describes you the best?


So you could just put, you don’t have to write everything out.


You can just put A, B, C, or D, So, we have lots of answers streaming in.


And I would say, right now, we have B, is coming in, as the, the top response here, followed, by A And we do have some seeds as well, OK, that’s not unusual. Normally, you know, you see a lot of aids and a lot of bees, but sometimes a C snakes in and sometimes even a D snakes. And so, my question to you would be, if you find yourself energetic, optimistic, inspired, calm, focus, that’s great.


But if you find yourself at work, no cranky annoyed, easily, irritated, uh, losing your temper at people, wishing you could be anywhere else.


Great, you know? I mean, not literally great, but great in that you are now aware of it.


You’re saying, why is it that when I come to work, I’m just never in a good mood, or I’m rarely in a good mood. Or I snap at people, or I don’t feel productive. Or I just feel apathetic, right? OK, I gotta get to the bottom of why that is because I know that’s hindering my ability to do what I need to do at work.


So I need to if, I mean, if you’re committed to this, and some people are not.


But if you’re committed to this, the next question you need to ask yourself is, what different chords do? I need to play it to get different results. But again, the first step is self-awareness, being aware of your emotional state, and then deciding to do something about it.


Which is actually our next step.


But before we go there, let me share with you something else you might find helpful when it comes to becoming more aware of your emotions, Name what you’re feeling.


Why would you do that? Well, I read an article that said. it’s called The Importance of Naming Your Emotions.


And I was like, that’s, why would that be important? According to the author of the article?


And, you know, it goes along with the theme of self-awareness, it puts your emotions on your radar, it brings them into your consciousness.


So if you follow along with, with me, noticing and naming emotions, gives us the chance to take a step back and make choices about what to do with them.


Remember, I said, we need to be the master of our emotions rather than have them controlling us? By naming them out loud, you know what, I’m feeling really ticked off right now.


I’m feeling really, really sad right now. I’m feeling really disappointed right now.


You are bringing voice to your emotional state and by doing so, you are effectively taking responsibility for them and making it less likely that they’re going to spill out like our great white shark friend, at the expense of other people.


Because once that happens, we often have a lot of cleanup we have to do, we have to apologize. We’re filled with regret perhaps, so when we name them, ah, now it’s on our radar, now, it’s in our consciousness. Now we can take steps to do something about those emotions, particularly if they’re negative emotions, OK, so we have the 0 to 100 line is our first tool, checking in periodically, almost 20, I’m an 80, I’m a 50.


And having the developing the discipline to name our emotions in the moment, thus putting them on our conscious radar. And then giving us the opportunity to do something about it, play some different chords if you will.


So here are some questions to help you increase your self-awareness. How plugged in are you to your emotions from moment to moment?


What situations make you feel afraid, or sad or anxious or angry? So knowing that in advance can be very helpful.


I’m about to go into a situation that historically makes me anxious, OK, what cords do I need to play to make sure that I’m able to get through this situation effectively? And finally, do you find that strong emotions can sneak up on you during periods of stress?


And if so, how might you become more aware of them before they can actually burst out and do damage? OK, so some questions there for us to think about.


Once we are aware of our emotions, we have a choice we can give into them, or we can play some different chords, and that’s where self-management comes in.


So we have a part of our brain called the amygdala to keep things simple. The amygdala is sort of the, the emotional part of the brain.


It’s the part of the brain that allows us to heal.


Before we think, OK, it’s a matter of fact, the amygdala, the emotional part of our brain, responds up to 100 times faster than the thinking part of our brain called the neocortex when we perceive a threat. And that’s a good thing.


Why is that a good thing?


Well, back in the day when our, you know, our cave ancestors were trying to just merely survive, the fact that the emotional part of their brain kick-in before the thinking part of their brain was very, very helpful.


Let’s say that a hungry saber tooth tiger was leaping at that.


well, the the individuals that stood there and pondered gee, I wonder what kind of saber-toothed tiger that is.


Usually it didn’t survive very long but the ones who either fought or hightailed it up the next tree ran away, they were the ones who survived to the next day and were able to propagate the species, which was what it was all about back then.


So we call that the fight or flight response, And I’m sure many of you are familiar with it.


Now, you know, that was back then very helpful when you’re trying to not get eaten by a saber tooth tiger.


But the amygdala and the fight or flight response is still with us today and shows up, you know, all the time.


Whether a danger is real or merely perceived. See, our brains aren’t very good at distinguishing between actual danger and perceived danger. So, you know, a dog barks at us. We have no reaction, and we feel scared, we feel frightened. Long before we might think, oh, you know, that that doesn’t look like a particularly dangerous dog.


Just the sound of the bark or the look of the snarl is enough to cause us to maybe, you know, put up our hands in defense or going through a haunted house at Halloween time.


We know that those are not real dangers. But nonetheless, you know, we get scared, we scream, we shriek, we yell, it’s the same thing with horror movies. You know, one of the things with horror movies is we get that sort of adrenaline rush. Where are our rational thinking brains know that, you know, it’s just a movie and we are safely in our living room, but still that fight or flight response.


No, it’s still very much present.


Or let’s say you see, you know, a figure walking behind you late at night on a street, you know you might cross the street. Now you don’t know anything about that individual.


They might have nefarious intent or no purely innocent intent.


Oh, I want to have nothing to do with you.


And yet, you know, you feel that weird sense, that, that weird feeling, and maybe out of an abundance of caution, You would cross the street, that’s, that’s the amygdala kicking in, or, if you play baseball or softball, you don’t have time to do the calculations, whether the ball is actually going to hit you in the head or not, in, in a fraction of a second. Boom, right? You have that immediate response. You flinch, and you get out of the way of the ball.


Or when you slam on the brakes when a child unexpectedly rides his or her bike in front of the car, right?


So this fight or flight response is very still very, very important, even though, you know, survival per se is not something that a lot of us have to think about every day.


So what are the implications of this?


Well, the amygdala is still alive and well in the workplace.


So in the upper left corner there, you see the flight response Lashing out at a colleague, you know, saying something nasty to a customer, hopefully not, right?


Or the, the silent treatment, you know, you’re ticked off at a colleague and so, you know, you’re not talking to one another. So this is how emotions sort of bleed out in the workplace.


So, what none of that’s very productive or very helpful and can actually make a workplace very toxic, if these negative feelings are allowed to perpetuate.


What we need is some way of interrupting the process between negative stimulus and, you know, destructive response.




now, this is A Extreme example of, you know, putting your keyboard through the computer screen.


But sometimes our negative responses to stimuli, you know, come out in different ways. Sometimes in exhibitions of, we raise our voice, we say things that we shouldn’t say, we’re or the other side, were passive aggressive, we don’t respond to e-mails.


And, you know, our response is run the gamut. So how do we, how do we stop that process?


Because remember, the emotional reaction to a stimulus is much, much faster, that our ability to actually think through it and come up with rational, you know, reactions.


Here’s something I’m going to share with you, and I’ve looked at this question, you know, how can we interrupt this process that is so fast to the point that we, we often respond inappropriately. And we end up saying or doing things that we regret. And, you know, I came across this advertisement for Coca Cola from the 19 twenties, or thirties.


The pause that refreshes, and I like that, I like that, and it occurred to me that pausing, pausing, even for a few seconds, allows your thinking brain to catch up to your emotional brain. When we are triggered, somebody says, something, somebody was supposed to do something that didn’t do it properly. Somebody says something to us. A perceived slight, a perceived moment of disrespect, whatever it is. Our amygdala kicks in and we end up perhaps saying or doing something that we regret if we can develop the skill to pause.


What we’re actually doing is allowing our thinking brain to catch up to our emotional brain, and guess where we make our best decisions, our thinking brain, guess, where we can evaluate the implications of our actions, our thinking brain, that’s where we want to be.


But all too often, we find ourselves victims of our emotional brains, and that is not a good place to be for an extended period of time.


So, there’s lots of things that we can do to take advantage of the pause, and there’s just a few of them on the screen right now.


Know, when I’m feeling stressed, and then maybe an e-mail comes in and triggers me, and I’m about to write a nasty response, or somebody says something to me, and I’m like, what did they just say to me? And I’m ready to respond with my own snarky comment.


I pause, and maybe I do one of the things on the screen here. You know, I’ve asked this question of hundreds of people over the years. Go take a walk, put on some music, you know, go outside where you go, go go, splash them, cold water on your face. It doesn’t matter. What you’re doing is pausing.


You’re allowing your adrenaline to subside, you’re allowing your thinking brain to kick into gear, where you can actually think through options.


You can think through the implications of those options, and you can land on a much more constructive response to whatever it is that you happen to be dealing with, OK.


So, when you have that urge to react that urge to react, try to keep that in check and pause. And that can even work if you’re face-to-face with somebody, you know, you’ll feel that urge, to say something snarky or nasty. And try to squelch it and just listen to what the person’s saying. Use empathy to try to understand. You know, their pain point.


There’s all kinds of techniques that you can use to avoid what we call the amygdala hijack, which is what the emotional part of your brain leads you to say or do something that you later regret.


Remember this quote, speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.


And I know a lot of you can, can identify with that quote.


So whatever you can do to not give in to that compulsion to say something nasty or do something impulsive that’s where we get in trouble.


That’s where we get in trouble, and pausing even for a few moments can really, really be useful.


Now, another dimension of self-management, resilience. I’ve often wondered what distinguishes resilient people from people who aren’t so resilient.


And I think that’s a very apropos question to ask during these times, in particular, and it comes down to this ladies and gentleman.


I think resilient people make a conscious choice about which of these two books they’re going to read from.


And of course, these books there, actual books.


one is actually called the go getter. One’s actually called the victim, but I’m using them here again as metaphors.


Alright, some people read from the book of the go getter.


Some people always reading from the book of victimhood.


What’s the difference?


Well, you can tell the difference, often in the language that people use, or perhaps you yourself use. So an expression of a go getter, what can I do?


We have a problem, we have an issue with a customer, whatever it happens to be, something didn’t go according to plan.


What can I do said with eagerness and a desire to help: the victim?


What can I do, right? It is what it is, it is what it is.


Is, you know, is a common variation of what can I do, spoken with resignation.


What do you notice, same language, very, very different attitude?


How about this one? What’s my role here? In other words?


How might I be contributing to these less than stellar outcomes that that that I’m experiencing? Right, go getters look for how they might be contributing to whatever set of circumstances they find themselves in.


Whereas victims, it’s not my fault, don’t look at me, look at them, not part of my job description, wasn’t me, and on and on and on. Right?


Stark difference between the language of go getters in the language of victims. What do I need to do differently?


That is what courts do I do? What different chords by now I need to play to get some different results. You’ll hear go getters asking themselves that all the time, what do I need to do differently?


How can I, how can I address that issue differently next time to get different results?


What did I learn from that, from that failure?


that that, that that will help me grow as a manager versus, oh, I have the worst luck, right? Never taking personal accountability for the circumstances that they find themselves in.


I can always get better. Alright? As good as I might be today, I can always get better. I can always grow and develop and learn new things versus I am who I am.


The rest of the team is just going to have to deal with me, know, I, I’ve been here for years and years and years, and nothing’s going to change me. And, you know. People are just going to have to deal with me, right? We know people like that.


So, there’s not a whole lot we can do with when we’re working with victims.


We can coach them.


We can lend an empathic ear, perhaps. But a lot of those folks are really entrenched in their, in their ways.


But if we have a direct report, you know, somebody that we have, you know, some, some formal authority over, or if we hear language coming from ourselves, victim language, we owe it to ourselves or our team Member, two, to help them to help them, because the language we use creates the reality we experience.


If you’re hearing a lot of victim language on your team, I knew it wouldn’t turn out well, I’m not surprised. they turned us down. We couldn’t possibly do that. Yeah, just a lot of negative victim talk.


I would say it’s incumbent upon you as a manager to root that out, find out what’s going on there.


No, that’s probably a red flag.


It is a red flag and if you hear yourself using that language about yourself, I have the worst luck. You know, it’s beyond my capabilities. I’ll never get to that level of proficiency, whatever it is.


Be aware, be aware and challenge yourself to play some different chords.


So the first thing is with resilience is are you going to read from the go get her book?


I make my own way. I’m responsible for my own decisions. I forge my own path.


Are you going to read from the victim book?


Not my fault, blaming others forever, no, for forever, not looking at yourself in the mirror and asking, how am I contributing to the circumstances?


I now find myself, OK, so, some things to think about.


Self-regulation, the pause, we feel, before we think, that can be a good thing when we’re in the midst of danger, not such a good thing in the workplace, where we may be stressed, and we need to be at our best.


So learning to pause and reading from the book of a go getter and the and being aware of the language we’re using.


So I, I put that all in with the self-management dimension of emotional intelligence.


So, here are a few questions to help you increase yourself management skills. Think about the last time. You exhibited poor self-management.


Did you lose your temper, or did you shut down and disengage? You know, what happened?


And think about, what was the outcome when you went down that path when you lost your temper in the meeting, did that help you?


Did that bring you closer to the results you were looking for when you disengaged from that colleague?


When you ignored them, when you walk by them in the hallway without saying hello, how long did that go on for?


Did that no, did that help your relationship, or did that hinder it?


Then, finally, you know, hm, hm, maybe that didn’t go so well, so if you had to do over, what would you do differently to get different results, how am I pressing the pause button, help you, should you find yourself in a similar situation in the future, right? How am I using go getter language as opposed to victim language? Help you the next time you found yourself stressed or anxious door or in a heated conversation.


So this is all part of the self-management, you know, bucket, if you will, OK?


Let’s move on quickly to the third dimension, social awareness. Empathy, empathy, empathy, you know.


We all live our lives, according to a book called My Autobiography.


And you started writing that book, as soon as you were born.


And you’re writing chapters and adding chapters to that book every Day of your life.


And of course, no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to see things exactly the same way, because we have different autobiographies.


It’s just human nature.


We have different dreams and different backgrounds and different childhood experiences and different values and different aspirations and different fears.


And, nobody has the same exact autobiography as we do and so, no matter how hard we try, it’s just a fact that we can’t see things exactly the same way as another person.


Both, people are right here, frictions. For instance, it’s just that, it’s just their perspective.


So here’s sort of a similar example, one person’s salvation looks like a boat and the other person’s salvation looks like an islet.


Both are correct.


It all depends on the lenses that you view the situation through.


And for, you know, for our purposes today, the lenses we use are determined by our autobiographies, largely by our autobiographies.


So that’s where empathy and social awareness comes in. How can we hope to connect with a human being in a meaningful way?


If we’re operating from very different autobiographies, well, it requires empathy.


What is empathy?


It’s the ability to sense other people’s emotions, and to imagine, or relate to what they might be experiencing, whether or not we have actually experienced that thing for ourselves.


I’ve heard it described as feeling with other people.


It’s not sympathy, Sympathy is feeling badly that something bad happened to a person. I feel bad. No, I sympathize that you got a flat tire this morning. I had a flat tire last year and it was a real pain in the neck.


Sympathy is fine.


I mean go into your neighborhood grocery store drugstore. You’ll see a ton of sympathy cards.


And those are very, know, that’s sympathy is a very powerful emotion, but it’s not empathy.


Empathy, I think is a little deeper, a little richer, it requires a little bit more of us to really put ourselves in the shoes of the other person.


You know, one time I was handed this card on the street, and it said, free empathy is feeling, imagining, and connecting with the humanity of another. I love that.


Feeling, imagining, and connecting with the humanity of another, present this card to receive five minutes of deep listening.


What is What does this not?


It’s not judgements, it’s not offering advice, it’s not analyzing somebody, it’s not pointing out why somebody is wrong, it’s not pitying somebody, it’s simply connecting with an experience that another person is trying to share with you, all right?


And it’s so powerful, and yet we rarely find the time during our busy days, especially as Matt, as managers, to exhibit any semblance of empathy doesn’t make us bad people. It just makes us super, super busy.


You know, here’s an example. How can we hope to connect with the humanity of somebody who’s going through a tough time, or as something important to share with us? When we’re trying to do, you know, 47 things at once, well, it’s not easy.


The best thing that we can do, and perhaps one of the most powerful things we can do, is listen.


Now, I know that sounds very like duh.


But there’s an art to listening and listening.


Well, most of the time, we’re just kind of hearing, Hearing is, When, you know, sound waves, enter our ears, and it’s easy to do other stuff, and hear, at the same time, it’s very difficult to do other stuff, and truly listen at the same time, OK, listening requires effort.


It requires us to momentarily put aside our own view and open ourselves up to an Alternative one, namely the one that is being shared with us.


And it means accepting the possibility that our perspective, regardless of the issue or the problem, isn’t necessarily the only one or even the right one.


And that makes some people real squirrely, you know, certain temperaments, certain personalities, they like to be right.


They’re dismissive of other perspectives, are dismissive, dismissive of other points of view.


When you listen, you put aside your autobiography only temporarily to really open yourself up and be receptive to what the other person is sharing with you. Know, and I understand that distractions and noise that we face daily listening becomes even more challenging, which is why so few people do it well.


As Steven Covey, the author of seven Habits of Highly Effective People, said most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply.


So as soon as you take a breath, boom, I’m going to jump all over you with my opinion, my perspective, my point of view.


And what he’s suggesting is we do the opposite.


Leave the autobiography Closed momentarily, an open yourself up to what the other person is sharing with you. Now not every conversation requires empathy.


You know, hey Mike, what kind of sandwich do you want for lunch? You know, egg salad or tuna fish? You know, I don’t have to demonstrate empathy.


But there are those conversations at work where somebody is struggling, somebody is trying to share something important, and we are distracted with 47 other things.


And all that we really need to do in that or that we really should do to demonstrate social awareness in that moment, is listen.


You know, listening is a true gift because we rarely know, receive it from other people.


And when you, when you listen with intent and you listen, not with the intent of replying or fixing the problem or, or fixing the person, it’s an amazing. It’s an amazing dynamic. And those of you that have experienced that have been in those conversations, where you felt truly listened to.


And then, were the person really cared?


It’s really quite moving.


Now there’s an app that’s going to help us exhibit empathy and social awareness, but you won’t find it on any phones Stands for attend, paraphrase, and probe.


I call that app, A P P And I would start here, ladies and gentlemen, a start, start with a attending.


Simply paying attention.


No, this is not attending.


This is not paying attention.


And neither is this.


The mere Act of just squaring up our bodies, to face somebody, just talking with us. I mean, just doing that is, you know, a wonderful thing to do.


Let alone making eye contact, you know, all these things that that, that indicate that we care that we want to hear what you’re saying. That what you’re sharing with us is important.


Body language, facial expressions.


All these kinds of things so, you know, it’s not about being on our phone at the same time. It’s not about, you know, obviously being distracted on a Zoom call. You know, if your camera’s on, we can tell, you know, and I know there’s a lot of things going on.


But to the extent that we can be focused, be present with another person, they will feel that.


And it can make just a huge difference in the, um, in the, in the tone of that conversation.


So that’s the first part, paraphrasing.


Really simple, but really powerful restating what you’ve heard using different words.


So you know, here’s a few on the screen this is the first P in the app. What I hear you saying is, you know, it gives you a chance to sum up what you, what you heard.


So basically, how you felt in that meeting was dismissed was disrespected? Is that what I’m hearing from you?


You seem to be saying that how that was handled was inappropriate. Tell me more about that.


I’m sensing that, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re uncomfortable with this new job duty. Let’s, let’s talk a little bit more about that, so I can get a better understanding of why you feel that way.


So, paraphrasing, very powerful technique.


That should be part of the app. Now, don’t overdo it.


You don’t want to paraphrase every sentence because that’s going to get really annoying.


But, it indicates, A, that you care enough, too, to understand what the person is saying, and B, gives the other person an opportunity to say, You know what, Mike, that’s not quite it, and maybe I didn’t explain it clearly enough. So, again, it gives you an opportunity to get on the same page with that person.


If there’s no misinterpretation, OK?


So we have attending posture, facial expressions, body language, and we have paraphrasing. So, here’s what I hear you saying. You know, what I heard you say was, or the way that made you feel was, OK.


And then the final P probing.


Fancy term for asking good questions.


Questions that uncover additional information that may not be readily given, right? Can you tell me more about that? What caused that? Or what did you do in that case? Well, how is it resolved? or, what do you think your next steps are going to be?


So, when you ask questions, just like paraphrasing, you’re indicating interest.


You are being open and receptive to the other person and opening the door for them to share more information with you.


Just watch your tone, because if there’s a big difference between, know, how did that happen, how to, you know, walk me through that, versus How did that happen.


There’s a big difference between, um.


You know, what, what are your next steps, and what are your next steps. OK, one is open and receptive and empathic the other as accusers Accusatory.


And so, you know, you’ll want to watch your tone, but as simple as these technique sound, it’s incredible how little, many of us use them. Again, not because we’re bad people, but we’re just super busy, so we’re just remember, oh, I’m going to use my app in that conversation with Bill two o’clock. I’m going to pay attention; I’m going to paraphrase. I’m going to ask good questions.


And I would guarantee you that your conversations are going to be more fruitful more productive, and just generally more effective.


So we have self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, demonstrating empathy, being open, and receptive to the other person using the app, listening with intent: listening.


Well, which brings us to our final dimension here, Relationship management.


And I just call this the art of relationship management: accountability, respect, and Trust.


What does accountability?


Accountability is taking ownership for the outcomes of your behaviors and decisions.


Here are some ways that you can be accountable and demonstrate relationship management.


If you want to build stronger, more collaborative relationships with your people, asked for feedback, you know, we know in the workplace are, people know that they’re going to receive feedback from their managers, but as their managers as to How am I doing as a manager?




Am I providing the support, the resources, the tools you need to be successful?


Know, imagine if your boss asked you that regularly. You know, I want to know, how am I doing?


You know, think about the trust. that that builds own. up to your mistakes.


Say you know what? That one’s on me gang. I dropped the ball, yes, I, I, am the team lead her, but I am also you know, I’m not infallible.


You know, don’t point fingers, don’t place blame people.


Take their cues from the boss, from the manager, and of course, led by example.


So, you know, there’s so many stories of great managers who roll up their sleeves and, you know, do the work that they, that they ask of their people, you know, they don’t just hang out in their fancy offices.


The upper floors of the skyscraper, you know, they, they walk around their present. They ask them, what are you working on today, Joe, you know, do you have everything you need to do that, or what more might you need, or what’s keeping you up at night. You know, Sue, they have conversations. They’re engaged, they’re involved.


That’s a great way to strengthen your accountability at work.


As Miles Davis, the Great Trumpeters said, when you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad. You’re going to play some sour notes.


What are you going to do next? Are you going to be accountable?


Are you going to take ownership?


Are you going to, you know, blame somebody else? It’s so unfortunate.


Most, I wouldn’t say most, a lot of managers and leaders opt to blame others when, what they really should be doing is taking accountability. I know it’s painful sometimes. But I guarantee your team is going to have way more respect for you than if you, you know, try to blame other people. Now, respect, real quick.


Alger, Row, great jazz singer.


I try to be receptive and to listen and not be afraid to try something new. When somebody shares a new idea with us.


Are we open and receptive and say, Tell me more? That sounds interesting.


Know, usually we say something or You’re being serious right now, right?


So I call those killer phrases.


A killer phrase is something that we say that shuts down a new idea that dismisses a new idea.


Not because we hate the idea but because we think, you know, it’s not how we do things around here.


Know, here are some killer phrases. That’s how we’ve always done it here.


They’ll never go for the, you know, we tried that once before, So the person sharing the idea with it goes, oh, OK, Forget it.


So, what have we done?


Now, we’ve shut the door to a potentially interesting new idea.


So, one of the ways that we can develop respect with another person is to be open to new ideas, to be inquisitive. All right?


Because, all of us are sort of little kids at heart.


Remember when you were a little kid?


And you were like, I have a great idea, mom. Let’s get a pony.


You know, I’ve always wanted to pony, and I’ll take care of it and be just great to have a pony around the House.


And, and your mom was like, we are not getting a pony and you thought it was a really great idea.


Now, know, your idea has been dismissed and so you’re kind of sad.


It’s no different, know.


Grown-ups in a lot of ways are just big kids and when we have an idea that we’re invested in and that we think is worth exploring and it’s dismissed, we’re not taken seriously.


You know, we feel badly.


So, there’s a lot of ways to develop respect in the workplace.


Being open to our People’s Ideas is a Key one and, again, not every idea’s a brilliant idea and that’s OK. Sometimes the most unusual or unconventional ideas lead to, you know, to the greatest success.


So we have being accountable, taking ownership for our decisions, not pointing fingers or placing blame. We have developing respect by being open.


And curious when it comes to other people’s ideas, and finally trust.


By being consistent, not showing up on Monday differently than we show up on Tuesday differently than we show up on Wednesday, consistency and actions, consistency and speech.


Apologizing and forgiving powerful Trust builder’s a lot of managers and leaders hold grudges and feel, you know, uh, you know, are unable to say, you know what, I was wrong.


I deeply apologize that to me that takes that takes courage that I respect managers that can step up and apologize or forgive and say you know what?


Let’s let it go.


No, we talked about it, you know, we put some measures into place to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and, and it’s OK, you know, it was an honest mistake. Poor, huge trust builder.


And finally, make a habit of asking what can I do to support you on that?


Go around, connect talk, ask people, what are you working on? What can I do as your manager to help support you? What do you need from me?


Alright. That’s a huge way to build trust with people.




Also, recognition, which I see we’re up against the time.


Recognizing people, hey, notice you stayed late last night. Really appreciate it, way to go.


People look at this statistic here: 40% of people in this study had not been recognized by their respective company leaders in the past year. That’s a trend that’s tragic.


People are hungry for recognition.


No, and it’s free and it lifts.


People say, hey, just wanted to take a moment to show a little appreciation for that or to acknowledge how hard that was to complete that project way to go.


I can’t tell you what an impact that has on people and building trust, and respect and collaborate, and camaraderie and rapport and all those things that we’re looking for in our workplaces.


All right, hand-written notes, publicly acknowledging individuals in your staff meetings. All kinds of things you can do.




So, in conclusion, life is 10%. What happens to us and 90% how we react to it.


I really believe that if we, if we can become more aware of our emotions so that we can decide which chords, we need to play to be effective, to be successful.


And then if we can exhibit empathy, sometimes it’s not easy. I get it. There’s difficult people out there.


But again, you know, what chords, are we going to play? What kind of example are we going to set for our people, for our children?


Seeking to understand the issue, the problem, the challenge to the other person’s eyes.


eliciting well using the app, attending, probing, paraphrasing.


And then offering suggestions or solutions, say, I think I fully understand what you’re saying. I have some ideas and share them with you. That’s what good leaders do. That’s what good listeners do. And finally, accountability.




Trust, the art of good relationship building. It’s not fancy.


It’s not fancy.


It’s the building blocks of any strong relationship, accountability, respect, trust.


If you enjoy today’s webinar, I’m going to turn it over to my colleague, Sarah momentarily.


I do encourage you to reach out my website, right cord leadership dot com. You’ll see a little bit more about our work.


LinkedIn, Michael, why Breder, my middle name starts with why look for the guy holding the saxophone. Because there are a couple.


There’s, there’s a few, Michael Brenner’s on LinkedIn, I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn, Send me an e-mail. If there’s anything we didn’t get to today, that you’d like some, you know, you want to talk about something. You’ll want to grab a cup of coffee; you want to setup a zoom call. Whatever, you know, I’m on at your disposal. I would love to continue the conversation.


Sarah, I’m going to turn it back over to you, for some final slides and some final comments. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us.


I do hope you found it valuable, and that the wheels are turning and that you’re thinking of ways of implementing this content into your own, into your own life. Sarah, it’s all yours.


Great, thanks so much for joining us today, Mike, this was a great webinar that we had today. And today’s webinar was sponsored by the HRDQ What’s My Communication Style Online Assessment and Training Course. Communication Skills are critical if your organization is going to perform at its best, particularly during challenging times, you can learn more at


And if you’d like to see more content, great content like we had today, check out our HRDQ-U memberships, which offers over 200 human resource webinars, to trainers, consultants, and coaches, keeping you in the know with industry trends, as well as workforce virtual seminars for instructor led classes on key training topics for your employees. Whether you’re a professional learner or learning professional, we’ve got your training needs covered. You can learn more at And that does bring us here to the end of today’s session. Thank you again for joining us.


My pleasure, Sarah. I understand there’s a handout, too, for folks that have been, has been made available.


Yes, you can download that handout under that Handouts tab. If you have not done so already, and thank you all for participating in today’s webinar, happy training.

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