Episode 6: Positive Intelligence for Healthcare Professionals

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Join Lillian Liang Emlet and occupational therapist Gillian Faith as they delve into the realm of Positive Intelligence. Discover how this transformative approach can empower healthcare workers to navigate challenges, enhance well-being, and cultivate resilience. Gain practical insights and strategies to optimize performance in the ever-demanding healthcare landscape. Subscribe now and embark on a journey to unlock your full potential!

Lillian : [00:00:00] Welcome to the Transforming Healthcare Coaching podcast, where we bring you guidance and coaching perspectives so that you can level up in your life and work.

. In the ever evolving world of healthcare, we understand the challenges and opportunities that clinicians and leaders face.

And our goal with our company is to provide you with valuable insights, expert interviews, and practical advice to empower you on your path to success. Transforming Healthcare Coaching, we believe that everyone in healthcare deserves a coach and that together we can transform healthcare one person at a time.

My name is Lillian Liang Emlet, I’m the Founder and CEO, and we have a team of coaches from many disciplines. They’re all trained in energy leadership coaching. They’re able to help clinicians in healthcare with a wide variety of specializations, including well being, performance, career transitions, executive leadership, and team and group coaching.

And all of us have, or are still currently working in health care. With our coaches, we [00:01:00]understand what you’re going through day in, day out. I’ll go ahead and let Gillian introduce herself before we get started.

Gillian Faith: Hi, everyone. My name is Gillian Faith and I’ve worked in both the National Health Service in Scotland and in the US as an occupational therapist, primarily in acute physical rehabilitation. And while this was very satisfying work, after about 15 years or so, and actually due to some burnout within.

Interest in people, management, and organizations, I found myself in the HR field. I’ve also studied organizational leadership and management and then became certified as a coach. 

While very rewarding. As we know, the work is emotionally demanding. We have turnover, barriers to healthcare. There’s limited resources, burnout, and change. And partnering with a coach can result in a greater sense of calm, ease, fulfillment and energy, and that’s why I do the work that I do. 

Lillian : Oh, that’s so awesome.

And so I guess I’m curious for today. Our topic is the introduction to positive intelligence for healthcare. I’m curious what [00:02:00] is positive intelligence?

Gillian Faith: Positive intelligence was introduced by a Stanford professor.

And he was trying to create long lasting change. We can read books, we can go to conferences or workshops and we come away with good intentions, but often those good intentions don’t end up creating long lasting change. Positive intelligence increases the amount of time that your mind actually works for you rather than against you.

And it helps with peak performance, wellness and happiness, and also healthy relationships both at work and at home.

Lillian : Interesting. And what exactly do you need to do to have more positive intelligence? 

Gillian Faith: So it’s actually a fairly simple and easy to follow program. There’s a six week book camp and it’s an introduction to the positive intelligence and all of its concepts. And if somebody wanted to [00:03:00] test this out, you have a, an app on your phone and it takes you through different lessons in, why does this work, the science behind it, and also identifying what we call saboteurs, which are characteristics that actually helped you.

And were formed in childhood, but can actually become a barrier to success later in life. So the system is an app on your phone and it helps take you through these exercises every day for a few minutes. And helps to build mental muscle.

Lillian : Interesting. And I’m curious, when you’re working on your shifts, can you actually do some of these exercises when you’re working clinically?

Is it possible?

Gillian Faith: Yeah, absolutely. The system was designed for busy professionals in all different walks of life. The system is built so that you can take a couple of minutes You can take longer if you want, and you can go away and do some of the little exercises that help to build [00:04:00] the mental muscle. And while you’re doing that, the mental muscle work, it’s also creating more of a sense of calmness.

And people report that they feel more centered and more able to rise up to their next challenge. So it’s absolutely doable to use during busy shifts.

Lillian : Interesting. I’m curious, what types of examples are you hearing from people who’ve used this? Do you have any examples to share with us?

Gillian Faith: Yeah, absolutely. So yes, I’ve had some really good results. The ones that come to mind are, I had a female professional who was in a full time position and also looking after her husband who had or has a chronic illness. She also has a son who, who’s acting up at school and basically was feeling very overwhelmed.

So as a result of going through the program, she reports being more calm, more focused: able to [00:05:00] take on the challenges of, working in a full time busy position and looking after the family at home. So there’s different exercises that come along with positive intelligence.

And one of the exercises is, it’s called the Older Wiser Self. So when you’re faced with a decision that you have to make or a situation that you don’t quite know the best way forward with, to look ahead to what your older, wiser self may tell you or may, may look back and think this was the right decision.

This was the wrong decision. So she’s used that exercise and she’s found it very helpful when making important decisions.

Lillian : Yeah. So interesting how we can often get caught up in the moment and be emotionally trying to just figure things out or just trust our gut sense in the moment. And then take you step back and looking, oh, if we were our own best friend, if we were our own wise sage [00:06:00] mentor, a couple years down the road to be able to give ourselves our own great advice, we do hold so much internally that we actually probably have greater wisdom than we realize.

Gillian Faith: Absolutely. We just have to find it and uncover it and gain some awareness around it. Another example I had is a, another busy person, another busy professional, who actually reported that his blood pressure was consistently lower as a result of going through the positive intelligence program.

Lillian : I’m curious, is there science to back up these exercises?

Gillian Faith: Yeah, so the program’s based on neuroscience, performance science, positive psychology, and also cognitive psychology, and if you actually go to the website, www. positiveintelligence. com, they talk a lot about the science, and there’s actually some white papers on there with fairly detailed information on the science.

Lillian : So it’s more than meditation or mindfulness then.

Gillian Faith: Absolutely. It’s just like going to the gym, and we’re [00:07:00] building physical muscle at the gym and you have to go regularly. You have multiple repetitions. Same concept with positive intelligence. We’re going to the mental PQ gym, and we are actually trying to build what we simply call mental muscle.

And there is MRI evidence to show that it does make a difference after, I believe it’s eight weeks. Consistent practice, there’s actually MRI changes that can be made. 

Lillian : It really just goes to show like whether we use coaching or we use therapy or we use positive mantras and in different cognitive behavioral or embodiment sort of therapies, that the more we do something, the more aware that we are, the better our brain will be able to shape, face, and move forward in life in general.

Gillian Faith: Yeah, exactly. And there is a study that they did and they found that 92 percent of people felt better with teamwork and collaboration. [00:08:00] 91 percent felt better with managing stress. 85 percent felt increased happiness and 84 percent reported better at being conflict management. 

Lillian : Interesting. And there’s so much conflict in health care in general on any given day that sort of blindsides you.

So that’s really pretty amazing data that you have there.

Gillian Faith: Yeah. And one of the approaches they suggest for conflict management is thinking about the other person or the other party is always having at least 10%. accuracy in what they’re saying. And if we can recognize that in other people and build on that 10%, hopefully, When there is conflict it’s easier to reach some kind of a resolution.

Lillian : At least just give them 10 percent credit. Even though you may be all hot and bothered and irritated at your colleague or other team member to at least give them 10 percent of the credit. As a starting point. 

Gillian Faith: And you may feel like you completely disagree with them, but if we can all think about They’re at [00:09:00] least 10%, right?

It gets us off to a better start when it comes to resolving the issue. 

Lillian : Yeah, I know. I love that. It started at a low bar and we just work our way up. So yeah, this sort of reminds me of the other session that we did a couple of weeks ago about conflict in general. And my question for you is, can individuals benefit from this mostly to be able to interact with teams that have conflict?

Or do you actually, can teams actually do positive intelligence training?

Gillian Faith: Yes, both I have worked with individuals and also teams, and they both have there’s different benefits, but obviously everything comes from within, so if anything that we do to develop ourselves personally is going to have an overspill into a professional life.

I think everything that happens in positive intelligence has an impact at a personal level. And we can then take that out into our teams and into our organizations and into our daily interactions. And make positive changes with [00:10:00] how we show up. The level of attainment and performance that we’re going after.

And also very much so with relationships. 

Lillian: Yeah, I love what you said about it’s at the end of the day, it’s really about how we’re going to show up on our team. And just having all the tools in your toolbox is one just other tool to have so that you can be the best version of yourself because it hopefully will be contagious that your energy. Your ability to deal with strong situations, maybe conflict ridden situations actually can, you can be a role model and a leader and not lose not lose your cool and not let your amygdala hijack things. 

Gillian Faith: And, the positive intelligence to talk about the sage powers. With all the analysis and the development that the Shazad came up with, 10 saboteurs, the judges the biggest saboteur and we all have the judge in ourselves that sometimes either judging ourselves, judging other people, or judging circumstances.

But equally there’s or not equally because there’s five. sage powers and [00:11:00] these sage powers are the shifts in our mindset and shifts in our thinking that can help us take something that is causing fear, anxiety, whatever it is. and shift it into a sage thought where we can actually approach it with a more possibly more confident, more relaxed, more intentional way of approaching a situation.

Lillian : Yeah, I really, that really resonated with me the idea of being judged. We judge each other so much, we judge ourselves so much. I know that almost every healthcare clinician, I know, whenever anything happens on any given day, whether it be good or bad for patients, things you can’t even really control, and some things are just meant to be.

It’s incredible to me, you know, when patients die or if there’s if the natural evolution of a disease process happens, it’s amazing how many health care clinicians take things so personally, and they judge themselves and their team and each [00:12:00] other, when it’s really not in their purview to be judging.

It’s just an interesting place. 

Gillian Faith: Yeah, and it’s a harsh place to be sometimes. We can be very hard on ourselves and we can go home and perseverate and we can waking up at night thinking, I wish I’d done this or I shouldn’t have done that. This program is very cognizant of the harsh judge voice, and one of the benefits is that we are able to quiet that voice in relation to ourselves and to other people, which makes stress reduction more attainable.

Lillian : Yeah. That’d be amazing. So I guess I’m also curious, I in one of my posts on LinkedIn, I was being a little bit flippant in terms of what I was describing for different types of intelligence. But I think a lot of people in healthcare really feel that they are pretty good at being emotionally intelligent with their colleagues or with their families and patients.

And so how is positive intelligence different from emotional intelligence?

Gillian Faith: Yeah, so emotional intelligence is where we’re aware of, other [00:13:00] people, their communication styles and we have empathy which is great. That’s wonderful. Positive intelligence will build on that and it will actually help individual people become stronger in certain areas of their life and in the way they communicate.

So basically I would say it builds on emotional intelligence.

Lillian : That makes sense. And I think the reality is partly, it’s what you do with it, right? I think it’s one of those things where to be emotionally intelligent and realize you have an emotion in front of you, or you have your own emotions being triggered.

It’s more about what you end up doing with it in a constructive and a healthy way.

Gillian Faith: Exactly. One of the lessons in positive intelligence is: let’s not look at things that are right or wrong or black and white, let’s just approach them and think about them as is, so things are not good or bad, right or wrong.

And obviously this is a bit of a generalization, but when we try not to judge things [00:14:00] as harshly as we do sometimes it takes the stress out of that.

Lillian : Yeah, that’s a really good point. It’s really hard to be neutral sometimes whenever we’re in that self dialogue with ourselves, which I do think is one of the magic parts of being in a coaching relationship: is to just be able to see where we are in a particular moment and maybe begin to become less judgmental and more aware of possibilities that we could come to a situation with rather than feeling all the feels and reacting all the ways that we can react.

Gillian Faith: For sure. Since I’ve gone through this program, I feel like I react to things less and I approach things with more, we could call it a sage power or a sage approach or sage wisdom. And it’s empowering. 

Lillian : Think everybody would love to just be a wiser, better version of themselves that can really handle anything. And so it is a wonderful thing to have in your toolbox.

 Thank you so much, Gillian, for [00:15:00] sharing all about positive intelligence for our audience of healthcare clinicians. 

Thank you so much for listening to the Transforming Healthcare Coaching Podcast. If you found this episode interesting or useful, please share this with your friends and colleagues in healthcare, and we will love it if you hit subscribe so that you never miss an episode. Leave us a review on wherever you are listening to us.

It means a lot to us and we actually read every comment. Also, we want to help with the topics and problems that you want us to talk about. Email us with suggestions, feedback, and praise at podcast@transforminghealthcarecoaching.com. If you want deeper support for your life and work as a healthcare clinician and leader, head over to transforminghealthcarecoaching.com and see how we can partner together to meet your goals. Download your copy of our free five reflection questions to jumpstart your journey as you level up in your life and work and get on our email list. Be the first to know about our [00:16:00] coaching programs and what’s coming. Together, we can transform healthcare, one person at a time. 

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At the core, our hosts believe in the transformative power of coaching to elevate healthcare professionals’ lives.

At the core, our hosts believe in the transformative power of coaching to elevate healthcare professionals’ lives.

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