#141 Amy Jacobson – Emotional Intelligence

Take a timely dive into the world of Emotional Intelligence and Human Behaviour with expert, coach and keynote speaker Amy Jacobson.

Amy and Bryn start off by exploring about how and why the current disruption of the Corona Virus outbreak is effecting all of us deeply at an identity level.

Amy then explains in detail what emotional intelligence is and how it is not only a key to high performance and success in the corporate world but also in the current disrupted environment we now find ourselves in. She also talks extensively about the importance of taking ownership and showing empathy as further keys to success in life.

Amy has a wonderful ability to clearly explain some taxing everyday life challenges and she call on everyone to extract as much enjoyment and love out of the current situation.

For the listener you will come to realise that our mindset is exactly what will determine how you come out of the corona virus situation – so ask yourself ‘How do you want to remember this Corona experience?’ because the answer is entirely down to you.

Read Full Transcript

Bryn 

Hello, welcome back to WA Real. I’m your host, Bryn Edwards. WA Real follows the oldest form of learning that of listening to the stories and experience of those around us those closest to us those here in Western Australia. Today we’re going to get into emotional intelligence and human behaviour with acclaimed coach and keynote speaker, Amy Jacobson. Amy. Amy, welcome to the show.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Thanks Bryn. I’m so happy to be here.

 

Bryn 

So first question and I got it nice and topical is how are you finding isolating here in Western Australia one of the prettiest parts of the world

 

Amy Jacobson 

I think we’re pretty lucky actually. I think we’re lucky that we’ve got such gorgeous weather so far. So we’re not you know, huddled up the moment with cold rainy weather. So there’s still that opportunity to go outside and enjoy and, and really make the most event and I think, you know, there’s not many other places in the world that I’d like To be holed up in pets a beautiful place for it, so it’s all good on my front so far.

 

Bryn 

Super super and you came to Perth from New South Wales. Is that correct?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah, that’s right. So I’m originally born in New South Wales on the Central Coast, just north of Sydney. And my husband is from coffs Harbour mostly but he was born in Outback New South Wales as well. So Perth is IT pros home now definitely home now. But I think will always be East coasters in there as well. Right.

 

Bryn 

Was it home now?

 

Amy Jacobson 

I think look, it took a long time. It took a long time to become a home. We’ve been here since 2004. We arrived. And I think for those first, I’d say first good five years, maybe even a little bit longer. There was a lot of consideration in moving back to the east coast. There’s a lot of things about the East Coast that we still do, miss. But I think we got to a point where we thought Just see you cannot replicate the life that you have the lifestyle that you have in w A in Perth anywhere else in Australia. It’s just you’ve got the best of everything. And I think it was at that stage. It wasn’t until the point where we accepted that and realise that and turned down some really good opportunities to go back east that we went to you know what it’s because this is home, like this is 100% home now

 

Bryn 

sort of crept up on it.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yay D they did and another thing you know, there’s there’s always that always that bit of rivalry from the east coast to the west coast. So we will still always have that bloodiness with big NRL fans. So we still follow a lot of the East Coast stuff. But yeah, purchase. There’s just too many amazing things about Perth to um, to not want to stay here and call it home.

 

Bryn 

Super. So you’re a coach and keynote speaker and with a real sort of focus on on human behaviour and emotional intelligence, mindset disrupting mindset. Why is this important to you? What’s the story behind that?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Well, I’ve always had a fascination with the mind. And I think it’s probably it’s not leveraged enough. I think we put such an emphasis on technical skills and, you know, learning different trades and skill sets and stuff where I actually think that what makes brilliant people what makes inspirational people what makes highly successful and those people that you recall throughout your life that have made the biggest impact. I don’t think it has anything to do with that. I actually think it has everything to do with their emotional intelligence. It’s, it’s the way that other people make you feel it’s it’s being able to change who you are and what you’re capable of purely from changing your mind. mindset and the way that you approach things. I just think there’s so much power in there and we we chase, we chase the wrong things in life you know, we think that success is hung up around job titles and pay packets and the size of the house that we live in the type of car that we drive. But I think the ultimate powers in your mind it’s you know, you can chase things as you want but if you if you can actually leverage the full ability of your mind your emotional intelligence, then that’s going to be more successful than any car any house any job, any pay packet.

 

Bryn 

That sounds almost like a personal epiphany when did that

 

Amy Jacobson 

took me a long time. If I if I was to go back to my story, and it’s a story that I do visit quite often now because I get a lot of questions around how how did you end up in this space? I mean, I because I spent 19 years in corporate world and in you know you speak to a lot of people that come out of the corporate world and into either mind business or coaching businesses or their own business and they say, you know, I’d never go back to corporate Well, you know, I’m so glad I’m out of there but I love corporate world and and I love that I love Why Yeah, I just I love the excitement of it. I love how much is always happening there. I love the the bringing of people together the constant challenge that every day kind of throws something different in there that you’re constantly learning and every, you know, and the bigger the company, the better for me, right? Like if you’re working in a big corporate company, every single person has a slightly different personality. They have a slightly different skill set. They have a different way of approaching things. They have different emotional reactions. And I think you can learn so much by being around people like that the same as every customer you come across is going to be different. And and I think the real opportunity there is to offer When we pick up a cookie cutter approach where, where if you throw me into even just spending a day in a corporate company, I mean, I can still learn so much from my clients just hearing what they do and how they do it and why they do it. So, yeah, I think I think I’ll always love corporate Well, I love the rush of it. I love the rush. The business, the panic, the the ability to to have an impact on so many people if you choose to wait, sorry, I do love it.

 

Bryn 

Did you choose to leave? or What was it?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah, sorry. What do you do now? Yeah. So a bit of a bit of a background story to it. As I said, I was incorporated for 19 years and those 19 years were all spent in insurance. Insurance, I was pretty much in life insurance, General Insurance, commercial insurance, so all parts of insurance. And look, I never ever had any inclination to end up in insurance. I don’t think anybody does. Right. It You don’t kind of leave school saying, I want to be an insurance.

 

Bryn 

No, no.

 

Amy Jacobson 

No. So I fell into it. And the reason why I fell into it, I probably need to start my story here is that I came from a family where nobody had gone to university yet. So I always had that dream of going to university and being the first one in our family to go to university, and I was really hung up on it, you know, I was going to succeed and, and I got to the end of you, 12. And I think this is where this mind challenge really started hitting into me. And I looked and I thought, What do I want to do? And I just didn’t have the answer to that. I thought, you know, I read all these job titles. And I thought, well, I don’t really know what that job actually does day to day. Sure. I know what it’s about. But I don’t know what it does. And I don’t know whether I’m going to like that. So why would I commit, you know, a minimum of four to five years studying for something that I don’t know if I’m going to like and commuting All these money without getting out there and testing it out first, right? And that’s that real kinesthetic side of me that says, you know, I’m not about just sitting down and studying and researching and stuff until I can get my hands into it and see whether that’s what I want to do. Yeah, so I made a big call at that point in my life that said, I’m not going to go to university straightaway, I’m going to go out into the workforce and at that point, I absolutely shattered my parents. They were so disappointed in me and I can still remember the moment and you know, my dad looked at me and said, you are throwing your life away but you are capable of so much more I cannot believe you’re going to make this decision. And and I think at that point, I made it as a

 

Bryn 

heavyweight your expectation is that

 

Amy Jacobson 

it’s huge right? And and I was always that kid that you know, that like to make my parents proud and, and it was a big call and it made me doubt my But I’m very decisive as well. And once I’d made that decision, I knew it was the right one. But at that point in time, I said to myself, I will prove them wrong, I will prove them wrong that I can be as successful as I would be if I went to university by going into the workforce first. So at that point in time, I created a very, very wrong image of success in my mind it I created this image of success saying that I will succeed if I can get a higher statute, job title and a pay packet based on what I think a university qualified successful person earns, with that going University first.

 

Bryn 

That’s really interesting because you I’ve had a lot of people on the podcast who have recognised the story that’s driven them and it’s taken them so far, and then when they Nemesis after a period of time says fascinating to hear the point at which it the the identity, the story facet drops and you go, that is what it should look like. That is where I’m going.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah, it was that defining. Yeah, that said, I kind of in my head when, okay, if I was to have gone to university and come out with one of these high profile jobs, I probably would have been earning around, you know, 250 300 that like defining that money setting my head to finding that senior title level in my head, and then thought, Okay, I’m going to get there. I’m going to get there but I’m going to get there my way, not your way and I’m going to prove you wrong. So off I went 19 years of climbing that corporate ladder right and, and I had an amazing career. I had the most amazing leadership people around me I had fantastic opportunities that I am so so thankful for. And I didn’t really have any direction other than that job title on that pay packet that I was there’s

 

Bryn 

a question for you. Yes. Did you mom and dad ever say they were proud of you for what they did?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah. Yeah, they did. They did. It took a little while, but I think they accepted. They accepted that, I’d say probably about, probably about within six or seven years of me going out into the workforce. And they could see that I was moving up that corporate ladder that I was at a ladder that I was changing, that I was getting opportunity, and they thought, okay, maybe, you know, maybe she will be all right here. And it’s funny because I’ve got a sister who was 11 years younger than me. And by the time she got to the stage where she was choosing what to do out of school, their approach to her was very different. They’d watched me that is 11 years in advance, kind of take a very different what they had kind of envisage successful club So, yeah, it was interesting. But um, when did it all change? I said, 19 years, I chased that and I hit my, I hit my definition of success. And I can still feel it felt like a phizzer Actually, it was. It was a real facade is, I think, yeah, that was exactly you’re right. Like it was. It was set this dream and this, this definition of success was in my head for so many years that I was trying to achieve and trying to achieve and trying to achieve. And when I hit it, I went simpler. What do I do now? What’s my driver now? And, and I actually went when I hit that I’d already started getting my business in place and my ideas around that and we can talk about that that kind of path later, but I think when I hit that I actually resigned From the job that I was in three weeks later,

 

Amy Jacobson 

because I thought,

 

Amy Jacobson 

okay, I’ve lived my whole life for this moment, and I’m still not happy. Like, I still don’t feel like I’ve reached that success that happiness mode. And I think that was the biggest wake up call to me to say, happiness is not about that job title or pay packet. Happiness is all about doing what you love and enjoying it and feeling fulfilled. And, and I didn’t have that. So I thought, it’s time, if

 

Bryn 

you can call almost quite a little challenge, quite a little assault at the identity level, which can bring about you know, it’s like a mini existential crisis, because you define yourself by this thing that you’re doing and you’re chasing, and then you get there or you take it away and it’s like, who what am I actually if If not this, and it’s kind of poignant, isn’t it? When you think about you know, so many people right now in the coronavirus environment will have had so many things taken away. And I spoke about this a little while ago, on my Facebook page about how there’s going to be a real assaulted people at the identity level. All these things that we anchor into, to create our sense of identity, from an external perspective, are being taken away one by one by one right down to little things. Like, you can’t stand in the coffee shop and you might be the person who likes to stand in the coffee shop, you know, or I’m the person that goes to the gym. Well, guess what, buddy? You know, going to the gym? Yeah. And then all the way up to job level and the guy that gets commutes and goes to the office and does that thing and no, and you know, so all these things that we hold their identity level.

 

Amy Jacobson 

I was actually speaking to someone the other day and they said something that hit home to me too and they say at this point Time with everything that’s happening. Your skill level, your technical skill or exactly your identity doesn’t really mean anything because everyone’s on even par. Everyone is equal in this situation. None of us have been through it before. It’s not like you know, sometimes at work where people can say or even in life, and people can say, Oh, you know, I was around for the GFC. And you know, and I know how to approach a situation. I’ve been here for 15 years and last time, we had no drop in the market. Nobody can actually say they’ve been through a pandemic before. So we’re all very equal at this point in time and you’re right it’s, it’s it is a bit of an identity shake for us.

 

Bryn 

Mm hmm. So with your work, what what is the impact that you want to have with it wants to drive what’s the outcome?

 

Amy Jacobson 

I like to say I’d like to make people feel uncomfortable. And I know that sounds quite strange,

 

 

but I think beneficial way

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yes, you benefit in a challenging good way. And, and I get that feedback a bit in that people say to me, Amy, you know, very thought provoking that you made me feel uncomfortable, but in a good way. And I think it’s being able to really challenge the way that people think and not to give them answers. Because if you’re not emotional intelligence and coaching, it’s not about that, right. It’s not about giving anyone answers. It’s about really asking those challenging questions and those mindsets that they already have predetermined that have probably been predetermined since I would children. Taking your version of

 

 

success. Yeah,

 

Amy Jacobson 

yeah. And kind of just shaking it a bit and saying well, really, like really is, is that how it works? Are you sure about that? I’m really diving a little bit deeper into it. And I think, for me, probably the area I focus the most on ease ownership, and I think we’re so quick in our mind. And especially, you know, have a look at what’s happening at the moment. So many of us need someone to blame when situations go wrong, or we don’t end up in the house that we dragged over in the car that we jumped off or, or earning the pay packet that we dreamt of, or, or getting sick in a pandemic like this, it’s got to be somebody else’s fault. So I work a lot. And I think probably the biggest thing I get out of it is when I see people realise that actually it all does come down to them. Like every single thing we do in life, every every position that we’re in is come from a choice that we have made through a priority. We don’t like we don’t make sacrifices, nobody forces us to do anything. We make a choice. And we own that choice based on the priority or the consequences at the other end. And I love that point when I’m working with people and I can finally see us get through that either. That victim mentality or that finger pointing all the way always me or you know, no, I’ve had no decision in this and they realise Actually I have I chose this and I can choose

 

 

to along the way.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yes, yes and that that’s why I love doing what I do. I just love people. I love it when you see their mind click over and they just change their they change their thought patterns and their mindset and they really realise what they’re truly capable of

 

Bryn 

is confronting that, isn’t it? Because you go through this gateway of Oh shit. I have been an active participant in all of it. I have been making decisions. I have been responsible. I have been, you know, the owner, the architect, the master of the ship throughout all of this. Yeah, it’s like he says, are easy to play. And, you know, it is institutionally sort of encouraged. Mm hmm. You know, whether it’s whether it’s the media, you know, who’s to blame for this, who finger pointing and and let the litigious legal system of well, I will just, you know, sue you because you’re to blame. But, you know, I was speaking to a friend yesterday, we came to inclusion. Nobody really knows what to do in the current coronavirus environment. You know, the even the politicians and the medical stuff they’re doing the best they can they don’t know what to do.

 

Amy Jacobson 

No, no, that’s right. And I think, you know, I even found myself during this pandemic. You know, I guess questioning some people earlier on and really getting my mind too heavily into it to thinking you know, what can I do in that sir? Again, as that real kinesthetic side of me where wants to get involved and wants to be able to help, but I think in situations like this, there’s a whole level of trust, right, that that we just need to trust that we’ve got the right people In the jobs and even if we don’t feel like we’ve got the right people in the jobs, they’ve got access to the right information, they’ve got access to information that we don’t have access to. They’ve got access to people that we don’t have access to. And I think that, you know, we have to trust that they’re doing the right thing. And it makes it easier on our mindset to if we do just switch off and say, Okay, let’s not try and solve the world ourselves. We don’t need the whole world trying to solve it. We just need a couple of key to solve and everybody else just needs to do what they’re told. That that’s all I can think of, you know, if we all just do what we’re supposed to do, and then things will be a lot easier rather than this whole defensive mechanism that we kick into where we start to question and watch them do that or what makes you think you’re right. I think it’s, it’s where I think it’s this way, and that’s where we end up getting even more of a mess, I think.

 

Bryn 

And it’s challenged because, you know, from kids reading it as parents and as adults, we’re not very good at doing what we’re told. It’s only it’s only in those super, super critical moments where we actually just go, or I’ll do, I’ll do what I’m told. And, you know, they’ll be that lag period with a swear, yes, it came on and it was all new and I okay, we’ll do a targeted social distancing and this time the other, then that intensity level will drop, and then people will start getting a bit bored of this now and sustain it, isn’t it?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah. And I think, you know, I joke around all the time with people and say, like, nobody likes being told what to do is an absolute true fact, we do not like being told what to do. However, the only time we like being told what to do is in an emergency. So when we’re when our health or our life is at risk, and that’s when we want to be told what to do. And that’s that that’s a pure panic mode, right that we go into and you’re ride in that. Yeah, that’s right, that it’s that fight for survival kind of mode that we go into. And I think a lot of people have gone through that and, and they turned to toilet paper clearly as their Saviour, whichever. I’m not sure how that’s going now. But I think to your writing that in the coming weeks isolation, everyone you know is doing what they’re supposed to be doing now. But if that sense of urgency and that sense of fear, and that sense of my life is at risk kind of dwindles because they look and they think I can’t, you know, I look out the window and nothing looks different. And, and I’m still here, and I’m still fine, and I haven’t got sick after being three weeks at home. Maybe you’re overreacting, maybe I’ll just do my own thing. I think that and when your mindset says I’m no longer in a fight for survival mode, then do I really want to do what I’m told to do? And that’s when I think we’ll get people challenging it.

 

Bryn 

Hmm. Tell me about emotionally. Intelligence because that’s a key thing. And, you know, everybody knows IQ, and not so many people understand EQ.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah. So EQ. First off, I’d say that EQ has become a bit of a buzzword, which probably doesn’t work in its favour. People either love it and they think it’s you know, and some people say there’s this sort of spiritual union rainbows and lollipop type thing, positive affirmations where other people are going against it and say, No, it’s too soft. It’s too much of a buzzword, where I actually think emotional intelligence sits right in the middle, and emotional intelligence because what emotional intelligence is, is a conic has five key factors. And when you read about people that specialise in emotional intelligence, sometimes those five key factors can vary slightly, but they all kind of cover that same area and, and those areas are your self awareness, which is really understanding who you are and what makes you tick. self regulation, which is all about regulating and controlling your emotions. So that’s when we say, you know, I know who I am, but I just can’t control it. I cannot control the way I react. And then we have our communication and communication, sometimes referred to as social skills in different models. So that’s really being able to influence and communicate people and have impact on what we do and say. The other one is people skills, which also can be referred to as empathy. I like to call it people skills, because I think there is, well empathy is one of the number one key parts of people’s skills that certainly doesn’t cover everything, and especially in the corporate world, where I worked as a whole greater paper on people’s skills. And the fifth one is motivation. That’s all about getting stuff done.

 

 

And Iran or other people made aware of both, it’s both it’s both

 

Amy Jacobson 

motivation. When we come from an emotion intelligence point of view is generally better. getting yourself motivated. But then once you understand how to motivate yourself, you also understand how to motivate other people. And when you’re motivating other people, you’re bringing in that communication aspect or those social skills and you’re bringing in the people the empathy side.

 

 

So they do all sorts of play together.

 

Amy Jacobson 

They absolutely do. All five areas overlap. But I think the absolute key to it is that before you can help anyone else in emotional intelligence, you must understand yourself, we cannot even begin to understand what makes other people tick until you understand what makes you so it is about starting with that I always say to people, when really you should be starting with self awareness and self regulation first, and however, self awareness and self regulation are probably two of the hardest areas and most challenging to, to master where communication is probably I’d say one of the easiest. Mm

 

Bryn 

hmm. And it’s interesting to use the word Master, cuz I don’t know. Do you have a true master self awareness and self right?

 

Amy Jacobson 

I don’t think so I look, I I specialise in this area and I have moments of home where I lose that No. Okay. And I think, wow, I self regulate that to LG.

 

Bryn 

Actually that’s really interesting Do you find at times that because you’re so deep dived into the world of EQ and self awareness, self regulation that the other things that you know, and then Today we are all human and we do fall prey to our own stories, anxieties and things like that. But then do you find it if you have this extra layer of beating yourself up because you’re like, damn it, I’m an EQ coach. I should do bloody better.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yes, Yes, I do. I mean, see, it’s the old story is that you know that mechanics usually drive the worst cars. You know, people don’t cook really don’t want to come over cook at home. But I think my expectations probably are a little bit higher. There are times when I certainly have to call myself out and say how about we practice what we preach? Are you a little bit of that emotional intelligence into what we do? And then I think I’ve also got to be quite careful in that. You know, I can remember a couple years ago, I went into a meeting that was quite, I found quite frustrating and trying to get through to the people there. And I walked out of that meeting and I thought, wow, Amy, that was probably the worst advertisement for emotional intelligence that you’ve ever done because you did not regulate you. You lost your cool and you spoke over somebody because you were frustrated. But I think it’s at times like that I need to sit back and say, okay, emotional intelligence, something you have to work out every day and you can’t just go to an EQ course or, or listen to a podcast or drill programme and be emotionally intelligent. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s, it’s skill sets that you’re learning that you’re practising and you’re putting it in play every single day because every situation is different. Every person is different. And, and you need to be bringing those skill sets out each day.

 

 

So,

 

Bryn 

but IQ tends to have the reputation of being quite fixed in terms of this is my IQ level and it sort of stays there. Is it aq fixed? Or is it saying we could work develop and things like that?

 

Amy Jacobson 

I don’t think it’s fixed at all. I think it’s something. I truly do believe that some people are born with higher tendencies in EQ. I really do. I think there are people that I made and I think, just speaking to them, I can see that EQ comes naturally to them, that they don’t even realise they’re doing it. It’s just it’s been embedded in them since a very early age and they can do they just get it. But I’ve also come across people who EQ is not very high and they’ve been able to change it and they’ve been able to earn it. And they’ve been able to build on it. So I think, um, I look at it, I think the main difference that I would see between why you can embed that IQ versus eg, to friend is it all comes down to that amygdala in your mind, in that when dealing with with EQ, we are dealing with emotions, and that is a constant chemical reaction in your mind. IQ is information that you’re learning you’re studying, and you’re embedding that into your brain, right? where it becomes a memory that you’re recalling, where EQ, yes, you can embed the skills but you need to apply those skills every single time your amygdala triggers an emotional response. So you’re always going to have aq is not about shutting down any emotion. It’s, you know, there’s no such thing as a bad emotion. So it’s not like saying, once you are emotionally intelligent, you’ll never be angry or frustrated. Again, because There’s always a place for anger and frustration that it just comes down to the appropriateness of it and the severity of it. So, you are constantly applying that skill set and the ability to understand, okay, what is the appropriate emotional response in this situation? What is the appropriate severity of that emotion in this situation? It’s constantly just,

 

Bryn 

it’s interesting, use the word appropriate because often feelings and emotions that just come up, so yeah, by putting the word appropriate over it, could I, in my own time have found that you know, sometimes I felt really angry. I’m like, I shouldn’t be feeling angry. But as time goes on, I am feeling angry. And it’s like, and I’m feeling pissed off. What what and, you know, being being the archetypal male for many years that came out In English boys boarding school I was fantastic at compartmentalising things off you go. And yes, you like whoa, this this doesn’t fit. I think I used to look at things is this productive right now or stuff like that or like oh, this is a bit messy out there for a while but how to and that’s that’s probably what triggered me when you said the word appropriate because it’s like oh is this appropriate or is it not? And is that the case because you know, what you feel is what you feel and and it is very much subjective reality and is it is part of EQ just allowing yourself to feel what you feel during that period of time and going into it and and and almost surrendering to it because the quicker you surrender to it, the quicker it actually passes and the truth behind why you feel like that actually comes up

 

Amy Jacobson 

It’s a it’s more understanding why you feel the way that you feel, not understanding what has triggered me in this situation for me to feel like that? And yes, the most important question you can ask yourself in emotional intelligence is do I want to feel like that. If you’re happy to feel like that, if you’re happy to feel the emotion that you’re feeling, then by all means, write it up. Because you’ve got it, the only way you’re going to change or become more emotionally intelligent is to want to change it, you’ve got to be able to look and say, okay, you know, every time I’m in the car, and I’m driving and the traffic is insane, and somebody cuts in front of me, I know that’s going to trigger me to get really, really angry and therefore it’s going to change the whole tune on my day based on that frustration. Now, for example, at that point, you’d want to go Okay, am I happy to be angry? When that happens? Am I happy with my emotional response? And if the answer is yes, then leave it like that. Don’t change it. Because if you’re happy with that, and that’s who you are, then find

 

 

your frustration.

 

Amy Jacobson 

That’s exactly right. You know, I’ve had people say to me, you know, I really infuriates me, it’s when people lie to me or when you know, I read stories about paedophiles or something bad like that. And I say, Well, do you want to change the way you feel when that happens? I said, No. And I said, Well, that’s okay. If you are happy with who you are, then leave it. But then if we would have a look at that example of being on the freeway, and really bad traffic, when I say the appropriateness and the severity levels of it, now appropriate might be a senior car and going, like this person’s just cut in front of me How annoying right? That’s, that’s triggering an annoyance to me. Where an inappropriate response to that would be to pull over on the side of the road, get your baseball bat out of the back of the car and go over and start smashing that window. So, you can see when I say the appropriateness and the severity of it, an emotion or A frustration or anger can is on. It’s on a sliding scale. Right? And I think that’s where we see emotional intelligence is that it’s okay to be frustrated and angry to situation. But is your frustration appropriate? Is it appropriate based on the severity, but also the situation? You know, like if you were to walk into a funeral, like Yahoo and partying and jumping up and down and clapping the same as you would walk into a birthday party, is that appropriate? Probably not. So I think it’s being able to look at the situation that you’re in, knowing that every emotion is a good emotion at some point. But is that emotion appropriate for the situation I’m heading into? If you’re going to customer the end of the fun and the phone that’s really angry and you turn around and laugh, appropriate? Probably not. So it’s understanding Yeah, when is when is it appropriate to feel that emotion and what is the appropriate severity level that I’m going to actually Despite that emotion in

 

 

suppose that again, for

 

Bryn 

example, you’re talking about earlier on about ownership and owning Yeah,

 

Amy Jacobson 

that’s right. That’s exactly right. And, and I know one of the, one of the biggest moments I had with one of my clients was she, she knew a trigger and hiring was when she asked her partner to do something. And he just never did it straight away. She’s like, no, I asked him to take the rubbish out, asked me to do this, and he just doesn’t tell us ignored me. And then two days later, it’s still not done. And I said to her, okay, like, that’s who he is like, he cannot force him to do it. You cannot, you can’t take control of him. If you know he’s going to react like that. And you need it done. Now you’ve got a choice. You can either choose to ask him knowing that it probably won’t happen right now. But if it’s really important for you, to get that job done right now, you may just need to do it yourself. That’s the only thing you can control. And it’s conversations like that when she kind of just paused and looked at me and said,

 

Amy Jacobson 

I’m sorry. Do you think this is all about me? Amy?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yes, yes. Because that’s the only thing you can control. So yeah, it’s kind of just it is it’s that real ownership, owning your own emotions owning your own reaction to situations.

 

 

Mm hmm. Another thing

 

Bryn 

that we talked about earlier on was disrupting mindsets. You tell me a bit more about what that actually made.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah, I think that we you know, we get stuck in that Groundhog Day so easy, right? This is what we’re supposed to do we just come in, you know, we do this step and then we do this step and you know, we get up in the morning we go through those same routines and, and wonder why we’re going to be bored or wonder why the outcome is the same. And disrupting mindsets is all about I’ll actually stop is it’s kind of like taking your heart and your head, kind of slicing them open and exposing them. And then working it all out, kind of jumbling it up and shaking a bit and challenging all of those expectations and those preconceived ideas that you have on life and the way that you’re approaching what you do, and then stitching it all back together, and giving it a go in a slightly different way. So for me, you know, I do specialise in the whole corporate space and the company space. I like to go into companies and really disrupt their mindset in that around kind of around five areas. So it’s around, you know, own it, feel it, face it, ask it and drive it and just really challenge the preconceived ideas that they have and think what if like, what if we did a different or, you know, how could you get that same outcome coming from a totally different angle. So it’s just being able to, you know, we know that all those wires and those paths in our mind they can be changed. Up until up until the day that we die, you can create new paths, new brainwaves. And so it’s being able to challenge those companies as well to something slightly different about what they do and the impact that they have on other people.

 

Bryn 

How do you It’s interesting, how do you find space for

 

Bryn 

emotional intelligence and empathy in the corporate world, keeping that on one level it is people. So I understand how people talk to people and we have to you know, we have to get along, having to you know, be emotionally intelligent with each other as we interact

 

 

yet

 

Bryn 

the water that you swim in, in a corporate environment, and is quite mechanistic, around the fact that it is driven towards profit, shareholder value, and that’s the that’s the machinery upon which decisions are made. And there’s not all, you know, that is very left hand side of your brain logical. And, and, you know, the decisions are quite clear, you know, is it,

 

 

you know, if we’re not

 

Bryn 

if we’re not making, you know, hitting profit, if we’re not getting revenue, then we need to adjust things and that may well mean that we have to slash the workforce by 20% which means that people are the next bit further, which is, which means that people will struggle, go through mental problems do so, you know, I understand how the people are interacting and working requires this level of ownership motional intelligence, you know, disrupting mindsets, etc, etc. But the machine the mechanism, the system, the environment in which you swim in in there distinctly has a lack of empathy within it. How do you marry that up? Do you find yourself with your work sometimes hitting a bit of a ceiling with that

 

Amy Jacobson 

It’s not easy, it is an absolute challenge. And there’s some I think it usually is the people that are the companies that need it the most are the ones that are dead against it. But the way that I look at it, and I’m true believer that if you look out there in the market, anyone can create a product. Once one companies created it, anyone can mirror it. You can, you’ve got in any industry, you’ve got a just a mirror of the same product with slightly different names. The only thing that differentiates those companies are the people. That is it. And I think that you can create the most amazing product or service possible out there and you can focus on your customers and you can focus on the greater world. That the minute that you bring those customers to your door. It is your people that will either keep them there or send them away. You can have the best product in the world. But if you’re if your people are not empathetic, you fail Don’t know their purpose, if they don’t have ownership, if they’re not performing and have the right mindset, it will send your customers away. So I think the way that I approach it with companies is, I mean, it’s hard. It’s not, it’s not as measurable. It’s not as black or white. But when we look at it, what brings people into businesses, their IQs, definitely their skill levels. It’s definitely that background. What promotes people and what makes people successful in businesses is their HQ. It is and you can pinpoint it within companies, the people that have the HQ and the difference that they’re making in that part of the business as opposed to other parts of the business. So I like to challenge a lot of the processes. I mean, I’m a big numbers person, and I think every company, every company, even from sole trader needs a business plan. They need a strategic plan. They need a marketing plan. They need all of those processes there. They need targets based on their, their finances and where they’re headed. But equally, equally in that plan, they need an EQ plan, they need to have that one person around the table thinking from that angle all the time. Any projects that they do needs that kind of approach to it. And if I look at the only real path businesses that we have at the moment that are close to EQ, you hate our areas, and unfortunately, even HR areas have become very process driven. And it’s not so much emotional intelligence is if you have an underperforming, you run through this process and this chapter in this chapter in this step, rather than sitting down and actually working out what is causing this problem. So it’s about being able to understand

 

Bryn 

and when there is a problem, it pretends then that nice clearly defined area of performance is posted, EQ, and everybody’s been in that situation where you’ve got someone in the team who’s who’s dragging the team back And you just do the work but the kill the atmosphere, or the creativity and you can’t fire them or bin them just because, you know, because then we’re not following because you are performing to a level. But there’s just something you can’t put your finger on it.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah. And then you put them on performance management that you know, they’re going to be able to achieve because it’s got nothing to do with their skill set. It’s their attitude. So it’s that that is where leadership skills come in. That’s where the emotional intelligence comes in that you kind of need to look and put your own pride aside and say, You know what, everyone is a secret at something and if they are underperforming in their job, if I don’t walk around performing and ask them, like sometimes we avoid asking the honest, easy questions, which didn’t say easy because they are difficult questions to buy, but they’re easy it is what’s going on, like why you underperforming? Do you want to be here or not? If you don’t, then let’s help you find another job. But, you know, I think that’s a tough thing. And for me, they are challenging. It’s challenging in the corporate world to get them to focus on this space. But I really do think times are turning and companies are realising that emotional intelligence is what is a game changer is if they want to succeed and put the focus in that area. And it’s worth, it’s worth more than any brand new product that comes onto the market that your competitor is going via within two or three months.

 

Bryn 

Possibly starts right in the recruitment.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yes, absolutely. It starts it’s I work with a lot with recruiters now just even getting to get them to understand emotional intelligence and the importance of putting someone in the right role that just because they’ve skimmed down a job title, and they see a couple of things jump out that they really love doing. And then all of a sudden you placed them in that role and they find out that that’s 10% of the role is the stuff that they love doing and nine percentages and stuff are they absolutely hate? So it does, it’s got to start right at the beginning and getting the right people in the right jobs.

 

Bryn 

Mm hmm. So, and if we come out to the corporate world and look into the greatest society at this point in time, and you see an increase level in people’s Express emotional intelligence,

 

Amy Jacobson 

yes, yes. We were in extreme circumstance of the moment and everyone’s emotions are in an extreme level as well. Anytime we’re interation where we’ve got that unknown, right fear is, fear is the number one thing that’s driving us at that moment. It’s that fear of unknown and fear of uncertainty, because I’ve read a hilarious post on on social media last night. I think there’s so many good ones out there at the moment isn’t there but um, a lady had posted in America saying Americans need to know When this is going to stop, when is it going to end? So that we can have some certainty? Excuse me? Yes, some certainty around our jobs and our lives and our kids, like we need to know when. And somebody came back and said, I’ve just had a conversation with a friend of ours, and they’ve decided that they’ll stop killing people on the 19th of April at 1pm. But if 1pm doesn’t work for you, they can always bring it back to 12pm. How does that work?

 

Amy Jacobson 

I don’t know that that is just pure gold.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Because that when you look at a situation like this, it is it’s that fear of uncertainty that is driving everyone’s emotions, and no one has the answer. And all we can do is kind of mitigate I think, for that fear and say, okay, for last for a week or two, this is how we respond. If it lasts for a month or two. This is how we respond. Are we prepared for any one of those possibilities to happen when we don’t have know what the answer is, as it’s very extreme out there at the moment.

 

Bryn 

And certainly that need for certainty. You know, these are uncertain times there are a lot of unknowns and we will our mind doesn’t deal with that,

 

Amy Jacobson 

does it? No, no certainty is something that we definitely need and, and you can even see the the fear of missing out that whole FOMO happening as well being that’s what’s happened with all of the hoarding. Because if you’re uncertain and you don’t have the answers, and then you see other people doing extreme things that makes you think, maybe they know something, I don’t know. Like, if they’re hoarding, then then maybe I should be like if they’ve heard of something that I haven’t heard of yet, quick, let’s jump on that bandwagon too, just in case. And then you get the people that would never want to hoard that then start thinking, well, if everybody else holds what happens when I actually run out, and then there’s no toilet paper there because everyone’s hoarded, so often. quickly grab a packet now, and then they turn into a horse half.

 

 

Yeah.

 

Amy Jacobson 

It’s just it’s a cascading effect. And it’s all driven by that pure fear that’s coming inside of us.

 

Bryn 

Hmm. What’s, what are you learning about yourself in this environment at the moment?

 

Amy Jacobson 

I think I’m learning appreciation more than anything. I think I’m no different than any other person out there that when they first hit, it massively impacted my business as well. So I could see majority of my business is around keynote, speaking at conferences, events during workshops, and of course, all of that was put on hold so I could see I couldn’t see all of my hype, just one after the other coming through and saying, cancel, postpone. Like we can’t run this right now. We can’t do this. And in my head, those couple of days I was thinking, can we can we can do it virtually. But I I had to stop and appreciate and say, the main focus for my customers at the moment is to get a whole company set up working from home is to get you know, 80 plus staff, with their systems working with, you know, the right technology with making sure they’re okay. And they’re safe making our companies go, okay. And for me, it forced me to stop and really say, you know, what, you just need to let things be for a week and a half or two weeks while people settle and, and my role changed very much. I, you know, I didn’t touch work for a couple of days and just made sure that my family was okay. And my house was ready and my mindset was right, and that I kind of turned around, okay, now, it’s not about business. How can I help other people through this? But I think it’s a real wake up call. It’s, I mean, I’m spending more time with my kids and my husband than we probably were prior. To these and, you know, it’s I’m looking at how much food we waste and think, why do we waste so much food This is going to change. So I think it’s appreciation and awareness is that we’re also going to really look at things through a different, totally different.

 

Bryn 

So almost a disruption aspect of this almost feels necessary, doesn’t it?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah, it’s, it’s as terrible as the situation is. There’s something really good that’s coming through it as well. It’s, it’s like what you would need it it’s like you know, when you your body gets sick, this kind of sounds a bit cheesy now, but you ended up going to work and you work your work or that it’s time for holidays and all of a sudden you stop and your body gets sick, because you finally let it it’s like we’ve just been ploughing through our lives so busy, so chaotic, and quite selfishly, to like you know, taking for granted what we’ve gotten. All of a sudden the world’s just gonna you know, you will stop. Stop right now and appreciate what you’ve got

 

Bryn 

to stop doing. And you’ll just be fair. Yeah.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah.

 

 

It’s very strange because it it’s got all the elements of holiday but it’s not holiday. You know? I mean, how chances are the other day?

 

Bryn 

How often do you spend this amount of time with your partner with your kids? And well, it’s holiday. Otherwise, you know, the rest of life takes you away and you’re doing your thing and you’re on your own. You’re doing the bare down and you come back and there’s people that you’re with that they mean a lot to you. But when you actually, you know, putting pennies in the pot and being present and you know, pennies in the pot of the relationships being present, you’re actually doing it now.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yes, it is. Enjoy I think along with as much as I say, there’s so much fear about I actually think there’s so much love about to like, you know, spending that quality time with people and, and you’re not taking people for granted you are checking in on people that you might only speak to every couple of months, which now you’re checking in on them more regularly. You know, you’re doing things by pulling out board games that you haven’t played for ages jigsaw puzzles, it’s, it’s it’s a lot of love there, too.

 

Bryn 

Yeah, I guess the challenging question is, how do we keep that to stick?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah, yeah. Look, I think the longer it goes on for I think, the more it will stick. You know, we know we know it takes around 21 days on average to form a habit. But you’re not going to form a habit until you’ve chosen you want that habit. So it comes back to that choice again, right, like we’ve been forced into something. So until people can feel that mindset shift in their mind to say, Actually, I’m not forced into this. Now I’m choosing and I can see the logic behind it, and I’ve accepted it. And I think it’s the right thing. taking ownership of it right, then that’s when you start creating that habit. So for some people that might have happened a day or two into it, and if this goes on for, you know, a month or two, then those those new habits really get cemented into them. Where for others that take longer, it may not have as big an impact, but I think we’re definitely going to come out the other side of this. Having more appreciation. I think that, you know, they’ve joked about it and said that there’ll be a lot more divorces. I’m sure there will be but I actually think a lot more marriages and relationships that come closer together as well, I think. Yeah, people will truly get to know each other in these circumstances and decide whether, you know, it’s whether it’s a rekindle of love or whether it’s okay, I’m out of here. That’s enough. I cannot set it up. Midway through Yeah,

 

Bryn 

I was actually using because it might I know this happened somewhere but am I going the wrong place? Is it barley where they actually have a weekend where everyone just shuts the door and stays in for the weekend? There’s a festival

 

Amy Jacobson 

I know they do it in Japan

 

Amy Jacobson 

Bali as well but I know to pan over think it’s a new year so don’t celebrate and everyone just goes back to their hometown and everything shuts down. They might do it in Bali as well but either

 

Bryn 

way they relate to one one week a year. We have to wait and we just

 

Amy Jacobson 

I love that. Yeah, sure. Oh say Oh say to my house it yesterday, because I said it feels a little bit like the Hunger Games like I was a tribute isn’t to go to the shops to to get to get the supplies of what we’re up for a house that you have chosen. Give it a shot. So I was like running the gauntlet out there. But I said to him, it’s funny how your life even changes in that the amount of money I’m spending on groceries at the moment has increased close we’re at home all the time. And we’re eating at home all the time as opposed to the money that we would usually spend out at a coffee shop or a restaurant or a cafe or out and about so he’s funny how you know he is creating different kind of habit he habits but also approaches to the way that we even live at the moment. It’s, it’s

 

Bryn 

a nice thing. It’s interesting because you talk about it’s creating new habits. And we’ve existed for such a long period of time where you know, once you leave school, you are the master of your own destiny as we’ve talked about and you’ve your own habits and this that the other and you really do have a fresh, you know fresh clean slate and you know, so if you want to eat McDonald’s or die And blooming out to 200 kgs. You can do that. And the health system is there to support you when you fall over

 

Bryn 

that however, we’re still free to choose. But I think the decision landscape has changed dramatically in the fact that you are free to choose but recognise that while you had that many options before and that much the way Exactly. Which is kind of necessary because if, you know, you could get really esoteric and you say, Well, you know, we weren’t really as collected making lots of really great choices.

 

Amy Jacobson 

Yeah, I think I think we’re gonna learn a lot about our choices when we come out the other end, but I’m actually think to funnily enough from being in this situation, I actually think it’s creating even more choice for us in that, you know, all of these things that we’ve been kind of forced to do an hour or we’ve chosen to do will now become options like He said, whether it’s that week staying at home, whether it’s, you know, for those people that love to eat out all the time that have suddenly realised, ah, we’re eating isn’t that bad thing, maybe we could do something in the middle. But all of those places out there that have either been flexible or 100% against it, it’s kind of created a middle ground for them saying, who actually maybe it’s not that bad, maybe we’ve got a choice, or we can do a little bit of age. So I actually think we’re going to end up with a mod for some other end because it’s a totally new experience, right? We always and we’ll be talking about it forever. It’ll be said, My daughter’s learning about the black plague at the moment through school. And I said, Well, your kids kids will be learning about Cova 19 that they’ll be studying this at school. It’s, um, you know, we’re creating history right now.

 

Bryn 

Yes. What are some of the things you’re doing to keep yourself grounded? Amy?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Ah, I’ve tried to I’m a bit of a structure person. So I’ve tried to bring in a little bit of structure to the family. I’m certainly Yesterday I learnt long division, that’s really something that I wasn’t expecting. My son was having trouble with his long division. So I had to research that and find out what long division is. But I think for us some, our biggest thing is, is we’re trying not to do everything in advance in one day. So saying to the kids, you know, each day we will play one board game like pick one board game, and that’ll be our board game for the day. Let’s watch one movie, if we’re going to watch a movie, let’s make sure we do some form of exercise, but a basketball tournament going on at the moment. But then also, what I’m making sure that we do is once we spend that good hour, an hour and a half together, playing a board game or doing something, we’re in agreement that we now have an hour apart, find find a spot in the house or even if it’s new, even if we’re near each other, you’ve got headphones on, but just have an hour to yourself. Because I think as nice as it is to be around to everyone you meet. Make sure that you have your own space and your own time and you’re not Trying to do everything at once and try not to entertain each other, every second of every day. So that balance at the moment to try and make sure that we still have that downtime, and we have those reality checks.

 

Bryn 

And the last question I ask all my guests is, right now if you could take a little nugget of information and upload it into the collective consciousness, so everyone just gets it, what would that be?

 

Amy Jacobson 

Oh,

 

Amy Jacobson 

that’s a great question.

 

Amy Jacobson 

See, I straightaway go to mindset, I straightaway go to mindset and emotional intelligence. And I’d say to people, that even when you’re thrown into extreme situations like this, your mindset will determine how you come out the other end. And I would say to everyone, just to take a step back right now and take a deep breath and Even though you can control covert, you can control what’s happening around you. You can control your own mindset and how you choose to react and how you come out the other end. So I would ask them a question to say, how do you want to remember covert? 19? How do you want the people around you to remember how you act and how you responded? Yeah, what is that memory that you’re creating? That when your kids look back what your family looks back and they say, yeah, remember Cova Now remember, this is what I needed or swap bring. Did you know what what will they say? What will you say?

 

Bryn 

Super, super. It’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you today, Amy. And if people want to find you, where can they find you?

 

Amy Jacobson 

jump onto my website, you can find it under www dot Amy jacobson.com W, or under funding your wife comes down to you either way, and I’m on all social media as well. So pop over and say hi, I’d love to meet you.

 

Bryn 

Sucre, thank you so much for your time today. I’ve super enjoyed it.

 

Amy Jacobson 

You’re very welcome. Bryn, it’s been absolutely My pleasure.

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