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Leadership Series: Emotional Intelligence Toolkit for Public Servants (TRN4-V26)


This event recording features David Cory, a master trainer and international expert on the integration of emotional intelligence and leadership development, who unpacks his emotional intelligence toolkit for leaders at all levels in the public service.

Duration: 01:32:59
Published: November 7, 2022
Type: Video

Event: Leadership Series: Emotional Intelligence Toolkit for Public Servants

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Leadership Series: Emotional Intelligence Toolkit for Public Servants

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Transcript: Leadership Series: Emotional Intelligence Toolkit for Public Servants

[The CSPS logo appears on screen.]

[Sarah Plouffe appears on screen]

[Text on screen appears: Luskville, QC, Sarah Plouffe, Canada School of Public Service]

Sarah Plouffe: Welcome to today's event, where we will be talking about a very important topic: Emotional Intelligence. My name is Sarah Plouffe, and I am an executive faculty member at the Canada School of Public Service. I will be your host for today's session. Emotional Intelligence is quite a hot topic these days, I'm sure you will agree. Sometimes, however, it's the kind of topic that is still a little mysterious to some of us. Sometimes it's covered at a very kind of theory level. And here at the school, we have heard your needs across the public service, and we are back today with a second session with our amazing expert, David Cory, this time with a toolkit for emotional intelligence. So, before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that I'm joining you today from the lovely, traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin and Anishinaabe People, and I really want to encourage all of you joining this session from all parts of the country today, to think about how you can contribute to our country's Truth and Reconciliation journey, starting with feeling grateful for the land we all live on. I would like to share some administrative details now to support your experience during this session. To optimize your viewing experience, we do recommend that you disconnect from your VPN. And a friendly reminder that we will have simultaneous interpretation available throughout this through the conference lines and webcast platform tool for this session and discussion.

So, for my French-speaking colleagues, you have access to simultaneous translation for this presentation which will be presented mainly in English this afternoon. So you can click on the links in the webcast platform, or refer to the invitation email for translation details. You can also contact the technical support people if you need help.

We will start the event with a presentation on the emotional intelligence toolkit followed by Q and A discussion. So there will be some time at the end for our expert, David Cory, to answer some of your questions today. So to send us your questions throughout the session, you don't have to wait till the end. You can send them as they pop up in your mind, as you're listening to our expert today. We ask that you use the Collaborate Video interface. So that means that you go to the top right corner of your screen and click the participate button, I think it's the little box with the raised hand, and that way you can send us your questions and or comments. We'll get to as many questions as we can. We may not be able to answer all of them, but we'll do our best. So now let's get this session started. Emotional intelligence, as I mentioned, is a foundational pillar of leadership effectiveness and effective teamwork. We all work in teams in the government. And years ago, I think we were less attuned to the importance of emotions and the role that they play in our daily lives, and how much emotions actually drive people's actions and thus probably their results, right? But if we agree that our emotions drive people now, and that people actually drive organizations, then I think we can all say that learning about how we can understand, and communicate, and leverage our emotions and those of our teammates, team members, can create massive impact. That must be why so many of you are joining us today. I think at the latest count we had over 3000 of you that were registered for this session today. We are privileged to have with us, back by popular demand, David Cory, President, and founder of the Emotional Intelligence Training Company, and certified master trainer in emotional intelligence.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: He is here today with all of you ready to unpack his emotional intelligence toolkit for leaders at all levels of the public service. Thank you for being here, David, and welcome back.

[Text appears on screen:, #GClearning, Leadership Series: Emotional Intelligence Toolkit for Public Servants]

Text appears on screen:, #GCapprentissage, Série sur le leadership: Trousse d'outils de l'intelligence émotionnelle à l'intention des fonctionnaires]

David Cory: Thank you so much, Sarah. It's great to be here and welcome. I am so glad all of you could join us today for this webinar. So here we are talking about emotional intelligence. And I think it's fascinating that we've learned so much about the role of emotions in our everyday lives. And we've discovered that emotions play so much more of a significant role in behavior, and what we do and how we do it far more than we ever thought. And these are skills that we haven't learned in school, yet we will in the future is my prediction <Laugh> that all of our future, small little humans will all learn about their own emotions, and how to have great relationships with other people. How to communicate clearly and how to fix relationships when they're not going well. And we don't necessarily learn these things in school, at least in a systematic way.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: And so here we are learning how to deal with misunderstanding and conflict, and fixing damaged relationships, and understanding more about the fact that we impact on each other emotionally. And so we wanted to put together a bit of a toolkit for you, give you some ideas of what you can actually do back in the workplace, try to make it workplace relevant. And talk about it in a way that is about plain language and not using fancy technical terms. And there's a whole lot of science behind this. But of course, there's no need to complicate it. Let's try to keep it simple. And we're going to start by keeping it as simple as how you're feeling right now. So let's have you think for a moment. How am I feeling right now?

[A QR code, and directions on how to participate appears on screen]

Sarah Plouffe: Excellent. So you should be seeing on your screen right now, the QR code. And if you scan the code with your smartphone, we are here with the technology, it should generate a webpage automatically on your phone. And from that page, you can see the question and answer it. You will probably need the session code, which is 2, the number two, and then the letter T. You can also open this application in your browser and sort of use the URL and the address for the wooclap, which is www.wooclap, which is spelled W O O C L A So triple w dot, and again, enter the 2 T code to be able to see and answer the question that David is asking us right now, we're doing a check-in. How are you doing today on a scale from one to ten, ten being the highest rating, right David?

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

David Cory: Yes. Ten being awesome, and one being maybe I shouldn't have gotten out of bed today. So, there's some ideas for you to think about as you're trying to determine where am I on this scale.

[live survey results appears on screen; numbers fluctuate for each response as people enter their reply]

Sarah Plouffe: Right. And as we let people kind of take a few minutes to check in with the wooclap tool, maybe we can give them just another 30 seconds to do this, and then we'll be able to see the live results.

David Cory: So people are completing right now, Sarah? Is that what is happening?

Sarah Plouffe: Yes. And if you have a good story for us, you have about a minute and a half <laugh>.

David Cory: Yeah. People wonder, why ask people how they're feeling and what is the relevance? And it's really quite simple. Those days when we're feeling at the top of our game, when things are going well in our world, we're able to contribute in an optimal way in the workplace. We're able to perform at our best.

[David Cory appears in a video chat window beside the Wooclap survey]

David Cory: Imagine that you've got a low scorek lower than five. And imagine what the quality of your work is like on that day. It's just not as good. And imagine your level of patience that you have with other people. Imagine the tolerance that you have for the small mistakes that people make, the kinds of things that people do, all these things are decreased when we're not feeling so well.

And of course, we're focused on, we talk about the workplace, and yet what's going on outside of work affects our performance, our behavior in the workplace. And so, we don't park our emotions at the door before we go into work. Those emotions come with us, they're around us all day long. And we have to find ways of dealing with those effectively. And by the way, this is about effectiveness. Some people think emotional intelligence is about warm and fuzzy, and about group hugs. And when, those are nice parts of emotional intelligence, but that's not it. It's about being effective. How can we be effective given that our brains are constantly scanning our environments and responding in an emotional way to the perceptions that we have about our environment through our five senses.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

David Cory: So, every perception goes through an emotional lens. We decide its relevance, whether we like it, whether it's pertinent to what's going on in the moment, and it provides us with data. And it's important that we understand what that data is for. So how are we doing, Sarah, with our wooclap data gathering?

Sarah Plouffe: I think we're doing well. I think we should be ready to share some of those results. And some of the processes that you were describing happen sometimes without us even really noticing, or knowing that these processes are happening in the background, right? Our brain is so habituated now and so comfortable with gathering information, analyzing, creating emotions, that we don't always tend to the process, or to the screening of all these thoughts.

David Cory: Absolutely part of being intelligent about emotions is being aware of emotions. And if we don't believe they're important, we're not going to pay attention to them.

Sarah Plouffe: Perfect. So I wonder now, if we can see the results? And the technical team is going to confirm with me, if everyone at home can see the results. If maybe the results screen can be shared with us, <laugh> here so we can speak to them. Maybe we're, oh, I see them now.

[live survey results appears on screen; numbers fluctuate for each response as people enter their reply]

Sarah Plouffe: And we'll make them bigger for me here. I can see, I'm not sure what you can see on your side, David, I can see that most people at 28% are in the seven category.

David Cory: Okay.

Sarah Plouffe: Some of us are, you know, 1% in the one, and a few folks in the twos and threes, as you were mentioning, where when we're not feeling so great, everything is affected with our blended lives today, right? We are at work at home, all in the same boat, right? And 7% at four, 12% of us at the five level, 17% at a six, and then seven and eight 28% and 20% respectively. And a few less than 10% are between nine and ten.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

David Cory: Excellent. Well, thanks so much everyone, for providing us with a self-rating. So again, why consider how you're feeling at work? Again, it's because how we're feeling determines the quality of our work to a great extent, and if we're feeling good, we're in the best position to make our best contribution and do our best work. And when we're less than a five, imagine you're feeling two or three? Now, what is the quality of your work?

[David Cory David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: Once again, it minimizes and decreases our ability to tolerate things, to tolerate stress, in fact. And so it's critical and important how we're feeling. And I know that a traditional belief is that: forget about how you're feeling; you've got a job to do; push those feelings aside; stuff those feelings down and do your work. And while that sounds reasonable because we've been told that much of our lives, it's actually not possible. So, we push, we push down, we push aside, but it's still affecting us in ways that maybe we don't even necessarily realize.

[David Cory appears in a smaller video chat panel, slide appears beside him showing a Swiss Army knife]

David Cory: So, this is EQ Tool #1. It's the check in, and this is a simple tool that you can use at the start of all of your meetings, when you see each other for the first time in the morning. It's, very quickly, "How are you doing on a scale from one to ten?" Now, many of you have zoom meetings, and you all jump on the call, and you jump into your first agenda item, which is not necessarily allowing people the opportunity to check in, to provide some input.

When you start the meeting in this way, first, we're going to start with a check in. It says to everybody, Hey, you are important to this meeting. I want you here. I want you with your camera on. And now I know that's a sticky subject, because you don't want to make people have their cameras on, but you want to invite people to have their cameras on. You want to sell them on the benefits of having their cameras on, so that they can participate fully and say, "Hey, we want to see your smiling face". And you can use humor and you can make it fun. And you're saying everybody's voice here is important to this meeting. And so, of course, if you've got a team of 50, you're not going to take time to check in at the start of a meeting, that's too many. But with most teams, they're smaller than 20. And you can easily just go around, very quick, scale from one to ten. One being: I shouldn't have gotten out of bed today; ten being: I'm feeling awesome. It's a great way for people to talk about how they're feeling, and gives you a good read on the room, a good read on the group and how that meeting's going to go. So this is EQ Tool #1: the Check-in. And there's no reason to not do it every time you meet. It's a very quick and easy way to say to everybody, "You matter, your voice matters". We want to hear from you.

And we also do a checkout, and we feel Well, we checked in with everybody. Why not, at the end of the meeting, just go around, do a quick checkout. Say, "What are you taking away from the meeting today?

What is the piece of information that really resonated with you that was important, that you think is critical moving forward?"k So, that's EQ Tool #1: Check-in, and optional checkout. Check-in is very important. So, I was thinking about this little Swiss Army knife here in the image, and we've got six tools. And so that's what we've got for you is six tools. Obviously there are as many as you can imagine with respect to, how can we be more emotionally intelligent in the workplace? What do we mean by emotional intelligence anyway?

[Slide changes; a multi-colored human brain is shown, with arrows pointing to different parts of the brain with the labels "Logic" and "Emotion"]

David Cory: So, this is a good time to define emotional intelligence. As you may know, and as Sarah mentioned as we started, emotion is critical and important in our functioning as human beings. And one of the things that we've learned from the neuroscience research over the past several decades because of functional magnetic resonance imaging, FMRI, is that emotion is far more involved than we ever thought in the application of logic and reason. Even right now, some of you are sitting thinking about this presentation, and maybe you're a little bit skeptical. And maybe you think that emotional intelligence isn't that important. Well, that feeling, that view is going to limit your ability to be open about this information. And it's going to limit your imagination to how you might apply this information going forward. So again, the way we feel about things affects our involvement, our engagement in it. And so it's critical and important that we be intelligent about those emotions. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand emotions. The fact that we are responding to our environment. It's the ability to use emotions: Oh, emotions, I get it! That means that all the people that I'm talking to have emotions too. It's not just about my emotions, it's about everybody else's emotions as well. These determine whether a team is functioning effectively, whether a team is performing at a high level. As soon as we perceive there to be a lack of psychological safety, this is a term made popular by Amy Edmondson. What is psychological safety? It's feeling like it's okay to: admit a mistake; to speak up; to ask a question. That's psychological safety, and it's all emotional. We call it psychological because it has to do with the psyche and the brain, and the nervous system, and all those good things, but it's really emotional safety that we're talking about. How do we manage our own emotions to communicate effectively? I continually get requests for coaching for various managers in all different kinds of organizations. Organizations of every size, and sometimes it's about communication.

And I think that most of the problems and issues and challenges that we face in the workplace are because the right people are not having the right conversations with the right other people. Why are they not having those conversations? Fear. It's the fear of having that conversation. How am I going to handle it if things get out of control? What if people get emotional? These are fears that we have. And so communicating effectively is, despite the fear, having that conversation anyway, which is part of leadership. If you think about what leadership is, it's about stepping up and doing what's necessary. Doing what is required, even though it's hard, even though it's challenging, even though it's frightening, it's stepping up and doing what needs to be done, that's leadership. And so a lot of this is so interconnected with leadership. Communicating effectively, empathizing with others. Knowing that the whole time that you are explaining something to others, that you're impacting on them emotionally. If you've ever been talked down to, if anyone has ever been condescending with you, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So we have to empathize, we have to monitor and watch for how we are impacting on each other to have better relationships. So how do we connect at a deeper level? I'm going to give you some tips on how to do that today. How can we be better at overcoming challenges at managing stress? So we have one quick tip, quick toolkit item, tool for you to use in many of these different areas here. And what do we mean by EQ? You'll hear that word a lot. We sometimes use these terms interchangeably, EQ, and EI. EQ is a measure of the skills associated with emotional intelligence. What skills, you might ask? These skills.

[Slide changes to graphic displaying the different areas of EQ Competencies]

David Cory: So, this is the world's leading model of emotional intelligence. It was created in the early eighties and it is one of the most enduring and empirical models that we have. And so, it's based on scientific research of several decades now. And these are the skills.

Now you might think, How is how I perceive myself a skill? Or, How is self-regard a skill? Well, how it's a skill is there are ways that we regard ourselves that support our own goal achievement, and there are ways that we regard ourselves that absolutely get in the way. We can get in our own way. And if you've ever gotten in your own way, then you know what I'm talking about. So, how do we regard ourselves in ways that are competent? In ways that fill us with confidence moving forward so that we can tackle the challenges that we face. So how can we do that?

And then over in self-expression, how do we find our voice? How do we have a voice in the world? And then with interpersonal, how do we have better relationships with people? And then decision making, how can we cut through all of the emotional issues that surround problem solving, and by emotional issues, you all know what they are, they're procrastination. It's avoidance, it's about how do we not fall victim to unconscious bias? How do we make sure that we're not full of worry and anxiety about the problems that we have to face, which is all emotional and has little to do with our technical skill to solve the problems that we face. And then finally, stress is such a big and important area for all of us. How can we develop the skills to better manage stress, and deal with the stress that we face in life?

Okay, so this is the model of skills and competencies. We're going to dive in and give you some tools right now to deal with some of these things, starting with self-perception.

[Slide changes to show definition of self-perception; a smiling woman is shown]

David Cory: Self-perception is all about how to have the ability to know yourself, know your emotions, accept yourself the way you are, have self-confidence. And the tool that I thought up for you is called the Self Regard Boost. There is a philosophy, a way of thinking about human beings in Africa called Ubuntu. And in Ubuntu, this is the whole idea of I am, because we are. I only exist because of others. And so how do we develop our self-regard? It comes from those that are around us. That give messages to us about whether we belong, whether we're important, whether we do good work.

And so, for this self-regard boost, this is for you, for every one of us, to take every opportunity to boost the self-regard of others. So this we do for each other. So, how can we recognize good work? How can we acknowledge the contributions of others? How can we make sure that people are appreciated? And sometimes it's as simple as a thank you. Thank you for doing what you do. Or, to take it further, your work matters. Without you doing the work that you do, I couldn't do what I do, et cetera. So this is really, and it sounds, this does sound soft and fuzzy because we hear frequently from managers, "Hey, I pay them to do a good job. They should just do a good job". Why do I have to acknowledge, why do I have to recognize et cetera? And this is a failure to appreciate the emotional impact that leaders have on others. And so all of us, we need to take the time, and it doesn't take a lot of time. People tell me I don't have time to go walk around and tell everybody that I appreciate them. But the return on the investment of that appreciation is manyfold. And so imagine your leader. The person that is your boss, maybe they're even a more senior person in the organization, walks by your office, takes the time to stick their head in and say, "Great work on that project, in that meeting, I really liked your contribution to that meeting. Thank you". These kinds of, and then imagine how you're feeling after someone says that to you, right? You look just like the woman in the picture, right? It's, it's that kind of charge you can get from that. And so who's going to do that? Well, we're going to do it for each other if we remember, and if we are thinking about how critical and important this is to all of us.

[Slide changes to show definition of self expression; a frustrated-looking man is shown]

David Cory: EQ Tool #2. This is all about self. This is in the area of self-expression. How can you be better at self-expression? Why should you be better at self-expression? Because this is how people get to know you. We don't trust what we don't know. If you don't speak up, if you play your cards close to your chest, and you don't share a whole lot with others, we can't know you, and we don't trust you. At least we don't trust you fully. So how can you be better trusted? How can you actually contribute to your own relationships through better self-expression? How are you going to do that? Well, here's a tool for you. I call it E R T.

So, E stands for expand your emotional vocabulary. There are all kinds of great lists of emotions online. You can even get a tool for your phone called the Mood Meter, which was created by the Yale Center for the Study of Emotional Intelligence. And it's about determining how you're feeling in any given moment. And we can all do this. And sometimes we're restricted. I remember this one manager, I had to laugh, when he told me, There's just two emotions, right? Happy and angry? And I had to say, Actually, there's a whole wide range. And he knew that, but what he was telling me was those are the two he was comfortable with, happy and angry. When, of course, there's basic emotions, like primary colours, and then there's all kinds of blends. All kinds of further understanding and differentiating between emotions. And again, we don't learn this in school. You might have seen these little posters that they have at daycare centres with the little faces. How are you feeling today? It's got the little faces. So there are attempts at it, but again, we don't learn it in a systematic way. We don't even learn the utilitarian purposes for emotions. Like for example, anger: the utilitarian purpose of anger is to increase effort. Anger is about not obtaining or achieving a goal. And if we're blocked from achieving a goal, then that increased effort is going to help us to get over that log that's fallen in our way, or that boulder that's crossed our path, or whatever. And we don't necessarily understand the utilitarian purposes for all emotions, which there are for every single emotion. So, it's expanding your emotional vocabulary.

R stands for recognize how you feel. So, pay more attention and recognize how you're feeling at any given moment. This is going to be excellent information for you moving forward. Remember I said that emotions are like data. And a lot of us, we know the data, but we don't necessarily know what it means. What is that sensation trying to tell me right now? Because this is how we navigate our environment, it is based on those emotions. We enter a room and we stay there if it feels welcoming, if it feels comfortable. We turn around and leave if it's not welcoming, if it doesn't feel comfortable. And it's about being more aware of what our emotions are trying to tell us in any given situation. And then it's about telling people how you feel. We don't necessarily connect, or have a relationship, or feel a sense of deep connection when we're talking about the technical parts of our jobs. Yes, we have to talk about the budgets, and we have to talk about the quotas and the deadlines, all of those are required. However, we can do that by email. When we're actually meeting, what we're actually looking for is how are you feeling about the budget? How are you feeling about these deadlines? And, why not just say that? Just tell people that, so they don't have to guess, and they're not wondering the whole time. So expand your emotional vocabulary, recognize, and tell people how you're feeling.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Okay. And I think that's probably the part of the equation that we do the least, right? Or where people feel less comfortable doing, telling people how they feel about a certain aspect of the work that they are challenged with, right?

David Cory: Absolutely, Sarah, yeah. And it's something that we frequently forget to do. And realizing I'm a bit behind in the presentation, Sarah, should I just speed up, and then we can get to the people's questions? Perfect. Okay. Let's do that.

[David Cory appears in a smaller video chat panel, slide appears showing the definition of interpersonal; a smiling man and a woman are shown seated together at a desk]

David Cory: So, here's EQ Tool #4, this is all about relationships. And the tool is really just relationships. It's just remembering to do things with people that we frequently think, "Oh, I'm just going to do this on my own. It's more expedient. It's quicker. I'll just take care of it". But we forget to involve others. If it's important, if it's a big decision, if it's an important project, involve as many people as you can. Do your work to create a healthy workplace community. And have people feel like they belong to that community, like their involvement matters, it's important, invite their input, etcetera, and encourage teamwork. You may be surprised by the number of times people say, "Oh, I've got a team". But then when you ask them about how they work together, they don't really work together. They're just in the same area, and that's not a team. It's just a group of people who work in the same area.

[Slide changes to show definition of decision making; a small group of people are gathered around a desk]

David Cory: Decision making. Here in decision making, this is the ability to understand once again, as I mentioned, how to understand how your emotions affect logic. And the tool that I've got here for you around problem solving is identifying all the emotions that can help you solve problems, and that can hinder your problem solving. And of course, emotions can help or hinder. And it's about deciding, "Am I in the best emotional state to tackle this problem that I have in front of me right now? Am I going to be effective"? Or is the emotion that I'm feeling, whatever it is, going to actually get involved, is it actually going to hinder my ability to tackle this problem? So, Tool #5 is around problem solving. Focusing on the emotions involved in problem solving.

[Slide changes to definition of stress management; a woman is seated at a desk, while studying a document]

David Cory: Tool#6 is all about stress. And this is about the ability to cope with the pressures of work and life, as you know. And evidence for people who do this well, they adjust their sails to suit the wind, even in the storm. And an EQ tool for you comes from Daniel Siegel and it's Name it to tame it. Now when you're feeling frustrated, when you're feeling angry or anxious about something, when you simply stop and say to someone, I'm feeling anxious about this, and then talk about why that is, you immediately are gaining some control. They've done some interesting experiments looking at the levels of various neurotransmitters in the bloodstream. When people say, I am stressed, it can actually lower cortisol levels in the bloodstream. And so, so this is an excellent little tip, Name it to tame it. Try that when you're feeling stressed, when you're feeling anxious, when you're feeling out of sorts. Again, as I just said, out of sorts. Out of sorts is not an emotion. What is the actual emotion related to out of sorts? Sometimes you ask someone how they're feeling and the answer is, "Terrible"! Well, terrible is not an emotion either. What is the actual emotion, and try to uncover what that is. And, as some of you know, anger is a smoke screen emotion. Sometimes we're feeling angry because we're not ready to feel lonely, or frustrated, or sad about something. So we feel anger because it's easier in some cases. So, really get to get to the bottom of it. How are you actually feeling? And then that's going to be helpful moving forward.

[Slide changes to show a list of the six tools]

David Cory: So here are the six tools that I mentioned. And so check in is number one. Self-regard boost is the second one. Remember to boost each other's self-regard. Number three is about expressing your emotions to others. Expand your vocabulary, recognize your emotions. Tell people how you're feeling so they don't have to guess, and they can get to know you. Get to know what sorts of things excite you, or what sorts of things you like, and what you don't like. And number four is creating community. Remember to do things in teams. Bring people along with you, and invite people in. Number five is remembering that problem solving is emotional, and really getting to the bottom of why you procrastinate, or why you feel worried or anxious about various things. Number six, Name it to tame it. So now I want to ask you to think about which one of these tools resonates most with you? Which one are you most likely to use? Just think about that for a moment, which one are you going to take away and actually use back in the workplace?

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Excellent. And for those of you who are logged on to the wooclap, we actually have that question using the 2 T code.

[Screen changes to show the QR code and directions on how to participate]

Sarah Plouffe: You can go and answer this question, selecting the EQ tool that you think you're going to put into practice right away, that is going to be the most useful to you. And we're going to have a look at those results in just a few moments. We'll let everyone kind of open up their wooclap application on their phones again and go and answer that question and see which tool is going to be the most popular.

[Screen changes to show wooclap survey results; the numbers change as people enter their responses]

Sarah Plouffe: Maybe David has a good indication because he gives these kinds of talks all the time or speaks to clients all the time in large groups, but we'll see what the actual data tells us, David.

David Cory: Yes. And I'm just noticing, Sarah, that we have some excellent questions coming in. And just a reminder, we are going to have time to answer questions. And so, I'm looking forward to tackling some of these questions that you've got for us, and whatever other questions you have. And yeah, I'm interested to see the results of the wooclap survey.

Sarah Plouffe: I'm looking at the results right now, coming in in real time.

[David Cory appears in a video chat panel with the wooclap survey results as people enter their responses]

Sarah Plouffe: There's a good distribution of results actually, across the board. And I would say that most are around the 15, 20%. Plus and minuses here and there, but it seems to me like things are pretty equally distributed. No big, big winner for now. Maybe we will check in again a little bit later, <laugh> with the wooclap results for the final tally. Let me just check in here.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: All right. So before we jump into some of the questions that are coming in from our participants, there are a lot of great questions in there, so I want to tackle them. I have one question for you. In these conditions, how do we actually maintain effectiveness and objectivity under stressful conditions? Because, if we have learned anything over the last two years dealing with, the pandemic, it's been that stress is present in our everyday lives, and it is unrelenting sometimes. What are the tricks? How do we maintain effectiveness throughout all of this?

David Cory: Yeah, it's a great question, Sarah. It's one we get frequently. And my answer may not be the one that people want. <Laugh> but it's actually being more honest about this, about the feelings that come with this." Hey, I'm lonely. I never see anybody anymore. I miss you guys", or whatever it is. Just having more authentic conversations, being more honest in our communication. There's this thing called professionalism. And you know, we have to be professional.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: Well, being professional is one thing, denying our emotions, denying how we're feeling and not communicating those to the right people in the right ways, that's really just going too far with professionalism. That's saying, "Hey, I'm not bothered by the pandemic. Pandemic? What pandemic?" Or," I don't feel isolated, everything's going great!" When it's actually not, when you actually are. This is dishonest, and it actually creates a wedge in our relationships with others. And so better is to say, "Hey, I've not had a great time here. Yeah, I'm isolated, I live by myself", or whatever is true for you, and having more authentic conversations. So the answer is not necessarily what people want to hear, because honest conversations are hard. You're taking a risk. But, it is what leaders do. Leaders take those risks. And knowing that when you make yourself vulnerable to someone else, it's a gift. And again, the return on that investment in vulnerability pays off hugely in loyalty and commitment and relationship. And so this is where we're going, and this is the future. And you can intentionally help yourself to evolve, or you can stay stuck in old beliefs about showing up in a professional way where nothing bothers you.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Yes. And we can learn from writers like Brené Brown, who are such great leaders on showing us that vulnerability is not a weakness, it's a strength. And I enjoyed her books on that. So I want to remind folks that they can send us their questions either through wooclap, or through the actual platform by clicking on the little icon in the top right corner, I think it's a little person with their hand up, to send in their questions. And we have one question from a participant here, which is, "What guidance or tips would you give to increase one's self-perception, because it's hard sometimes to actually know what that really means?"

David Cory: It is, it is! You know, it reminds me when Kouzes and Posner, the famous leadership writers, began their leadership work in the eighties.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: One of the things that they talked about was leaders going within, going into themselves, self-reflection. And what they heard from leaders was that the biggest fear was that leaders would look inside themselves and there'd be nothing there. Imagine that. People so afraid to look inside because they wondered, "What if nothing is there?" And really, the journey of self-perception is getting to know yourself. My personal journey took me into the counseling office at the university because I wanted to know more about myself. Why did I think the way I thought? Why did I do what I did?

So that took me to counseling first. And I'm so grateful that I did that journey early on in life. But it's never too late, never too late to get a coach, a counselor. Journaling is helpful to some people, and it's really self-exploration. What do I want? What do I like? How do I operate emotionally? How do I view people? How do I view others? Am I trusting? Am I cautious? Getting to know yourself and developing your own self-awareness is the best route to developing your skills in self-perception. One of the self-perception items is self-actualization. How do you know what is going to bring you the most meaning and fulfillment in this life? If you don't get to know yourself and get really in touch with your emotions, get rid of the things that you don't want, and bring more things that you do want, that's the process of self-actualization. That's when you feel like," Wow, I'm really getting somewhere. I'm really figuring out what I want, and what I don't want", and doing something about that.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: I really like that answer. And I actually really like another question that we're getting from a participant here, which I think will be relevant to a lot of folks that are listening out there: "Would David have any examples of how to be resilient when we may not be having a great day? You did the check in with us, and we don't always have great days, we'll vary. Some days will be great. Some not. How can we be resilient through those less great days?"

David Cory: Yeah. The way to be resilient through those less great days is, together. This is how we're going to get through this life, together. Nobody has to do anything on their own.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory:  There are people all around that that want to help, want to support, that want to listen. And it's just saying,"Hey, not having a great day". And again, if you do this checkout at the start of your day or at the start of a meeting, and someone is less than a five, you go over to that person afterwards and say, "Hey, do you want to talk about it? I couldn't help but notice that you were a three, that's pretty low. Hey you want to talk about it? I would be a listening ear for you." And sometimes we have to reach out ourselves.

Sometimes we have to say to a trusted colleague, a coach, a counselor, "Hey things are not going well. I can't seem to pull myself out of the below five ratings in check in." And doing something about it. There is a responsibility. We have a responsibility for each other, but we have a responsibility to ourselves, as well. To take steps to alleviate. There's a wonderful saying, I think it's attributed to Buddha, and it's: "In life pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional". What we do with our pain is optional. There are choices, and if you don't feel like you have a choice, then you are stuck in a perspective. And so we need to help you to see that there are many other perspectives, many other ways of thinking about your situation to find an answer for you. And coaches are good at that, counselors and therapists. That's what they do. There's a lot of people that are, as they say in the telemarketing business, standing by waiting to take your call. And so there's lots of options, and lots of opportunities for help and support. And sometimes we have to reach out and get that support.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: That is fantastic advice. Thank you. And I want to sort of bring up another participant question that is a little bit linked to the answer that you just provided to us. This person has a question relevant to the check-in in the beginning, she's asking: "Is it relevant, or needed, or better to do it in person to know exactly who gave which response, or is anonymity also an option? We are in these zoom meetings, or these virtual meetings all the time, I guess it's less possible, even possible, but just a little bit more complicated in a real live meeting room to do the check-in and to not know exactly who has given what rating, but is there value of doing it anonymously, or with knowing who provided which statement?"k

David Cory: When I do these presentations, and I do them frequently, I don't know the people. And so, they are anonymous to me, right?

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: So, sometimes we do it in the chat box. We see this flurry of different ratings, and then I can just comment on sort of where it seems that most people are in the room. But if you know people, and you have some relationship with them, and everybody's an adult, then everybody should be okay saying their number and it's not anonymous. And then, what frequently happens is people will say: "Hey, I'm a two. I was up all night with a crying infant." Okay. That's good information. Thanks for that. I'm sorry that happened to you, but that's the reality of your life right now.

And so, we actually come closer. We develop better ties, and it's one of the things I loved about the pandemic. Now we're seeing into people's living rooms and into their kitchens, and it's like, wow. And so we're really getting to, there's more that's not hidden. And that's really what we have to get to is, hey, this is me, this is me in all my messiness, in all my whatever. This is me and, wow, that's something I can relate to. That's something I can connect with. And so we need to get to that place.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Yeah. I love seeing into people's lives and feeling like I know them even more now. I can understand on the other side of the coin though, that it can make some people a little bit uncomfortable, so we have to maneuver all of those different options. And question number seven here, it goes along with that a little bit, it says: "How do you discuss emotions in the workplace without overstepping boundaries, or potentially making others uncomfortable?" Great question.

David Cory: Yeah. It is a great question. And this is about judging the appropriateness. So, we're not suggesting that you come in and just let go with all of your emotions, whatever they happen to be, about whatever topic. It's got to be relevant. So it's relevant to the relationship. It's relevant to the work that's being done.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: It's relevant to something, but you don't just go in with all kinds of irrelevant emotions. It really is when you have a concern about something relating to a project or a person, say it. So it's not that you keep that concern to yourself and hope that it doesn't come true, but that you say: "Hey, I have this concern." And you say that to the right person, at the right time, in the right way. And this is appropriate emotional expression. It's: "Hey, I'm worried about this. I have this concern. You know, you asked me, you volunteered me, voluntold me to go make that presentation to 3000 people. Hey, I'm nervous about that, or have some anxiety about that." Okay. Let's talk about it. Let's talk about how you can be better prepared, and we know that preparation is the best antidote to nervousness when it comes to presentations. So let's deal with it instead of pretending it's not there. This is the mistake that people make is, Yeah, absolutely, Sarah! You know the monkeys with the hands over the eyes, the ears and the mouth, let's not be those monkeys! Let's say what's going on for each one of us. Hey, this is fun. Or, Hey I like this. I like working with you. This is great, Sarah. I like working with you. We should work together more often. It's like being honest about those things, and just saying it, whatever it happens to be.

And again, yes, there are boundaries, and we have to be careful not to overstep them. We don't want people to feel uncomfortable. We don't want to put people in an awkward position. And so yes, share judiciously. So, use your empathy, watch people as you're sharing, ask for permission to ask a question, if you're not sure if you can ask it. If someone says they're a two, say: "Hey, I couldn't help but notice you were a two in the meeting. Do you want to talk about it?" You know, ask for permission. Consent is critical and important in all kinds of ways in relationships. You need consent to talk about certain things, so get it.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Yes, yes, yes. Consent is a very, very important topic when we're talking about these sensitive subjects and emotions. I also kind of want to think about the fact that growth kind of happens when we're a little bit uncomfortable. So, it's just knowing where to push, and where to stop, I guess? And in that regard, I think it brings us to our next question, which is about a term and a terminology that we hear more and more about in leadership, and in large organizations, having a more human centered organization or approach, is key and will be key in our future. So, the participant is asking now: "How can emotional intelligence actually help us towards achieving more human centered organizations or approaches?"

David Cory: Yeah, it's a great question. And sometimes I like to say that emotional intelligence is the scientization of human skills.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: What we're doing here with emotional intelligence is we're really just acknowledging the importance of emotions, which is critical and central to humanity, to being human. And what this model that we've presented is a scientific, structured way to both look at, and understand human behavior, but also to develop our skills. So we can thrive because coping, while this model, it is a model of mental health, and these are mental health skills. We don't want to just use them to cope, although that would be a critical first step is to cope, but then it's about thriving. How do we then take these skills, and actually thrive. To be on top of our game, to perform at our highest level, to be the best leader we can be. To be the best team leader we can be, to be the best team member we can be. To be the best customer service person or, and I know there's not a lot necessarily of sales people in the public service, but how can we be better at positioning and influencing the perceptions of others, which is what sales essentially is, is influencing perceptions, to get everybody on board, to gain buy in from everyone.

How can we do that in the best possible way? And it's understanding that there is a set of foundational skills here that everybody can pay attention to. You can learn more about your foundational skills by using an assessment tool like the emotional quotient inventory, which gives you scores in all these areas, gives you an EQ score, and then go from there. And, develop your skills by getting a coach, by taking courses and being involved in workshops, et cetera. So, there you go.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Amazing. Another really interesting question that has just come in. I think we may have all been in this kind of situation before. So I'm going to put you on the spot, David and ask for what we should do when we're in this situation. This person was able to put herself out there, and be vulnerable, and shared some of her thoughts and feelings with team members. And she's asking, he or she, I don't know: "How do we move forward if we ourselves are vulnerable and tell people we're not doing so great. And it just sometimes it lands funny, and creates a bit of an awkward silence. Maybe people don't know what to respond? What do we do in those moments?"

David Cory: Yeah, it's recognizing and understanding that people don't necessarily have the responses that we want.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: Again, we don't teach this stuff in school. And so many people are unskilled when it comes to emotions, unskilled in terms of how to respond to someone who's been vulnerable, in terms of how to support someone who's going through a very difficult time. We are terrible at it in general, we human beings, in our society. Again, because we don't learn how to do that. And so what you might end up doing is giving people a lot of grace for doing it badly, and know that you put it out there, and good for you. And again, we just may not get the response we want and just say: "Hey, we're just a bunch of imperfect human beings, sometimes really not good at some of these things that we wish other people were good at". Just like a significant other relationship. You want them to be good at certain things, and they're just who they are. And so, we take the good, and we find ways to tolerate and deal with the not so good.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: And at least it's kind of opened the floor, and actually readied people for the next time this comes up, or for when they feel like sharing their own day when it's not going so well. And then the group can learn through these experiences and have better and better responses or more openness to these kinds of situations and information sharing.

David Cory: Absolutely. I'm just going to flip to my last slide here while we talk about the last few questions, Sarah. So if anybody wants to get in touch, please feel free to do that. If you have any more questions that we don't have time for today, I'm happy to take these questions any time by email.

Sarah Plouffe: Excellent. And thank you for doing that, David.

[David Cory appears in a video chat panel with a slide showing his contact information on it:,, mobile: 604-218-4777]

Sarah Plouffe: Now everyone will know where to get help for themselves, for their team, and their team members. I have another question here.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: It's about the unconscious biases that we all have. I wish I didn't have them, and I'm not even aware of all of them. I keep learning new ones every day, unfortunately. But this question is about: "How do we check in on our unconscious biases so that they're not clouding our decision making on a daily basis?"

David Cory: <Laugh> The thing is we can't check in on our unconscious biases, because they're unconscious. So it's about making the unconscious conscious. So it's about recognizing that, who you are, the color of your skin, your ethnic background, where you went to school, how you grew up, all of these factors bias you. And it's about recognizing and acknowledging that and saying: "OK, so these are ways that I am biased and make them conscious." Now they're not unconscious biases anymore, operating in the background and maybe influencing you in ways that you have no idea. Now they're out in the open, they're on the table and we can deal with those. So it is about making the unconscious conscious, to the best of our abilities. And just saying: "Hey, asking the team, in what ways are we biased here in making this decision? What are we overlooking? What perspective have we not taken into account?"

Sarah Plouffe: Excellent. I have a tricky question for you. I may be throwing you under the bus.

David Cory: <Laugh> I love tricky questions. Love, love them.

Sarah Plouffe: <Laugh> How do you discuss emotions in the workplace? Oh, no, sorry. I have the wrong question here. <Laugh> Let me pull up the right one, sometimes things move as I'm doing this, and now I've lost it.

David Cory: Is it the neuro divergence question, Sarah?

Sarah Plouffe: Sure! Sure we can. We can, I....

David Cory: We get this question frequently. As a neuro divergent person, I face barriers to emotional intelligence. Absolutely.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: And when I think about neuro divergent people, I think of the big bang theory, and the characters, those university professors. They're very bright guys, young guys who struggle with emotions. They don't always read emotions. They don't always get emotional situations. And I think of Sheldon, particularly, if you haven't seen the show, don't worry about it, but it's just about anybody who's extremely smart. They have a high IQ, but they sometimes miss emotional cues. You can learn about emotional cues. You can ask people about their level of comfort or discomfort. You can check in with others and do, one of the EQ competencies is actually reality testing, where we check our perceptions of reality with others.

And everybody can do this, no matter how neuro divergent you are. And some of the CEOs that I coach are <laugh> and it's like, I know that this is the way you are, just know that it's not the way everybody is, right? Not everybody is like you, people are different. What makes them upset, or what moves them, or what is important to them is different than what moves you, what upsets you, what's important to you. And by not acknowledging what is important for them. This one company, they were facing a big lawsuit, and the CEO was extremely optimistic. He knew they were going to be successful in the lawsuit and everything was going to be fine, but everybody else was freaking out. And I said: "All you have to do is acknowledge that people are freaking out, not dismiss the freaking out, and not overlook the freaking out, and don't tell them to not freak out, but just say, Hey, I get it. Your retirement, your life's savings, everything you've invested is on the line. I get it. It's rough." But maintain his positivity without disregarding the emotions of others. So again, people can learn this. People can learn about emotions, and learn what the cues are. What are the signs? What are the telltale reveals that can tell you more about a situation or a person? So I think you can learn it no matter what your neurodiversity is. Apparently Silicon valley is full of them, and I've coached many of them as well. They can learn.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Well, we're all learning.

David Cory: Absolutely.

Sarah Plouffe: You know, we're all on this long journey of learning, self-discovery, learning about how others are different from ourselves. So it's a continuous slope, hopefully. And I've found the question I had lost before. So <laugh> I'm going to go ahead with that one now. It is asking, knowing that the government and the public service is a very large organization, it is still a very hierarchical organization. And so this question comes: "How can emotional intelligence be applied in a hierarchical institution, or context? Would it possibly undermine sometimes, or strengthen the relationship between the boss and their subordinates?"

David Cory: Yeah. Emotional intelligence is all about strengthening the relationship between a boss and their subordinates.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: And really, it's about how the hierarchy impacts people. So if we can understand more about how the hierarchy impacts people, and recognize that because you are a level above, doesn't make you a better person. You're a person, you're a human being, just like all the other human beings that report to you. You just have a different accountability. You have a different responsibility. And then it's about taking that responsibility seriously, and then developing the skills that you need to be a 21st century leader. A 21st century leader is someone who recognizes and appreciates others, is someone who involves others, who sends the message – "you belong".

And really, the "belong" is my favorite addition to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Now it's diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. How can we make everyone feel like they belong here? How can we increase psychological safety? Make it safe for people to, again, be human. And leaders do that. It's when the more senior people say: "Hey, I made a mistake. And we were operating under this information. Now we've gotten new information, we're changing direction, we're changing course, and this is why." And so that everybody understands instead of, Those people up there, they keep changing their minds. You know that people only say: "Those people don't know what they're doing", because those people who know what they're doing, haven't communicated that they know what they're doing to the right extent. And it's one of the big learnings from the pandemic is that we have people who don't understand the science. That's because the people who are involved in the science haven't communicated it well enough.

That's why we have things like people against some of the scientific decisions, is because they don't understand it because no one's explained it to them, and developed the relationship of trust. There's been a lot of mistrust that's been happening as a result of the pandemic. And that's because the leaders, the people who are in positions of power, haven't developed their skills to the point where they've been able to effectively develop relationships of trust so that they are believed. When you talk about the importance of some of the scientific discoveries, people actually believe it because there's a relationship of trust. With no trust, no belief.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Yes. I'm going to use that at home these days with my 16 year old <Laugh> who doesn't seem to believe everything I say, doctor. I don't know if that's that just something that happens elsewhere? I have another great question here which is: "What do you suggest is the most important tool, it's very current, very current, very relevant for a lot of us, important tool for a team readjusting to being physically in the office together. We've kind of lost the habit of doing that. How do we get back into it?"

David Cory: Yeah. And one of the things that strikes me about the question and where it's coming from, is safety.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: And some people are still concerned. COVID is still out there. And we don't want to forget that. We don't want to just assume that everybody's safe with no masks, or everyone feels okay with no mask. We need to ask again, we need to be authentic and honest about asking, and ensuring that everybody feels safe. And then, yeah, it's going to be weird. I've done a couple of in person training sessions, workshops, and a strategic planning session. And they were a little odd because yeah, it's like, how's this going to go? And so it's really understanding and recognizing and acknowledging what's actually going on, which is really the answer to all these questions. It's like, just be honest and say: "This is weird, or this is a bit awkward, or I'm not really sure what to do here. Do we shake hands? Do we bump elbows? What do we do?" And just saying: "What's okay for you? This is what's okay for me, what's okay for you?" And again, having a great negotiation and compromise. I think that's where the question's coming from, but I'm not sure. If I missed the mark on that one, ask again.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Yeah. Keep those questions coming. We have a little bit of time left and we do also want to go back to the wooclap. The team has let me know that the results are in and have been tallied.

[Sarah Plouffe appears in a video chat panel with the wooclap survey results]

Sarah Plouffe: So, we're going to go and have a quick look at that. Hopefully everyone at home or in the office can see the results as well. , I don't know if you can see them, David, if you want to comment, or if you need me to provide some of the numbers there.

David Cory: Yeah, I can't get it large enough on my screen, Sarah, so you'll have to tell me what.

Sarah Plouffe: All right. So option one, which was the check in is at 17%. And option two self-regard booster is at 17%, also. The ERT that you explained, which I think would be very useful for me and my team members, is at 13%. Creating the community and doing it together, establishing all of those key relationships and working at them 14%. Problem solving at 15%, understanding the emotions behind the problem solving and tackling things when we're emotionally ready to do so, as well as the last one, or number six, which seems to be the most popular option right now at 24%, people are saying they're going to start using this tool right away, and it will be useful for them and their team members.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

David Cory: Excellent. Well, that's really interesting, Sarah. And I'm so glad that people found something helpful from those tools. And it's interesting how close the other ones were, the other five were. And interesting that the Name it to Tame it, it's a really important thing. And again, when we're feeling out of sorts or having an off day, or feeling anxious. Anxiety, as you know, is undifferentiated emotion, it's an undifferentiated nervousness or fear. But again, it's about getting precise about cutting through the cloudiness and discovering what is it exactly. What's the fear about what am I actually afraid of, and isolating and pinpointing those things. It can help us so much in finding a way forward. So I'm glad that the tools were useful for everyone.

Sarah Plouffe: Excellent. And before we go on to the next question, I also want to mention that a very smart person participant watching this reminded all of us in the public service that we all have access to employee assistance programs. If we are dealing with tough situations, if we are having bad days, if we are struggling emotionally, mentally, we can reach out. It's free and accessible for everyone. We also have in-home, other kinds of programs, that help us talk through different, difficult situations with team members, conflict resolution help, and peer to peer coaching programs. I know that in my past role, I absolutely benefited from some of those services with my team members, and it was really, really useful. So just a little bit of a reminder that all of us have access to some of these great tools.

David Cory: Thanks, Sarah. If I could just highlight that point by saying that it was counseling and therapy that helped me to learn who I was, and then counseling and therapy helped me get through the darkest moment of my life, which was losing my 23 year old son. So when we lost our son, it was counseling and therapy, intense grief counseling that helped us to deal with that. And to learn how to live with grief. And I wouldn't be sitting here today talking to you if it wasn't for counseling and therapy. And I just say that because there's so much stigma around it, and that's why Bell has their "Let's Talk About It" campaign. That's why we need to talk much more about mental health. We need to say, when we're struggling, we need to say: "Hey I'm struggling. I need more help. I need support." And so it's up to each one of us to both reach out, and to notice and recognize when someone might need it and not be reaching out. And just to say: "Hey, there's lots available for you, including me, as a friend and colleague, or whatever your role is, or as a boss. I'm here to talk to, I realize or recognize that you might not want to talk to me. However, it's important that you talk to someone." Again, we human beings, our tendency is to isolate when we're experiencing extreme issues. And what we really need to do is to go to strength. Go to someone who can support and help. And again, could be a friend colleague, coach, therapist, counselor, boss, whoever you trust, to say: "Hey I need help."

Sarah Plouffe: Yes. And sometimes it's helpful to share some of our personal struggles, personal stories, to make them feel like they are not alone. And they're not the only ones who have struggled, who have needed to ask for help, or get support. And yeah, some of our leaders are doing that more and more. And I feel like when leaders do it, whether it is taking time off for mental health and recuperation, or speaking out about some of their challenges that they faced, and the struggles, like real deep struggles that they have had, and that they're going through, but that they're working at it, and it's not perfect, but <laugh>, they're working towards solutions and getting help.

[01:13:28 Sarah Plouffe appears full-screen]

Sarah Plouffe: It kind of provides all of us the, kind of the permission, and the opportunity to think about solutions and to view things a little bit differently. Like it's not just us, and we are not alone in this boat. A lot of us are facing these kinds of issues, and maybe there are solutions, and maybe there are people out there that can help me, and maybe talking about it is actually the way to go. But it is difficult sometimes when we're faced with these situations. As you're mentioning, our tendency seems to be to kind of fall back onto ourselves and not want to voice this to the world, but thank you for sharing your experience with us, David.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: I do have another question here. I think that I haven't touched on, which is: "What can be done to help us recognize and understand the emotions of ourselves, for ourself and for others?" You know, sometimes you've mentioned that there are those key, big emotions that everyone recognizes <laugh> and then all of these more subtle, nuanced emotions in between. How do we recognize them a little bit more easily?

David Cory: Yeah. Good, good question. And that is really about developing our emotional literacy. We have to move beyond mad, sad, glad, and fear, to recognize there are all kinds of other emotions, and they're subtle. And emotion researchers say that we probably don't experience just one emotion.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: We probably have others. And we haven't really talked about what emotions actually are, but they are biochemical reactions in response to stimuli in our environment. And so it's about understanding what stimuli, or stimulus, is responsible for us responding in the way that we respond. And once we understand more about why that is, there's all kinds of great books on emotional intelligence and emotions. One that has recently influenced my thinking is How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett. So, once we understand more about emotions, and why we have them, and about the sensations involved and what we should do about them, because emotions are telling us to do something, they're focusing our attention on something, they're telling us to take some sort of action, but if we've never really thought about it, then again, it's hard to know what that is.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: So many great questions coming in, David, I wonder if we want to go with one here that talks about an unsafe environment: "Can we find a way to thrive in a work environment that deals with racism, and ableism, and where maybe some of the negative derogatory comments are being tolerated? What do we do, and how do we beef up our emotional intelligence in those situations?"

David Cory: Yeah. And I noticed that part of that question is where being vulnerable is dangerous.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: And absolutely in environments where there is abuse, where there are bullies, we are not suggesting that you be vulnerable with those people, because they will not respect your boundaries, and they will abuse right through it. They'll bully right through it. My partner in life and in work is an expert in the area of violence against women, and wrote a book called When Love Hurts. If you think that you are in an abusive relationship, or want to understand more about supporting people who are in abusive relationships, read that book. When Love Hurts by Jill Cory and Karen McAndless-Davis, and they say speaking up, being assertive, is not always the answer because it could be dangerous, and your safety is critical and important. And we want to make sure that you take care of yourself, and that you are safe. However, you're not powerless. You can bring to light some of these issues. And there are people that you can tell, where it's safe to reveal that information. And when there's unsafe work environments, or racism, or ableism, where comments and behaviors based on these issues are tolerated, then you need to tell someone. It's like the sign at the airport, See something, say something. And again, this is about knowing better, so you can do better. So, who do you talk to? You can ask around, you can ask professionals that are in associated work teams, where maybe it's more safe to talk about these things. Find someone safe to talk to, and determine what to do.

And if there's a group of you who are experiencing this behavior, there are strength in numbers. So form an alliance, and decide what you want to do together. No judgment for people who don't want to be involved, but just asking for support. And again, it's about being authentic, and being honest, and bringing that forward in a way that is safe, because we don't want to put you in further danger. So again, there are things you can do, and it's about figuring out what those are, and bringing these things to light. The best disinfectant is light. And when we can bring things out into the open, they have a chance of changing. When they stay in the darkness, they don't. So we need to bring things into the light however you can.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Yeah, I'm not sure we're going to have a chance to get all the questions, but I do want to touch on this one, this next one, which is: "What can we do when our leaders are discounting the importance of emotional intelligence? And maybe they're not aware, and they don't have all of this brilliant information that you're sharing with us today. And thus, they don't believe in the concept. They don't know what it is, and they're not comfortable there. What do we do?"

David Cory: These are people who are hanging on to traditional beliefs about the workplace.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: Traditional beliefs about leadership, about the hierarchy, and they would probably just prefer to keep telling people what to do. Because it's easy. It's easier and it's comfortable, because that's what they know. To be a more emotionally intelligent leader requires work. <Laugh> You've got to develop these skills we're talking about. You have to invest in yourself. There is a track that you can follow, and you can be a more emotionally intelligent leader, but those people often don't understand. And here's where all of us can come in, is by helping to educate them on the return on investment. Everybody wants to know the return on investment, and the return on investment for developing emotional intelligence is whatever that person cares about.

You can position emotional intelligence development with whatever that person cares about. Whether it's service quality, whether it's being on time, or on budget. Whether it's employee engagement, whether it's retention. Whatever the issue, you can position emotional intelligence skills with respect to that metric that that leader cares about, and show them by increasing emotional intelligence skills, having people working more closely and more productively and effectively together, we can address all those issues. Productivity, morale, engagement, retention, attraction of top talent, all these issues that organizations struggle with, you can position emotional intelligence development with respect to, and maybe they just have never thought about it before. Some organizations have told me, quite frankly, we have to wait until these people retire, till we can become an emotionally intelligent organization, because they will never agree. And those are the dinosaurs that we have to wait till they become extinct, and they are becoming extinct. And we can help by providing knowledge, education and information, and that's the only way.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: Yeah. Some lessons to learn there about what the techniques they used that worked well, and the others that didn't. And just learn from that, and innovate, and look towards the future, right? We do have a few questions about definitions. There seems to be all these terms: emotional literacy; emotional intelligence, and then psychological safety. Can you maybe differentiate between these for us?

David Cory: Absolutely. Let me just say emotional intelligence is how our brains work. So that's the first part. It's really being intelligent about emotions. And then there's lots of people who, with their own models and their own approaches and ways of doing emotional intelligence.

[David Cory appears full-screen]

David Cory: Then there are things like psychological safety. Again, this was made famous by Google with their Project Aristotle research on what makes high performance teams perform at high levels. And then Amy Edmondson's famous Harvard business review article on psychological safety. So again, people have these various concepts, which are really quite well delineated, so they can say what psychological safety is, but it's related to emotional intelligence. And the humorous thing Amy Edmondson said in her book, the fearless organization is that most managers don't have the emotional intelligence skills to create psychological safety on their teams.

So again, emotional literacy is just: Do you have the language? Have you developed your literacy with respect to being able to talk about emotions. To say "I feel sad", instead of I feel terrible. These kinds of things are only going to help as we become more precise, and more concise in our communication with each other. And so again, there are lots of labels out there. Things like resilience: resilience is being able to bounce back after a setback. And that's part of emotional intelligence, but it's not everything. There are many other things involved in being emotionally intelligent, other than resilient. It's not enough on its own. It's just one part, one component part. So, these may be component parts of something, but most fall under the umbrella of being intelligent about emotions, because that's our life as human beings, is being intelligent about emotions.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: And I wonder maybe if we go back to a few slides where you had that wheel with all of the different concepts included under emotional intelligence. I don't know if that's easy to do or not right now.

David Cory: Yes, absolutely.

[David Cory appears in a video chat panel with a slide beside him showing a graphic displaying the different areas of EQ Competencies}

Sarah Plouffe: Just to give people a last full view, right?

David Cory: Yes. How can we be intelligent about emotions? We pay attention to how we perceive ourselves. How we express ourselves. How we connect with others, and whether we truly understand what a deeply connected intimate relationship with another human being is like. People get scared of the word intimate. They think it's just for significant others. It's not. It's for all of us. All of us can choose how deep our relationships are with each other. And an intimate relationship is a deep relationship. That's all it is. And we can have intimate relationships with others, and know who has our back, and who's back we have, and know who's going to follow us anywhere. And we can know these things. We can intentionally create these things. And then again, decision making is all about all of the emotions that surround our cognition, and our logic and our reasons.

Some of the things that we have thought were all important are not all important, but they are somewhat important. And there's no EQ IQ binary. Some people talk about the binary, there's no binary. Our brains process everything related to IQ, and everything related to EQ. And they work in concert together to create great outcomes for us, because again, everything is emotional. And then, of course, stress has its own category, because it's important to understand more about how we can respond and react in stressful situations. Again, Name it to tame it. Be flexible, be able to accept things that are beyond our control. That's flexibility. Optimism is, can we see what's good about something, instead of being critical and negative and dark about everything, and managers tell me they're not a pessimist or an optimist. They are a realist. And I say, well, being a realist is good, but it's not very inspiring. And part of a leader's job is to inspire others, to be excited about all the possibility and talk about that there's possibility for the human race. We just have to focus on emotional intelligence skills, and it will be okay.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe:

That's a great way to conclude things. All good things have to come to an end. So, I wonder if you could then maybe switch back to your last slide so that people have your name, and how to reach you if they need you, and if they need more information there, David.

[David Cory appears in a video chat panel with a slide showing his contact information on it:,, mobile: 604-218-4777]

Sarah Plouffe: Great. So on behalf of the School Public Service, I would like to thank you for being part of today's discussion from coast to coast to coast. Thank you for all the really interesting questions. You kept us on our toes and <laugh>, you kept David very busy for the full session.

[Sarah Plouffe and David Cory appear in video chat panels]

Sarah Plouffe: So, I would like to extend my deepest thank you to you, David Cory, for joining us today in helping to fuel this important dialogue for us in the federal public service right now, as we undergo deep rooted culture change.

[Sarah Plouffe appears full-screen]

Sarah Plouffe: And I do hope that everyone has enjoyed today's event half as much as I did. <Laugh> I love talking about this topic, it is so fascinating. And the more you know, think you need to know, and the less you think that you actually know and more to learn. So, to continue on your learning journey, guys, please visit the Canada School of Public Service website.

We have all sorts of additional trainings available, like Coaching for Effective Leadership, and an online course entitled Leading a Peer Coaching Conversation, as well as Rethinking Leadership in the Government of Canada podcast series, where we have new episodes all the time. So your feedback, as always, is super key and is super important to us. I encourage all of you to complete the electronic evaluation that will be sent your way in the coming hours or days. It only takes two minutes, but it helps us design the content that you actually need to do your job well, and to be happy every day, and effective, right? Useful, and effective as we learned today. So once again, thank you, David. Thank you to all of our participants and listeners today, and have a wonderful rest of your day.

David Cory: Thank you everyone. Thanks Canada School team, you guys were awesome!

[The video chat transitions to  the CSPS logo.]

[The Government of Canada logo appears and fades to black.]

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