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It’s here! I’m launching the first ebook in a four-part series, all based on the data and analysis of the results from the FEEL First Test online.
Here’s the “Why” Behind the FEEL Test …
The FEEL First Test is part of an ongoing passion project and research experiment. When my stepdaughter, Noelle, who was a Millennial, passed away in September of 2018, I wanted to know what Millennials were thinking and feeling.
Many questions crossed my mind. Rather than guessing, I set off on a research journey gathering qualitative data from over 100 interviews with Millennials. At the time, I didn’t realize I would be analyzing and using the data to build a communications model, an online interactive test, and a roadmap to help professionals be present, self-aware and more tuned into and self-reflective of their interactions.
I wanted to know from Millennials, who were born between the years 1981 and 1996, the answers to these questions:
- How do you show up to your conversations?
- Are you sharing your authentic self?
- What do you value?
- How do you want to be perceived?
- How do you want the leaders / supervisors, managers and mentors in your life to communicate with you?
- What do you look for from a leader, supervisor, manager or mentor?
- What do you look for in a relationship?
- What does it take to build trust with people, whether you’re on social media, at your company or in any setting?
The 100+ Millennials I spoke with had more to say than I had ever expected or imagined. The one-on-one interviews scheduled for 15 to 20 minutes started to turn into 60 and 90-minute conversations.
I encouraged the flow of the discussions and the transparent sharing of stories and feelings. Some of what I heard enlightened me, and the process was eye-opening to say the least. At the same time, what was shared was jaw dropping and unsettling, which led me to ask another very important question.
Do you ever really know how someone feels?
The Millennials I interviewed told their stories with passion and from the heart. They stated exactly what they were thinking and feeling. It was then I realized, in order to tune in, and truly embrace the verbal and non-verbal cues shared daily, you have to be present and aware in each and every moment. Those interviews and those moments really opened my eyes.
When I stepped back to record the data from the conversations, I saw an interesting pattern develop. Four buckets quickly emerged based on the stories, the sentiment and the insights shared for the questions I initially asked. Clearly, and overwhelmingly, the Millennials wanted the people around them (with a focus on their leaders, supervisors, managers, etc.) to:
- Be more open and inclusive, which meant they had to face FEARS.
- Show kindness, be understanding and have EMPATHY.
- Live with truth and transparency and show good judgment, living with ETHICS daily.
- Have passion and show it by unleashing their LOVE for important causes and standing up for what they believed in.
For me, those four buckets, and understanding each one, has become a life purpose and an ongoing passion. They spelled a word that can make a difference in your personal and professional communication. The word is: FEEL.
If you apply FEEL or feelings, at the point of every interaction, and each communication you encounter, then you are more likely to deepen your conversations and move toward genuine relationships.
The word FEEL has changed my life and career journey, and it’s the lens through which I evaluate my communications. Applying a FEEL lens to your connections and communication helps to build trust, loyalty and advocacy with every interaction.
Having Emotional Intelligence (EI) means understanding your own feelings/ emotions and reactions. So, I ask you …
- Are you self-aware?
- Do you have self-discipline?
- Do you exercise self-management?
- Are you also self-reflective?
- Do you manage your own emotions, so you can tune into and handle/manage someone else’s?
Pondering the questions further, I realized there was no test to evaluate whether you FEEL first, before you engage in communication with the people around you.
Of course, evaluating your level of FEEL or how open, inclusive (and not fearful you are), empathetic, ethical and passionate toward a cause, is not just for Millennials. It’s for all generations and every human being.
As a result of my qualitative research study, which focused on Millennials, regardless of your gender, age, generation or profession, the FEEL First Test came to life with a goal to help you realize how you feel about yourself, the people around you.
After collecting over 9,100 answers from about 350 test participants between February 2020 and February 2021, I’ve created the 1st ebook you can download with findings from the FEEL First Test.
To get your complimentary copy of the ebook, How Different Generations Face Fears, you can fill out the brief form and download below.
Book Announcement: Answers For Ethical Marketers Published as a Guide to Good Business Communication
Who is the Ethical Marketer? Well, it’s you, whether you’re a marketing / PR professional, a business person, or anyone in the company who is communicating and sharing about the brand. That’s a wide range of professionals. There are opportunities and challenges when it comes to ethics and values permeating every level and position in an organization. Answers for Ethical Marketers breaks down the landscape. The book starts by probing the ‘essentials’ of what Ethical Marketers need to know.
Some of the chapters include:
- Applying ethics through media channels in PR, digital marketing, and social media programs.
- Delivering ethical communication through cause marketing.
- Taking ethics into media interviews.
- Learning the actions steps of leaders who are ethical role models.
- Identifying your ethical mentors.
Answers For Ethical Marketers Book Announcement
I’ve been media training executives for years. The training and exercises were focused on verbal communication and sharing the company’s messaging correctly. These thought leaders were tested in several media situations to see if they could answer questions accurately and in a way that always bridged back to the “talking points.” At the same time, they practiced non-verbal communication; what their bodies were saying as they shared these critical messages. Do the same media training techniques work today in a heated and highly emotional media landscape?
A Different Approach to Media Training
Let’s look at a different approach, one that goes beyond what you expect in media training. What you expect is only part of the equation when dealing with a passionate public and a polarized landscape, from the journalists who share the “news” stories to the audiences who watch, sometimes in awe or other times, in utter shock.
There’s far too much going on in the news not to be human and to react. Daily, you witness what’s happening, from the coronavirus pandemic, the economic concerns and the reopening of business to the racial injustice, protests across the country, and the lack of civil discourse in politics in an election year. The news cycle is fast and furious, and emotions are running high. So what’s the other part of the equation? It’s to take an emotionally intelligent approach to your media conversations and to show up to your interviews and appearances with your EI hat on and your willingness to navigate increasingly tough topics.
Emotional Intelligence and Executive Interviews
Why is emotional intelligence valuable wherever an executive shows up? If you don’t have a good handle on your own emotions, you will not manage others’ feelings. The rule applies to any of your stakeholders and important constituents. The media needs your emotional intelligence too. Building a relationship with journalists and their communities means being a trusted and reliable resource. However, this also translates into showing up to interviews with more than just talking points. You have to be emotionally ready to navigate difficult topics today and how they affect your business (even when you think it’s a “softball” interview).
I could steer you to any number of YouTube videos of interviews with cable news hosts and their guests that have “gone bad” and the tweets and Facebook posts that go viral as a result. However, let’s not focus on the negative. Now, there’s an approach to listen, learn, understand, and to do better in your interviews.
You have to take a FEEL approach to your media interviews. If you’ve been following me, then you know that FEEL stands for face your Fears, engage with Empathy, live with Ethics, and unleash your Love. Your talking points and messaging are still relevant, and so is your body language. However, it’s also your job to tune in and learn how others are showing up and to uncover what they are feeling.
What’s their real agenda? The first step to finding out is to quiet your mind and to be fully present. You may be thinking, “If I’m prepared to answer questions, and I’m really good with my own body language then why does it matter?” When your mind is clear, and you’re open and understanding about what’s going on with your journalist, the media outlet, and the audience, you’re moving from one-time interview to more frequent opportunities and go-to-media expert.
Three Top Reasons to Take a Mindful Approach
If there is any doubt about bringing emotional intelligence to your interviews, here are three top reasons to incorporate a new mindful approach:
- When you quiet the chatter, you’re on your toes, fully present, and much more likely to share a thoughtful answer than the quick, pressured response you may regret later.
- When your mind is clear, you’re also able to open your frame of reference. Taking the chip off your shoulder and checking your ego at the door helps you step back when you hear something that would typically cause you to have a knee-jerk reaction. Having a clear mind allows you to stop the constant knee-jerking. Instead, you’ll ask a question, which allows a conversation to progress more comfortably.
- When you’re fully present and open to hearing different perspectives, you’re also actively listening, which is a vital part of emotional intelligence. Of course, you’ll have more concise and helpful answers when you’re tuned in and listening. You’ll also be able to mirror back information that helps people feel validated about what they’re sharing, even if you’re not in 100% agreement with their views.
If you’re interested in trying a different approach to media, then there’s a FEEL Roadmap with exercises to help you to FEEL First, a new way to prep for your interviews. Completing the activities on the roadmap will prepare you to not only deliver your talking points but also to show up with more than just your messaging. Now, you’ll be EI ready for any interview.
You can download the FEEL Roadmap here.
Here’s another 555 or what I’m calling your “411” on advice, guidance, and tips to actively listen as all of us navigate a “new” normal in our professional lives.
Similar to my last two videos, the first “5” is my give to 5 pros who want to learn more about FEEL First communications with a complimentary consulting session (the getting advice part). Details are in the video below on how to contact me.
The second “5” is my shout out to elevate five pros who go above and beyond to share great content and their gifts with others. You’ll have to listen to the video to hear what these folks are doing:
– Patrice Tanaka (@sambagal), CEO of Joyful Planet
– Ryan Foland (@RyanRoland), Speaker, Author, Brand Strategist –
Dennis Shiao (@dshiao), Marketing Consultant, Content Strategist
– Susan Freeman (@susfree), CEO, Freeman Means Business
– Lindsay Griffiths (@LindsayGriffith), Executive Director, International Lawyers Network.
The last “5” is my 5 tips for actively listening. After all, if you’re not listening, then you can advise and offer guidance. Watch the video for these tips so you can build better relationships as you navigate the “new” normal. You’ll learn how being present, reducing technology, listening with your body, taking notes, and asking questions really helps you to tune in and focus.
Enjoy the 555 and let me know if you have any advice, guidance, or tips to help.
As more news and information is shared about the Coronavirus pandemic, the public is bombarded with messages and the volume of noise increases. Yes, these are uncertain times and communication can either help or it can be confusing. You have to choose wisely how you communicate and interact with the people and the communities around you.
At the same time, the way you’ve operated and shared information in the past, whether it was a month ago or even last week, will be different than how you’ll approach your communications today. In the spirit of helping, giving and FEELing for others, I’ve decided to do something a little different myself.
I’m launching what I call a “555” Series to offer complimentary FEEL consulting to 5 businesses, uplift 5 giving professionals by sharing their resources and provide 5 tips for communicating during times that require leadership focused on Emotional Intelligence (EI). I’ve mentioned in my video that the first 5 businesses or professionals who contact me via email (email@example.com), will receive a complimentary consulting session to assess how much they FEEL First in their communication with important constituents.
You can check out my video for the full 555 on helping businesses, amplifying the voices of colleagues with giving resources and to learn some simple tips to communicate wearing your EI hat.
We are in uncertain times. Your customers, employees, partners, the media and other important constituents are looking to you for helpful information. Unfortunately, a lot of the communication shared in uncertain times ends up confusing and frustrating these groups even more.
As we witness the stock market lows, travel bans, event cancellations and more businesses asking employees to work from home, here are three tips to help guide your communication.
Tip #1: Stick with what you know — be direct and don’t share hunches and guestimates.
Tip #2: Show up with your Emotional Intelligence (EI) so you can respond thoughtfully and not react to challenging communication.
Tip #3: Appreciate the feedback you receive — it’s a gift — even the negative feedback helps you to learn and grow.
Here’s my video discussing these tips in more detail and how they can help you.
It’s time to FEEL First in your communication. I’ve been working on my passion project, the FEEL Model, gathering research about the type of communication that builds relationships and creates stronger bonds. In uncertain times, FEEL (facing Fears, engaging with Empathy, Using Ethics and unleashing Love) can make a difference. As the Coronavirus spreads and new cases are reported in the U.S. and globally, effective, meaningful and valuable communication requires a FEEL First approach.
Check out the tips and please share yours too. Together, we can lead with compassion and understanding, and offer helpful and accurate information to the people who matter the most to us professionally and personally in our lives.