In my Banish Burnout presentations and webinars, we talk a bit about emotional intelligence and how important it is at work.

Now, more than ever, managers need to be even more emotionally intelligent than they already were. Some people are not even aware of how much the Covid-19 isolation is affecting them. I, myself thought that I was A-OK at first, but after awhile I realized that though I have my family around me, I was missing all the other people I come into contact with every week. Yes, we can connect on Zoom, but there is a missing spark that cannot replace direct human contact with friends.

So I began to think about how pertinent a discussion of emotional intelligence (EQ) would be right now.

The essence of the Banish Burnout program is to take the time to understand yourself, where your behavior patterns come from and then to change the parts that need changing. That is the first part of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, according to Harvard Business Review’s On Emotional Intelligence.

Many of us had parents that did not know how to feel or how to handle their children’s feelings. In Permission to Feel, Dr. Marc Brackett talks about the fact that his parents were not capable of taking care of or nurturing his feelings. They could barely deal with their own feelings, so how would they know how to take care of his? Parents of earlier generations were so focused on surviving that no one in any workplace ever cared or talked about how anyone felt. You went to work. You collected a paycheck. You came home. That was it.

Today things are so different. It is incumbent upon managers to understand not only their own feelings, but those of their team. They need to know when someone is off, or just not themselves. They need to take the time to really understand what makes their team tick, so they can be at their best, solving the challenges of the day.

In Banish Burnout (the book) and the supporting workbook, The Banish Burnout Toolkit (coming soon to Amazon), that is the first step…understanding how we feel in reaction to different events or stressors that come up during the day. Once we can acknowledge how we feel, then we can look at our reactions. We can even take it a step further and discover exactly where our behavior patterns come from. Many people think their behavior patterns are “just the way they are.” But in reality those patterns came from somewhere in our childhood.

Once we identify our patterns and try to uncover their source, then, and only then, can we put a reality spin on our reactions and change the way we think, feel, and behave.

This is the crux of emotional intelligence, self-awareness. I will write about the other parts of emotional intelligence in a future blog post.

If you would like more information about emotional intelligence or the “Banish Burnout: Move from Stress to Success” program or the accompanying “Banish Burnout Toolkit Workbook,” get in touch at or connect with me on Linkedin.