Hero section
Season 02, Episode 26

How To Use Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

with Founder & CEO of SUPER MEGA BOSS, Amy Posey

About the Episode

This episode is an interview that my brother, Jonathan, our CMO at Trainual did during our Training With Empathy event earlier this year. He chats with Amy Posey, the Founder & CEO of SUPER MEGA BOSS. She’s also the co-author of Wild Success: Seven key lessons, business leaders can learn from extreme adventures. This talk is a really candid conversation about how you should be vulnerable with your people, how it’s okay to admit mistakes, and just the science behind emotional intelligence as a whole.

Amy is a neuroscience-based leadership development facilitator who helps leaders at all levels using science and performance research in her practical approach to learning and development. SUPER*MEGA*BOSS is a manager training company that creates short videos and in-person sessions to make better bosses.

Subscribe and listen at

Full Transcript

Collapse

Amy:

I have definitely given people anxiety around, like, let’s just go for it, right? Because of the fearlessness that comes from viewing the world as a learning experience, um, not everybody’s there. And I’ve learned to be more empathetic to those people who need more certainty and control and clarity.

Chris:

What’s up everybody. I’m Chris Ronzio Founder and CEO of Trainual. And this is Process Makes Perfect. As always, we’re talking with experts in process automation, creation, delegation, the people that make business easier. You just heard from Amy Posey. Now Amy is the founder and the CEO of SUPER*MEGA*BOSS, which is such a cool name. She’s also the author or co-author of wild success. Seven key lessons, business leaders can learn from extreme adventures. This was an interview that my brother, Jonathan, our CMO at Trainual did during our Training with Empathy event earlier this year. And it’s a really candid conversation about how you should be vulnerable with your people, how it’s okay to admit mistakes, and just the science behind emotional intelligence. So take a listen and I hope you enjoy.

Jonathan:

Makes perfect. Alright. For, uh, for everybody who doesn’t know Amy, um, well, let’s start with actually my background before train, you will, was in the adventure world. It’s still a major part of my life, but prior to launching train UIL for many, many years, uh, I was an adventure content creator, traveling all over the world, climbing mountains and doing these incredible expeditions. Um, and then actually we crossed paths, uh, facilitating and speaking with a company called the AIP group, uh, w formerly peak teams where you were the CEO. And, uh, and then you actually left to start your own company, super mega boss. And you have since actually released a book called wild success, which is just fantastic. Uh, and that was just a few weeks ago, I think. Um, but I am so happy to, to invite you here. Uh, everybody, you know, Amy is a neuroscience, uh, backed leadership development facilitator. So with that, thank you.

Amy:

Thank you, Jonathan. And yes, I’m, I’m super excited, um, because, uh, you know, like most of us, I’ve got an interesting background, like lots of different interests and passion and the adventure world is definitely one of them. Um, this is a labor of love and probably a decade of going on adventures and learning what it really takes to do some really crazy things. Um, it’s stories from seven, actually, adventurers who’ve gone out and done some amazing things from setting the record to the South Pole, to going through the North Pole and rowing across oceans and big wave surfing and mountaineering and jet wing flying like all these crazy stories. But what I learned is the things that people learn from those extreme adventures are things that we all need every single day, because the other half of my life is I’ve spent the last year, 20 years of my life consulting with companies, large and small, mostly tech companies, but human performance at work and connecting with individuals and being more empathetic and being more understanding and getting to know our behaviors.

Amy:

And so the two paths sort of are very similar because essentially adventure just means sort of expecting to go into something big, not knowing how it’s going to come out. And I feel like business is often the same way, especially for entrepreneurs. And so the book has really cool adventure stories, but those are really just to get you emotionally engaged. There’s really like good science and business lessons too. Cause I’m also a huge, huge geek. And I loved the science of the brain. About eight years ago, I went and got a, I, my background is in business, but I went and got a masters in applied neuroscience. Cause I wanted to know like what’s, what’s taken in here and how can we use and apply it? So, yeah, I’ve got, I got lots going on. And then now, um, shifted about a year and a half ago to start my own thing.

Amy:

Um, had some experience in leading a company, wanted to build and focus on that first line manager level. Cause I feel like those who are just learning to be managers, they’ve got a hard job, maybe even harder by coping. Thank you very much. COVID but the idea that, um, you know, learning how to lead others as a frontline manager is a hard job. You screw up a lot and there’s, you know, not enough great content to teach you how to do it well. So that’s, that’s kind of like me in a weird nutshell, you know, the five-minute intro, but I am stoked to be here. I’ve enjoyed everything so far. These are all topics that are near and dear to my heart.

Jonathan:

Well, I think it’s a fantastic nutshell. And actually, I’d love to just unpack a little of what you talked about there in terms of, um, you know, for many, many years that you, you coached executives at fortune 100 companies, but now you’re focusing on the frontline manager, like the first level, uh, learning to be a manager, right? Like how, how does, how does that differ? How do you approach those two leadership types in a different way to make it more accessible, to learn to lead?

Amy:

Yeah, I, I, it’s a great question because the fundamentals, right, the human dynamics are the same, right? And we’re all human and we all have to learn how to relate to one another. And I feel like a lot of organizations have spent a lot of time and money on executive leaders, but how do they get good executive leaders? They do it by starting earlier in the process. And so I just remember having so many conversations in terms of the spend and the quality of materials that they would invest in a new manager, they’d sort of shipped them off sheep them to, you know, a day or two, like, okay, now you’re a manager miracle, a miracle happens and suddenly you’re a manager and it’s like, Oh, it takes so many years to learn how to do this. And I just watched companies not sort of worry about the care and feeding.

Amy:

And yet this group of humans has so much impact and is really the first line on how culture gets shaped, how work gets done, how emergencies get fixed, how we handle crisis. And they’re sort of looking up saying, how do I do this? And sometimes they’ve got good examples and good leaders in the organization, but oftentimes they’re, they’re managing by Googling. And so I decided, you know, what, how can I put my services to use, to think about how is an emerging leader going to lead now? Because the way I learned bunch of screw up, somebody’s oftentimes yelling at me not being radically candor, just yelling at me that I screwed up to be quite honest. Um, and not a lot of resources that I found useful. And I like, I have a short attention span, so I’d also get bored. So now I’m like, okay, what, what are the things that a new manager is going through and what do they need?

Amy:

And to me, it’s like things have to be as exciting, as interesting as what they’re looking at outside of work, or it’s going to be boring. It’s not going to stick. It’s not going to be great. So that’s where I’m spending a ton of my time is really digging in and talking about like, how is, how is learning and training, um, to be a frontline manager changing. And, and what are those changes right now that are happening? Not just with COVID, but just like the general mood shift on how we’re learning and how do we make it exciting, fun, and interesting for someone to want to do this. Right? Because it’s like, okay, I can’t see myself going to CEO 20 years from now. Like that’s too far. Like what, what can I do now to, to grow and develop? And I think there’s an eagerness and a hunger to do it, but it’s maybe not being met in the way that people want it to be. It’s not as media enough. It’s not as empathetic as it could be. It’s not tapping into sort of the humanity of what it takes to lead another human.

Jonathan:

Yeah. I love that. I think, you know, you mentioned what COVID is doing right now in terms of a challenge for, for that manager learning to manage, but it’s also like the, the side of what you just talked about in terms of rethinking how to, uh, frame learning development training in a more engaging way and meet people where they’re at in terms of understanding the consumer attention graph and like what, where, where are they spending their time? What are they watching, learning, reading, and trying to hit on that level. And I, that’s important for leadership development all the way through marketing and branding and advertising. And I think that this experience here, these virtual events and these Zoom calls where we’re looking into each other’s homes, it’s an accelerant to the authenticity that’s needed to really connect. Right. And I know you’re passionate about just these authentic wild, ridiculous experiences, right?

Amy:

Yeah. I’m deeply passionate about it. Cause I, the first 10 or so years in my career, I started as a management consultant, which now I think has shifted a little bit, but back in the day, um, 20 years ago, it, and Kim talked about, about like be professional, but like there was a certain, don’t be your authentic self at work. Um, be professional, be fit this mold that we fit you in, which I didn’t fit anyway, I, my undergraduate degree was in poetry and somehow I landed in management consulting, which was weird and funny to me all the time. But, you know, I, I learned the ropes I’ve watched in my model behavior and there was sort of a formula. And I think that formula is still exists to a certain extent in terms of how we operate with one another. But there’s also this really interesting space of being authentic.

Amy:

And what does it truly mean to bring your authentic self, to work in everything that you do? And I would bring sort of hints of my authentic self and would get commentary about it. But then I, um, I stopped sort of not sort of bowing down to the fact that like, okay, I don’t fit this mold and that’s okay. Cause I can still contribute in a very different way. And in fact, in the research that I did in 2008, I found that those authentic moments, actually, when you let people bring their full self to work and bring all the interesting things that they have both in work and outside of work, you actually drive more innovation in an organization because people are thinking differently. They are bringing up different ideas that may have been taboo or not thought of before not cool. Their, um, their breadth of what they’re looking at outside of work actually brings different flavors and tastes to what you’re trying to do.

Amy:

And so that sparked my idea of like, Oh, okay. So if I bring my authentic self and everybody’s bringing their authentic self, we’re actually going to tackle problems in a much more interesting way, it gets messier. That’s the trade off. Um, it oftentimes takes more time, but the idea of, you know, I love poetry and I love the outdoors and adventure and I love neuroscience. And I love just like weird, funny things like that. Like I, it’s just part of it is being able to understand what to bring in that moment and to, to benefit others. If you look at it through the lens of letting people do this actually drives innovation and there’s tons of research behind it. And from a neuroscience standpoint, it allows people to be more creative. And so to me, it’s like, Oh, you can unlock that as a leader, as an organization, you are going to produce better ideas and not expecting, and I’m starting to see it.

Amy:

Like don’t hire people that are like you from a diversity and inclusion standpoint. But even that, like just bring in a bunch of weirdos, like peeing in people that you don’t expect to come up with these ideas and encourage that behavior, um, in an empathetic way, of course, and within things that fit your culture, but thinking differently is where innovation comes from. And so mixing all these things and exposing even yourself to stuff that you’re not used to, I’m doing stuff with a group of musicians. I have no musical skill whatsoever, but I’m facilitating sessions in a jazz studio to kind of get people not yet, but when we get back to life in our new normal, but even watching people in a music studio exposing yourself to the arts that you don’t normally take part in all of these things, boost creativity from what I’ve found and they’re really fun and different. And so, you know, part of it is bringing that, that weirdness to the, to the table. It actually works from an innovation standpoint cause there’s excitement, there’s novelty, there’s challenge. Um, those are the things that actually fire up our brains innovation engine.

Jonathan:

Yeah. I forget where I heard this quote, but something about, um, that creativity and innovation is the connection of the space between once unconnected ideas. So I really like, uh, that you, you kind of highlight that. So for, for people, you know, it’s, it’s easy to hear that, but it’s maybe not that easy to, um, unlock that for yourself in how you’re leading your team or you’re training or developing that content. Um, what are some easy things that somebody can do to kind of allow themselves to be a little more vulnerable or a little more silly in the workplace and feel like it will be accepted?

Amy:

Yeah, I am. I don’t want to discount the discomfort that comes with this because it is uncomfortable. And one of the things I tell new managers all the time is get used to that feeling of being uncomfortable pretty much all the time at work. And that’s when, you know, things are happening when you get comfortable. That’s when things are too easy and you’re not learning, like you can have some time in that space, but, but part of it is being uncomfortable. And that’s where it connects to. Um, what I believe is sort of next-level skill for a leader, which is emotional intelligence. There’s tons of books on it. It’s all over the place. I deeply believe that people who are emotionally intelligent can tap into this. And part of that is the whole self-awareness, social awareness, um, self-management, relationship management.

Amy:

Like those are their kind of key elements of, of emotional intelligence. If you haven’t read one of the kabillion books on it, but that idea of self-awareness and self-management, if you can understand how you want to show up, and you think about your thinking before any situation where you want to prompt this feeling and others, you want to encourage them to be comfortable or sorry, uncomfortable and do wacky things and be silly. You’ve got to check in with yourself first. And so I do the exercise and people can do it along in the chat. Like if you’re going to get ready to prompt people, to be more creative and innovative, whatever it is, whether it’s an actual creativity exercise, whether you’re just going to do a brainstorm, whatever it is, um, before you walk into it, think of the three words that describe the emotional state that you want to show up in.

Amy:

And that’s really, it’s called metacognition. That’s the fancy nerd word for that, but metacognition and thinking about your own thinking before you put yourself in a situation it’s super important. So everybody write down, like, what are the three words that you would want to think about how you would want to show up in that scenario, put them in the chat box, just for fun, right? Like, is it funny, open, clear, you know, is it a quiet ’cause you want to let other people speak? Is it determined? Is it’s funny? Like, it’s, it can be a lot of that piece. Right? Friendly, love that one, Leah. So part of it is what is the mood you want to set? And you can actually subconsciously influence that by being really in tuned to it before you jump in. And so part of it is, I think it’s, you know, check yourself before getting into these situations where you want to set other people up for the feeling you want them to feel.

Amy:

Cause once you figure out how do I want to feel jumping in then it’s how do I want them to feel if you want them to feel psychologically safe? Cause that’s a phrase that I throw around. A lot of people throw around, like what are the emotions that get tied to that? Like trusting, open a clear saying like, what does safety really need? And so part of it is being able to just attach some labels to the feeling you want people to have allows you then to go, okay. So then what are the actions and behaviors I take to do that? Well, if I want to be open, friendly, fun, focused, how do I show up with that? Like how, what is the natural state for me to be open, friendly, fun, and focused. This is how I want to show up. What are the things I need to do for myself?

Amy:

Whether that’s looking at some memes on Instagram before I get into something, whether that’s watching a video, whether that’s taking a minute, thinking about something, funny, telling yourself a story, you have to get yourself in that mindset. And so if you’re in that mindset, your emotions are contagious to others. We have a set of mirror neurons that are about there, but essentially mirror neurons. That’s why emotions are contagious. If we go in with that feeling, even on, you know, we’re all on Zoom, WebEx, Skype, whatever people are using, being able to see someone’s emotions and their eyes and having that experience, you can set the stage for those experiences by thinking about being clear and intelligent about the emotions that you have, that you want to portray and bring to the table and you want others to feel. And I think being very open and clear about that is part of the steps to get people to, to be more open and psychologically safe is to have those conversations and to be intentional and think about it.

Jonathan:

Intentional is such a key word there. That’s such a good way to describe that because I think you’re you’re right. Like whether when you set out to define a brand experience or a employee onboarding experience, right. Thinking through not just what’s the first moment and what’s the content that they’re going to experience, but like at the very end of it, what is the feeling they’re going to have after interacting with this and then designing everything backfilling from there, because that feeling is, is your definition of success that you’re striving for. And that gives you a kind of a roadmap to take those steps to get there.

Amy:

And that’s it, right? Like it’s, it’s about creating experiences and feelings for people and everything else should be built backwards from that. And so I, I think about that all the time in everything that I create. I mean, I do a kind of sessions like this, right? I want to think about how do I want to engage people? How do I want to create that feeling? What do I want them to walk away with? And I love everybody putting stuff in the chat box around sort of these feelings. And part of it is giving, giving truth, giving labels to those things, help us work through them. But I also think we don’t, um, we don’t spend enough time with that intentionality and thinking about when, when you walk away, what do you want people walking away with? How do you want them to feel? And, and people have said like, what does success look like?

Amy:

But I think the emotional piece is actually much more powerful. And the reason why to get super nerdy again is we have, um, you know, the way our brain works essentially is our emotional center and our memory center. They’re actually best buddies they’re right next to each other in the brain, your amygdala and your hippocampus, your amygdala is where your emotions get processed, very simplified way of talking about it. And your hippocampus is your memory center. They’re physically right next to each other. So if you think about, you want people to remember things you need to tie one of the kind of four key emotions to what that piece of information or that experiences for people to remember it more effectively. So if anybody knows the four key emotions, maybe you saw that movie inside out that is a brain-friendly brain. It’s so good. Like it’s wow. Um, what are the four key emotions, right? Do you know them, Jonathan? What are the four key emotions?

Jonathan:

It’s joy, anger, fear and sadness.

Amy:

Yes. And so part of it is if you can harness around those feelings and at work, like if you think about joy, anger, fear, sadness, most of those are not so nice, right? Like joy. Yeah. Three of the four, like we’re negatively, negatively weighted. So part of it is thinking about joy and the specific aspects of joy you want people to feel. Um, and, and getting more granular in that and working backwards to then create experiences that are memorable for people that’s gonna work better than any data, information, content, et cetera, et cetera. Like there are resources where people can get stuff these days, right? Like you can Google anything, but the emotional experience and feeling why people will get attached to companies, brands, teams, leaders, is because they make you feel something. And I think that’s really, really important in this day, especially when, like we have moments like this, where we’re feeling more and often our feelings right now.

Amy:

Um, I mean, I’m eating a lot of my fields. I mean, a lot of cakes eat a lot of cookies pastries, but like we are feeling when disaster happens, when crisis happens, like those feelings can intensify, those negative feelings have intensified and you have to over-rotate on the joy aspect. So like events like this to, to provide joy, to provide action steps, things for people to remember and do, and, and to bring in that heart, that emotion to me are so important. I also hope someone does make a tee shirt with metacognition on it. That would, I mean, I love metacognition. I do a lot of thinking about thinking,

Jonathan:

Please, please bring that to life. Um, no, I think that’s perfect. And uh, I think understanding the, like, like you’re talking about right now, the, the intentionality that we’re bringing into understanding the emotions we’re feeling because of, you know, at all times, of course, but because of the highlighted crisis in our worlds right now, um, and figuring out how to, um, accept and then reassign those emotions and, you know, and tell better stories to ourselves. Right? I know one of the stories from your book, uh, I’ll let you tell the story, but, but it’s, it’s, uh, the story of big wave surfer, Mark Matthews and how he deals with an injury and the term is cognitive reappraisal. And I would love to have you kind of explain that concept of cognitive reappraisal, because I think so many people will get such value in terms of how to, how to tell themselves a different story when they feel an emotion.

Amy:

Yeah. Thank you. Cause if you, if you didn’t actually line into this, I was just thinking like I got a story for everybody that’s going to be super useful. So Mark Matthews is an Australian big wave surfer and he is based out, uh, on the gold coast in Australia. And you can go watch six surfing videos of him for the rest of the day, if you want, he’s an amazing person, but he’s also very deeply into thinking about thinking like he should be wearing the metacognition. T-shirts please order him one. Um, so Mark and I, uh, I knew Mark through my connection, um, with my last job and he is spectacular because he goes in tackles, these giant 50-foot waves. And I like surfing six-foot waves is scary enough. Like the ocean is a very powerful beast. And so Mark takes on and wanted to be one of the biggest, big wave surfers of all time.

Amy:

And he is, and he’s fantastic. Last name’s M a T H E w S. And so Mark, um, you know, if you’re going to surf a 50 foot wave, you have some good days and you have some not so good days. And so Mark had gotten into, uh, an accident on John’s in Maui and he dislocated his shoulder. And it was really interesting cause at the time, um, I had set up a, uh, keynote for him to do, to tell his story about facing fear. Cause surfing is about sort of facing fear in the face. And he literally went to the keynote, like with, with a brace on like injured, screwed up his shoulder was, he was worried about it. Um, he finally healed and literally one of the first waves out, he got slammed into a reef and had a w for most people would have been a career ending injury broke and shattered his leg.

Amy:

And they were potentially going to have to amputate his leg. And Mark was not a good way. And he’s, he’s a really upbeat and surfer dude, um, core and core, but he, uh, he met a kid in the hospital who was a paraplegic who had gotten into an accident and instantly Mark had reframed his situation. He’s like, you know what, I’m still here. I’m still alive and had in the past used reframing and cognitive reappraisal to tell himself a more realistic, optimistic story about his day to day, but nothing, nothing is insurmountable. Nothing is, you know, unconquerable in your life. You just have to look at it in a very different way. What do you learn from it? How do you grow from it? And, and he does that and he does it very genuinely, which I think is really hard for us. ‘Cause we sort of, we tell ourselves stories and we’re like, Oh, I kind of don’t believe that like our naysayers still talks and we are naysayer in our head is so rude because, because we would never talk to other people like that.

Amy:

So when I talk to people about reappraisal and reframing, what I do is I like to tell the story of Mark, because he’s like, you know what, in that moment, like I’m alive, I’m going to surf again. And sure enough, like he surfing again, he got married as a beautiful baby daughter. I like his Instagram spilled with him taking her out surfing. It’s so adorable. Um, but part of it is, you know, you have to figure out how to manage that voice in your head, around reappraising, things that are difficult. And think about that voice in your head, actually saying those words out loud to someone else, someone you cared deeply about someone that you have great empathy for. You never say those things. And so don’t say them to yourself and, and, and that’s part of the reappraisal process is really managing that. Um, it’s, it’s called the default mode network nerd.

Amy:

But part of it is that voice inside your head, that radio station that plays, you need to get that going on the positive channel, there’s time and place like your body and your nature will keep you alive in the real tragic challenges. But you got to turn a positive radio station on to be able to reframe everything is a learning experience and it changes and flip your perspective on pretty much everything that you look at. If you can do that, you don’t sort of wallow in the, Oh, I failed or not good at that. Or this is, this is too tough for me. You look at it as like, okay, I can try that. If I screw it up, what am I going to learn from it? What am I going to take away from it? How am I going to grow and develop from it?

Amy:

So reappraisal, uh, is absolutely key to handling crisis and crisis situations. And it’s not sort of like overly Pollyanna, but it is almost to that level where you’re like, I am going to tell myself really positive stories so I can get through this. And I think, um, yes, there’s growth mindset too in it. I’m definitely a, a fan of Carol Dweck and there’s a chapter on growth mindset with another adventure. So that’s definitely in the book they’re tightly connected and it’s being able to reframe and retell the story in a way that’s not so hard because we are super harsh with ourselves. Um, as well as sometimes with each other. And we don’t mean to be, it’s just an air biology. So we have to amp it up on the positive spin,

Jonathan:

I think self-awareness and just forgiveness and, and that power of self-talk for sure. And it’s something that maybe you don’t want to do, like in front of a lot of people just be like verbally speaking out loud, rooting yourself on cheering yourself positive. Right. But it is something that, you know, when, when you’re out there on the basketball court or, or like, you know, snowboarding some mountain, like you might be talking to yourself without even knowing. And so it’s important to, to like bridge those experiences back to, to how you handle that feedback and that, you know, perspective in the workplace. So I, in terms of the micro moments of what somebody has to deal with within their team within the workplace, um, how, how do you, how do you do like practice cognitive reappraisal in smaller steps? Uh, you know, let’s say you receive feedback, uh, on a performance review.

Amy:

Yeah. I, and this is, this is kind of a really interesting space because it doesn’t just sort of happen magically. Right? It does take a lot of practice. And part of it is the emotional regulation that comes from receiving information that you respond negatively to like a performance review appraisal. Somebody gives you a piece of feedback that might be really, you know, radical candor. And it’s tough sometimes to even take that and to be open to it. And so I talk a lot about and help people think about how do I emotionally regulate in the moment when I’m getting that information so that I can know my emotions metacognition, but also, um, be able to work through it and shift that mindset. And part of it is that emotionally labeled piece, um, like we did earlier, like what are the three things? So even in those moments, not, not how do I want to show up, but how am I receiving this?

Amy:

How does this feel to me right now in your head thinking about labeling. So if somebody told you something that made you angry, that is hurtful, that is you think incorrect, it’s their version of the truth, you know, your reaction to those pieces of information. And it’s funny ’cause I, um, one of my, I will never forget it. Piece of performance feedback from delight is like someone made a comment about my hair being like way too big. And I was like, I can’t help as here. Um, but it, it like, it stuck with me, right? Like these pieces of feedback, whether they’re valid or not stick with you and they have an emotional response to you. And really it’s about labeling that response that you’re having and looking at it objectively because it turns your thinking brain back on like when, when you’re working through those emotions, your logical brain not really operating all that well.

Amy:

And so part of it is getting that one word that can allow you to reappraise turn that thinking brain on I’m angry, I’m anxious about this. I’m upset about this and sad that this is, you know, the one piece of feedback if you’re taking it that way and think about that word, say it in your head. I like to write things down. Sometimes it’s not appropriate in the situation that you’re in, but you know, part of it is when someone’s giving you feedback, I find taking notes, a nice thing to do like you’re listening, but I actually will write down that emotion that I’m feeling. So that allows me to then kind of work through the actual feeling that’s happening. So my chest might be heavy. My heart might be pounding. My aunts might be sweating. I might, you know, start that sort of flush of anger, whatever that is, being able to indicate that know that it’s happening acknowledge it will allow you to sort of rechannel the blood flow.

Amy:

That’s actually going into your, and make the lit a fire, those emotions off to get a little bit more relaxed about it, to be more rational about it, to accept it, and also realize that no matter what we say to ourselves, like feedback is one lens, one point of view, and it’s not the truth and it’s someone’s truth, but it doesn’t have to be your truth. And so part of it is taking what’s useful of it and being able to be determined because, you know, I think a lot of us sort of grew up thinking like when somebody gave us a piece of feedback, that was that’s the truth a hundred percent. And sometimes those truths aren’t a hundred percent and it’s, it may be right for that situation. It might be right for that lens. But part of it is thinking about our emotional response to that feedback, acknowledging it, to be able to then process it rationally is really super, super helpful and, and a tactical way to approach those situations.

Amy:

And to be more open about that feedback, if you say, okay, I’m going to go into this. I’m going to ask for the feedback like Kim said, cause I love that. Ask for the feedback, make it open and an honest place to be, but then you have to emotionally regulate through it because when you ask for feedback, people are going to tell you. And so, you know, they may tell you with kindness, you’re still going to feel something around that. So being able to then work through your feelings and be self-aware about it, be able to label. And one of the things that I love is, and I’m going to get full California, hippie mindfulness, meditation, huge scientific benefits for being able to emotionally regulate and keep your cool. So I’m definitely into, um, I’m not going to go off and go on a silent retreat for five days.

Amy:

I’m not quite there yet, but a few minutes of breathing every day to get in touch with your body, which will tell you and give you those signals. When you feel an emotion to me is absolutely critical to get good at it, to be able to regulate in the moment. And this will help you in a feedback. This will help you win. You have to fix a problem. You have to have a difficult conversation, um, that emotional regulation and being able to pause, acknowledge what’s happening in your body. Know that it’s emotion, write it down, get that logical brain thinking. It helps you work through in a healthy way versus sort of stuffing those emotions, um, in a box. And you can actually help regulate other people too, which is, this is like Jedi Jedi skill, but I don’t recommend you doing cause you screw it up until you’re good at it, but you can also ask people questions like what’s the one word you, um, you would use to describe how you feel about this.

Amy:

Just one word, you actually are regulating other people by giving them that language, click to turn their language center and their brain back on and redirect those resources. Don’t be there and be like, Jonathan, you look real angry about this. How do you feel about that? Like, you don’t want to label that for them. That’s a, that’s a process. Uh, they have to do. Cause if you label it, you’re probably just going to stoke that fire and make them more angry. But I think emotional regulation and mindfulness, um, can help you get more in touch with your own emotions, which will also in turn, help you with other people’s emotions too.

Jonathan:

So, so interesting. I love the moment of pause to reassess, right? I think that’s so important for everybody to, to just think about is like to not be so reactive to a situation like give you, give yourself a moment before you reply or before you, you allow yourself to feel something like allow yourself to feel, but like also pause and reflect, right? Reassess. Um, w with that I want to bridge into, um, obviously a shared background of ours is in the adventure world and we’ve talked about it a bit, but I want to highlight the bridge between the adventure mindset and the leadership mindset. Right. And how like by definition, adventures are excited by the unknown and they innovate on the fly and they’re, they’re like, and those are all aspirational things for a leader, um, to embody. But at the same time, acknowledging that not everybody on your team is comfortable with the unknown and, and comfortable like innovating on the fly and, and reassessing when the weather goes bad to go forward. Right? Like how, how do you kind of embody those aspirational leadership principles while still leading a team without anxiety?

Amy:

Right. I, I have definitely given people anxiety around, like, let’s just go for it, right? Because of the fearlessness that comes from viewing the world as a learning experience, um, not everybody’s there. And I’ve learned to be more empathetic to those people who need more and control and clarity. And so I’ve actually adjusted in a lot of cases, how I’ve approached connecting with those people and actually seeing and being empathetic with them. And part of it, I think is asking those questions, right? Like, well, what do you see it? ‘Cause they’re super, those are very helpful people, but they’re very different from the people who are like, yeah, well, it’s like, let’s go for it. We’ve got a plan. We’ll figure it out. We learn from it very different from the mindset of like, I’d like to know what’s happening. I want some certainty before I engage in this.

Amy:

And so part of it is I actually really like those people on my team to be able to poke holes at the plan, right. To look at. And, and like I said, to be more innovative because they’re going to look at blind spots, they’re going to look at things that they’re going to anticipate, because I think, you know, adventure or mindset you usually go out and you’ve got a decent plan, but when you’ve done some scenario planning, there’s scenarios, you can never think of and they happen and you have to work through them and you have no fear of like, okay, I’ll figure it out when I’m there. Versus someone who has a more certainty level approach will actually help you and drive your skill to do more of that scenario, planning to think about it and to communicate. I actually love to have those people on my team and I, I appreciate them and recognize them for that because of that capability.

Amy:

And they, they are not going to get out on the mountain with me, but they will help me sort of see what the path is. And I think those conversations are so helpful. Um, and, and to appreciate those skills, cause not everybody wants to be the crazy Mt year or the big wave surfer. And that’s cool. And I can appreciate that they bill take a good story, but they’ll also help you look at drawbacks, look at the risks. And I think that’s really super important from a business standpoint, from an entrepreneurial standpoint, for sure. You definitely want one of those people on your team if you’re an entrepreneur, but part of it is welcoming that approach because, um, I know a lot of adventurers don’t like to hear the, that, like, they don’t want to hear what’s going to go wrong. They don’t want to hear like, no we’re gonna have a great time.

Amy:

It’s like, no, no, no. Those people will make your adventure that much better because they can see those blind spots and help you see those blind spots. And so, um, I’ve learned over the years that you really want those people who will, who will do the double checks and make sure that you’re not going to get yourself in a space that you can’t get out of. Um, that’s in business and in life, like honestly the parallels are so ridiculous at how much, uh, being out in the adventure world and in the business world are almost the exact same, you know, temperature, differences and all. Um, but it’s, it’s, it is you want those people on your team because if you’ve just got all the people going then no, one’s going to pay attention to like, Oh, things go wrong. And those people are usually really good when you bring them in ahead of time, because then it’s not a whole, I told you so situation when they’re, like I told you that wasn’t going to work. You use that as part of your planning process. Yeah. Perfect. I mean, that’s to be perfectly candid, that’s something that I actively

Jonathan:

Work through and have to struggle with because I am so of that mindset of just, yeah, I’ll go and figure it out. Right. And, uh, fortunately I have the people around me that question that, which is good. Um, those people in your life stay alive a lot longer when they’re in your life. That’s true. Um, we have a question here from mayor, uh, how this is just a very simple one. Um, but very strong, how do overcome fear during this difficult time?

Amy:

So it’s, I mean, watch less news number one, because to me the news media has, um, and, and I don’t care what news media you watch. They’re, they’re paying to get eyeballs. And so they fear Stokes that were negatively wired. And so if you want to be less fearful, watch less things that, um, stoke your fear and focus on happy things, don’t be unrealistic. Like there are dangerous things that are happening, pay attention to your, you know, the, the places that you go for reliable information about how to keep yourself safe, but also part of it too. And I, um, one of the sports I like to participate in is paragliding, which is inherently quite dangerous. And I had to work through some fear because there are things that happen and I’ve seen some things. And so I listened to this really cool podcast, um, that sort of walked you through a science based, uh, approach to managing fear.

Amy:

And one of those things was to ask yourself the question, am I really in danger right now? And for the most part, most of us can answer that question with a no, like, am I in immediate grave danger right now? So whether I was in the sky or wherever, that’s a great question to ask, like when you feel sort of that anxiety, a fear and your, your chest Titans, part of it is, you know, asking am I, am I really in danger right now? Now, is there a plan that I can take to address this fear? How do I, how can I make today right now, this moment less fearful for me. And so when I think about fear, oftentimes it’s compounding and looking into the future and creating really creative scenarios about what can go wrong because that’s, um, that’s what our brain likes to do naturally.

Amy:

We’re sort of catastrophizer so part of it is pulling back and it’s, what am I, what can I do today right now to make myself more calm and relaxed? And so mindfulness actually really helps with your anxiety. I do a lot of that, um, exercise. So thinking that you are a network system and being able to take care of your network system, cause your brain doesn’t work independently of your body exercises away to actually help reduce anxiety and fear. Um, I’ve actually doubled the amount of exercise I’m getting in the last four weeks, which I know sounds insane, but literally I have, I’ve doubled it because I know I’m going to be anxious about what’s happening in the world. Just like the rest of us. How can I counteract that? It’s with taking care of the, the whole thing. So, um, watch less news, take care of yourself and think right now, are you in actual danger? The answer is probably no. So that should sort of ratchet things down.

Jonathan:

Yeah. I think that when, you know, fear and anxiety and any of that bottling up inside, like Mo movement is such a perfect way to expend energy and whether you’re able to go out and exercise and take that break to go run or ride or something, or if it’s just taking a call as you pace around your coffee table, right. Just, just like walking. Yeah. Walking actually allows you to calm down and expend that energy and get, get it out. Um, some something I read this week too, was that the, uh, bravery often doesn’t feel like bravery. It feels like fear. And, um, and I think it’s interesting to know that like everybody has a different risk tolerance and everybody has a different fear threshold, but at the same time, like overcoming fear is still feeling fear. And, uh, and so that’s just, everybody should just be aware of like, you know, don’t judge yourself for the fear you’re having, because the people that you might look up to that seem brave, that seemed fearless. They’re just experiencing fear on a different level that they’ve worked on becoming comfortable with. Um, we have another speaker or, sorry, another question here. Um, what are your top three tips for a new manager of a small team

Amy:

Love this? Um, I, if you are managing people, I think you have to genuinely care about people and their success and to help pave away to their success. So, number one, I think getting to know your people as human beings, what do they love? What do they hate? What do they want to be? What are they, what are they trying for in their life? Get to know them as humans, like at the end of the day, that’s it. Number two. Um, I think knowing that it’s okay to make mistakes and to admit them, I think that’s super important. And that’s what authentic leaders do. Like, Oh, that didn’t work. I’m sorry. Right. Like apologizing, if it’s had an impact is home, but having a conversation around like, no, that didn’t work. I wonder why. And number three, I think the really important thing is to be open and ask questions. So, um, I like the phrase learn, lead it through, uh, lead through listening first lead through asking questions, then lead through talking. Cause at the end of the day, the more you can listen to the people that you work with, they have good ideas that sometimes never get out because somebody else is always talking. So listening, asking questions, and then you can talk, I think is a great way to build trust and connectedness with the people that you work with.

Jonathan:

Love that. And it looks like we have time for just one more question here. And I think that there are two that actually I’m going to combine because they seem to go together. Nick graph asks about, um, well the fact that public speaking is like everybody’s biggest fear, right? Any tips to overcome this or face it better. And this goes hand in hand with Rubin’s Lynn’s question about how to overcome imposter syndrome.

Amy:

Oh, I love these questions. Um, the public speaking one, it’s so funny. Cause I speak for a living. I’m an introvert and this terrifies me every time before I get on any Zoom call in front of audiences, I get nervous. And I’ve learned to channel that nervousness into a story that I’ve told myself around your passion and excitement is going to come through, be confident, but you should be here. And it’s kind of a, like, you wouldn’t have been asked to do this and unless somebody thinks that you are a pretty rad human. And so part of it is that positive, those positive messages. You tell yourself, like the other thing I tell myself with public speaking, like nobody knows what you’re going to say. You can’t get anything wrong, right? Like at the end of the day, you might make mistakes. You might learn from them.

Amy:

I have missed things that I was supposed to say. I’ve said more things I’ve gone over time. Like I’ve made every mistake in the book and that’s okay because it’s helped me be a better speaker, be a better communicator. So part of it is lose, try and lose the fear as much as possible in the sense that you have every right and deserve to be up there. You’re a smart, capable, human being. Every single person on this call absolutely is. And part of it is genuinely believing that like you work hard to do what you’re doing, no matter what it is. And so part of it is just being for moment generous with yourself to say, I deserve to be up here and it’s okay that I’m afraid. It’s cause I’m excited about doing this and I want to make a good impression and I want to make an impact on everyone on this call in this room, wherever.

Amy:

So part of it is boosting your own competence by listening to that little voice in your head and tuning the station to somewhere good and imposter syndrome. I had it for a decade. So I definitely feel this question. Like I’m not supposed to be here. I don’t, I’m not a business person. And I’m in a consulting role. Do you know at the end of the day, you’re there because someone made a great decision to hire you, to have you there, do the best that you can cause that’s all anybody can ever ask of you or ever expect of you. It’s just do your best. Try your best. Forget the rest. I mean super corny. But when I think about it and I’m really nervous about something, whether it’s getting on stage, doing something, connecting, doing some, a hard new project, starting a business, it’s like, you know, what do your best? Forget the rest, learn from it and see what happens. Sounds like another tee-shirt that we got out of the session. We got so many t-shirts gosh, I didn’t know I was so t-shirt quotable, but um, yeah, I can’t wait to get them in all the colors.

Jonathan:

So good. Well, Amy, it’s been an absolute pleasure chatting. I want to thank you for being a part of this. I encourage everybody out there to check out Amy’s book, wild success

Amy:

And also me on the cover, by the way, this is me on this crazy adventure. We went to Baffin Island and it’s 40 below zero in this picture and it’s ridiculously cold, but that was a fun one.

Jonathan:

I’ve seen the pictures and the videos. That was an amazing, amazing trip that looked like. So, um, yeah. Thank you again. And please everybody check out SUPER*MEGA*BOSS* a really cool company. Uh, I love what you’re doing. Experiential learning, just pineapples and, and all the fun stuff. Weird weirdness

Chris:

Thanks everybody. Hey, thanks for listening to Process Makes perfect. If you’re listening on your earbuds on a run in the car, we also have a version on YouTube. So if you want to see this in color video with me interviewing all these great guests, check it out on YouTube, just search Chris Ronzio and you’ll find my channel on there. If you found this helpful, we’d love for you to leave a review or rate the podcast. If you found the information valuable, please share it with a friend, a family member, or anyone else you think could benefit from the information. Remember to connect with me at Chris Ron’s EO on all social media platforms or the company at Trainual. That’s Trainual like a training manual everywhere that you want to follow us. Thanks again for watching or listening. And we’ll hope to see you next time.

Check out some of our other shows