Negotiation, especially in corporate, is almost never easy to do. Even if you really want or need something, it still remains a risky process that can get tense. With that, it’s normal to experience the emotions flooding in when you’re about to negotiate in corporate. In this episode, Joie Seldon shares how she created a system that helps her access her emotional wisdom when negotiating in corporate and expounds how to use “Emotional Anchors” to help you stay grounded and realize your way of negotiating that fits your personality and style! Tune in now and discover the science-backed emotional intelligence techniques that will change your life forever.
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Emotional Wisdom: How To Become The Queen Of Your Domain When Negotiating With Joie Seldon
How to Negotiate In the Corporate World Podcast Series – Episode 2 Of 8
I am thrilled to bring you a series on negotiating called How to Negotiate in the Corporate World. This is a series of episodes that are dedicated to negotiating for your job and career. I have a variety of incredible women that are going to help me talk about negotiating in the corporate world.
In this episode, we’re talking to Joie Seldon. She is going to help us understand the emotions behind the negotiation process. Specifically, we’re going to talk about how to regulate your emotions during conversations, and regulating your emotions as a tool for success. We’re going to talk about how to use your emotions as a way of communication. We’re also going to talk about some tools that she has on how to do that. She walks us through at least a couple of tools where you can calm your body and what to do to ground yourself. Ultimately, we are going to gather some powerful phrases you can use in your conversations with your manager.
Let me tell you a little bit about Joie. Emotional intelligence master trainer and author of Emotions: An Owner’s Manual, Joie Seldon has taught thousands of professionals how to advance their careers, manage family dramas and fulfill ambitions. Her ability to break down the complex world of emotions into easy-to-understand and actionable concepts and tools brings life-changing results.
A former acting and improv teacher, Joie offers a highly accessible and fun approach to harnessing one of the most underutilized and powerful resources we have which is our emotions. Stay tuned to this magnificent episode because Joie gives us actionable tools that we can use to harness our emotions in order for us to be powerful, confident and successful when we go and have conversations with individuals about our careers.
Joie, thank you so much for being on the show. I am excited because this is one of the episodes where we’re going to be talking about negotiating for women in the corporate world. I will start by talking about how to regulate our emotions when it comes to negotiating. I’m thinking specifically about how you ask for a job and how you ask for a salary. This conversation is so important. I want to get to the bottom of how we use our emotions and what words we can use. I’ll pause there and turn it over to you. Tell me a little bit about how we use emotions in negotiation.
Thank you, Rosie. I love being here on this particular topic. I also love the focus of your show because it’s the time of women and for women to be stepping up. I know in my own journey, I have been held back a lot of times. I wish I had known back in the day what I know now. No matter what the situation is, whether it’s something that’s very difficult or exciting and positive, we get nervous and anxious. We all have our own baggage. We have our history and insecurities. Even the most powerful and amazing people, when you get down and have a private conversation, you’ll find out that we all get nervous about certain situations.
Having agency over your emotions, you can’t stop yourself from feeling a specific emotion. They’re going to come, but where we have the power is in being conscious and self-aware. Self-awareness is the foundation. It’s the very first stage of emotional intelligence. The more present you are with those emotions, the more choice you have about how you can utilize them to negotiate, how you’re going to speak to somebody, and how you are going to receive what it is that they’re saying. The first thing to do is to be grounded, be present with yourself, and acknowledge whatever it is that’s going on before you go into the meeting.
When you say grounded, let’s define grounding a little bit because we’re talking about individuals in the corporate world. There’s a ton of self-development out there, but not everybody is aware of what self-development does. Grounding is one thing. Talk to me a little bit about what you mean by being grounded.
As humans, we are very heady. We get caught up in our thinking and our mind. When you’re all up here, all your energy is coming up here. Emotions are energy in motion. Each primary emotion brings you a very specific message, and it communicates through the body. When I talk about grounding, I’m talking about bringing energy that normally focuses up around our head, neck and shoulders, which is why we get tight necks and shoulders. It’s to bring that energy down into the whole body.
You bring it specifically down into your lower body, legs and feet. When you do that, your whole body will relax more. When you’re more relaxed, your brain is thinking on a whole other level. Your creativity and your access to your own intelligence and information are much more accessible when you’re not tense. You don’t have all that energy that’s focused up here wondering, “How am I doing? What are they thinking? What are they saying?” When we bring it down into the groundedness, we’re connected to this gravity and the Earth. It’s a little esoteric to some people, but the energy flows fully in our bodies. It allows us to be more present and in a state of flexibility, which is extremely beneficial in a negotiating situation.
I know people talk about breathing. Is breathing one way that you can start grounding yourself?
It’s one way, and it’s not just breathing. It’s breathing down into the lower part of your belly. When you do that, you move the diaphragm, which is connected to the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body and is a very important aspect of emotion regulation. It has to do with the autonomic nervous system.
I can get into the science if you want because there’s a lot of neuroscience and biological science that people don’t realize are part of our emotion regulation. It’s deep breathing but slow breathing, and I advise breathing in and out through the nose because that’s when you are stimulating the vagus nerve. Breathing through your nose, breathing down into the lower belly, and exhaling slower than you inhale are all aspects of breathing that can help to calm your nervous system and make you more present.
If I am a woman in the corporate world and my intention is to go talk to my manager about being promoted, as an example, you’re saying that my process starts way before I even get into the office with my manager.
Absolutely. First of all, you need to know what your clear intention is. What is it that you want out of the meeting? We can say, “I want a raise. I want a promotion.” To sit and think about what that means to you. Why do you want that? What is it that you believe you can have it? Maybe look at what you believe or think that you can’t have it because we have unconscious thoughts going on all the time. That’s part of what gets in our way. When we get nervous and when we get in there, we think, “I know I want a raise,” but there’s a lot that goes on behind that.
I highly recommend spending some time writing it out, talking it out with someone, or recording it on your phone, a voice memo or whatever, to get clear about what your intention is. Notice what happens in your body when you think about it. Imagine walking into the room or into that meeting with your manager. Notice what happens. Do you get nervous thinking about it? You can then know how to deal with that, and I can provide some tools for that.
One of the things that I’ve seen more lately is you get to go in there and articulate your worth with massive confidence and conviction, which is what you’re saying. The process starts with you identifying what you want. It’s preferable for you to write it out. As you said, if you don’t want to write it out, record it. What do you think are some feelings that people started to feel when they start thinking about this? I want this to be a little bit more concrete and actionable. If I start feeling nervous or anxious, how do I manage that?
Nervousness is fear primarily. There may be some other feelings. You might be having some anger about the situation you’ve been in. You might have some grief or sadness about what you haven’t gotten so far. These are the subtle aspects of emotions that come in. If you tune into your body, that’s when you can tell what emotion is going on.
Primarily nervousness is about fear. Fear’s message is to pay attention because something is happening. If your life is directly threatened, we have fight or flight, fear and anger that’s there to help us survive. Some people get so nervous going into a negotiation. It’s almost as if their life is being threatened. You have to remind yourself, “I’m not going to die from this interaction.”
Recognize that it’s normal to be nervous and that it is fear. Fear’s message is to pay attention. It’s not only paying attention to myself but we tend to rush into our world. What are you picking up from that other person? Do they seem open to you? Do they seem closed or guarded? That can influence how you speak to them so that you come in with an attitude that we’re equal.
Oftentimes, you might think that the person you’re negotiating with has more power than you. They’re of higher status. They are your manager, your boss or what have you. When you can be present in your body and recognize that this fluttering in your heart or churning in your stomach is the emotion of fear, that’s where I can give you several tools that have to do with how you calm the body so that you are now in charge of your emotion, rather than your emotion being in charge of you.
Why don’t we talk about that? I think it’s really important. If I’m walking towards my manager’s office and I start feeling that, you forget all this stuff. When we talked about this, you were prepared. You come with a list of your accomplishments, projects, and all that stuff. If your brain is so busy thinking about the nervousness, anxiety and fear, you could forget all that stuff. Let’s talk about 1 or 2 tools that can help you there.
You can do this if it’s an in-person meeting. You can slip into the bathroom or anywhere else. As I said before, the energy comes up around here. Here is like, “I’m on alert. I’m looking for where the danger is.” To bring your energy down into your body, you can literally stand with your hands on your hips, the power woman’s stance. You do that but then circle your hips like a hula hoop. Move your hips around because what that will do is it will start pulling energy like a spiral down to the lower part of your body.
Especially for women because in society, we’re either cut off at the neck or waist energetically. We’re not supposed to be sexual beings. It doesn’t mean you’re going to go into the negotiation with that. It’s to embody your whole self. Even with your mind, the imagination is quite powerful to imagine that energy flowing down into your abdomen, lower belly, sexual organs, and then down into the ground.
That movement of your hips is called Moola Bunda. That’s one tool. The other is one of the favorites of my clients and students. It’s called the Three Balls Technique. The first thing you do is put your attention on the balls of your feet. There’s a saying in martial arts, “Yi Dao, Qi Dao,” where your attention goes, so goes your energy. You’re putting your attention on the balls of your feet, and then you bring your attention to your ovaries. If you were a man, I would say testicles.
I say this because it’s very specific. It’s not just over the abdomen but it’s very specific. It’s feeding energy into your power center. Your attention is on the balls of your feet and on your ovaries. Notice what’s happening as you put that attention there. The third place is your eyeballs. It’s not your whole eye even, just your eyeballs. Notice how you feel having your focus in these three places. How do you feel? What do you notice?
I feel more energetic.
It’s energy flowing. Fear and excitement are on the same continuum. It’s that only fear is contracting, and excitement is outward moving. If you can shift your fear into excitement, then you’re feeding or fueling energy into your purpose and intention. What I get from a lot of people is they notice relaxation, especially if they have conjured up beforehand or whatever it is that makes them anxious or nervous. They feel more grounded is what I often hear from people and more relaxed, but there’s also this flow of energy.
I absolutely love it, especially the hula hoop. I was doing that while I was sitting here, and I could even feel my brain calm down a little bit. It takes away those thoughts, “What am I going to say? What am I going to do?” I’m a speaker, and I know you are too, and one of the things that I do now is I don’t try to rehearse or focus on my speech right before I do the speech because then I just get myself more nervous and things like that. I put it away and pretty much surrender. It sounds like that’s the same thing that you’re suggesting right now.
If you’ve done your homework and prepared, you’ve got all that. This is where learning to trust ourselves is so important for women, especially. You have all of that when you calm the body. When you’re tense, there’s this alert going out from the amygdala. It’s like, “Something is happening. There might be some danger here.” The prefrontal cortex, which is your rational mind, where you have access to all your creativity and ideas, gets cut off. It’s a one-way street going out. When you calm the body, it sends a message to your brain that says, “You’re safe,” then this works both ways. You’ve got your material. Take notes if you need to. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that will help you tremendously. It will also help you come across as more confident.
Let’s progress through the scenario that I posted. You know that you have this meeting with your manager. You go to the restroom. Thank goodness we have doors, you could do your hula hoop. You feel finally prepared. You walk into your manager’s office, you sit down, and it starts coming up or bubbling up again. What do you do right then and there?
Feel your feet on the ground. The three balls technique is great because no one knows what you’re doing. If you’ve got notes, you can put three little circles as a reminder. I tell people, “Put a Post-It on your computer screen to remind you to relax if you’re in a Zoom meeting and you’re getting nervous.” The more relaxed you are, the more flow is going to happen, and the more you can pay attention and respond to what they’re saying, rather than just come in with your stuff and not have it be a conversation.
What I’m hearing you say is to be present with the things that your manager is saying. As you said, you already know all the material. You should have already prepared with all of your projects, results and all that stuff. That should be the homework, to begin with, before you even think about talking to your manager. It’s so important to be present and listen to the person you’re talking to, and to receive whatever they’re saying. If it’s feedback, being able to apply it as well. This is one of the things that I want to create from these conversations on negotiating. What are some phrases that you think are powerful that go along with your emotions to exude that confidence in talking to your manager and starting to ask for let’s say a raise? What do you say to that?
When somebody says something to you and you are feeling nervous, part of the thing is we tend to get rushed when we’re nervous. If you say, “Let me make sure I understand exactly what you’re saying. I heard you say such-and-such and such-and-such.” You’re in charge of what’s happening with you. It buys you some time to take in what they’ve said.
If they say, “We’re not giving raises right now,” you say, “Let me understand. You’re not giving raises at all. Is there a deadline for this? Is there a time when you are? Why is it that you are not?” You can come up with different ideas. Start by saying back to them what they’ve said. If they ask you a question and you say, “Let me make sure I got the question right,” and you repeat it back to them, it buys you some time to allow you to come back into the state of equilibrium and create space for you to respond in an optimal way.
When you repeat that phrase, even if it’s 5 or 10 seconds, you give your brain to think about your next question. It’s giving your brain a little bit of a reprieve from trying to defend or prove it is a better question or a better phrase.
You can also say, “I heard what you just said, but help me understand.” That’s where sometimes you can get into something that’s going on in the back of their mind that they haven’t articulated or maybe they’re not thinking that needs to be said. It’s like, “I hear what you said that you’re not giving raises right now, but help me understand.”
That’s a powerful phrase right there because it’s important for us to understand what the reasons are. Here’s another little bit of a tangent to the same question. What if they say, “You’re not ready yet?”
“Help me understand why. Why is it that you think I’m not ready because I want to be ready?” When you’re more grounded, you can ask more direct questions like that.
That will happen too, especially if you are newer in your career and you’re trying to get that promotion or the raise. You might not be ready. One of the things that I recommend is when you walk into these meetings, you need to be open to receiving that feedback. If they’re telling you that you’re not ready, then what you said is perfect, “Help me understand why.” This is when you still have to stay open and present so that you can hear what they say.
You’re not being defensive. I do speed coaching for a Silicon Valley company. These are one-off sessions they offer employees. I’ve worked with people in teams all around the world. It’s often the younger people that are ambitious. They want to be a manager and they want this. It’s like, “Take a breath sometimes.” If you’re going to go in, it is important for you not to come across as overly arrogant.
There may be things that you don’t know yet and you’re not ready for. It’s exactly what you’re saying. This is where in the negotiation you’re like, “Now I understand. Can we talk about a deadline, a goal, or a timeframe for when I can get to this place and then we can meet again?” You put an anchor out into the future, and it’s not left open-ended.
I know that you also talk about how emotions get in the way of communication. What did you say again? I want you to repeat that.
“Help me understand,” and then you get more about what they think that you need to do. “Can I get your help?” There are different ways to do it. One is, “Can we set a timeframe on this so that we can not leave this open-ended?” You can say that. Be real. “Can we maybe put a date to meet again and assess where I’m at? Perhaps you could help steer me to where I can earn or learn the skills I need that you think I need to make me ready for this?”
Back to emotions getting in the way of communication. What if I am upset and almost mad that they’re telling me I’m not ready? What you said is great, but how do you deal with these emotions? Do you go back to the three circles, or what do you do?
This is where it’s nuanced and where you have to be present in the room, and who that relationship is. You will know something about the person, generally, that you’re going to be negotiating with. If you know that this person is harsh and hard, they may not be safe for you to feel vulnerable in front of them. Sometimes it’s okay to say, “I hear what you’re saying. I have to let you know that I understand what you’re saying, but I feel a little upset right now.”
You don’t want to necessarily say, “I’m angry.” You say, “I’m a little upset right now. I feel frustrated.” The word frustration often has an aspect of anger in it, but it is a milder word. You can say, “I feel frustrated.” My experience is if you talk to somebody in a way that says, “You are making me angry right now,” they’re just going to get defensive.
When you said, “I felt a little anger come up,” you kept your voice somewhat neutral. This is where people don’t understand that just because you’re angry doesn’t mean you’re going to be aggressive or confrontational. You can be angry and let that energy run through you, and be calm in your voice or demeanor.
It’s calming your body even if you’re feeling those emotions. I like the fact that you said we’re human. You can still be vulnerable even if your manager is a hard ass. You don’t have to apologize for your emotions, but you can say, “I’m feeling a little frustrated right now.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but when you are vulnerable, that brings their defensiveness down because they’re defending their position too. They’re defending the company whether there are raises or not or whatever.
It does. Vulnerability can be a real power if anybody here read Brenè Brown. Although it’s easy to read about but harder to do in the moment, and yet I’ve seen it. I had a client who had a boss. She worked directly for the CEO. It was a small-ish company, but it was the first time he had had somebody working directly under him. She didn’t like the way he talked to her. She was very nervous about it.
She was angry, and then she realized she got some fear as well. I taught her the tools. We processed through her fear. She learned the technique. She went in and made an appointment with him. She’s like, “There’s something I want to talk to you about.” In a negotiation or a meeting, one of the things she said is, “Is it okay for me to be honest with you? Is it okay for me to be truthful with you?” You’re asking permission so it shows respect. You’re not crossing a boundary, and it makes people more open and willing. If they say yes, then you’re honest. If they start to get defensive, you can say, “You said I could be honest.”
She said that. She told him that she didn’t like the way he talked to her. It felt judgmental and harsh. He actually heard her. He shifted the way he interacted with her. When that was out of the way, she realized that there were other aspects of her roles at work. She had too many different things to do. She is constantly moving from this to that.
She wasn’t able to do what she thought she was hired to do. She had another conversation. He ended up hiring her an assistant to take over some of her duties. He asked her what title she would like, and gave her a raise. All that came from starting with getting present with what was going on emotionally, and then learning how to be calm even when the nerves were happening that meeting and communicating clearly.
In addition to that, she was clear with herself on what she wanted. Also, she was clear with him, and it worked.
She came to me initially because she was looking for a different job. She was going to quit and go somewhere else. She wanted help with her presentation skills and how she would present herself. She ended up completely transforming her experience in the company she was in.
That is all directly related to how you are able to ground yourself and feel those feelings. Would you say the right word are manage or cope? What is the word?
I used to use the word manage all the time because it’s not control. You can’t control emotions, but it’s about being in dominion. It’s having dominion.
Tell me a little bit more about that.
You’re the queen of your domain and your emotions are your subjects. If you are in your ivory tower and you’re not paying any attention to your emotions, after a while, they’re going to run amok. They’re going to go wild out there, stuff is going to happen, and you’re going to go, “What?” You are the dictator controlling like, “You can’t do that. You have to do this.” You’re trying to suppress your emotions. They’re then going to rebel.
It’s having a relationship or open house and saying, “Come, emotion. Tell me what’s going on with you.” In that emotion, fear is about paying attention. Anger is about setting boundaries. Grief or sadness is about loss. Joy is about connection. Each of our primary emotions has a core message. When you can stay present with them, they’re bringing you very vital information with which you can make conscious choices.
This is so interesting because I attended a TEDx Naperville event here in Naperville, Illinois. One of the speakers was talking about fear, anxiety and depression, and befriending those emotions. As you were saying about you’re in an ivory tower and you’re like, “Fear, anxiety and depression, you’re bad. Go away,” and then they rebel. She was saying the same thing and it’s true.
If you’re trying to suppress them, they’re bringing you information. They’re trying to help you. It’s part of our nature as humans. We are hardwired for emotions. It’s how we connect to each other. Ironically, that’s the thing that we share the most purely. If you have anger and I have anger, we both know what that is about. We allow those languages, attitudes, and beliefs in society as a whole. That’s a negative emotion. Fear and anger are negative emotions. Joy and happiness are positive, but there’s a lot on the negative side. When you judge it and try to repress it, it’s going to hang around in your body. If you don’t come out with some verbal dysfunction, you’re going to come out with some back problems, ulcers, or some kind of physical ailment.
I want the audience to hear what Joie says. Your emotions are information. Your body is trying to tell you something about emotions. Joie, what would my body be trying to tell me if I’m afraid of asking for the raise?
There are two parts here. One is external and one is internal. External could be that you have a hard-ass boss. There’s always this projection of what can happen. We’re thinking, “I could get fired.” It’s the unknown. We have an innate fear of the unknown. There’s that projection on the outside. On the inside, we may be calling our attention to our history. For me, it’s whenever I went to my parents asking for something, I was told, “No, you can’t have it. Go ask your father. No, you can’t. Go ask your mother.” I got a lot of no when I was a kid. It was very hard for me to ask for something because I assumed I wouldn’t get it.
We have all of these experiences and they’re in our unconscious mind. We have 7,000 thoughts a day, and most of them are automatic. It’s being present with the emotion of, “Where is my fear coming from? Is it from the outside or am I just thinking what I am thinking? What is that thought?” You then have information and this is now, “I’m not going to die from this. The worst that can happen is they’re going to say no.”
Since you shared, I’m going to share with you. When I was growing up, my parents were both very supportive. They both believed in education a lot. When I would come home and I said, “Dad, I got an A on this test,” I’m thinking I’m going to get praise. He was like, “Why don’t you get an A+?” He was kidding a little bit. I’ve had conversations with him about this as an adult. In his mind, he was trying to push me to do even more and better. As a child, if I’m coming home with an A and you’re telling me that it’s not good enough because he wanted an A+, he thought he was helping. For me, I’m thinking, “I guess I’m not doing it good enough.”
My husband went through that exact same experience with his dad. These things happened to us not because our parents are trying to hurt us or harm us in any way. They’re doing the best they can but they’re misguided sometimes in the choices they make about that.
When I first told my dad I graduated from the University of Illinois and I said, “Dad, I got a job.” He was like, “Did you ask for a raise?” I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” It’s his way of pushing us. I will say I’m extremely motivated by that because it was always like, “Do more.” At the same time, I’m one of those people that can’t sit back, relax, and celebrate because my brain is like, “Do more.”
I was always careful. I still catch myself, and I know a lot about emotion regulation that I’m I heartily pounding. I have gotten a lot better over the years at speaking up and going for what I want.
With that, it’s a good time to tell me a little bit about how you got into this work. You have your book, which is called Emotions: An Owner’s Manual. I would love to know how did you become an expert in emotions?
I had an epiphany. I moved to LA to Hollywood when I was twenty with dreams of becoming a movie star. I wanted to be an actor because I felt freer on the stage than I did in real life. I always loved the arts. I had been a ballet dancer. After a few years, I got an agent. I did get some work, but I was broke and struggling all the time. I did everything from cleaning houses, just like odd jobs. At one point, I got so depressed. I was so down and I was standing there thinking I was hopeless. I don’t know what to do. I heard this voice in the back of my head that said, “You are not meant to be miserable.”
It was a splash of cold water on my face. It was like, “Nobody is meant to be miserable. Why am I?” Why is my whole family miserable?” They were all very unhappy families. I went on a quest. I wanted to know what the truth was about life. One thing I was always willing to do was to feel my emotions fully.
I remember even like, “I’m miserable, but at least I feel something. I’m not cut off.” That ability to feel and go for, “Let me understand myself as a person and why we are here on the planet.” I went through years of studying metaphysics. I got very involved in metaphysics. I read a million books.
I went into therapy a couple of times. The thread I felt through was that I would feel my emotions fully. I had several epiphanies of being willing to go into the depth of what felt like a very painful experience, like my shame. I would pop out on the other side and I would have an epiphany, a realization, and an understanding.
I quit acting, got back into acting, and started teaching acting. My life was so much better. I was happily married. I was doing the work I loved, and then I hear the same voice in the back of my head going, “Now what?” I went and had a consultation with someone. She said, “What do you do better than anybody else in the world?” I thought it was the most intimidating question I’d ever had. While I’m grappling with that, out of my mouth came, “I feel.” I said, “My name is Joie. I think I’m supposed to teach people how to feel.”
That was almost twenty years ago. It set me on a journey and then I started formalizing the knowledge that I had from my own experience and my learning. I went back to school. I went to grad school and got a Master’s in Somatic Counseling Psychology. I learned all about the body and brain. I integrated all of that and ultimately, I came up with this system of teaching. The core of that is in my book.
That is so beautiful. The fact that you said, “I feel,” is so beautiful because people are scared of their feelings. This cracks me up every time. Whenever you’re watching any kind of TV, movie or whatever and a parent is like, “I don’t want you to get hurt,” I always think that’s the dumbest thing that people can say. When you feel and you get hurt, that’s how you become a bigger and better person. That’s how you grow.
Everybody is like, “I don’t want you to get hurt.” I was like, “No, I want you to get hurt.” You can’t avoid it. It’s the same thing for women in the corporate world. Feel that fear and anxiety, befriend it, and then do the work to go and have the conversation. Your story is absolutely beautiful, and the fact that you now work with people and teach them emotions. I know that you have an online course that you have a special right now. That is amazing for you to put this in a course because people are afraid to feel their feelings.
Yes, because we have so much in society. As species, I believe we are at the adolescent level of humanity and a lot of reactive stuff. There’s all this languaging and judgment about our emotions. What stops us from feeling is the judgment we have about the emotion itself. We’re like, “I shouldn’t feel that. If I’m angry, then I’m going to somehow hurt someone. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.” That’s when the emotion is controlling you rather than you being in the dominion of your emotions. It’s very liberating.
I still go through hard times. I have days when I feel depressed or I’m outraged. Life is difficult. Being human is very complicated and it’s difficult. We’re in a particularly harrowing time. Although I do think it is an evolutionary process that we’re going through right now. The masculine and feminine energies, and the reality that we’ve been male-dominant for so long. This is not a bash against men. I love men. We need a balance of men and women working synergistically together. That’s why we need women to step up as women, not as women trying to behave as men do.
I absolutely agree with you. Tell me a little bit more about your course.
It takes you through the four levels of emotional intelligence, which are self-awareness, self-management or self-regulation, social awareness, and then management, which is the interaction with other people. It starts with that foundation of self-awareness. This is where people can be very afraid to go because they think, “I’m going to learn something about myself. I don’t want to know.” The truth is I’ve never met a soul that didn’t have beauty, strength, power, talent, and creativity within them.
It’s that inner dialogue of self-flagellation. The self-criticism that we carry with us is so detrimental. It gives a lot of education about the seven primary emotions that are in my system. The book is about four cornerstone emotions, but there are seven, and then it takes you through exercises. There are self-reflection exercises, tasks, and Q&A. There are all kinds of things that go on through the process and evolution until you get to the point where you’re like, “I’m grounded in my own knowledge and capability of regulating myself. Now I’m interacting with other people on how do we do that, and how do we have the difficult conversation, etc.”
Aside from that, I know that you have the five steps to prepare for a difficult conversation, which is very relevant to everything that we’ve been talking about. Tell me a little bit about that one.
It’s how we prepare mentally, how we prepare physically, and some of what I talked about now. I take people through a guided visualization. There’s a little audio that takes people through a visualization about energetic boundaries, and then how you prepare in terms of what you’re going to say. It’s the idea of asking permission.
If you’re instigating, let’s say you are the manager, you’re on the other side, and you are going to be negotiating with an employee who’s not doing their job right, that’s the kind of negotiation. It’s not the same as asking for a raise or promotion. We’re negotiating through life all the time. There are ways to have that conversation and specific examples of how we can talk that keep people feeling safe.
One of my other guests had mentioned something about if you’re a manager or even a mentor, and you notice that somebody is maybe not necessarily doing something right, you can always say, “I’ve noticed something about your performance. Is it okay for me to share with you?” It’s similar to what you were saying. It’s a powerful way of asking someone for their permission to share feedback with them.
It is so powerful because it shows respect for the person. As Oprah said on her last day of their 25 years on daily television, “The one thing I’ve learned that’s common for everybody is we all want to be seen and heard.”
I’ve heard Oprah say that at the end of the episode to even the biggest people, whether it was Jennifer Aniston, Brenè Brown, or whoever. She was like, “Was that okay? Is that what you were wanting?” Everybody wants acceptance.
We are living in this celebrity culture where we put celebrities on a pedestal. They are human too. If you learn anything about them, you realize they go through all kinds of pains, traumas, and difficulties.
I know that the course in the five steps to prepare for a difficult conversation is all on your website. Joie, this has been an incredible conversation. I didn’t think we were going to dig this deep when it came to emotion. This is fantastic.
I know you’ve already given us a lot of good information, but could you provide two actionable tips that women and people, in general, can use in their career development?
The two tips that are most important have to do with recognizing your thoughts and body sensations. Whenever something is going on, you can set a timer a couple of times a day or put a reminder in your calendar to pop up, “How are you feeling?” Better yet, “What are you feeling?” It’s good to name the emotion or even if you’re just tuning into your body. We get so disconnected from our bodies. You are an embodied being. Tune in, give a little hug to your body, and acknowledge, “I’m aware of something. My stomach is churning. I’m aware that something in my body is upset.”
Say hello to those sensations in your body, so that you acknowledge what’s going on. That will help you calm down. The other is you can come up with a mantra. We tend to have the same type of critical thought when we’re talking about self-criticism or other people’s repetitive thoughts. I discovered this tool when I was an actor and I was going on auditions. I felt like, “I don’t belong here.” My mantra became, “I belong here.” Every time I would start to feel nervous, I’d say, “I belong here,” and I started booking work after that.
My tip is to look at what your repetitive thought is or the thing that you tend to think unconsciously. It’s so automatic. “I’m not capable. I’m not powerful enough. I’m not educated enough,” whatever thoughts that go on in your brain, flip it into a positive self-supportive statement. Whenever you catch yourself being anxious or even recognizing that thought, use your mantra internally, “I am capable. I am powerful. I am worthy,” or whatever it is that’s going to feed you.
Those are perfect. The second one resonates tremendously because I did a keynote speech, and I sent out a survey right before the speech. One of the things that came back was that women don’t feel that they’re deserving. I’m going to say that one of the mantras for the audience could be, “I deserve the career of my dreams.” That would be the perfect mantra because that’s what we are all about here. This is amazing. Joie, any final words that you would want to leave us with?
Embrace their emotions. People think that joy is the absence of fear, anger, and all those others, but joy is the emotion of connection. When you’re connected to all of your emotions, I promise you will experience more joy in your life.
That’s wonderful. Thank you so much, Joie, for coming to the show. This has been fabulous. I appreciate you so much.
I enjoyed it very much, and you’re welcome. Thank you.
I am blown away by the conversation I had with Joie about emotions and being able to feel your feelings in order to negotiate powerfully in the corporate world. I’m going to recap Joie’s two tips. Tip number one is to recognize your thoughts and emotions. Set a timer throughout the day and think about how you are feeling and what you are feeling so that you can start getting comfortable with your emotions. Tip number two is to come up with a mantra. She said that when she was going out on auditions as an actor, she would walk in and feel like she didn’t belong there. One of the mantras that she came up with is, “I belong here.”
If you feel that you don’t deserve the career of your dreams, I’m going to recommend for you to create the mantra that says, “I deserve the career of my dreams.” Those are amazing tips that Joie has provided. She is also providing us with a free gift that you can find on her website. That’s the 5 Steps to Prepare for Difficult Conversations. The information that Joie shared with us was phenomenal. We need to be able to negotiate powerfully and rein in our emotions when we’re feeling that fear and that nervousness. We can definitely do that. That will empower you to further negotiate in your career. As always, remember to be brave, be bold, and take action.
- Joie Seldon
- Emotions: An Owner’s Manual
- Joie Seldon – LinkedIn
- 5 Steps to Prepare for Difficult Conversations
About Joie Seldon
Emotional Intelligence Master Trainer and author of EMOTIONS: An Owner’s Manual, Joie Seldon has taught 1000’s of professionals how to advance their careers, manage family dramas and fulfill ambitions. Her ability to break down the complex world of emotions into easy-to-understand and actionable concepts and tools brings life-changing results. A former acting and improv teacher, Joie offers a highly accessible and fun approach to harnessing one of the most underutilized yet powerful resources we have – our emotions.