Escape the Performance Trap with Emotional Intelligence

Grant Herbert Emotional Intelligence Master Coach and Trainer

Grant Herbert, our founder, and Global Managing Partner at People Builders hosting the Emotional Intelligence Online Summit for 2020, sponsored by our Emotional Intelligence Academy.

00:00 - Emotional Intelligence Summit Opening

02:05 - Welcome by Grant Herbert

12:48 - The Performance Trap and Emotional Intelligence

14:20 - The Birth Place of My Performance Trap Journey

19:38 - Where to Start to Escape The Performance Trap by using Emotional Intelligence




Welcome to the emotional intelligence online summit. Grant Herbert is a real talent when it comes to the understanding and the application of emotional intelligence, he was named emotional intelligence speaker and trainer of the year. He has a host of other awards. He has his own podcast show; “The People Builder”. He's able to help us all navigate this pandemic more effectively with his expertise in emotional intelligence, positive psychology, and applied neuroscience. His practical experience and his passion for people's wholeness, wellness, and formation, actually allows us to really lean in, and look forward to him being the opening speaker of this conference. He's a multi-award-winning leader, an entertaining and engaging communicator, and I'm sure you will look forward to Grant Herbert's presentation right now.

Hi everyone, welcome to the emotional intelligence online summit for 2020. Thank you so much, Rohan. I really appreciate those kind words and now I will hopefully live up to them. I need people to understand from the word go, I am an emotional intelligence subject matter expert, and I'm a work in progress in its implementation, just like you. Before I get into my session, I want to tell you who I am and why I created this summit.

So, for those of you who don't know me, my name is Grant Herbert, as the Emotional Intelligence Speaker and Trainer of the Year, I get the privilege of traveling around the world and speaking to people just like you, putting on these sorts of summits all over the world. Now, unfortunately, this year we couldn't do that and I had a lot of changes that I had to do just like everybody else. And I had things going on and I sort of stepped back a little bit and you know what, I decided I'm probably not going to do it this year. Yes, I am a subject matter expert in emotional intelligence, as I said, I'm a human. No one is perfect right, and I was having a bit of a bad day about it. So, I was just thinking about it. It was just sitting on my heart and I said, you know what Grant, put your big boy pants on and make it happen. And within a few days, I had got together 13 amazing speakers who were willing to give up their time, to come and speak to you, and to run our summit as an online summit.

So last year we had it at a venue, this year we're doing it online. Let me tell you sometimes out of adversity, comes the seed of a greater opportunity as we've all heard before, because we have people on this summit registered from every continent, from all around the world. If I had to put the summit on, in the live venues that we did last year, that wouldn't have happened because I can't be everywhere. So, therefore, I only ran it in certain places around the world. So, I'm really, really excited about that.

So that's why I created this summit because right now we could all do with a little bit more emotional intelligence, a little bit more positive psychology in our life, a little bit more of an understanding of what's going on in our brain, and our body. And that's why we're talking about those three topics at this summit over the next two days.

And you know, we're going to talk about emotional intelligence, and you know, how we can use that to feel and navigate this time in our life right now. Now here's the thing we're going to do our best, not to mention the C-word, and the C-word is COVID-19 right. It gets way too much airplay because what we're going to be doing over the next couple of days is not just about now, this is it. That going beyond COVID-19 and this is my hashtag. I've been using it all year beyond COVID 19, by the way, if you do want to let people know where you are and, and tell them about this on your social media, just use the hashtag AI summit when he 20, and that will keep us all together.

This is about giving you practical skills that we needed before, during, and beyond this pandemic. to me, but you are right. Now, I want you to hear me in this. I want you to know my heart. I want you to know more about me before we get into, you know, the how-to, and the stuff that I'm going to give you. And I am definitely going to give you some practical things that you can apply in your life right now. And just with me and every other speaker.

Here's what I want you to do. When we're telling you a story to illustrate a point. It's not about our story. It's about putting yourself in the story. What is your story? How does this story of mine contextually relate to you? That's the first thing. The second thing is for you to set yourself a goal to get one thing out of each of the speakers that will help you in your life right now.

This isn't about just giving you a heap of information. This is about giving you practical strategies that you can use in your life.

So, I want to start off by being really vulnerable.

When I was 15 years of age, I found out something that had happened when I was six months old that changed my life for many, many years. You see, I found out that my mum had put me on a doorstep and left me there. And she went home. And when I found that out at 15 years of age, I had a pity party for the next 25 years.

You see, it's not what happens to us in life that matters. It's what we make it mean.

Now I made it mean that if a mother took her child, that's six months old, and abandoned them on a doorstep, surely, she didn't love me. And with that thought being nursed and rehearsed over a period of time as I continually let that inner dialogue rule my life, I changed that to, therefore ‘you are unlovable’. And let me tell you, that became a self-fulfilling prophecy in my life for those 25 years and a little bit more.

Now my dad came home from work and said, where's the baby and mum told him what she had done. So, dad goes down there to see if he can get me back, and guess what, I'm still on the doorstep. Not only did my mother not want me, but the people also where she left me didn't want me either. And I let that story tell me stuff about myself, which led to me having some beliefs about myself, which would hold me back from being who I was born to be for many, many years.

So, let me tell you the rest of the story. The bit that I left out. You see, my mum was not well when she had me back 58 years ago. I was born premature and had some developmental issues and difficulties and on top of all that, my mum was going through what we now know is called postnatal depression. Back then it was, “Hey, here's your baby. Good luck. See ya.” We didn't know about that depression thing.

So, here's this real story. My mum didn't feel in her then mental state that she was able to give me the life that she wanted me to have. You see it wasn't that my mum ‘didn't’ love me. My mum ‘loved me so much’ that she was willing to give me up so that I could have the life that she didn't think that she could give me.

Now, when I was 15, I heard both sides of the story, but why was it that I grabbed onto the negative story. She didn't love me therefore, I'm not lovable, and not go to the real story or to the one that was the whole truth. Why did I form that false belief based on the negative evidence that I chose to believe? I'll tell you why. It's because when I was 15, at that point of my life, I didn't feel worthy anyway. I didn't feel like I belonged anywhere. I didn't feel like I was good enough. I didn't feel like anyone could love me because I surely didn't love myself. And that became my belief structure going forward.

Remember, it's not what happens in life, it's what you make it mean.

So, what is it that's going on for you right now? What is it that you are believing about yourself, which is not true? What is it that you're believing about your past circumstances and your ability to navigate them that is not true?

For many years that had an effect on my career, on my relationships and it certainly had an effect on my confidence in my ability to be who I needed to be in every area of my life. I went through a military career and a corporate career holding on to this belief about myself. Now, out of that, I now know that it led me into what I call “The Performance Trap™”.

I was constantly seeking to not get rejected and here's the thing, whatever we're seeking not to do something, if we're focusing on the rejected, our brain does not hear the ‘not’ part, so we behave in a way that will give us what it is that we're focusing on. So, in not being rejected, I was becoming someone who was pushing people away but wasn't really working the way that I wanted it to. And because of this, for many years, I suffered from stress from anxiety, and I was just not enjoying life. Putting on this mask to everybody else that said, “Hey, I'm doing fantastic. Look at me. I am an achiever. I work hard and I've got all these skills.” And everything that I did, I did it to prove myself worthy to other people.

Nowadays, in the work that I get to do all around the world, as a social and emotional intelligence coach and mentor, this is a common thread that I'm coming across and it could be common for you right now. So, I want to give you an encouragement. My whole purpose for telling you that story is not so that you can feel sorry for me or feel bad for me. It's to enlighten you about where you might be believing things about yourself that are not serving you as well. What is creating your stress and conflict, that internal conflict with who you really are? I need you to understand that I stand before you as someone who has had four physical and one mental breakdowns in their life. 

Now you could be thinking, why should we listen to this guy and to what is he going to teach us? But you see, the best gift that I can give you, and that I give all my clients, is my experiential journey of what I did, what I learned, what I've changed, what I'm doing differently now because I've learned this stuff.

I can remember a number of years ago when I traveled into the city. I live about 50 kilometers from the city, so I usually travel into the city on the train. I got off the train and went up to the 27th floor of a building in Pitt Street, Sydney, and into this beautiful boardroom. And, like countless other days, I was doing what I love to do most.

I was training a group of executives around emotional intelligence, with a smile on my face, doing my thing and being very animated and embracing my passion like I'm doing with you right now. And then, all of a sudden, a feeling of dread came over me and it felt like, even though the sun was shining through the window, that a black cloud had just descended upon me. And I didn't know what was going on, but instead of exercising self-care and going, I need to have a break here and see what's going, I just kept smiling and giving my best. And I just kept thinking about everybody else in the room, rather than myself. You see, I did that because I cared way too much about what other people thought of me and I didn’t want them to reject me.

You know, Eleanor Roosevelt said it so well, “what other people think of you is none of your business”. And in fact, she went on to say that “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. And I was certainly allowing other people to make me feel the way that I was feeling. I was ‘choosing’ to feel that way.

So, I kept that smile on my face. I finished and back then we were still allowed to shake hands with people, so I thanked them and they walked me to the elevator. I got in the elevator. And then, as that elevator door closed, I went, why, what is happening? Am I having a heart attack here? Am I going to make it home today? And it was at that point, I decided that things had to change and even though I still had several other meetings to go to that day, I just forgot about them and got back on the train and went home.

You see, I realised that even though I'd worked on these areas and I was already an ‘expert’ working around the world in emotional intelligence, this stuff was still going on. I made a decision that day that if I was going to be able to continue to do what I was called to do, I needed to make some changes in my life. And I've done that. Looking at this current situation where things have totally changed in my life.

I used to be out of the country every month but now I haven't been anywhere since March 1st when I flew back into Sydney. I look at that as a positive thing now, because I have been able to spend way more time at home with my family, and with myself. I now have a commute every morning that takes me about 14 seconds to go from my kitchen into my studio to do online speaking and training.

So, I made a decision to change ‘my’ life, but right now, what is it that you could change in your life so that you started exercising more self-care?

Let me tell you a little bit about finding emotional intelligence.

Like most people, I had heard of Daniel Goleman's book, “Emotional Intelligence”, but I hadn't read it or done any learning on the subject at all. By the way, once I did, I certainly found out that I didn't have any and I hadn't developed those skills. I really wish now that people had invested in me in my corporate career, in my military career with the subject.

You see, what happens a lot is we take technical skills and we get people's abilities in those areas where they need to be but we don't worry about these warm and fuzzy, soft skills that they call them. We all know that these are the ones that create all the real problems.

So, I remember when I got out of the corporate world, I decided that I would start my company, People Builders. I love the name because that's what I do. I love to build people up and help them to bring out their personal best. When I started, it was just me, and I went and got some extra training.

Even though I'd been coaching, training, and leading people for many years in the roles that I had in defence and corporate, I wanted to formalise that. And, you know, even in that, I was thinking “no one's going to listen to me if I don't have a qualification” and all those sorts of things. So, the Performance Trap™ was still running.

But despite that, what I did was got involved in this whole world of developing leaders and I was going along, and things were going really great. And as I was helping people to change their lives, feeling fulfilled and needed, I came across this thing called emotional intelligence. In fact, I came across, what's called social and emotional intelligence, and I thought, wow, this sounds interesting. I did a lot of research and I wanted to get trained and certified in this so that I can help others with it as well as help myself.

I came across this amazing lady who you're going to get to meet after me this morning. Just so thrilled to be able to share Dr. Laura Belsten with you at this summit. She is my mentor and my emotional intelligence guru. She's the one that I look to as being the person who started my journey in what it is that I'm doing now.

Becoming certified in social and emotional intelligence helped me to change my life and add greater value to the training and coaching that I do. I now run an international certification program, and when I take people through it, I always encourage them to get more out of it by giving themselves the gift of learning these emotional intelligence competencies before they even look at others.

And it’s gone from then, about eight years ago now I think it was, to where I have now been named the emotional intelligence speaker and trainer the year, I've physically been running emotional intelligence programs in about 25 countries and many more countries online. It's been an amazing journey to the place where now I get to, train, coach, mentor and certify other coaches, trainers, and human resources professionals all around the world doing the same thing. It's been a really amazing journey so far. And as you can see, Emotional Intelligence is my passion because it was my key to overcoming the Performance Trap™, where we perform to get approval from others. Okay, I'm performing right now, but I'm not performing to get your approval. I'm performing to serve you. My focus is on you and there's the difference right there.

But, when some people perform to get the approval of others, you don't always get it. And when we don't get it, even if we've done the best job that we can do, it erodes your true identity.

You see, my performance is what I do. My identity is who I believe I am.

My mother left me on a doorstep. Therefore, I am unlovable. My mother didn't love me; therefore, I am not worthy to be loved. When we perform to get the approval, that's the problem.

So, here's what we do to break free of the Performance Trap™. We develop our emotional intelligence, particularly the competency that I do the most work in that is called Personal Power. It helps you to build your own identity and get rid of those negative, false, and limiting beliefs of who you think you are based on your previous experiences and what people have spoken into your life that you've made true for yourself.

You take back control and say “That's not who I am. I'm going to define who I am”. Here is the key right now, get ready for this. When you build up your own identity, instead of performing to ‘get’ approval, you get to a position of self-approval where you're okay with who you are. Yes, you're still teachable and you know those things you're still working on, but you look in the mirror and I'm not just talking about physically, but in every area of your life and you say, “you know what I'm happy with you”.

That is what emotional intelligence can do for you.

It can get you that position of self-approval and Personal Power. And then instead of performing to get the approval of others, what you can do is get to that position of self-approval and then perform out of that. Let me tell you, it might sound like semantics in terms of the words but it's a totally different way to live. Right now, I'm up here doing this for you, and I'm not concerned about anyone but you. I'm not concerned about what you're thinking about me or whether you like me, I'm only concerned about getting this message across to you and helping you to change your life. So, what is this thing called Emotional Intelligence, indeed Social and Emotional Intelligence? So glad you asked. Let me explain.

Social and Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of your own emotions, and what might be going on in the emotions of others, in the moment. It’s then about using that information to manage yourself and manage your relationships. So, if we then look at just the Emotional Intelligence side of that, it's about becoming self-aware around what's going on for you emotionally, in the moment.

So, here's the thing. The first thing we want to do to manage our emotions, by the way, emotions are good. We don't want to suppress them. We don't want to ignore them. We want to experience them in a healthy way. Emotions are there for a reason. They're cues and clues to tell us what's going on internally so that we can then change direction, change our thinking, and do what we need to do to get a favourable response.

So, if anyone ever told you to leave your emotions at the door, or don't bring your emotions to work, it's impossible because we are all emotional beings. Emotional Intelligence allows us to take what we're learning from each emotion we are experiencing and use that knowledge to navigate with a response that is measured and logical, rather than a negative reaction. There is a five-step process that we teach when we are helping people with their behavioral self-control, which is one of the 26 competencies of social and emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence has changed my life and the lives of many people around the world. We need to get this message out to as many people as we can right now so, please share this with your friends and colleagues. Contact me today to find out about our Emotional Intelligence Online Programs that we offer at the Emotional Intelligence Academy of People Builders.  

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