The Next Frontier of Emotional Intelligence: Rewiring the Brain

The Next Frontier of Emotional Intelligence: Rewiring the Brain



The lack of emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the biggest derailers of leadership and employee effectiveness (and a common headache for HR leaders). Thus, the development of EI is commonly a top priority in organizations.

Unfortunately, traditional EI developmental efforts fall short of moving the needle on EI. This is because EI is commonly treated as a skill-based ability rather than what neuroscience is finding: EI is actually a neural-based ability. When EI is viewed as a neural-based ability, we can better diagnose EI deficiencies and treat them in a manner that actually results in the improvement of EI.

In an insightful and engaging session, Mike and Ryan are going to discuss the next frontier of EI thought leadership and development (the neuroscience behind EI), and help you make meaningful improvements in EI within your organization.

Attendees will learn

  • Be reminded of the vital importance of emotional intelligence
  • Identify the reason why traditional emotional intelligence development efforts are deficient
  • Understand that emotional intelligence is not a skills-based ability, it is a neural-based ability
  • Learn the common causes of diminished emotional intelligence
  • Gain clarity on how to help leaders and employees actually improve their emotional intelligence


Ryan Gottfredson, Ph.D. is a cutting-edge leadership development author, researcher, and consultant. He helps organizations vertically develop their leaders primarily through a focus on mindsets. Ryan is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling author of Success Mindsets: The Key to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership. And, he is the author of the upcoming book, The Elevated Leader: Leveling Up Your Leadership Through Vertical Development. He is also a leadership professor at the College of Business and Economics at California State University-Fullerton.

Connect with Ryan: LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and

Recommended Books by Author

Mike Skrypnek is a catalyst that ignites your passion to help you make a cosmic ripple. His role as a multiplier of entrepreneurial success extends through generations.  Mike is an international bestseller of nine books, including his most important and soon-to-be available, UNLimited WORTH. He is a keynote speaker and sought-after business strategist who has shared his insights and wisdom with thousands of passionate purpose-driven entrepreneurs, business leaders, and executives. His coaching focuses on purpose at the intersection of personal, professional, and philanthropic development.

Mike lives, loves, and adventures with his wife and their two young adult children in the beautiful Sea-to-Sky corridor of British Columbia, Canada. Please welcome the CEO of Grow Get Give Coaching and Founder of The UNLimited WORTH Project.

Connect with Mike: LinkedInFacebook, and


Recommended Books by Author


The Next Frontier of Emotional Intelligence: Rewiring the Brain
Special Offer! is pleased to offer a special discount for HRDQ-U webinar viewers who wish to explore the concepts of mental wellness for leaders further.

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On-Demand Webinar Recording
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Hi, everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, The next frontier of Emotional Intelligence, and Rewire the brain, hosted by HRDQ-U, and presented by Ryan Gottfredson and Mike Skyrpnek.
My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions or comments, 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 brought to you in partnership by HRDQstore, and and Mike Make sure that you stick around to the end of today’s webinar. Ryan and Mike had a really exciting opportunity to share with you guys. And with that, I’d like to introduce Ryan And Mike. Ryan is a cutting-edge leadership development author, researcher, and consultant. He helps organizations at vertically develop their leaders, primarily through our focus on mindsets. Ryan is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, best-selling, author of Success, Mindsets: The Key to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work and Leadership. He is also a leadership professor at the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton.
And Mike is a catalyst that ignites your passion to help you make a cosmic rebel.
His role as a multiplier of entrepreneurial success extends through generations, like as an international best seller of nine books, including his most important and soon to be available, unlimited worth.
He is the keynote speaker and sought after business strategists who shared his insights and wisdom with thousands of passion, purpose driven entrepreneurs, business leaders and executives. His coaching focuses on purpose at the intersection of personal, professional, and philanthropic development. Thank you so much for joining us today, Ryan and Mike.
Thanks for having us, Sarah. It’s great to be here. I was just thinking, I think I’ve done, I don’t know over the last several years, 4 or 5 of these different HR DQ workshops.
And, this is the largest register list that we’ve had today, and we’ve already got well over 200 people joining, So, it’s great to be with you. It really isn’t, it is, an honor.
In fact, one of the things that we’re going to do as we go throughout is we’re gonna, we do want to interact with you, and in this webinar, The best way to do that is through the question box on, on this WebEx platform, So when you chat into the question box, we can see your answers. You won’t be able to see other people’s answers.
But we would like to try that out really quick, if you just don’t mind chatting in or into that question box where you’re located, would love to just see where you’re located.
And we’ll get going there.
We just want to make sure we’re curzon along here. That’s great.
See Charles’s in California.
So welcome and were just commenting how I enjoy living in Oh, we got Orange County, Hazel, I’m in Orange County.
Some Utah’s I grew up in Utah were just commenting about how I am glad that I no longer have to scrape ice off my chest, which is good.
So thank you for chatting these in. And if you see me look off to the side, Mike, probably the same way. We’ve got multiple monitors here in front of us.
Part of the reason why I’m sure we have a larger registrant list is because we’re touching on a topic that clearly, you seem interested in. And this is a topic emotional intelligence that has been around for several decades.
In terms of that form of, but that label emotional intelligence.
Daniel Goleman is one of the people who popularized the topic, and he published a book called Emotional Intelligence in 19 95.
Then you are also probably aware that Travis Bradbury, authored a book, and published a book in about 2009 called Emotional Intelligence To Point Out.
And I believe that what we’re going to be diving into today, we could call it.
Emotional Intelligence three point out. It really is the next frontier of emotional intelligence, and we’re going to be diving into the neuroscience behind emotional intelligence. And I think you’ll find it absolutely fascinating.
So just, Sarah introduced us, so I appreciate Sarah introducing us, But as you mentioned, I am a Leadership Professor at Cal State, Fullerton. You’re not familiar. Kelsey fortunate. We have the second largest business school in the United States. And I also work with organizations all over the world to develop their leaders and have written a couple of books, one of which is hit The Wall Street Journal in USA Today bestseller lists. So as I mentioned, it really is an honor to be with you. If you have questions as we go along, feel free to chat those in, but I’ll let Mike introduce himself next, and then he’ll get us kicked off.
Thanks, Ryan. Yeah, absolutely, great to be here. So, happy. We did one back in October, I think it was.
And just this looks like an amazing group. So almost 300 people will be sitting in for this. I’m Mike Skyrpnek.
I’m a business strategist, nine time author, as you’ve heard, and Men’s Mental Wellness Advocate as well.
And, you know, after 20 years, advising high net worth families and business owners on their investing and philanthropic legacy, I sold my wealth management business and shifted my attention in search of more leverage, coaching, purpose driven entrepreneur owners.
And what the goal was to ultimately help them make a cosmic ripple. And in the past year, my mission has shifted to even go deeper and friends live, transform lives.
So, I want to, I want to just step right into it, this picture. I just, I pulled this off, Daniel Pink. If anyone knows Daniel Pink’s work and his most recent book, Regrets No Regrets. Or regrets Rather, this is one of those diagrams that, I just thought, well, this seems suitable for this particular topic. And it does. It feels familiar.
Obviously, and you know, they exist with leadership, um, these situations where you have either the person barking orders, or the person nurturing their charge, if they will. They exist, but they don’t have to, like, it doesn’t have to be that stark contrast and most guiding training and coaching does occur at the surface right above the ground.
And getting down to the roots is often avoided, and plenty of people will tell leaders that it’s wrong to bark orders and demand and dominate over people, but who’s going to guide them to improve, And that’s what we want to get down to today.
Um, here’s a poll let’s just start out with a poll. We’ll get you rate involved right away.
You know, if you were to consider how your existences and new businesses that you’re operating in, how common is it for you to find an executive that seems to see everyone else’s shortcomings and challenges but remain oblivious to their own? So if you could just put your answers in those, that would be amazing.
Yes. We have the poll launched now.
We’ll give you about NaN left, terrorist fun. We have lots of votes streaming in, and then look at those results up on the screen.
And about 10 more seconds here.
OK, great, Let’s share those results and you’ll see those on your site.
Yeah, absolutely, So, it’s somewhat common, right, You know, almost 80% of you, 75% of you suggested that. It’s not the first time you’ve seen a situation where maybe a leader demands that of other people that intelligence, that emotional connection, but yet, and yet, they don’t see their own challenges.
So, let’s dig into why that is, and how we get there.
And, and so, you know, one of the bigger questions are, a couple other questions we have. We have questions of, you know, for leaders who struggle, do you think they actually choose to be that way? Because sometimes, it feels like it doesn’t seem like, oh, man, they just keep doing the same thing, and I can’t believe they don’t get it.
Or is it more likely that they don’t actually get that there that way, that maybe there’s something going on subconsciously that maybe they can’t see. So that’s really where we’re gonna dig in. And, you know, I want to talk about an experience of mine.
This is, Remember the Bike industry in coven? If you weren’t close to it at all.
What you have to know is, there was not a bike in a, in a shop anywhere because it’s one of the few things that people seem to be allowed to do and go out and get biking and, and so the industry really, you know, basically cleared the inventory.
But then of course, we got back to regular activity and suddenly there was a supply chain problem globally and the fears about orders and flip flop supply chains, rising interest rates and inflation. Now, hitting the markets in the last few months, basically created a challenge for one of my clients who happens to own a super high-end, beautifully. Like, this is aerospace, carbon, fiber, Manufacturing, and it’s all made in Canada. Which is also impressive.
And I was in a coaching session with him.
And, you know, he struggled through this, enjoying some of the fruits of it. His business had never been in a better place.
And then he went into this fall, or last fall, looking ahead and realized, oh, there’s some things that have changed, not just the supply and demand, supply chain issues. But whenever we have vendors, people who are buying from us, the bike shops, they can’t afford it. They can’t finance the same way. The interest rate rising is a problem. Inflation is a problem that’s hurting sales. So he had to go through a major downsize in order to get ahead of the challenges that were coming.
And so, he cut 40% of his personnel.
And, you know, in some ways, as we were working together for quite some time, this was a good renewal. Sometimes you have people that just don’t fit. And maybe this was the opportunity to, you know, clean house, if you will.
That’s a really negative way to say it, but you know, maybe an opportunity to regroup and start fresh as you grow again.
And then, you know, so, he was hard at work rolling out a new strategy, getting everyone on board. He was meeting with people weekly. He was increasing his communications, doing everything right, and launching this Kaizen mantra to really constantly improve their business. And he thought people were doing well.
And it seemed that a number of people were buying in but really the fact was he was still lamenting that his leaders lacked the initiatives that he needed and he didn’t feel he could trust them.
Know, this guy rose to the occasion, on the layoffs, A took control of his business, and he set the tone by showing up, guiding, leading, and communicating.
But he continued to stress that he didn’t have the right team in place and it all came down to the worry that even though they were good at the roles, he wanted to battle the trust them. They worried about them, so we worried at both the disk.
And what ends up happening next is, I had a conversation with them and we dug in.
And I turn it around, I said, you know, trust is less about you or about them both the people then and more about you.
And you know, that frankness hearing it as a CEO and owner that’s just gone through it really hits you hard.
And he was floored in a good way. And he texted me later that night and he shared this with me.
He know it was a pretty deep conversation and he gave me this message and it was really great to hear and it was thanks for the call today. I found out more about my current mind block than ever before.
I appreciate the help for exposing it.
And so, the challenge was, it was only then when he realized that his worry about others being trustworthy, or being able to trust them, it was all coming from him.
And he didn’t see it.
He’s a smart guy.
He’s an intelligent guy, driven, has a great vision for his company.
But he’s still missed this, and he didn’t even realize that was what he does.
And so, you know, we’re going to look at what low emotional intelligence is, and it’s not uncommon. So I want to be clear low emotional intelligence isn’t equated with low IQ. People can still be quite intelligent, and lack some, or have some gaps. And we’re going to demonstrate that. I used to use the equation IQ plus E Q. Equals impact or success, and it’s close, but we’re missing a variable, and that’s what we’re going to explain to you today.
We’re going to explain why that is, demonstrate, that there’s deficiencies and explain how we can elevate EI.
So, where you’ve likely trained it, you’ve been trained, and we’re going to show you, there’s more to this equation.
So, how can we give you clarity on how to move the needles, right? That’s the big question, How can we shift upwards? What are the limitations?
And sometimes it seems at high EI is the symptom of great elevated leaders yet elusive for others who seem quite intelligent.
You don’t like my client. Both could be trained in AI yet, one Excel excels, and the other seems to lack, so let’s take a deeper look at the construction of AI.
two, as I mentioned, we’re gonna get into the neuroscience here behind EI and as we do. So, here’s the assumption that we have.
And I think what we’re going to expose here, is that traditional UI development approaches probably aren’t as effective as we need them to be. But before we get in there, let’s, let’s lay the foundation with Level set. So, let’s start with, what is emotional intelligence? I think we get it in its most simply defined. In my mind.
As, our ability to connect with and effectively navigate our, and others, emotions.
So, there’s this component, there’s us, and there’s them.
There’s also the component of connecting with, and effectively navigate, right? And this concept, as I mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence was coined, you know, a few decades ago.
But the concepts around this have been around maybe forever.
We understand that our ability to navigate our, and others, emotions is critical to operating effectively, especially if we’re ever in leadership positions. And many of us, I imagine here on the call, are in the position of helping leaders to develop emotional intelligence.
And part of what our job is, is to help leaders understand that dealing with people.
When we’re dealing with people, we’re not just dealing with creatures of logic. We’re really dealing with creatures of emotion.
I mean, what we want out of our, of our employees, is commitment, engagement, trust, as Mike talked about.
And these are things that are less about logic, and they’re more about emotions. And so I know that we’re here because we know the value of emotional intelligence, let me just share some of the research findings around this. And you’ve probably heard these before, EI is four times more important than IQ for predicting success.
Managers with high EI outperformed annual targets by 15 to 20%.
90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence, and people with high emotional intelligence makes 20 my $29,000 more annually than their low … counterparts. That’s probably up given the inflation would have at last several years.
Um, and then some of the other things to consider is 75% of career derailments are due to an issue related to emotional intelligence.
I mean, can you relate to that? I think we’ve all been derailed to a certain degree in our own careers. I know I can. I look at a, some of my Derailments, and it’s like, Ah!
I think I could have handled that better. Right.
And, in fact, some of the recent research that I’ve come across, it says that fewer than 20% of companies qualify as being emotionally intelligent.
So these, these all speak to the idea that emotional Intelligence is important and we need to develop it in our leaders and our employees.
But I want to ask you a question here. So we’re going to bring up our second polling question, Sarah. It’ll help us out with this.
But What have been the typical results of the emotional intelligence trainings that you have either facilitated or been a participant in?
Have you found them one, or a not very helpful, incrementally helpful, transformation, li helpful, Or if you haven’t been involved in facilitating or being a participant in emotional intelligence trendies, you can indicate that as well.
We have the poll live here, and again, we have responses streaming in already. We’ll give you NaN here to finish submitting your your vote, and then we’ll get those results up on the screen.
Thanks, Sarah.
I’m seeing coming in live. I don’t know if everybody sees them coming in life.
OK, just, All right, OK, great, now let’s get those results up on the screen there.
Right, right, and Cast is right into a degree, right. For individuals who are willing to do the work, It can be transformational and helpful.
one of the things that we’re going to step into, and I’m gonna invite you to consider, is what we’re recognizing here is, is typically, the work done around emotional intelligence is incrementally helpful.
But we’re also going to suggest that there are approaches that we currently generally don’t take that can be transformational Lee helpful.
We’re largely overlooking these. And ultimately what we need today is we need transformational change because here’s what’s been going on.
In our world, the complexity of our world over the last several years particularly because of the Kobe pandemic, has radically increased.
But what we’ve got to ask ourselves has, our leaders and employees ability to navigate complexity increased to that same degree.
And what I’m finding in the work that I do with organizations is that the development of leaders and employees has not kept up with the rapidly changing complexity in our world.
And what leads us with is, what I would call a leadership deficit.
And when leaders operate at a leadership deficit, it is easier for them to be overwhelmed, to be burned out, to fall outside of their window of tolerance.
And when these things occur, they are less likely to operate with emotional intelligence.
In fact, to make this come to life, and to set up our discussions around the neuroscience behind emotional intelligence, I want to show you a video clip.
This video clip comes from a movie that I’m hoping some of you have seen Give me a yes or no in the questions box if you see this, if any of you seen the movie pitch perfect.
So it’s been several years This is about a collegiate acapella group. Of course this is a fiction story. Anita loves it. All right, So you’re going to like it.
And I like this clip because, yes, it is fiction, but this dynamic, I think, happens almost on a daily basis within organizations, So, so we’re going to step into this dynamic, I want you to pay, of course, we can pay attention to how different people in this clip operate, I want you to pay particular attention to how the leader is operating.
And I want you to just simply consider, does this leader seem to be emotionally intelligent in this situation?
And if not, which I’m, you’re gonna see why.
Why isn’t she as emotionally intelligent here? And we’re going to step into that. So let me pull that up, let me give me a second.
Alright, I’m going to hit play. I think we’re all good to go. And, Sarah, if we’re not you, just let me know, and we’ll go from there.
Yeah, should have taken that carrier tip most seriously. How much time? You just saw it. You gotta be able to hit that last note. I can’t. It’s impossible if it’s because of my swell. If you can’t do it, then someone else needs to sell. I think that gets to take my solo becker. A big, excellent, but also someone else might be equally as excellent and they might be shy and not want to come forward and say they wanted to solar. Well that guy doesn’t wanna sell. So I would be happy to do it. If I got to pick any song and do an arrangement well, that’s not how we run things here.
Maybe Becca has a point. Maybe we can try some, excuse me.
You can sing turn the beat around, and that’s the last I want to hear of this.
That song is tired. We’re not going to win with it. If we pull samples from different genres and layer them together, we can let me explain something to you because you still don’t seem to get it. Our goal is to get back to the finals, and these songs will get us there. So, excuse me, if I don’t take advice from some old girl with her matlab beats because she has never even been in a competition, have I made myself clear?
I won’t sell them.
Fat, Amy? Yes, sir.
You’ll sell out.
Alright. So that does fit perfect. I do recognize that there was maybe some some people have difficulties with either the video or the sound. My apologies, there was only a minute and a half so hopefully we didn’t miss out on too much. If you struggled to see or hear that.
But this was a situation where an idea comes forward for change. Its innovative, right? It’s a new idea.
It falls outside of a leader’s wheelhouse and the leader shuts down this idea rather aggressively. Right. John says, Bad leader, right? We get this, all right. There’s command and control going on here.
Now, what we could say, or here’s some things to think about as we think about this, this, Was her response more because she lacked skills or was it more because she had some wiring issues when it comes to her body’s internal operating system?
What I’m going to invite you to, of course, you can chat in in the in the question box, if you have thoughts here related to this.
And what I’m gonna suggest here is that I do believe that she has skills to be able to navigate this type of exchange effectively.
It was just in this moment because of the context, maybe she felt pushed up against the corner. She, her body’s nervous system went outside of its window of tolerance.
And she wasn’t able to handle this as effectively as she might have been able to do in more stable circumstances.
And what, what we need to recognize here is that this, I think we would all agree, this lack of emotional intelligence in this situation was probably less about her skill deficiencies And it’s more about her ability to regulate and control. Her own body’s emotions, step into the emotions of others, which really is a nervous system thing.
In fact, what the neuroscience reveals a night, I think this is currently a secret of emotional intelligence, is that our ability to recognize and effectively navigate our own and others’ emotions.
It’s predicated upon how effectively our brain functions.
I’m going to explain what I mean by that.
What is also interesting is that research’s indicating at least 70% of adults have experienced something in their lifetime that inhibits the proper brain functioning for emotional intelligence.
I think you might be surprised by what this something is. I know that I have been surprised by it, but I’ve also come to understand it, and I want to share this with you.
So, this is something that affects more than 70% of adults, is psychological trauma.
A dictionary definition of psychological trauma might give you, this experiences resulting in feeling of intense fear, helplessness and horror.
I think that’s part of the equation.
What we need to recognize and what what trauma experts are saying, is that trauma and psychological trauma is less about what occurs to us.
It’s more about the neurological adaptations that occur after something occurs to write.
Something can be traumatic for one person, and not traumatic for the other, because they have bodies have adapted differently because of that trauma.
But, what research has found, is that 70% of adults have experienced trauma, myself included, to the degree, that it changes the wiring in their brain in such a way that it limits or inhibits affective, emotional intelligence.
To understand this, we need to understand that there are three brain networks responsible for how we see and process, make meaning and navigate our world.
one of those networks is called the Default Mode Network. This is the network that is on.
Automatically, it runs on default.
This is our subconscious processing, right? When we are daydreaming, mind wandering, our mindsets, how we see and interpret our world is largely driven by our default Mode network. So that’s one of the networks.
A second network is what’s called the salience Network.
The salience Network is largely our limbic system. It’s responsible for our emotions.
The emotions that we feel, how those come through.
And then that that salience networks, as you can kind of see, is a little bit of a light switch. Between do we do we allow the default mode network to continue to operate? Or do we bring in the central executive network? This is our conscious brain. This is Homa, more conscious thought, our goal processing here.
And, in an ideal world, these three networks would work effectively, together.
And when they do, we are able to better connect and naveed, connect with, and navigate our emotions, and create space, to better connect with and navigate the emotions of others.
But when we experience trauma, our brain adapts to protect ourselves from future trauma. It is a natural, self protective mechanism and these adaptations. Inhibit the three networks from working effectively together.
In fact, what the research has found is that there are two common brain adaptations as a result of trauma.
Both of these adaptations, as I hope you will see, result in diminished emotional intelligence.
Um, I’m reading some of these comments here.
If any, if any questions are coming up here before I jump into these, these two adaptations, This is good.
Right, So let me jump into these adaptations. So adaptation number one is that our salience network becomes overacted.
And the Default Mode Network then struggles to regulate that salience network.
The the technical terminology for what this is is hypervigilance.
When somebody has an Overactive salience network, their emotions get running really quickly. It’s really easy for them to get set outside of their window of tolerance and their Default Mode Network struggles to step in and regulate.
I think we can all resonate with this to a certain degree. For example, give me a yes, or no, in the question box on this. Have you ever interpreted a safe thing?
Something that is inherently safe, not going to damage us and our bodies as being unsafe.
This could be things like receiving feedback, engaging in a disagreement with somebody, um, the idea of public speaking, or even somebody presenting a new idea, like what we saw in that pitch, perfect.
I think we’ve all been there, and I appreciate you sharing my kids not staying in bed, right?
That’s an inherently a safe thing, but we do It is unsafe, right, but I can resonate with that. I’ve got a 10 year old and an eight year old, and they come down the stairs more than I would like.
Um, all right, so, we, what is going on in this situation with this pitch, perfect leader.
Is she likely has some sort of wiring in her brain that makes her more hyper vigilant.
When this idea comes forward, she takes it as as almost being an attack.
That’s our body’s saying that’s actually this relatively safe thing is unsafe, and therefore, I’m going up. My body is going to move into defensive mode.
In fact, I may not be able to in that mode, not be able to connect with my emotions or or manage those effectively and I surely.
I’m not able to connect with her emotions and navigate those affected So that’s that’s hypervigilance. This is the first adaptation.
Um, the second adaptation is effectively the opposite of what we just saw. It’s when the or when the default mode network becomes overactive.
And then it almost squashes the salience networks ability to come online.
The technical definition of this is, this socialization, or the technical term for this is disassociation.
Now disassociation is when we have a limited ability to be aware of and connect with our own emotions.
Alright, and oftentimes people who struggle with the Association, which I’m one of them. I’ll tell you a little bit about my story.
We like to think that we are able to connect with our emotions, but it’s kinda like a colorblind person saying, yeah, I can see the difference in colors.
Yeah, they can, but not in the full spectrum.
And that’s how people with dissociation commonly operate. I’ll give you an example of this.
When I do coaching calls with executives, I walk them through an exercise, and one of the one point in the exercise, it’s really common for me to ask them, and it’s, it’s a natural part of the exercise. So I don’t think it puts them on guard too much. But I asked them, what fear is going on for you in this situation?
And I would say, for almost 20% of executives that I do this exercise with, they will sit up straight in their chair, because usually this is virtual and they’ll say, in a defensive tone. I don’t have any fear. I’m not driven by fear.
All right?
And to me, this is a very strong signal that they’ve got some disassociation going on within them, right? Even for myself, I’ve had to come to this awareness of myself. I’ve always known that I’m more of a logical person, and, yeah, logic is better than emotion and those types of things.
But one of the things that I’ve discovered over the last several years is, I, I didn’t think that I had trauma in my background. My, my parents, you know, they stayed married. They were at every basketball game I ever played.
But I actually started working with a trauma therapist a couple of years ago, And very early on in the process, I became aware that while my parents were always there for me physically.
They were rarely there for me emotional, that I was emotionally neglected as a child and as a result of that, and then my own survival mechanism.
My body and my mind, and how it function, became the associate.
And now, over the last two years, I’ve been working on, I’m trying to become more connected with my body, more connected with my emotions.
And it, I will say, I do believe that it has been transformational in helping me better navigate my emotions, as well as connect with and navigate the emotions of others.
So, So what?
Just summarizing this, what we know is that at least 70% of adults have experienced mind altering trauma, which has led to some form of hypervigilant, hyper vigilance and or disassociation.
And when we understand this, it changes everything that we think of when it comes to improving emotional intelligence.
That emotional intelligence is less about skill deficiencies. Surely, we can always improve our skills in terms of, you know, listening more effectively, which is a pretty common Emotional Intelligence training.
But if we don’t have the underlying wiring that even allows us to listen to begin with, those skills may not benefit us at all.
And so, I’m going to pass this back over to Mike as he talks about, OK, if we see Emotional Intelligence, not as skilled deficiencies or lack of most of those, not as skilled efficiencies, but as wiring deficiencies.
How might that change how we go about trying to develop our and others emotional intelligence?
Thanks, Ryan.
Know, I’m coming at this, and Ryan disclosed a little bit about his experience. No, I’m definitely one of those poster child search for children, for a person with significant young childhood trauma. And I navigated now in the rearview mirror, looking in hindsight and how this affected me, and how it played out for me professionally through my 30 years of adulthood in business.
And, when we look at low emotional intelligence, and we view it as a skill deficiency, we use developmental efforts that focus on skill development, Right?
We have the awareness, you know, the process is very simple.
Identify the gaps in the skills, identify where we can rehearse and practice so we can get better at closing or filling those gaps in skills. And then, add external objective input, so we can coach people through what they’re not quite seeing. So, it is the opportunity that we give people for improvement, right?
Improve skill development, Skill improvement, from physical to emotional skills, It all pretty much falls along the same way, but there’s a limitation that exists with this approach and that’s if someone doesn’t have the underlying wiring to support the desired skills, these skill development efforts fall short.
Now, when we have low E, I, and we view it as a neural deficiency, we’re able to engage in plenty of the same activities, you know, for awareness, practice, and coaching. But they’re going to carry a different focus, and the new activity that will engage in.
As the last one, is improved neurology. And so, if we think of awareness, we’re actually digging into what our neural programming is, learning, where those connections were made.
We still focus on awareness, practice, and coaching, but the focus, then we move from trying out these new neural pathways. We’re like, OK, well, this is how the pattern is. This is what was set because of some influence of traumas. Impact of the Navy negative experience.
And now, who’s going to help us guide us through this as we try out these new opportunities and pathways, then, how do we improve our neurology?
Know, How do we really dig in and rewire our mind This new activity of course, of, Neural improved neurology is clearly different than skill development, because we’re ultimately expanding our employees windows of tolerance. So, they have the ability to demonstrate high GI. In other words, clearing out what those patterns are.
Increasing awareness and getting to the heart of why they might respond in a dissociative or, sorry, I forgot the. Yeah. Hyper vigilant.
But, into your point, Mike, is, you know, we look at that pitch perfect clip and that leader is, you know, there are certain conditions on which I believe that leader can be emotionally intelligent, But there’s other conditions which we saw in that situation, where she wasn’t and what we, what we do when we.
When we upgrade the wiring, if you will, of leaders and of people, then that allows them to operate with high emotional intelligence across the different conditions that they encounter, including those that may be more stressful and more prone to set us outside of our window of tolerance.
Excellent. And, Janet, you do have a good question, and we’re gonna get to that answer.
Um, neural programming. You know, what does it look like?
Now, do we feel like we’re out of our element, you know, what does it require?
And so, you know in some ways, you may be, and in some ways, you may not, So give you a taste of what these look like to foster awareness.
Now we go into workshops to facilitate guided exploration of how our current neuro programming works.
Then we dig deeper into how we try out our neural pathways, which means giving opportunities within a safe context for experimentation you know giving role playing and giving opportunities for such rehearsal and then next where do we get a coaching session? And so someone asked about is that out of our wheelhouse as Coach as well?
Our exploit exploration isn’t our ability to get personal and dig in, isn’t, and then, we may actually have to bring in some subject matter authorities, right, some experts.
And, lastly, to improve our neurology and actually rewire our mind, consistent neural exercises are required. There are strategies, techniques, and in some cases, therapies that are going to be part and parcel of this approach.
Like, I would say, for example, at a very basic level, that’s exercises like, meditation.
Like, meditation has been proven to help rewire our mind into widen our window of tolerance. That could be one thing. And then to Mike’s point is, it might be even much more extreme interventions and extreme. Not in a bad way, but maybe we’re bringing in that trauma therapist to help them. or, or at least giving somebody the resources to engage in that type of activity.
Absolutely. But, of course, the challenge is, how do we get this message across.
Because these are now subject matter areas where we, number one, you may feel over your head in, and number two, you might feel some resistance from your executive team on whether or not this is something they’re willing to do.
Um, so, why don’t we do a poll right now and, you know, kinda look at this question.
And that is, does your organization presently use neural improvement activities in your leader development efforts? Right. Do you currently use it? Are you currently using this? Or are we now delving into places where, you know? This is just not something that you’ve endeavored into.
So if you could please answer that poll, we can have a look and see what your experience or shared experiences.
Yeah. There’s a comment in the in the question box.
As this is going on in, be aware, there is no formula for improved neurology.
Some people are so broken, they cannot be rewire, which I think that there’s some There’s, there’s something about this right, That, that is, there are people that have been deeply hurt and broken.
I think everything that, the one that I’ve seen in my study of trauma and the neurology behind it is that we can always improve our neurology knouse.
Some people could surely, they surely may need more improvement than others, given life’s experience. Or maybe even other factors like genetic factors may play a role. Contextual factors we know play a role.
So, so, this, this isn’t, I mean, this is complex, right, but this is why we say this is the next frontier of emotional intelligence. This is emotional intelligence, three point out.
We’re getting at this at a level that: I think I’m a rare, you know, relatively well studied person, but this isn’t a level that I rarely come across when it comes to Emotional intelligence.
But hopefully, you’re seeing these connections that how our brain and the wiring and the connections in our brain work does influence our ability to connect with our own emotions, navigate those, connect with the emotions of others and navigate those as well.
So, I think what we’re seeing from the poll, and I’ll give it back over to you there, Mike, but does, we aren’t doing many of these activities.
For most organizations are not focusing on the neural reprogramming.
But, also, what we need to point out is, this is the most foundational aspect for how our employees and leaders operate.
And that, we can always focus on skill development.
But if we addressed skill development on one hand, but are neglecting the neural wiring below that, then the skill development efforts may not be a fruitful way of investing our time.
because they, they, the people may not have the operating system that is ready for these new programs that we’re trying to download on them.
Now I understand, in one way there may be opportunities where this is way out of your league. This might be psychologists, maybe therapists involved but there’s a lot of practicality to this and one of the key elements of practicality is starting to bridge the gap in the conversation.
And then I’ll share another slide with you momentarily that begins to explain how we can go about maybe tackling this.
In fact, we’re gonna give you an example of my own experience. I, I did a lot of things. I had great resilience. I had great for fortitude initiative. I seem to have a pretty darn high EI. People would definitely suggest that Mike has a pretty high emotional intelligence, but there were moments that were due to this neural wiring, their pathway development, that I had as a child, because their trauma.
That really led me into situations that then repeated in life and costing me financially very dearly, and no one would have thought at that moment that they were connected.
And I think the message, more than anything, is, it’s not the task of digging in so deep, and trying to figure out, You know, as this management team capable of going there, are they willing, or what is the resistance.
But it’s bridging the commentary to say that, while you think you’re at a skills level, it’s all connected.
And that’s one of the key messages is, this, is connected, whether we like it or not, and if we want to improve and elevate our leadership and our emotional intelligence skills, we need to dig deeper and understand that. And it doesn’t have to be in a public forum. So, let’s look at the next slide, and have a look at this. So, right now, if we start looking at what, how do we develop our awareness, We look at programming.
Now, we have workshops and guided exploration, and it requires an understanding and expertise of the neuroscience of how this actually works a lived experience, and a clinical or theoretical experience practice. How do we practice as well? Of course, we try to meet your pathways, We have opportunities for experimentation, but now we have a coaching experience.
Mean, people who walk the walk, who’ve experienced the inside of this and understand how the pathways get developed and how we can rewire, then, you know, we do get to levels where we need almost a near psychiatric psychology, experience, or practices, good best practices, that may not necessarily always be clinical.
And lastly, to rewire the mind, these constant or consistent neural exercises are required. But then we need to have access and provide access to neural based exercises. Once we are aware, we need to dig in, and we need to open up the access to where that goes. And a good professional mine, and I are skilled in this particular area, which is identifying where those limitations, liar where maybe next level is, in a way that’s comfortable candid. And people can have con confidence that it will work.
So, no, we’re gonna get to this, I think we could probably have some questions and answers.
But just before we maybe answer a few, I think we’ll be open to that for sure.
We want to spend some time with you. We work regularly with executive leadership teams, employee teams.
And our role is to come in and work through that half day or deeper in a way that is comfortable, safe and doesn’t require anybody having a big confessional but then gets to the heart of it, and we give tangible solutions, strategies and tactics so that you can walk away and implement and really fill the gaps where you’re neurological.
Maybe, deficits, if you will, in some ways, are the things hindering excellent leadership and filling in the gaps where EI isn’t necessarily always functioning at 100%. So what we do is in the morning, we’ll work with your team, But we really know that this is also a custom thing. It’s relative to personalities in the room. So what we’re offering is just a simple conversation.
So we’re not asking you to buying or invested and that you’re committing all we’re asking is, if the next, by February first, what we will do is cut a 50% discount for anyone who this fits for and decides to act before February first.
And so, before February first, we want to have a conversation, to find out, is this the right thing? Are there ways that maybe this may fit better for your organization, and can we deliver it in a way that is both elegant and effective?
And that’s key to the conversation. So that’s what we’re encouraged.
So basically it’s e-mail me and I’ll have a conversation and we’ll make this happen between now and the first of February. It’s still available beyond that, but the discount won’t be. So we’re offering a fairly big significant discount to the work that we do because HRD Q has been a very important place for us to share important messages.
So, I’ve seen the spike and let me re-iterate.
Just everything that Mike said, is, we, we feel like we’ve, we do have the experience, the expertise, and the background, to, to help you, to elevate the emotional intelligence of your leader’s employees through a focus on neurology, if you will, that we focus on the neural deficits, and, ultimately, at the end of the day, to me, this is maybe the most powerful thing about understanding this approaches.
What I’ve come to understand is that improving our emotional intelligence is ultimately about healing ourselves.
And, to me, that’s beautiful, and I think both Mike and I are people who are deeply passionate about helping others to heal, particularly leaders. Whenever we see any destructive leadership, even just micromanagement.
What this is a signal of, is, neural processing within their minds. They’re engaging in something, an activity that they believe, they think is best.
But it ultimately is something that limits them, and it, and it’s ultimately connected back to neurological factors.
So I’ve seen a ton of questions come in. And I’ve tried to keep track of them. Sarah’s helping us on the backend, but definitely want to answer some of these questions that have come through.
Sarah, I think you’ve probably been keeping a closer tab on the questions than I have do. Do you have a place for us to start?
Yeah. we have had a question come in a little bit earlier from Mohamed who asks, What’s the difference between skill and wiring deficiencies?
Yeah, so I think you can you can almost break down anything into skills. Like, for example, listening. I could break it down into skills or steps that would be effective and then I could practice those skills and those steps.
It’s very similar to, you know, I grew up playing basketball, is I can learn the steps on how to shoot a free throw, I and I could practice those overtime and we can boil down anything related to emotional intelligence.
You know, what are the steps for connecting with my feelings, I can break it down into those steps, and that surely helpful, It’s incrementally helpful. But, but though, when we are addressing wiring deficiencies, we’re literally changing the wiring in our brain in our body.
So that we can better connect with ourselves and with others. So anything can be broken down into skills.
And that’s, it’s an easier approach, And it’s also a more surface level approach. What we’re inviting us to consider here is a deeper level approach. If you want to use that basketball analogy. Brian is free Throw. Could be shooting the lights out eventually with his training. However, if he had a detached ligament or tendon or a broken arm, that was somehow changing his mechanics. You may not be able to correct it to make effective shots all the time and may not be able to train for that.
And so, getting below the surface and re-attaching, if you will attend and so that he functions properly, will help him train better, right.
So it’s not so much that this then replaces skill development, actually layers underneath to support skill development.
So it becomes a dual layer approach of improving emotional intelligence.
And I’m going to layer, I thought you were gonna go slightly different direction. Which I like the director, Mike, let me just go with another perspective is, it’s one thing to become great at shooting free throws and practice.
It’s another thing to become great at shooting free throws and crunch time in the game.
Right. And that’s that’s part of the transition that that you make, like: Are we able to control and regulate our emotions, even in the most heated or stressful circumstances, and that’s that’s ultimately what this work is about.
And we have another question, yes. We’ve had a couple of times for our freedom, our people, but this one specific is from Crystal. Who says, what about people who are not open to the work or or re wiring.
May I a little bit. Right. Yeah.
What I’ve, what I’ve found, and what you’ve experienced as being an audience in this, participants, is that Ryan and I were able to share some stories of our own circumstances.
And by lowering the threshold for resistance by by, at least being, yeah, like, that’s one of us, or they’re like us, creating that comfort, then maybe, just, maybe, if other people have experienced, that, there might just be a connection detaching from the premise of all the fears that we have their perception, that there’s risk involved with having these conversations.
one of the biggest resistance to why people, and men, and leaders, and anyone in position will resist from sharing that they’re vulnerable.
Or they might be weak, and overcoming a lot of that starts to, when you become more scientific or surgical about it, You know, objective, we just know that, there’s evidence that proves it’s connected.
So, maybe, just, maybe, if you’re looking for up leveling your game, there are some things that really could give you an advantage.
And when we turn it into that conversation, we now look at this development, not as a deep dive into our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, but an elevation of our ability to perform at a top level, consistently and continuously.
Yeah, let me just add to that, Mike. Surely, there are some people that are more ready to do this type of work than others. And they will get a better benefit that isn’t, to say that the others won’t get some benefit. They surely will, their progress may be a little bit slower. They’re probably more resistant, right? Which is, I think, inherently part of this question.
But the reality is, is, this is a natural phenomenon. Well, I won’t say it’s natural. It is a common phenomena.
I am currently working with two executive teams at the moment, and then each of these executive teams, the CEO, has said, I don’t need this.
My team meets and they have refused to participate, which is, in and of itself, a self protected mechanism From something, I don’t know what it is.
In one case here, I’ll just be transparent.
What I’ve been told is that in a prior session, the CEO, um, said in a workshop to the leaders is that they’re tired of talking about their histories, their personal histories and the CEO said, When I was a child, my best friend was a bike.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear that, my heart breaks, right?
And two too.
To ignore the connection between that and who that leader is now, is being ignorant, right?
And, and I, I understand that, there’s probably connection there there, there’s somebody who is, for whatever reason, been, hurt rather deeply.
And that’s, but, what has also been cool, as I’ve worked with these two executive teams without the CEO, is that both of the CEOs have warmed up to it, not that they’re engaging in it, they have warmed up to it, because they’ve seen, the people on their executive teams change, and develop and elevate themselves.
And the other aspect is Ryan is an objective third party, we become the objective third party and as a consultant, if you will.
If you think of that kind of a relationship were hired to do a specific thing, it repositions your role in that relationship in that you’re bringing on.
You’re bringing in the solution versus trying to convince and live within an environment that people have to look at you every day and talk to you and interact.
And again, these This approach is not a confessional and it doesn’t require that there’s someone who has to say that, my best friend was a bike. Growing up in an audience of 120 other peers.
What it does is have to create the avenue for discovery, that there just might be something.
And if we dig deeper, we may find some real connections.
And if you do think that there’s something, there are avenues and we become the conduit to making that happen.
Someone asked really clearly, and I just want to really touch someone at both specific methods and healing and you know for me and I don’t speak for Ryan, but both of us.
We experienced EMDR.
For very different reasons, and it was in the real key was Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is that therapy to therapeutic use, by a licensed therapist, combined, usually, we’ll talk therapy or narrative therapy. And it is used very well to remove the emotional connection to these neurological wiring. And once we get through that, we’re able to look at them differently. We are awareness, elevates, and our logical approach then can dig into, well, how are these really affecting me in my day to day, how did they affect my emotional intelligence? How do they affect my professional existence? And so, that’s one of those therapies that can work and might be indicated. But we don’t know until we’ve had that conversation.
I would say, and that’s surely, I think, a resource that we should more widely explore by. I’ve, I’ve felt their own personal benefits from that, but, just to add to that, is, when that’s surely not ever going to be the first step, I don’t think I don’t.
And one of the ways that I’ve found success stepping into this, is by first talking about concepts around vertical development and mindsets, which is a, kinda gets our foot in the door for having these deeper conversations and doing this deeper work. So, as Mike said, every group is different.
All right. Well, with that, this, our flew by, had so much great information that will conclude our Q&A portion of the session today.
And I would just like to remind you that if you have a stadium here with us for the entirety of today’s session, you are You do qualify for sharing credit, this webinar is a sham recertification provider approved for one credit hour today. And also, to make sure that you join us for next week’s event, show the value of what you do at measuring, and achieving success in any endeavor. And I would like to give a big thank you to Ryan Mike for for sharing information with us today, and a really great webinar with a lot of information.
And Sarah, I mean, I forget that we forgot to tell them, we’re going to do Book Giveaway. So I’ve got, I’ve got some books, five books that I’m gonna give away, Michael, give away five of his books. So, we’ve got the register list, we got those who have attended, will randomly select those and reach out to people to get addresses to mail those books to him.
We appreciate you being here in this opportunity. I love your questions. We’d love to continue with any conversations, if that makes sense to do so.
Yes, So don’t forget to reach out.
There is an opportunity, Let’s explore first, and then figure out how it might fit best for you and your organization, because we’re there for you.
Yes! Thank you so much, Mike and Ryan. This was such a great session, and thank you all for participating in today’s Webinar. Make sure that you send that e-mail to make and learn more information. So, you can continue this great conversation, today, And I look forward to connecting with you all next week.

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