Emotional Health

Episode 220. Emotional Intelligence for Military Women

May 22, 2024

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We navigate the transition from military life to the civilian workforce, focusing on the often-overlooked aspect of emotional intelligence.

Join us as we get into the critical skills needed for a successful transition and how emotional intelligence can be your secret weapon.

[00:00:00] Wendi: Hello and welcome to Emotional Intelligence LinkedIn Live. We are going to get started here shortly. Happy Monday. I am really excited and anxious to be here. This is my first LinkedIn Live, so please give me some grace as I am figuring out this technology component behind it. How are you feeling today?

[00:00:28] Wendi: Let me know in the chat so that I know that you are here and We are at the top of the hour Like I said, I’m feeling a little nervous a little anxious a little excited as this is my first live and I’m just really happy that you are able to join me today because emotional intelligence It’s something that we are not talking about as much as we need to as we’re transitioning out into the civilian sector.[00:01:00]

[00:01:01] Wendi: You are smart, you know what you need, you’re preparing for this transition as you are going into the civilian sector by preparing with the resume, preparing for interviews, But here’s the one thing that we are not doing as much, and that is learning how to be aware of our emotions, learning how to be aware of other people’s emotions.

[00:01:25] Wendi: And so that’s why you’re here, and I hope that you get so much out of this today. And my promise to you today is that you leave today knowing exactly what you need to work on in regard to the emotional aspect. of your military transition as you’re getting into a civilian role. So for those of you who do not know who I am, my name is Wendy Ray and I’m an expert in helping military women get into high earning civilian roles.

[00:01:55] Wendi: And so if you’re a military woman right now and you’re transitioning or thinking about the transition, [00:02:00] drop a comment in the chat so I know that you are here and know that you are preparing and you are taking this seriously. And all right, so here today, we want to learn exactly what emotional intelligence is and why it’s so important.

[00:02:16] Wendi: So let’s start with what it is. It’s the ability to understand your own emotions and also, To manage other people’s emotions around you now, why this is important. And I’ve talked about this before in a previous video that I posted where a lot of employers and also civilian in the workforce, civilians in the workforce, sometimes doubt that military.

[00:02:43] Wendi: Person are also humans, not in a way where obviously they know that we are humans, but also they sometimes think and assume that we don’t do well. With, um, dealing with our own emotions because we’re so trained [00:03:00] into not showing our emotions, which is completely fine, but I also want to encourage you to show employers to show people that you’re working with other civilians that yes, you are able to manage your own emotions as well as understand other people, other people’s emotions around you.

[00:03:22] Wendi: And so with that, you want to be able to first be aware of your own emotions, right? Being self aware, which is one of the components of emotional intelligence. And the reason you want to really understand this in a way where, um, obviously intellectually, you get it, right? I’m feeling a little upset, feeling a little sad, like, Obviously, there’s a thousand things going on, especially as moms, especially as wives, right?

[00:03:50] Wendi: You are pretty much wearing 10 hats at any given point in time as you’re not only transitioning into the civilian sector, but also possibly even [00:04:00] getting ready for this new adventure as a mom, new adventure as someone that wants to do more than just Focus on a mission, focus on their career goals. And so there’s a lot going on, but how do we know that we are really aware of this?

[00:04:17] Wendi: We not necessarily need to talk about it all the, you know, all the time and, you know, be in everyone’s, um, conversation about what you’re feeling, but also knowing that you are able to still show up in a way where it’s going to, you Um, benefit others around you. So the example that I always like to give when there’s something happening in my family, or there’s always, you know, someone in our family that is going through something, you know, always like to connect with someone if I’m working remotely, or even if I’m having coffee with someone, just letting them know, like, hey, like, You know, yes, I’m doing well, I’m feeling fine, but I also am going [00:05:00] through this challenge here and sometimes even ask for recommendations, especially if I’m talking to another another woman, another person that can relate, you know, another mom or another wife that can relate to my situation.

[00:05:11] Wendi: And that way you give them not only this opportunity to connect with you. By you showing your vulnerability, but also an opportunity for them to give you their two cents, their recommendations, right? So how can we practice that as we’re getting out of the military? And for some of you, it may just be as simple as having a conversation with someone about your transition.

[00:05:34] Wendi: Like, Hey, you know, this is where I’m struggling, or, you know, this is where I’m finding something challenging. You know, I can’t figure out what, Career to go into, or I can’t figure out where to relocate to. And then now you’re opening a conversation, even if it’s through email, even if it’s through here on LinkedIn, through messaging, giving them an opportunity to see that you’re a human, that you have emotions.

[00:05:56] Wendi: Not everything is going well, because that’s another thing that [00:06:00] we struggle with, especially as a woman. We want everybody else to think that everything is going well, everything is great. But the truth is that no one lives in feeling great or feeling good 100 percent of the time. There will always be that 50%.

[00:06:13] Wendi: Um, negative emotion, and then the 50 percent positive emotion. So I encourage you to be vulnerable so that you can connect with others. I want you to begin there. Because listen, we are transforming into this whole new identity, right? Like, I was so used to people calling me Captain Ray or Lieutenant Ray.

[00:06:31] Wendi: I was so focused on, My rank, my title, I was an, you know, HR manager and S1 in the army. That’s what we call it. So, whatever identity you’re in now, maybe you’re a company commander, maybe you are an XL or a battalion commander. Or maybe you are still getting used to, um, not only being, you know, Wendy, but also a mom.

[00:06:58] Wendi: So what is it for you that, [00:07:00] you know, you are really just going into this new identity and you want to start to prepare for it? And so when we can understand, you know, why it’s important, okay, employers, other civilians are looking at us as if we don’t understand what emotions are, as if we don’t understand how to deal with them, because we’re so focused on the mission.

[00:07:22] Wendi: We’re so focused on getting it done and, you know, putting our emotions away and tracking on, which there’s nothing wrong with that, right? That’s what makes us Um, not only great in the military, but also great at getting things done and accomplishing the mission. But what I want to offer you today to also be okay to tone that down a little bit and be okay with, um, sharing how you’re feeling, but also allowing that emotion of maybe we’re feeling a little alone, right?

[00:07:53] Wendi: Because we are leaving this, this tribe. We’re leaving this identity, this group [00:08:00] that we belong to. And that’s completely okay. And the reason being we want that we want to ensure that we’re doing that now is because there are going to be so many other women in the civilian sector that know how to communicate their emotion, know how to, um, you know, be aware of their own emotions.

[00:08:20] Wendi: They know how to be socially aware. They know that self management is important. How to emotion your own emotion, how to manage your own emotions, how to adapt. With, you know, what’s going on within their environment, they know how to, um, manage relationships, right? They know how to influence, how to coach, how to deal with conflict in a way where it’s not detrimental to the team, where it’s helpful and encourages the team.

[00:08:52] Wendi: And so that’s what I want to offer you today. How can you now focus on something that you [00:09:00] know, you’re not good at. Maybe you are not good at communicating how you’re feeling. Maybe you’re not good at social awareness. Um, meaning you don’t know how to show empathy for others, because let’s face it, we really don’t do this on our day to day basis in the military.

[00:09:17] Wendi: We do it in different ways, but here’s the great news. You are someone that innately. Already know how to nurture and this is something that I want to encourage you to keep doing Not in a way where you know, you’re holding someone’s hand or you know Trying to not hurt their feelings but in a way where you are Showing them that you care, that yes, you were human and you know, you had a terrible morning and now here you are getting ready for a presentation, but you’re struggling.

[00:09:52] Wendi: Like they just want to be seen. They want to be seen. They want to be heard. And so you showing empathy is [00:10:00] one way, right? But maybe that’s where you’re lacking, or maybe that’s where your, your weakness is in. For me, my personal weakness was, and has always been, and it’s something that I still continue to work on.

[00:10:10] Wendi: And that is conflict management. That’s something that I know about myself, not only because of my experiences with soldiers, paratroopers, but also because I’ve been told in my evaluations and also during my mentoring, I’ve been told that I don’t deal well with conflict. And that’s completely okay. And that’s something that I’ve gotten a lot better before.

[00:10:36] Wendi: I couldn’t even have a conversation about conflict, about what really was the problem with the people that I was working with. And to give you a little bit more of what I mean by that, as you know, When you are in an office or position, you are a leader of a team, especially for me, it was the HR sector. I helped people with [00:11:00] what they were submitting, um, any transaction that they needed.

[00:11:03] Wendi: My office wasn’t one that took care of that. And so typically I had about six to 10 people that I Pretty much delegated that was part of my team, everything that came through the office. And so, for me, it was easy to identify the conflict as it is for everybody else. But what I wasn’t good at was communicating that conflict effectively with my team.

[00:11:28] Wendi: So, what did I do? I used my NCOIC as much as I could. She, and I’ve always had, and I’m blessed, I’ve been blessed to have the best non commissioned officers. That worked with me and we were the best team because I was able to communicate. A problem, something that I saw within our team, but what I wasn’t good at was communicating it to everybody else.

[00:11:56] Wendi: And so what did I do? I used to bring on my [00:12:00] NCOIC and I’d say, Hey, this is the conflict. This is what’s going on. Help me communicate this to the team. And let’s get, you know, here’s what I recommend. Here’s some stuff. Steps. Here’s some recommendations. You let me know what’s going to work best for the team and let’s get it done.

[00:12:16] Wendi: So of course my NCOIC, she went to the team. She told them exactly what I wanted or what needed to change in a way. Where it really helped everybody else understand that it wasn’t necessarily particularly that they were the problem or that they were creating a problem. It’s just something that wasn’t really helping the organization as a whole.

[00:12:40] Wendi: And so she was able to influence, she was able to coach and mentor them and they were all able to, you know, do everything as a team. And so for me, that was I was more of the inspirational leadership. I’m like, yes, we’re going to get this done. And I see this, you know, at the very end of the tunnel. So let’s get to it.[00:13:00]

[00:13:00] Wendi: But if I had an issue with one of my NCOICs, which I did, and that’s where I learned really quickly. That I needed to work on this myself. And so it, it helped when I wasn’t the one communicating that to my team, but it never helped when I was the one that needed to then get with my NCOIC and have that conversation.

[00:13:24] Wendi: And so all of that to say that I had to, one, learn what my weakness was. Where was I Meeting to improve and that was conflict management. So what is that for you? Is it does it fall under self awareness? Is it self management? Social awareness? Relationship management? Are you, um, do you find it hard to coach and mentor others?

[00:13:48] Wendi: Do you find it hard to work as a team? Which I honestly don’t think that that’s what’s hard for you. I think it’s mainly communicating things with people. Um, maybe it’s, um, [00:14:00] having control of your own emotions. Like, what do you do? Do you react? Do you go off on someone because you’re upset? Uh, or do you avoid it?

[00:14:08] Wendi: Do you resist it? Is that something that you need help on when it comes to managing your own emotions? And if that is so, listen, we are all working on improving in how we communicate with the Sally’s out there. How do we communicate with Sally that’s been in this company for years? Five, 10 years. And now here you’re coming in as a leader.

[00:14:32] Wendi: Maybe you’re coming in as an operations manager. You know, how can you communicate with the Sally’s out there so that she doesn’t overpower you because now she has built that connection and vulnerability. Before you even got here. And so how can you come in and understand that you are no longer surrounded by the discipline that everybody else had, right?

[00:14:55] Wendi: Like we were all just trained to, you know, [00:15:00] suck it up and drive on. Like, we’ll feel sorry for you after we accomplish the mission after this job, tell us about your marital issues after we get done with this job or this training event, or when we come back from NTC or JRTC, you let us know how you’re feeling after the fact, but during we’re going to get this done.

[00:15:19] Wendi: And so when you can understand that we’re no longer. And really, um, come to this new identity and transition of, we are no longer working with Sergeant Ray, with Captain Ray, we are now in the civilian sector in this whole new environment where we really need to take a moment and understand self awareness with your emotions, understand self management, how are you managing your own emotions, social awareness, am I being empathetic to this individual or to the organization?

[00:15:52] Wendi: And how are you dealing with relationship management? Are you influencing? Are you coaching and mentoring? Do you [00:16:00] lack conflict management? Because that’s what I like. What is it that is happening with how you’re dealing with your emotions and how, you know, emotional intelligence plays a part only during your transition, but also While you’re already in the role.

[00:16:18] Wendi: And so I want to invite you to, especially if you are planning on transitioning or you’re 6 to 12 months out, if you need any guidance on how to do this on your resume, how to communicate this effectively in your interview, I want to invite you to send me a direct message with the word career. So that I can help you prepare for this new transition, this new identity, this new role in the civilian sector, because listen, it’s, it’s difficult.

[00:16:45] Wendi: It’s not easy. I did it 7 years ago, and it’s still something that I continue to improve because there’s so many skills that we have acquired that we have experienced for, but it’s sometimes a little [00:17:00] difficult to communicate, especially when you’re doing it alone, especially when we’re not talking about this as much as we need to.

[00:17:06] Wendi: So how have you communicated effectively when there is, you know, some Troubles happening or some challenges happening. How have we negotiated on timeline based on, you know, actual things that are happening, circumstances that are happening around us? How have we collaborated, trained, or mentored our soldiers?

[00:17:28] Wendi: And also encourage you to Learn how you can share these emotions during your interview process, because it’s so important. It’s honestly crucial for you to build this connection with your interviewer, with the hiring manager. And here’s the reality. The reason you get in front of a panel or you are invited to interview with other, um, employees, other, um, people that you’re going to be working with is because they want to really learn.[00:18:00]

[00:18:00] Wendi: More about you, they want to connect with you. How can you share stories of when you motivated a team when you motivated someone while they were going through, you know, different challenges, different obstacles. How have you show some compassion? How have you showed resiliency through all of this? And so I want to invite you to start applying.

[00:18:23] Wendi: Some of these skills and learning more on how you can get better in one of your weaknesses. Like I said, mine was conflict management. So today I want you to identify what it is for you. Are you not, um, doing well with identifying your own emotional self awareness? Like, are you, um, struggling there or are you struggling with how to manage your emotions?

[00:18:48] Wendi: Here are three things that we typically do. We avoid We resist and then we also sometimes just try to completely react with [00:19:00] whatever is happening. If it’s anger, if it’s frustration, anxiety, you react a different way. So, which one is it for you? Are you being empathetic? Are you again, hiding away from conflict management?

[00:19:15] Wendi: That’s what I was doing. I’m like, I don’t want to deal with any type of conflict. Let’s just keep moving. It worked really well in the military, but it didn’t work in the civilian sector, and it won’t work because you have, in order for change to happen, you need to communicate. Recommendations. You need to communicate what really needs to change.

[00:19:33] Wendi: And if you can’t do that effectively, you are going to be frowned upon and no one’s going to want to work with you. No one’s going to want to, um, be in a team with you or in a group because it’s not going the way that they’re used to. And instead of coming in with, you know, um, all this overpowering authority and this is how I used to do things and this is how we’re going to get it done here, it’s not going to work.

[00:19:58] Wendi: You’re with a new group of [00:20:00] people. They think differently. And the truth of the matter is that you want to be able to understand their emotions as well and be empathetic. And if this resonated with you, and again, if you are transitioning out of the military or thinking about the transition, send me a direct message to work career, and I’m happy to help you.

[00:20:22] Wendi: All right. Thank you so much for those of you have who joined today. I look forward to hosting more events, so please also send me a direct message with any topics that you think that we need to elaborate more for military women.

[00:20:33] Wendi: Alright? I hope you have a beautiful rest of your week.