Better Decision Making



 

Eric Pennington
Joining me as usual, is Jeff East with the Spirit of EQ. Hi, Jeff.

Jeff East
Hello, Eric. And I guess we’re going to do it a little bit differently. Eric is going to be the one getting the questions

Eric Pennington
I’m going to grilled and I’m ready, I think.

Jeff East
So decision making. That sounds horrible, because who likes to have to make decisions?

Eric Pennington
Oh, that’s really good, Jeff. However, I learned this from you in a real distinct way, when we were doing a EQ Cafe is that we make almost like, 1000 or more decisions every single day. Whether we’re conscious of it or not.

Eric Pennington
Well, what’s fascinating to me about the idea that is that, no, I don’t expect that starting tomorrow, I’m going to keep track of every single decision I make. Every right turn, every left turn, every turning of the ignition key, what have you. But I do believe as we look in this new year, is that it might be a good idea for our audience, I was thinking as a subject, is talk about how can we get better at making those key decisions. And what are some of the steps that we can take in order to do that

Eric Pennington
Within Spirit of EQ, I’ve kind of use my definition, if you will. And this was great, because Lynette and I, who’s also a part of Spirit of EQ, and Six Seconds, she asked me the question, well, how would you define it, if somebody asked you, “How do you define emotional intelligence?”

Eric Pennington
And the best definition I could come up with is that it’s managing my thoughts and my emotions to make better decisions. Because I know if I make better decisions, I’m gonna have better results, better relationships, and so on.

Jeff East
What kind of a decision would you be talking about? There’s the decisions of like, you mentioned, you know, you’re driving your car and you see a yellow light, you have to make a decision, do I hit the accelerator? Do I hit the brakes? Or, you know, whatever, you know, do you look around? Okay, there’s no cop, I’m just going to go on through. So you make decisions like that. And those are almost done automatically. So what kind of decisions are you talking about?

Eric Pennington
Specifically, I’m referring to the ones that more than likely, you’ve got a little bit of time to process and reflect on. Again, as we’re in the new year, obviously, the new year’s resolutions are now in full swing, and those are kind of decision something about.

Eric Pennington
What is it that you want for 2019? And whether it’s in a specific area of your health, or career or family? And kind of evaluating, okay, how am I making that decision? As far as number one, is this really even something that’s important to me, right? Or how am I going to practically do the things that I need to do in order to hit that goal. Those are the kind of decisions I’m speaking to here.

Eric Pennington
I realized that everybody’s going to be in different places as far as how they came to that because, for example, I know with new year’s resolutions, and you can look statistics probably bear this out. A lot of times, it’s rooted around weight loss. People eat like crazy during the holidays, and they want to lose 20 pounds.

Eric Pennington
So regardless of what that is, I’m kind of speaking to that idea. What are you going to do with those big things, those things that you really want to accomplish in the year that are are not those quick decisions that are made yellow light, green light, that kind of thing?

Jeff East
Okay, what are some steps that you might use when you’re you’re using EQ to make a better decision? What is your process?

Eric Pennington
First, I would say, and Jeff, I know, we have some people potentially out there in the audience at a disadvantage because our work is around EQ. So we’ve taken the assessments, we’ve we’ve got that documentation, we’ve got that data, right, that that really informs us. I’m unabashed in saying if you’re out there, I highly recommend that you get with us to do some of our assessments, because it is very informative data for yourself.

Eric Pennington
But for me, it really kind of doesn’t necessarily start there. But one of the tools that I use is looking at the results of my assessments and the debrief that I’ve had to kind of understand, okay, where am I at? And, and how are things, we’ve talked about it before in previous episodes, just an example, is the “recognizing patterns.”

Eric Pennington
And that follows under, and I don’t wanna get too far into our lingo, but the, the “know yourself” quadrant, right, where you, you, you begin to understand, okay, okay, what do I do when I’m in this situation? Where do I go when I’m doing this? And how does this typically play out? What do I want to what kind of decision do I want to make in light of this circumstance or whatnot?

Eric Pennington
So I basically recommend that you’re taking the data that you have, and even if you haven’t gone to assessments, everybody has some data. Okay, what’s important to you? You know, that’s, that’s really kind of basic 101 stuff, right? What’s most important to you? Is it family? Is it God, is it career, is it money? Is it friends? Whatever that is, then begin to think about, well, how do I want to get better? What is it that I want to get better at? Do I want to be a better friend, a better husband, a better wife a better? Or do I want to be a better salesman or whatever it may be?

Jeff East
So you’re thinking about what results do I want?

Eric Pennington
Yeah, exactly. What’s your what’s your outcome? You know, that kind of deal. Emotional intelligence, if my definition can be considered as a checkmark of Yeah, that’s, that’s a good way of putting it, or that’s a good description of it. Think about it in those terms.

Eric Pennington
What are my thoughts? And what are my emotions and managing them together to make a better decision?

Eric Pennington
And someone could say, Well, wait a min Eric, do you mean, I sit in a room and wait for my thoughts and my emotions to throw up something that I react? Well, no, it’s not that. But quite frankly, we do realize that when you think about family, when you think about career, when you think about your physical health, and maybe the weight loss, there’s something that happens, it’s triggered in there. So imagine, for example, weight loss, not everyone may go this route. But my gut is, is that a number of people do. Their thought is I need to lose the weight. Maybe the emotion is, I feel bad because I let myself go last year, and I really didn’t exercise and I didn’t eat right. And how could I do that? Right? To me, the management of it is, is Okay, wait a minute, okay, the thought the emotion. What really happened? Am I really that bad? Maybe I should apply some self empathy, maybe, then I go, Okay, well, then the thought is, there is something I can do. And I’m not going to let myself run away with all these negative thoughts and emotions that just basically maybe would even get me to the place to say, I’ll never be able to do it. So I’m not even going to try.

Jeff East
You made me think of something kind of opposite. Are you familiar with the term of the puppy dog sale? Or the puppy dog closing?

Eric Pennington
No, no.

Jeff East
It’s something I heard about pet shops. If a family would come in, and the kids wanted to get a puppy dog, they would let the puppy go home with them for the night. Okay, so now who’s emotionally involved in this? And I’ve also heard, I’m not saying any car salesmen out there that I’m picking on you. But that is a practice that car salesman use, they’ll let you take the car home for the night, and you now you’re emotionally attached to something. And how do you get past that when, when something you know, and it could be your boss, you know, really need you to take this new position. And so they give you all the the positives and you feel really good about it. And now they’ve kind of hijacked the emotion part of you. What do you do with that?

Eric Pennington
In every thought and every emotion, I think we need to play the role of detective, to ask ourselves, those probing questions like, Is this true? Is this for real? If I make this decision, I need to play that out over time? What does it look like if I keep this puppy? Am I prepared? Is our family prepared to take care of a puppy? How old are my kids? And that really does come down to slowing down and just consciously saying, timeout. I do realize that the pet stores the car dealerships are counting on you not doing that.

Jeff East
Exactly. It wasn’t a dog but it was a car in our case.

Eric Pennington
And we’ve all been there is no doubt about that. But I think the best decisions I’ve made, it’s when I’ve said I’ve got to give myself time to be my own personal detective, to evaluate and to think through and not just think through, in the sense of, can I afford it or can’t afford it. But play it out over time.

Eric Pennington
You know, I’ll never forget, there was a movie some time ago, and I might have mentioned in a past episode, and I won’t bore you with me trying to struggle and titles and all that. But there was the scene this guy was making continually mistakes he was messing up and is now starting to move into messing up his life, right? And this teacher asked him of all the things that you’re doing, how many of them are making your life better? And the movie was, I mean, the scene, the art, the art of it was just the expression on the guy’s face, it was almost like a Wow, that is absolutely on mark. And I’ve never done that before. And that’s what it communicated. So maybe, in some ways, it really is, quite frankly, that’s another part of that detective work.

Jeff East
You’re describing one of our competencies in our EQ model of Consequential Thinking,

Eric Pennington
Yes, exactly. And I can tell you from experience, Jeff, with my 19 year old, I took her through an assessment, did the debrief and looked at the score. And she readily admitted, that’s an area where I need to get better at because she, and, and again, it’s not me, because, hey, 19 year olds are 19 year olds, we were there before, right? She realizes that she can’t just go off of the immediate, she’s got to really take some time to evaluate, and maybe not for three or four days or anything like that, you sometimes you’re not given the amount of time you want. Sometimes you may have to make a decision quickly. But as quickly as you have to make decision, I think that’s as quickly as you can manage the thought and the emotion, right, and kind of apply the consequential thing.

Jeff East
So what I’m hearing, you’re combining the emotion with the logical thinking, the emotion is the trigger, and then you’re using your consequential thinking, and your other parts of the EQ model, tp come to the decision to try to get the outcome you want.

Eric Pennington
Yeah, and that’s the beauty of the of the model that we we use around emotional intelligence. Is that there’s these competencies that support these three spheres, right? The Know Yourself, the Choose Yourself and Give Yourself, and how those all apply. And obviously, this episode is not going to give you that in detail. And if you’d want to learn more, you can reach out to Jeff and I about that. But I wanted to get people practical, kind of all right, Where am I at?

Eric Pennington
Another example for me is is diet, right? And obviously, a lot of people have heard about all the different diets are out there. Paleo, ketogenic, intermittent fasting, but that’s not a diet. It’s a way of and I always ask the question, anyone that wants to talk to me about that, is that are those sustainable? I mean, after you lose the 20 pounds, ding, ding, ding, ring the bell, you did it! So are you going to keep doing that diet?

Jeff East
Or do you go out and get pizza and ice cream?

Eric Pennington
If the diet isn’t sustainable, that you can adapt it as a part of your lifestyle from here until the what have you, then I’d more than likely say, you’re going to be in for some big time frustration. And that’s kind of where I liken it so whether it’s a diet and it could be careers another great example Okay, if you stay in this role for the next whatever, what then? After you become the executive vice president of whatever what then?

Jeff East
you know, I, I have been in homes in very prestigious zip codes, very big homes, and they had no furniture. I’ve seen, you know, the bed the mattress and box springs on the floor and milk crates like you would see in a college dorm because they got the house they wanted. And when they went to pay, I’ve heard overheard conversations of which credit card has enough to pay this $200 bill.

Eric Pennington
Well, I think of another thing to Jeff within that analogy is that the house sometimes can be a representative of us in the physical form. But inside there’s no furniture.

Jeff East
Exactly

Eric Pennington
And and that’s not a criticism. That’s that’s just an example of maybe we got it turned around, maybe we should have worked more on what was inside and then the outside.

Eric Pennington
And I firmly believe that most people have an intention every day of making good decisions. I don’t think there are many people out there. I’ve never met someone who said, You know what, it’s winter, it’s January, today’s a good day for me to mess up. Make a bad decision.

Jeff East
You think people do sometimes!

Eric Pennington
But they intention, I think is I want to make good decisions, right? I want to make the kind of decisions that are going to lead to fill in the blank that’s good and positive. And I also realized that sometimes people don’t have anyone in their life that comes alongside of them to help them maybe pause for that moment. You know, that’s one of the beauties of of our work is that there’s coaching available inside of it. It’s not like we do a data dump on people and say, Good luck, right? Some people don’t need that as much. But at the same time, it’s, it’s one of those things that there’s that availability, because if you’re trying to go at alone, you’re going to probably start to take your cues and your decision making based on influences around you. Mercedes Benz, and Chevy, or fill in the blank, they do believe you need a new car.

Jeff East
That’s their job.

Eric Pennington
That’s their job. They’re selling cars. The person who’s building homes, they do believe you need to move up to the next home. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But what what gets wrong is when our decision making are influenced by those forces that tell us this is who you should be, this is what you should do.

Jeff East
There’s been some discussion in our household, we have six months to go to pay off the mortgage on our condo. And we’ve been talking about, okay, we could take some equity out and do this, that the other thing, but we’ve been looking forward and what we’re focusing on is July 1, we don’t have a mortgage payment anymore

Eric Pennington
Awesome.

Jeff East
So we, we have really struggled with that because it would be easy to go to the bank and that we’ve decided, No, we’re not.

Eric Pennington
And Jeff, you use that that’s a really good example of the reality is, is that we’re always going to have advertising, we’re always going to have quote, temptations. Fill in the blank that are always going to be pulling at us, and even our own just our own desires. I would really love that. I would really love this.

Eric Pennington
And all I’m saying is, is don’t be freaked or spooked by advertising or messages or whatever. Just purposely stop. Again, manage the thought, manage the emotion, then make the decision.

Jeff East
And they’re making it so easy. You can get on a website at midnight and do that now. So it’s so easy to fall into that. So with all we’ve talked about, Eric, what is one small step or something that somebody can start doing to make better decisions?

Eric Pennington
Okay, that’s a that’s a great question, Jeff. And in the end, what we’re talking about is big. But it is accomplished by small. It’s a series of small decisions, a small practice. And I think we’ve alluded to it in past episodes. And maybe even here today, this idea of practice. If we were playing professional sports, or even amateur sports, we wouldn’t think for a minute of going out and playing a competitive game without some practice.

Eric Pennington
But ironically, and it comes to the game of life, most people don’t practice. So the small stuff that I would recommend is that you begin a habit of practice.

Eric Pennington
What does that look like? Okay, I alluded to earlier, take some time, manage the thought manage the emotion. I’m going to re-look at my new year’s resolutions. And I’m going to spend 10 minutes and evaluate things from that perspective. Or I’m going to add in that is this goal going to make my life better, okay. And then what you do is the next day, beginning of the day, I’m going to spend five minutes looking at these particular things. And I’m going to do that exercise. Because if you just listen to this podcast, okay, or if you if you read a book or an article or a blog post, and then walk away, I’m sorry, I gotta tell you, your failure rates going to be really high.

Jeff East
All you have is more information.

Eric Pennington
That’s all it is. It’s just more data, it’s just more data that fills your head, and then it’s crowded out by something else later. So again, I think one real key small step is embrace the idea of practice. And if you need to, re-listen to this podcast, but certainly think about that sports analogy, right, because I believe it applies to all kinds of areas. But no team would ever think about going out and playing a game without practice. Even the most elite practice.

Jeff East
They practice more than probably anyone else.

Eric Pennington
And you are totally on mark on that one, Jeff.

Jeff East
Musicians are the same way, artists are the same way, authors are the same way. They practice, they work at it.

Eric Pennington
I can’t help but bring my Miles Davis analogy.

Jeff East
It’s a tradition now.

Eric Pennington
We’ve got a regular habit, whether I’m, we’re on whatever side of the microphone. But even as great as Miles Davis was he practiced he had to, I mean, you just can’t rely on raw talent to deliver something wonderful. And I get it. We live in a culture in an age where practicing on the game of life is really kind of non existent. But I think you’ll find that if you look at those who are really successful in life and fill in the blank with whatever area of life more than likely, if you dig deep enough, you’ll find practice was was very much at the heart of it.

Jeff East
So what can Spirit of EQ do to help anyone?

Eric Pennington
Well, I think a really good place is what we’re doing here, Jeff, the podcast. We have a lot of episodes in the archive, we’re consistently putting these out. This is our way of communicating with you that can give you useful tips, they can go to our website, which is just Spirit of EQ, there are a lot of resources there.

Eric Pennington
I’m a really hands on, you know, touch feel type of person. So reach out to us directly. I mean, Eric, at spirit of EQ, Jeff, at spirit of EQ, send us a note, say, Hey, I’m wondering about this, you on your podcast episode about X, did you mean Y. And obviously, if you are in a position and you want to go further and deeper, is go with us on the journey and go through an engagement learn from us. And in the sense of taking an assessment or bringing your team at work and having them go through the process so they can be better at decision making. Because I’m one of these folks, I’ve got a very optimistic I’m very if that’s the right way to say it.

Eric Pennington
But I have a lot of hope that the more the people that we touch Jeff, with things like better decision making through emotional intelligence, right, we’re going to start to impact families, relationships, neighborhoods, cities, states, countries, I think that’s how we’re going to bring about real positive change.

Jeff East
And I think it’s very interesting. You’ve heard us mention Six Seconds, we’re preferred partner, Six Seconds and Six Seconds has a really amazing goal. By 2039, they want to see 1 billion people practicing EQ in this world. And that’s what Eric is talking about. And, and they use the word “practicing EQ,” it’s not doing it, being the best at it, but practicing because that’s how you get better.

Eric Pennington
And, and if you think about it to Jeff, what do you think the world would look like if better decision making was happening? Because better decision making is about is an outpouring of practicing emotional intelligence. So in my mind, wow. Think about my thing about my own life. I think about my relationship with my kids with my wife, my work, my entrepreneur pursuits, my my neighborhood, my my church, and all those things. And I think of the times that I’m asked to make, the better decisions I make the better results I’m going to get and it applies in all of these areas. So yeah, that’s that’s the long way around to say get in contact with us.

Additional episodes you will want to listen to include Recognizing Patterns and Consequential Thinking

In each episode, Jeff and Eric will talk about what emotional intelligence, or understanding your emotions, can do for you in your daily and work life. For more information, contact Jeff at jeff@spiritofeq.com, or Eric at eric@spiritofeq.com or go to their website, Spirit of EQ.
Spirit of EQ resources link. 
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