September 22, 2020

How to Understand The Emotional Needs of Others

by Lisa Oates

Emotional Intelligence | Livestream Series

Ep. 04 / 05 [RECAP]: How To Understand The Emotional Needs of Others

 

How empathetic are you?

 

In our 5-part Livestream series on Emotional Intelligence (EQ), episode 03 was a journey into how to understand more about your locus of control and a discussion of the amygdala hijack (i.e. emotional triggers). We shared some practical tools to help avoid saying or doing something you may regret later. 

 

This is foundational. Understanding yourself on a higher level and having more self-awareness positions you to be more empathetic towards others. You can have more empathy for others if you are willing to work on your self-awareness. The one feeds the other. 

 

In episode 04, we discuss using EQ to move from knowing self and controlling self to a focus on understanding others and appreciating and valuing them for who they are. Aspects of our EQ can be dialed up or down appropriately to meet the needs of those around you. Watch as we dive into empathy and learn some practical ways you can intentionally adjust it in your daily life. 


Episode 04 (of 05)

How To Understand The Emotional Needs of Others

 

In This Episode
  • Understanding the judging ladder
  • Another look at amygdala hijacks
  • Unpacking three cognitive biases
  • The fundamental attribution error
  • Dialing empathy up or down
  • Emotional intelligence skills you can strengthen
  • How humility fits into emotional intelligence

 

 

Watch the Recording →
Read the Transcript →


Watch the Recording

Read on for a full transcription of our discussion, featuring WinShape Teams Coaches, Dr. Chris Auger and Jesse Parrish.

 

Bonus: Free Resource!

Get Dr. Chris Auger’s latest eBook on Emotional Intelligence →

Read the Transcript

Teddy Sanders:

Welcome to our live stream here at WinShape Teams. My name is Teddy Sanders. I’m one of the Client Relationship Coordinators here. We’re going to be continuing in on our conversation on emotional intelligence and coaching and really what to do with that. How to better thyself. Thyself? Sure. We’re in the 1800s. We’re going to really focus in on how we can use that with others. I’m joined today by Dr. Chris Auger and Mr. Jesse Parrish. How you guys doing today?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Doing well. Ready to do this.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Doing well.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Today’s a little bit of a goofy day. It’s kind of a fun day.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Yeah. It seems like every subsequent week everybody says like, “I’m getting near the end of my rope,” and at this point it’s not a rope, it’s fibers of a single rope.

 

Jesse Parrish:

The frayed end.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Yeah. The ends that should be snipped away.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

That’s COVID-19 and being sheltered in place.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah.

 

Teddy Sanders:

I told my wife, I’m a very big extrovert, and I was like, “Man, this is going to be tough.” She was like, “COVID’s not going to get you. It’s going to be your extroversion that gets you at the end.” And then, I went and was like, “Somebody talk to me.” So, that helped.

So, guys, we’re on week four, past three weeks we’ve really been diving into a little bit more of what is EQ? What is the amygdala hijack? What does it mean when your bucket is full? What does it mean when it’s empty? So, why don’t you guys recap it for us so that we can have a better foundation for today’s talk?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Sure.

 

Jesse Parrish:

You want to start again? Just reminding us of that definition of emotional intelligence that we’ve been operating on, Chris.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

The definition that we operate on here is from MHS, Multi Health Systems. They own the assessment that I use typically in a coaching process. There are different angles on that, but it’s a set of emotional and social skills that determines how well we perceive ourselves, what’s happening in here, in here, and, in some cases, even inside our gut. We have that gut reaction. So, what are those? But then there’s the way to express those appropriately and accurately, or accurately and appropriately, so that there’s alignment there, which then helps us develop relationships with others and then cope with challenges and make decisions, as well as manage stress effectively. And then, in the end, it’s how do we use our emotional information, the emotional information around us, to respond appropriately and effectively as leaders, followers, and teammates?

 

Jesse Parrish:

And part of our heart in this, in coaching specifically, and in doing these live streams, is really to take something like that, this emotional intelligence, which is a big, multifaceted concept that touches every aspect of our lives, and trying to, to use your words Teddy, Teddy-proof it. Make it simple, make it practical, make it tangible to all of us to be able to apply. And so, taking that definition that is very encompassing and helps us see the big picture of EQ, breaking it down into four buckets, and thus, these individual conversations we’re having, one, around self-awareness. The first part of emotional intelligence is knowing thyself. What you’re feeling, what you’re experiencing, the biases you have, the beliefs you have, the mindsets you have, and how those show up behaviorally. Be aware. Okay?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Second step is managing yourself, taking all that you know and then responding instead of reacting. We talked about, Chris, you delivered that the amygdala hijack, this idea that we receive information, and it goes to two places in our brains: one, the amygdala, which can be the emotional epicenter for us and sometimes derail helpful, meaningful, good conversations, and it goes to the prefrontal cortex, the logical, the analytical, the ability to respond well instead of just reacting.

 

Jesse Parrish:

So, now we’re, I guess, transitioning in these next two weeks to this idea of knowing others, being aware of the world that’s around you, the relationships that you have, the needs that others have and what they’re experiencing in the context of relationship. And then, that final week of, what can we tangibly do to serve others based on what we know of ourselves, how we manage ourselves, what we know of others, and now then how can we serve them well?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

And what’s good about this is that the reality is, is that EQ has a lot like gravity. Whether we pay attention to it or not, it’s still there, and we ignore it at our peril and at our own risk. Understanding that EQ shows up regardless of who we’re encountering, it’s still there. Being aware that it equates to about 60% of our success factor, whether that’s at home with our kids and our significant others, or whether that’s at work, people who have emotional intelligence and are more aware and employ it are typically healthier, happier, make more money, and are better leaders. Well, I would like the audience to do is just think of the leaders that were really, really effective in your life. They probably had a tendency to pull you in and invite you in like a moth to the flame, so to speak. They have that impact and effect on people. They just draw them in.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Where leaders that are not so emotionally intelligent have a tendency to push people away and repel them, so I think we can think of some of those leaders. We oftentimes call them seagull leaders. Come in, fly in, crap all over everything, and then fly out and leave you with a mess to clean up. So, I mean, those kinds of leaders tend to push us away, where emotionally intelligent leaders will pull us in.

 

Teddy Sanders:

I was hoping it was going to be more like the flock of seagulls haircut.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

No.

 

Teddy Sanders:

But that was a great imagery that is now haunting me, so I appreciate that. Which actually brings us to a great opportunity to get some interaction from our audience. Be thinking about, and go ahead and write it in, number one, your questions that you would have for the end of the session. And also, everybody respond with who’s the most humble yet curious person that you know? And give them a shout out for that. So, as we get into others, it’s always easier to point out faults in others because sin, but also, recognizing that, “Man, where’s our awareness? Where do we understand where others are coming from?” So, in regards to emotional intelligence in others, Jesse, where do we start?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. I want to just share a framework for this conversation. And as I’m talking through this, I want you to think about it both as this happens internally in me, and when we’re in relationship, I can be aware that it’s happening in you, too. And so, we want to get to that spot of know myself, manage myself, but also be aware that this is happening in others and what can I do to serve that and help this relationship be effective?

 

Jesse Parrish:

So, the framework is something called the judging ladder. I first came into awareness with it in taking some training from Wiley on the DiSC assessments. And very literally, think of a ladder with different rungs on it that you climb up. Each is a step, and you progress through those steps. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I put the ladder up, I can step immediately to that second rung on the ladder, and so, oftentimes, I’ll just, boom, hop up, and keep on moving. So, I want you to realize that these first two steps is like that. It may feel like you can skip that first one, but it still happens. You’ve still progressed upon it, even though it happens in the blink of an eye.

 

Jesse Parrish:

So, think of that first rung as this word awareness. We become aware of the world that’s around us or differences that we have. And there are many things that we can become aware of when it comes to differences. You have a beard. I don’t. I have hair. You don’t. We can think of this in terms of-

 

Teddy Sanders:

He doesn’t know that yet.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Oh, sorry, Chris. No. We can become aware of differences in politics, in religion, in race, in gender, in orientation, in all of the many of those big things, or we can become aware of differences in very small things. You’re wearing plaid, and I’m wearing black. We can be very aware of these differences.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Immediately, upon that awareness, judgment is that next rung. We make a judgment based on those differences. We can’t help it. We’ll unpack that a little bit here in a little while why that is and what goes into that judgment, but we make judgments. Now, oftentimes, we just stop there. We take that judgment and we assume and operate like it’s truth, like it’s reality, and that gets us into some pretty big trouble relationally when it comes to knowing and serving others, as well. We make a judgment.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Now, what needs to happen is we need to move past that to this place of understanding. It’s that third rung, understanding, bridging the gap, inviting conversation, getting more information to help understand the full picture of what’s actually going on, rather than just operating on our judgments.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Next, when we have a more complete understanding, we can move to appreciating. We can appreciate those differences. I see your perspective, you see mine. And then, finally, what we want to do and what we want to move is this last rung on the ladder, and that is valuing. I see the differences, I acknowledge the differences, and I value them because they’re important, they’re unique, they help a well-rounded perspective or approach, and it’s something that I am not fighting against but I’m seeking out. I want to know more. I want to see your perspective. I want to value the differences that we bring to the table in this relationship. So, that’s the judging ladder, in essence. Awareness, judgment, understanding, appreciating, and then valuing. And our goal is to get to valuing.

 

Teddy Sanders:

So, with that be in the framework, it’s easy to get to judgment, right? That seems to be our core basis of, “I see this,” or, “I’ve experienced this from you. This is how I now have formed who you are as a person.” You think about the people who cut you off in traffic, or they have a certain college logo on their car, or they have a certain comic strip urinating on another character, Calvin and Hobbes. Thank you.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yes.

 

Teddy Sanders:

How do we get past that judgment?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Well, I think it’s important to understand that when we look at it, information’s coming in, as Jesse said, and that information comes in and it basically hits two tracks. It hits the Audubon, which is really, really fast, and it shoots to the amygdala, and that typically is like that jumped to judging. It’s uber fast, it’s easy. I’m already preconditioned for that. I’m thinking it. I feel that. I can say it. Whereas, the other lane, the other road that the information takes is a little bit slower, 55 miles an hour. That’s to our prefrontal cortex. When it goes to our prefrontal cortex, because it’s moving so much slower, the judging oftentimes surpasses that thinking part.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

So, when we think about what we’ve become aware of, and then we apply our biases and judge, if we slow down just for a moment and allow the prefrontal cortex and the cognitive piece to catch up and actually choose to respond, we can then shift from that real quick reaction to responding. We can move into understanding. So, the reactionary piece isn’t seeking to understand, it’s seeking to react, and society in general today doesn’t promote slowing down. It’s the need for speed, technology, everything accelerates, and it happens so much faster. That’s the dilemma that we’re in, is that, how do we literally dial it back a little bit and allow our thought processes just move through this so that I’m not just assuming what’s going on and making a judgment, but that I’m seeking to understand? Rather than listening to speak, I’m listening and in the moment to understand as much as I can. I’m opening up for information, versus giving it the Heisman and just making the judgment.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Does responding necessitate the ability to understand, or can we still react and understand where somebody is coming from?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

I think reacting happens so fast that, oftentimes, as Jesse alluded to, there’s assumptions that are made, and assumptions can be accurate, but they’re a weak platform to seek that understanding on. I don’t know. Jesse? Thoughts on that?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Yeah. Yeah. Again, think of it in those two tracks of what happens internally with me and then what’s happening with someone else in that relationship. And let’s just unpack a little bit of the internal with me component for a moment. Become aware of a difference, and judgment happens. What is that judgment? What’s happening? Our brains, our very beings, are wired to take in information, and our brains are exceptionally good at categorizing that information into different buckets for quick access.

 

Jesse Parrish:

So, again, we’ll use the example of beards. Hey, I may have this bucket of information of beards are cool. Okay? Now, I may see that there’s a difference between you and me. You got a beard, I don’t, and I may make this judgment, “Ooh, beards are awesome.” And a couple of things can happen. One, I can judge myself potentially negative like, “I don’t have one. I’m not cool.” Well, that gets us back to the, be aware of yourself and manage yourself, because it’s not true that I’m not cool. I’m pretty cool, I think, even though I don’t have a beard.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Or may go to, “Hey, beards are cool. You’re awesome. You have a beard, you’re awesome.” I’ve made an assessment. And there may be a couple of what we call unconscious biases or cognitive biases that have helped me arrive at that very quick assumption that, “Teddy, you’re cool.” And by the way, Teddy, you’re awesome.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Well, I’ll trade you your chin for my beard.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Oh, okay. Hey, let’s do that. So, let’s unpack, just quickly, three cognitive biases that happen in a split second that we aren’t even aware of. One, is this idea called anchoring bias. It’s when I get a first initial piece of information, I tend to look back at that initial piece of information as my anchor. That’s my source point for which I judge all other pieces of information. Let’s say 20 years ago I interacted, my first time I interacted with someone with a beard, they were really cool. They had a great backstory. They were really kind. They were fun and engaging. So, that’s my anchoring point of information: beards are cool. People with beards are cool.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Let’s look at another cognitive bias, confirmation bias. I’ve got that anchor, beards are cool. Now, let’s say, over the years, I interact with 20 other people that have beards. Five of them are cool. They fit that mold of what I think and what I assume, and that bucket of bearded people are cool. 15 of them may be jerks. But what I end up doing is looking at those five as confirmation for what I believe, bearded people are cool, and I dismiss the other 15 data points of, “Bearded people or uncool,” or just the assumption that maybe beards and coolness don’t have anything to do with each other. But there’s a judgment that’s built over time based on my experiences.

 

Jesse Parrish:

For our conversation, and as we unpack the other side of the relationship, there’s another cognitive bias that we can address, and that’s called the fundamental attribution error. It’s kind of a wordy one, but it basically simply says this: when I become aware of a difference, I’m going to judge you based on your character, and I’m going to judge myself based on situation, the circumstance.

 

Jesse Parrish:

Teddy, let’s say both of us are arriving to a meeting 10 minutes late, and what that looks like is I’m going to look at you unconsciously and go, “Man, is that dude lazy? Why is he late? He should have been here 10 minutes ago.” I’m going to look at me and go, “I wanted to prepare well for this meeting, so I spent those extra 10 minutes, I went to the restroom, I got a drink of water so that I could show up here ready to go.” Well, that’s not really fair, is it? I’m basing my judgment, my assumption, of your lateness on your character and my lateness on the situation. And that has pretty significant impacts when it comes to us and our relationship together, if I operate with that assumption, that judgment, as truth without moving into understanding.

 

Teddy Sanders:

So, that fundamental attribution error, we talk about that a lot in a lot of our programs. Chris, what are some other ways in which we really see that happen in the home, at the workplace, things that, “Man, we just… We’re starting to see a lot of gaps, and how do we step into those gaps?”

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Well, the gaps relate a lot to our own emotional quotient, and we can look at that as an inventory. In week two, we talked a lot about the five composites and each having three sub-scales, and we showed that graphic up there. So, your EQ is a lot more complex than just four buckets. There are a lot of ways we can dial it up or down given the moment. When we look at certain gaps, I know that for me, when I’m at home, that I know across a multitude of assessments, that my empathy has a tendency to be low.

 

Teddy Sanders:

This is my shocked face.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Right.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Yeah.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

And as I alluded to, when I first brought that enlightenment home to my girls, they laughed, and it was Saturday Night Live, if you will, in my house when they explained to me why my empathy was in fact low. And it was a data point for me to say, “Okay, so now what am I going to do about it?” So, I’ve learned that, and I’ve elevated empathy through being very intentional, but it was a gap that I had before that I didn’t know was there. But once I was made aware of it, I have to own how somebody’s seeing me if I’m putting out mixed signals. In other words, everything inside of here doesn’t match what’s coming out of this. Like if I come home and I hear the question, “Are you okay?” Well, then it’s like, “Well, I was when I walked through the door, but obviously, I’m not because I’m presenting something different.”

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Same thing with the empathy I’ve gotten into. It’s a joke in our house right now is, my wife will say, “I think you left your empathy in the other room,” and I’ll say, “No, actually, I put it in my briefcase in the truck and turned it off because I knew I was coming into this discussion.” So, it’s being more aware of those gaps in our emotional intelligence and being able to dial them up or down. I mean, somebody can actually have too much empathy, where it’s so bad that they can’t make a decision and they frustrate those around them because that person doesn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. They have to actually turn it down so they can hear what’s coming in.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Now, how does that attribute to reputation, I guess, when you know you’re coming into the room and you’re known as the feeler’s feeler, or you’re known as… Well, the joke I meant was, “Yeah. This is my shocked face.” If that’s the reputation, how do you overcome that? Or how do you just meet somebody in the middle?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

Well, the thing is, is to understand, is that once we become aware of what our EQ is, and there are various assessments out on the street today that you can take to actually identify that accurately, emotional intelligence skills are… They’re just that. They’re skills, they’re behaviors, they can change. You can create habits to improve them. There’re a lot like muscles. You can exercise them and gain strength in how to use them in an effective but, most importantly, an appropriate manner. We’re not talking about learning how to use emotional intelligence for manipulation. We’re talking about from a servant leadership perspective is that I learned what my emotional intelligence is so that I can then serve out and be the most effective and appropriate leader, teammate, or follower in the moment.

 

Jesse Parrish:

I think, Chris, bringing it to that judging ladder piece, the idea of… I’ll use the example of my wife and I, and similar to you, I’m rather stoic. I deeply feel, but I’m rather stoic and don’t express it very well. So, my wife and I have many conversations to where she’s aware that there’s a difference in her expectations or desires. She wanted to experience me being excited for something that she was sharing or to be empathetic and show kindness and care. And I felt it, but I didn’t show it. And so, she became aware of a difference between her expectation and reality, and then there was a judgment that happened. “Are you just unkind?” Her thinking that to me. And that’s one of those gaps where, that you’re talking about, there’s a gap in someone else’s perception and awareness of what’s going on that they’ve filled in.

 

Jesse Parrish:

And so, what can I do? Again, is that someone growing in awareness, growing in how I respond to things, to show up in a way that serves her well to go, “Oh, wait, yeah, I do care. Let me show you. Let me be excited about what you want me to be excited about. Let me show that. Let me show kindness and care. Let me show these things so that you’re not having to fill in a gap and some of those biases that you may be experiencing. I can mitigate those, if you will, by showing up well, showing up authentically in that.”

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

And to your point, someone that shows up overly emotional, everything’s ablaze, the world’s ending, reality is it’s not something so bad. That’s just as confusing for the others that are around. So, how do we align what’s really going on in here, here, and our gut with what we’re actually displaying so that it’s appropriate and effective? And that’s what’s key in that, is that it’s… So, we can go to one side or the other in all of the behaviors. We can be too extreme or use way too little of it. In other words, like I said, with the empathy piece, I can turn it off and then I’m not effective. Or for some people, they have too much, they need to turn it down.

 

Teddy Sanders:

So, if empathy is the external, then what is the internal? If you’re talking about finding that gap or that audit, what would be the internal?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

The internal is being able to identify what’s going on, and we have two tools here. One’s called an emotional audit from Dr. Relly Nadler. You can go to his website. We’ll put that up later. And it talks about running through a series of questions so that we can help identify what’s going on in here and here, and then check to see if this is, and our mouth is articulating, we’re actually presenting that there’s alignment. And it’s, “What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What do I want now? How am I getting in my way? What do I need to do differently in this moment?” When we run through those questions, it’s that superhighway thing, the Audubon and the highway, we actually give the highway a chance to catch up to the Audubon, and we actually recognize what’s going on in here.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

And then, we can translate it over to the empathy audit, which is, “What are they thinking? What are they feeling? What do they want now? How are they, or I, getting in the way? What do they, or I, need to do differently in the moment?” When we actually put that into perspective, we have identified us and become aware inside. We’re transitioning through judging to understanding, because now I’m trying to see the perspective from not only what they’re saying, “How are they feeling when they’re saying it? What are they thinking when they’re saying it? How can we come together for a better outcome on the other side?”

 

Teddy Sanders:

So, how do you do that? I mean, we talked a lot about like questions to ask and even a posture to put yourself in. What are some tools that are, that our audience members can really focus on diving into getting to the ladder? Because what’s the ultimate goal of the ladder to begin with? Is it to get to value and you get the coin? Or is it greater awareness? Is it the Lion King light coming down on you and being like, “You now have the Pride Land”?

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

A leader I had in the military when I asked him once, what were two words he would use to describe leaders? He said humble and approachable. And then, most recently I had a coach tell me, say, “Chris, humility doesn’t intimidate.” And I go, “What do you mean by that?” And he said, “Well, if you ask a why question, you’re going to have a tendency to push people away. If you ask a help me understand or a what or a how question, you’re going to have a tendency to pull people in and invite them into a dialogue.”

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

So, there’s a posture of humility. When you hit that point where you’re in judging and you’re like, “I want to move past judging to understanding, can you help me understand?” That invites that person into that conversation. So, if I was to give the audience just a helpful hint, is it is that, is that humility doesn’t intimidate. If you ask a what or a how question or help me understand or unpack that for me, you’re inviting them into a conversation. You alluded to it earlier that… How did you put it? The curiosity and the humility piece. I mean, using those components as we engage others is only going to invite them into a dialogue. A why question is going to put people on the defense. They’re going to throw up a wall, and they’re going to yell the answer over the top, because they’re going to be guarded because something else is coming. So, how do they engage in such a way that it opens them up to receive more information?

 

Jesse Parrish:

I think one of the first things is just awareness. Again, with emotional self-awareness, manage yourself, then no others. And there’s a self-awareness component of just acknowledging, “You know what? I probably have some unconscious bias. I probably make judgments that I’m not even realizing that I’m making this moment.” And so, there’s some responding that we need to do just to test our own assumptions. And one of the best ways to do that is to seek understanding. And so, there’s this intentional step to go, “Hmm, emotions are information. I’m feeling something, I’m aware of there’s a difference here. Let me pause that, do some of the exercises, let me take a deep breath, let me pause, and then assume a posture of humility and intentionally choose to seek understanding in this moment, rather than to advocate for my point of view, or to advocate for some of those assessments or judgments that I’m making.”

 

Jesse Parrish:

And that assuming a posture of humility can be, one, just very physical in a way. I know for myself, when I get riled up or when I start advocating for something, I get tense, I start asking why questions or defending myself, and I take over the space that’s here. I get lots of feedback that I get very intense at times and I take this space. Something that I try to do is when I realize that I’m doing that is, again, pause, ask some of those internal questions that we talked about last week, kaboom, that cue for me that I’m getting riled up. “Okay, I need to pause, take a breath, relax my shoulders, lean back, open up the physical space that’s here, and start asking questions. And begin with the statement, ‘Help me understand.'”

 

Jesse Parrish:

Okay? I’m aware that there’s a difference here at this moment between what I expected and what actually happened. Rather than telling you my side of the things, just help me understand what you’re seeing right now, what you’re experiencing, what you’re thinking. And that is a cue, to just, again, assume that posture of genuine humility and curiosity and allow what they’re saying to help test your assumptions, test your judgments. Because in that posture of humility, you have to be willing to own the fact that you could be wrong, or you could be incomplete in your perspective of things.

 

Jesse Parrish:

So, I think just remembering that that’s an intentional choice to assume that posture of humility. Take that breath, sit back. I remember a quote from Richard Foster, I’m paraphrasing it, in talking about finite resources, and time being one of those finite resources, if I have it, you don’t. In the course of a conversation, if I’m taking the space, if I’m taking the conversation, if I’m speaking, you’re not. So, that posture of humility invites you to take some of that space so that I can hear and receive and seek understanding.

 

Teddy Sanders:

And I think that’s the thing, man, like as we come to nearing the end of this week, is having that posture of curiosity, of humility, and walking alongside people to say, “Help me understand,” or, “Hey, can you unpack that?” It’s one thing to know, it’s a completely different thing to understand. And that’s what we desire to do. That’s what effective servant leaders are going to do. I need to understand your problem, where you’re coming from, a lot of the surrounding stuff, so I can best help you succeed at this goal, take on the mission, and accomplish it.

 

Jesse Parrish:

And I think that’s the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is an outcome. It’s not a state of being that you necessarily have. Wisdom is the appropriate action or application of what you understand and what you know. So, it starts with knowledge. “I got to know more. I got to understand. How do I contextualize it? How do I make this personal, applicable?” And then, wisdom is that, “Here’s what I’m doing appropriately and rightly because of that.”

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

And so much of society doesn’t… There’s got to be a willingness to go there.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Certainly.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

In today’s day and age, there’s a lot of drive, “No, let me show you how you’re wrong or how I’m right,” and it’s that taking ground perspective that is perpetuated throughout society, versus the, “Maybe I need to understand.” If we looked at all knowledge as a pie and we own a sliver of it, can we actually admit maybe… And the pie is representative of all knowledge, but we only own a sliver of it, can we at least acknowledge that maybe there’s something we don’t know?

 

Teddy Sanders:

Yeah. Yeah.

 

Dr. Chris Auger:

And I like to say to folks, is that, there’s always enough pie for everybody, but together we can eat more of it. I mean, there’s that ability to understand that maybe there’s something that we really don’t know and that we need to open ourselves up to the possibility that we could learn something.

 

Teddy Sanders:

Well, and that brings us up to one of the questions that has been asked of us. So, when we as leaders seek out understanding and gather info from others, then what is our responsibility with that information? What is then expected of us then as being owners of some of that information?

 

Jesse Parrish:

Well, I go back to one of the driving philosophies that we have, one of those belief statements around servant leadership, is that a servant leader is someone that’s compelled by the unshakable desire to enrich the lives of others. That’s just a filter and a test point for me with the information that I have. If we don’t pair something like that, if we just have EQ in and of itself, what I know and read and how I respond, if we don’t have a desire to enrich the lives of others, then EQ can be very easily turned to manipulation. What can I get out of you to serve myself?

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