Praise for Amy's Book
Emotional Intelligence belongs on everyone’s bookshelf.
Taking the time to read this book is bound to set you on an emotional
intelligence rollercoaster learning curve — one that will serve you well
if you value the time you spend with family, friends and your work
Professor Gary Martin-
CEO AIM Perth
The only word that comes to mind after a session with Amy is mind-blowing. Peeling back why you do what you do, then piecing it all back together is unnerving and equally settling at the same time.
Marija Muccilli -
Employee Relations Manager Seven West Media
The subtitle ‘a simple and actionable guide’ is precisely what it is and
the way she has laid it out through the use of plain speak and storytelling
to reinforce her easy-to-follow steps ensures it is not daunting at all.
If you have been waiting for a reason to
start, this is it.
Geoff Stewart - District Superintendent WAPOL
Read Excerpts of Amy's Book Here
I hear a lot of people refer to empathy as ‘putting yourself in their shoes’.
This is fraught with danger. When we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, judgement comes with it. We might not agree with how they are reacting, or we might be thinking, ‘I’d never do that’. This judgement makes it hard for us to understand the situation and, most importantly,the other person’s emotional reaction.
To display empathy, or be empathetic, we don’t need to know what has happened. All we need to do is recognise the emotion and the severity of the emotion the person is feeling. What caused that emotion is irrelevant.
There are three steps to empathy: recognise, recall and respond. If we were to walk into a room and be confronted by someone who is
extremely angry, we wouldn’t need to know what made them angry to show empathy. Recognising the emotion — extreme anger — is the
first step. The second step is to recall the last time we were extremely angry. It doesn’t matter what the situation was or what caused our anger. The last time you felt extremely angry, what would have been the worst thing somebody could have said or done to you and what was the best thing they could have said or done?
When we are confronted with an extremely angry person, our natural response is to try to defuse the situation. The first thing that may come to
mind is to say, ‘Calm down’ or ‘It’s not that big of a deal’. We may even try to resolve the problem straight away by telling them how easy it is
to fix. Providing a ‘quick-fix’ solution can cause frustration and make us feel like we are being shut down and overreacting. By recalling the last time we were extremely angry, we may realise that
the worst thing someone could have said to us is, ‘Calm down’ — that would be downplaying the situation and our emotions.
My son, Koen, asked what was for dinner a while back. I told him we were having quiche.
He turned up his nose and said: ‘Really? I don’t like quiche. Can’t we have something different?’ I responded (tongue in cheek) with, ‘Hmmm, what about bacon and egg pie?’ ‘Yum, yes please, Mum!’
A simple change of communication language and the outcome was completely different. I didn’t lie to him as my version of quiche is bacon and egg pie. It’s not like I changed the name or the recipe or served
him something completely different. What I did was adapt to his language and communication. He didn’t know what quiche was and his subconscious mind had helped him to decide that he didn’t like the sound of this unknown food. He was familiar with bacon and egg and could align dinner to his memory — which is stored in the subconscious
mind — which told him how much he likes those two foods.
I could have said, ‘Tough luck, that’s what’s for dinner!’ I could have sat down at the table with him and made him eat every mouthful of the food that his mind had pre-decided he definitely didn’t like.
Instead, we had an enjoyable dinner and he inhaled his food, loving it. He was smart enough to ask me after dinner whether they are the same thing and I told him they sure are. It was a good lesson for him
on not judging something based simply on a name or on his lack of knowledge or experience.
Like many elements of EI, at times we put our pride aside to see something from the other person’s point of view as well as our own. It becomes about getting the desired outcome. I didn’t cook a different
meal. I didn’t make any change to what I was doing other than change my language, which completely changed the experience and the outcome. I didn’t have to convince or battle with him to eat it and he enjoyed eating it. Dinner was a whole lot easier and
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