How To Grow Your Emotional Intelligence [OG48]

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How To Grow Your Emotional Intelligence

Jan 19, 2022

Emotional intelligence.

Everyone on this planet can benefit from knowing and growing it. Understanding how our emotions can work FOR us, not against us. Realizing that feelings are telling us things about ourselves and our journey but they shouldn’t be driving the bus.

I’ve got some excellent tips for growing our emotional intelligence. (I refuse to call them rules even though it was this article that got this going for me

If you’re an entrepreneur or thinking of becoming one, listen to my upcoming episodes. I’ll share the inside scoop on my new business venture as we’re rolling it out. Real life, challenges, victories, how-to’s, what’s actually happening… Imagine how helpful that can be for your own business development.

In future episodes, I’ll be featuring questions from listeners- other life owners like you. If you have a question, topic or situation you’d like for us to explore, email me at with ‘podcast question’ in the subject line.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode: How To Grow Your Emotional Intelligence

  • What emotional intelligence is
  • How to use your feelings to guide, not dictate, your life
  • General Concepts
  • – Know yourself first
    – Set boundaries
    – Be resilient or, even better, anti-fragile
    – Balance of strengths and weaknesses
    – The rule of recognition
    – How to make decisions

  • Use these as needed: do-overs and no laptops/cell phones
  • Announcement: I’ll be sharing the journey of my new business venture in upcoming episodes. If you are an entrepreneur or thinking about becoming one, this can be hugely helpful to you. Join me on the journey!

Featured On The Show | How To Grow Your Emotional Intelligence

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How To Grow Your Emotional Intelligence

Intro Music:
Welcome to An Owner’s Guide for Your Life, the podcast that combines psychology, coaching, common sense, and fun. I’m Tracey Browning, an entrepreneur, life coach and lover of people. Now let’s talk about how to live, love, make money, and change the world.


Hey, I’m glad you’re here. I was looking through my LinkedIn profile today, looking through the newsfeed, and this article caught my attention. One of my connections, Justin Bariso, has an article he’s written and it’s published in Inc. Magazine. And the title caught my attention- Emotionally intelligent people follow these ten simple rules. And I had this really, like, visceral, gut punch reaction.

I’m very emotionally intelligent. I love the topic of emotional intelligence. But, oh, my gosh, to put ten simple rules. I don’t want more rules in my life. I don’t want to enforce more rules for other people. I don’t want to suggest that you should follow these rules.

I did go ahead and read the article because of the lure of emotional intelligence. I had to see what he’s talking about. And I am glad that I did because he’s got some good ideas. And my original thought was, well, I’ll just kind of walk you through the article. But as I looked at it, I thought, no, I’m going to put my own Tracey twist on it.

So I want to talk to you about some recommendations, some concepts that will help you be more emotionally intelligent. Tips, concepts, suggestions. These ain’t no stinking rules now.

So if you’ve listened to me before, you know, I’m a Susan David fan, Dr. Susan David – emotional agility. And one of the phrases that she uses, she says, emotions are data, not directives. I love that. It’s so true. Emotions are signposts. They’re there to give us information. We want to be aware of our emotions. We want to understand them, but not to be at the mercy of our emotions. They don’t dictate how we live our life. So emotions- data, not directives.

Now, being emotionally intelligent means you can get your emotions to work for you. And it’s not just YOUR emotions that you’re aware of and understand. When you’re emotionally intelligent, it’s the emotions of other people. So, of course, this is helpful in your personal life. It’s helpful in your business life, too, because most of us in business in some way, shape or form, we deal with people, right, whether they’re your customers, your coworkers, your boss, your employees, whoever they are, you’re working with people in some form. So being emotionally intelligent, it’s helpful.

Now, I’m not going to go through the list of ten in the order that he presents. I’m just going to go through some of my basic concepts and not even necessarily the order of importance.

But I will start with what I believe is the first thing, the most important thing.It’s to know yourself. You need to understand your own emotional makeup, how you typically behave, what you need you have to know yourself before you can set boundaries. And setting boundaries is really important. It’s like at your house, you have to know where your property lines are before you can put a fence up or you run into all kinds of trouble. You might be fencing in some stuff that’s not yours, or you may be fencing not enough territory. So it’s the same idea here. Know yourself before you establish boundaries, because you can’t protect your boundaries if you don’t know where they are or even what they are or what they’re protecting. So know yourself.

Now, another concept that’s really important in being emotionally intelligent is the idea of resilience. Now, that’s a fairly common idea that if you’re resilient, you bounce back. You bounce back from your struggles, from difficulties. I like the term antifragile because that even goes beyond being resilient. If you’re resilient, you’re bouncing back. But if you’re antifragile, you have the mindset that you can GROW through your struggle, that you can grow during adversity. So when you hit a wall, take a deep breath. And I am a huge fan, not just of breathing. I do like to breathe, but I’m a huge fan of take a deep breath. That deep breath helps you calm your nervous system. So if you’ve hit a wall and you’re facing a struggle, take a deep breath. Then think about what can you control? Don’t let your mind wig out on you with all the catastrophes that probably aren’t going to happen anyway but because you’re a creative thinker, you dream up all kinds of random horrors. And yeah, I’m kind of talking to myself on this one, but benefit from listening to me talk to myself. Take a breath and think about what you can control. Think about what you have the power to do, what’s your next microstep to take? It’s those little consistent steps to get us where we want to go.

And underlying all this is not just what can you control and what can you do? But who do you want to be? It’s so much more important to know who do you want to be? Because when you understand the person you want to be, your actions just naturally flow through that.

Now, another concept he has– see how good I’m doing it? Avoiding using the word rule. Another concept is strength and weakness. Know your strengths and weaknesses, yes, but he makes the point that a strength carried too far can be a weakness, like kindness. That’s a strength of mine. Empathy is a strength of mine. But if I let those go too far, they could turn me into a freaking doormat. I don’t want to be a doormat. No, I want to be a really kind, empathetic person. So I have to be aware of my strength and not let it be so strong that it turns into a weakness. I want to have balance, awareness. So much of this stems from being aware of who you are and what you need.

Another concept is, and this isn’t really a concept, it’s just, hey, here’s a quick tip. I just started to spit out ‘rule’. I’ll just go ahead and say it, the rule of recognition. That’s what he calls it. Focus on what someone’s doing right, recognize it and comment on it, To them. And really mean it. So that’s just not an underlying concept unless you kind of step back to the way I like to live my life with the perspective of positivity and optimism. I’m not just Susie Sunshine who is refusing to be aware of the possibilities of bad things happening. No, I’m not. But I do want to look at what’s good, what’s right, and surround myself with more and more and more of what’s good and what’s right and people who are mirroring that, too.

So another concept is just kind of a little note here. It’s acquired tastes. He says we get many of our tastes and habits slowly, gradually. We acquire them, and most of the time we’re not even realizing it. The more we see it, the more we like it is kind of the psychological concept behind it. So you want to be aware that this is how we acquire our taste and our habits and our thoughts. So be aware of it for yourself. Be aware of it for your environment, what’s around you. Who is around you? You’re going to be influenced by your environment.

Now he’s got something he calls the Atomium rule. The Atomium is and I guess I’m saying it right, I’ve always said it this way when I see the word Atomium. It’s a huge structure in Brussels, and it was built for the World’s Fair back in 1958. It’s over 330ft tall, and it has nine connected stainless steel spheres. It’s not really important what it represents, but it’s huge. Okay, here’s the deal. It is a huge structure that took a long time to build. And the guy who wrote the article, he says he even keeps a little replica of this building on his desk to remind him it takes time to build great things. Now maybe your great thing is a huge building. Maybe your great thing is a new business. Maybe it’s a meaningful relationship. But, you know, in our fast food world, where we want something and we want it now, we easily lose sight of this. Some things take time. It works for food. A good stew doesn’t just happen. If you know anything about cooking, I could whip up a good stew, an okay, stew in about 30 minutes. Okay. But if we let that stew simmer and all the flavors melt together and we just let it simmer for hours, it’s so much better. Great things, they take time.

Now another concept he has is and I had to work on this one, too. Decision making. A tip for decision making, he says. First, he tells you what not to do. All right, what do we know about our brains? We don’t need to go what NOT to do. No, we’re just going to talk about it this way.

Here’s how to make an important decision. Be sure you’re well rested. Be sure you’re well fed. Be in a positive frame of mind and give yourself time to think. It’s just easier. Okay? Do these things. Now, you know, don’t make a big decision when you’re tired, when you’re hungry, when you’ve had a bad day, in the spur the moment. Just give yourself time. Be sure you have set yourself up in a good place to make your decisions.

Now, there are a couple of tips that what I’ve covered so far is really just kind of concepts you want to continuously, always be using and developing. They’re really good. No matter what situation, no matter what person that you’re working with, whether it’s personal, whether it’s business, whatever, always you want to be using them.

Now, here are a couple of tips that you don’t want to overuse. This one in particular. Don’t overuse this one. The do-over. Have you ever done or said something stupid, or is it just me? I know it’s not just me. We’re human. I’m on to you. You know, we don’t always get it right the first time. And when I’ve said something that was not the kindest, it was cruel, or when I’ve realized that what I just did was such a boneheaded move, I stop and think about here’s how I wish that would have gone and ask for a do over. Go back to the person involved and say, “I wish I had handled this better. Can I have a do over?” and literally do it over the way you wish it had been done. I’ve done this with my husband before. “I was not very understanding with that. Can we just do it over?” All right, so instead of sitting there wallowing in guilt and shame and frustration and trying to justify, “Well, he should have known I was in a bad mood. He never should have done…” is what your brain does. Instead of wallowing in that pity party, think about how you’d really like for it to go and go ask for a do over. Now, this works in your personal life. It works in business, too. Have you ever been in a meeting and said, “Let’s just stop right here. Take a breath. (Remember, I’m a fan. I’m a fan of breathing.) Take a deep breath. Let’s just do that part over.”

Let’s just do it over. The more you use that, you can benefit. Now, you can see where you don’t want this to be your perpetual way of being. If you’re going to constantly ask me for a do over, we are going to sooner rather than later, have a conversation about how to slow things down, slow your roll and figure out why you’re constantly asking for do overs. But an occasional do over, that could be really helpful. So remember, you can just ask for a do over.

Now, another tip he had and he even talked about a professor who used this in his class. No laptops, no cell phones. Now, I’ve seen this in restaurant settings where when you can go to a restaurant and have a group of people eating where everybody will stack their phones in the center of the table, the first person who reaches for their phone is the one who has to pay the bill. You don’t necessarily have to do that. But when you have an important conversation, when you want to have a meaningful conversation, shut your laptop, move away from your computer, put your phone away and give that person the gift of your attention. If it means something to you, give them attention. We are so distracted by our digital life. We forget that we are in control. We get to decide when to pick that phone up, when to put it down, when to open our computer, when to respond. We’re in charge of our life. I like my phone, I like my computer. I love being able to connect with people online over Zoom and through social media platforms. I love it. But I also love being able to disconnect and give people in front of me my full attention.

Just stop and think for a minute how good it feels for you when you’re sitting in front of someone knowing that you have the gift of their attention. That’s magical.

So I love those last few tips. They are more situational. Break them out and use them when it’s important, when you need to ask for a do over, when you need to say, “Hey, let’s put our phones down. Let’s give each other some undivided attention.” But there are the other eight concepts for developing and strengthening your emotional intelligence.

Know yourself. Be resilient. Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Recognize when other people are doing right things, good things and tell them about it. Be aware of what tastes and habits you’re acquiring. And remember that great things take time. What was the other one? How to make good decisions. So follow these. Let them roll around in your brain some and develop your emotional intelligence.

Remember, we are not slaves to our feelings. Feel them. Be aware of them and use them. Use your feelings to work for you to help you understand yourself and others better.

For a transcript of this episode or for more information about life and mindset coaching, visit my website

By |2022-01-20T17:48:44-05:00January 19th, 2022|Podcasts|0 Comments