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“Emotional Intelligence allows you to see things as they are, not as you wish them to be.” with Danielle Laura

Emotional Intelligence allows you to see things as they are, not as you wish them to be. In relationships, this is paramount as it means that in most cases, projecting emotions can be eliminated. EI enables you to see someone for who they are, in full acceptance, without wanting to change them. When people feel […]

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Emotional Intelligence allows you to see things as they are, not as you wish them to be. In relationships, this is paramount as it means that in most cases, projecting emotions can be eliminated. EI enables you to see someone for who they are, in full acceptance, without wanting to change them. When people feel safe to be themselves, this creates increased levels of vulnerability, which skyrockets connection.

As I shared earlier, honest, open, transparent communication is key here as well. Using Emotional Intelligence to guide your level of understanding of who this person is, what made them this way, and what their intrinsic needs and desires are allows you to meet each other with depth, passion, and mutual fulfillment.

As a part of our series about “Emotional Intelligence, I had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle Laura, M.A. She is a two-time number one bestselling and award winning author, counselor, and transformation expert who guides conscious leaders, celebrities, and power couples around the globe in Emotional Intelligence mastery in order to achieve ultimate success, convicted clarity, and deep fulfillment.

Danielle’s keen understanding and awareness of high performance habits for success stems from her decade of leadership experience in her roles in nursing, counseling, and as a medical executive. She identified gaps in the healing space and decided to blaze her own trail.

Danielle is the founder of The H.O.T. Method™, a transformational methodology that takes a holistic approach of how the conscious, energetic, spiritual and physical parts of you are working in unison for ultimate peak performance. As an innovator, she found ways to expand this into other areas, and is also the owner and founder of several companies that better the way we heal, educate, and learn.

A recognized authority on relationships, alternative healing, and self-mastery, Danielle has been featured in over 30 international publications and podcasts, including Readers Digest, Bustle, Elephant Journal, and more.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Iwas born and raised in Washington, D.C. with my parents. Although I grew up as an only child, I have a huge extended family and loved spending time with all my cousins and having fun family get togethers. I was a curious kid, always asking why and loved playing “teacher” with my cousins and friends. Human behavior intrigued me from a young age, and at the age of 9, I created “The Tooth Fairy Club” where my friends and I would go visit orphanages nearby and play with the other kids, create crafts for them, and various other things. That was my first venture that sparked my humanitarian journey.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I felt a calling to the healing profession from a young age, and inherently knew I wanted to “change the world”. When I was seven, my reality changed in one hospital visit. I still remember it clearly, it’s an experience that shaped my entire identity.

I was in the children’s hospital with my mom and I was surrounded by children who looked just like me, except for one underlying thing, they had cancer.

When I was sitting in that room with them, I could sense their spirits and the immensity of their entire being. I could feel all of their emotions and could relate with them on more than just a human level.

This was the one moment that simultaneously broke my heart, but awakened my purpose. While most kids were “being kids”, I was coming up with plans on how I could help people heal, and that sparked my journey.

My first career was in the medical field through my roles in nursing, counseling, and running a medical center. Each next step I took in my career was driven by an innate desire to help others heal. Through my experience climbing the corporate medical ladder and being on both the clinical as well as administrative ends of healthcare, I began to see gaps in healing treatments beyond the physical or psychological, and symptom management wasn’t cutting it.

I came to the sobering realization that in order to make the real impact I felt called to make in this world, I’d have to blaze my own trail. I dove head first into personal discovery, experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts, left corporate, and started my own business that I have today, where I guide thought leaders in mastering the connection between their energy, innate gifting, and relationships in order to make their greatest impact, experience aligned success, and deep inner fulfilment.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I have to give this credit to my parents. I am fortunate to have parents who instilled in me at a young that I could be whatever I wanted in this world, and fostered that level of critical thinking within me to go on the discovery of what that was for myself.

My dad is an Italian immigrant who came to America with next to nothing, became an entrepreneur and created the American dream. His success is the prime example of what it looks like to have a rock solid work ethic, tenacious spirit, a dream in your heart, and never giving up. His life was a reflection to me that anything is possible.

My mom is a relator to her core, and embodied emotional intelligence in her ability to connect with others. She always went the extra mile for people, remembering special details about someone, and knew just what to say in any given situation. Her example taught me the power of building meaningful relationships.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Right out of graduate school, I was interviewing for a job that I really wanted. I passed the preliminary rounds and made it to the in person interview, where I had to drive two hours to get to, not taking into account that there was a time zone change, so I ended up being an hour late. I still was not aware of this when I showed up, so I didn’t apologize for being late, and came across as though nothing happened. The interviewer had grace for me and didn’t ask why I was late, but then to make matters worse, I was calling her by the wrong name the entire time. I still didn’t realize this, drove home, and followed up with a thank you email, still addressing her by the wrong name.

A few days went by and I didn’t hear back, so I followed up again, still with her incorrect name. She finally replied back to me, exemplifying Emotional Intelligence, kindly reminding me of her correct name, and that I was an hour late for my interview. I felt mortified. But as I read on, she extended so much grace in acknowledging that I was probably under a lot of stress from having just graduated, and applying to jobs, and she asked if I’d be open to reflection on some pointers she had to help me improve for other interviews. She also briefly mentioned a mistake that had happened to her early in her career, assuring me to not be too embarrassed.

I learned two things from this: no matter how stressed you are, be intentional with details — check, and double check, do your research, and be thorough. I also learned that humanizing yourself and always being kind, no matter how accomplished you are, is an amazing quality of an embodied leader. I took both of these lessons into the rest of my career.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

The advice I would give a young person is to get H.O.T. with yourself, which stands for honest, open, and transparent. Take a raw look at your beliefs about yourself, the world, and the circumstances that have shaped you. Write them down so you can see it clearly in front of you. Then go through each category and ask yourself “Do I really believe this is true for me, or have I picked this up from something or someone else?”

If you find that the particular belief doesn’t actually resonate as truth for you, make the conscious decision to release it. For example, a client of mine failed her first business class in college, and considered herself to be “bad at math”. She had dreams to start her own business, but didn’t because the belief she adopted back in college was that she could never be a successful entrepreneur due to her failed business class and perceived lack of math skills. She took this belief deep into her subconscious mind and it wasn’t until our work together, 17 years after she graduated college, that she identified this belief was actually false the entire time. She then finally started her own business and is making multiple six figures and growing just two years into her business.

Get curious about what has led you to where you are today, what’s stopping you from having what you truly desire or doing what really lights you up, and what would need to shift in order to create change.

Also, think back to childhood, what did you want to be when you were a kid? As I mentioned earlier in this interview, I was always playing “teacher” as a kid; fast forward to today, I am a teacher through my writing, speaking, advising, and healing work. The child in me knew all along. What is the child in you reminding you of? Explore that.

Some other questions you can ask yourself (and journal about) are: What were some of your favorite things to do? What are you passionate about? What comes easily to you? What’s the thing that people always come to you for? What’s the things that bring you to tears and you want to see justice for? These are all clues connected to your purpose. Trust the nudges, and explore every activity that makes the light come on in your heart.

Once you’ve gained clarity on what those aspects are, it helps to have a solid plan to keep you on track. I like to have my 10 year vision, and work backwards from there. Grounding into the vision beyond the vision allows you to anchor into what you’re doing this all for in the first place. Then, I like to set mile markers, the five year mark, then each year accordingly leading up to it. Each year, I break things down into quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals, then daily tasks that need to be accomplished to ensure those things happen. Check in with yourself often, and make sure the things you’re a part of are still in alignment with your ultimate vision.

I’ve found it’s very important to be dedicated to your vision, but flexible in your approach. Things rarely go exactly as planned, but allowing yourself to pivot and be innovate along the way is what keeps the path exciting and fulfilling, as it builds your character and expands you in ways you couldn’t have originally planned for.

When the road may feel really tough, remember, that this too shall pass, and everything you’re experiencing is in perfect preparation for the good of what’s to come.

Is there a particular book, film, or podcast that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Two books that made a profound impact on my life are the Bible, and The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

The Bible equipped my faith, grounded my moral compass, and continues to give me wisdom I apply across every domain of my life.

The Untethered Soul changed the way I view my reaction to life’s circumstances by teaching me how to become the conscious observer of my reality. This allowed me to begin to see life differently, and view everything that happens as a lesson, seeing things as happening for me, rather than to me. That powerful mindset shift helps to regulate emotion, and unearths an inherent trust and surrender that we don’t have to have everything perfectly figured out-taking one step at a time leads to beautiful roads.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Don’t go where the path may lead — go where there is no path, and leave a trail”.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson. This quote resonates with me so much because as an entrepreneur and one who feels called to make a profound impact in this world and contribute to the rise of humanity, this often calls for an unconventional path.

I believe to unleash our greatest gifting into this world, and lead from an inspired place, calls for us to be tapped into ideas, concepts, and visions that go beyond that which we’ve seen before. That requires a depth of courage and risk taking, believing that the reward will be greater than the risk, and that the trail we’re blazing will light the way for others for a lifetime to come.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’m currently writing my third book, which is about the sovereignty of self-mastery, and the process of creating both success and fulfillment in your life, relationships, and purpose. I’ll be teaching from my signature framework, The H.O.T. Method™ and sharing proven methods I’ve found in my work with hundreds of high achieving world changers.

I’m also very excited to expand my other companies, TriVibe Collective and Life Unchained in raising collective consciousness through intentionally curated apparel, and educational platforms that teaches the things school never taught us, but life requires us to know.

Volunteer work and giving back is always interwoven into my endeavors, and I’m extremely passionate about my current work with a charity that helps kids battling cancer, as that is a cause so dear to my heart given my background in oncology nursing, working on the frontlines with those resilient kiddos.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you briefly tell our readers a bit about why you are an authority about Emotional Intelligence?

I have worked with hundreds of clients who desire to break the intellectual to heart barrier and master themselves in order to master their mission, and a pivotal component to self-mastery is increasing Emotional Intelligence; it’s the core essence and fabric of everything we work on together.

My background in nursing, counseling, and leading teams of people also affords me keen insight into the conscious and energetic aspects of Emotional Intelligence that make up a whole of a person, allowing the space to be created to be seen, heard, felt, and accepted. People put their trust in me to guide them in accessing places of their psyche to develop their own Emotional Intelligence and see the fruits of it across all domains of their lives, both personally and professionally.

For the benefit of our readers, can you help to define what Emotional Intelligence is?

Emotional Intelligence is the fluent nature by which someone understands the emotional and vibrational states of energy and emotion as it relates to self, others, events, and circumstances,

It’s also the ability to process and manage one’s own emotion in healthy ways, to communicate effectively, experience empathy, and diffuse conflict.

The effects of Emotional Intelligence translates to how one connects and relates with oneself and others, and one’s ability to use that to inform their decisions, thoughts, and behaviors within that connection.

There are four key components to Emotional Intelligence which include: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

How is Emotional Intelligence different from what we normally refer to as intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is different from what we normally refer to as intelligence as it takes into account the aspects that go beyond logic or intellect; aspects of emotion, reading body language and cues, and empathy.

It activates the intuitive parts of ourselves to sense the emotion and energy beyond things that are blatantly obvious, both within ourselves and others, and the ability to manage that in healthy ways.

Can you help explain a few reasons why Emotional Intelligence is such an important characteristic? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Emotional Intelligence is such an important characteristic because it’s the ability to self-regulate, self-actualize, cultivate empathy, and create positive social interactions, which is foundational in any relationship you have. Life is all about relationships, and relationships require you to have an understanding of emotions and how they affect others.

A strong Emotional Intelligence also facilitates our capacity for connection, motivation, reasoning, communication, stress management, and cultivates a capacity for a more joyous and fulfilling life.

I’m happy to share a story where Emotional Intelligence really stood out to me. I remember many years ago working with two different managers. One very much lacked EI as they were reactionary over seemingly small things, yelled at staff, humiliated certain people in front of others, changed rules and protocol on a regular basis and expected everyone to “get over it”, work late, and had zero tolerance if a staff members kid was sick and they had to pick them up from school, and the list goes on. Nobody felt comfortable approaching this manager, and actually walked on eggshells around them in fear of what mood they’d be in that day and how that would affect everyone else.

Conversely, the other manager exemplified Emotional Intelligence brilliantly. They greeted the staff each morning, remembered things about their kids and asked about those specific endeavors, actively articulated their appreciation for the staff naming specifics of that they appreciated, and also held meetings where everyone had the chance to speak and express their ideas and opinions openly and freely. All of the staff loved this manager, and went above in beyond in their respective duties because they felt seen and appreciated for their efforts.

Would you feel comfortable sharing a story or anecdote about how Emotional Intelligence has helped you in your life? We would love to hear about it.

Emotional Intelligence has played a significant role through every aspect of my life — aspects of life and death, love, and faith. Through my nursing and counseling career it aided me in holding the emotion of others who were sick, watching their loved ones go through trying times, and experiencing the effects of that on themselves too. In healthcare, you’re experiencing people in pain on a daily basis, and that can illicit in a person a range of emotions that have nothing to do with you, although you’re often the brunt of that expression. EI allowed me to remove myself from taking things personally, and heightened my level of empathy, further creating the space for others to express without the fear of judgement.

In my role as a medical executive leading teams, EI aided me in being an effective and relatable leader, pulling out the strengths of others and facilitating an up leveled sense of communication and collaboration, which also increased results as people truly felt recognized for their contributions.

In my advising and healing work today, I use heightened Emotional Intelligence to help my clients feel truly seen, heard, felt, accepted, and celebrated for all that they are, which leads to breakthroughs that create deep healing and contribute to lasting transformation, which further plays a role in them living out their highest level purpose.

Additionally, deepening Emotional Intelligence within myself is ultimately what led to the convicted clarity in self-awareness around my ultimate calling, and is what gave me the courage to leave my career to pursue entrepreneurship, which was one of the greatest decisions of my life.

Can you share some specific examples of how Emotional Intelligence can help a person become more successful in the business world?

As a CEO, founder, or for anyone leading teams, you have to understand the inner world of people beyond surface level aspects, being able to clearly identify strengths, motives, and driving forces, and how those can specifically be used to further the mission of the company, business deals, and collaborations.

Understanding these things allows you to create grounded relationships, shortcut time, build high level execution with high performing teams, and creates environments where people can use their talents and zones of genius, which also creates deeper levels of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Can you share a few examples of how Emotional Intelligence can help people have better relationships?

Emotional Intelligence allows you to see things as they are, not as you wish them to be. In relationships, this is paramount as it means that in most cases, projecting emotions can be eliminated. EI enables you to see someone for who they are, in full acceptance, without wanting to change them. When people feel safe to be themselves, this creates increased levels of vulnerability, which skyrockets connection.

As I shared earlier, honest, open, transparent communication is key here as well. Using Emotional Intelligence to guide your level of understanding of who this person is, what made them this way, and what their intrinsic needs and desires are allows you to meet each other with depth, passion, and mutual fulfillment.

Can you share a few examples of how Emotional Intelligence can help people have more optimal mental health?

Emotional Intelligence can help people have more optimal mental health by being able to clearly identify emotion through greater levels of self-awareness, and further regulate that emotion. This brings about an understanding that emotions come up because of experiences of the past, and working through those means that you’re no longer operating from the paradigm of being broken or pathologized, but rather this is a normal part of the human experience. This then leads to being able to transmute the emotions into inspiration and much healthier outlets, which further increases positive outlooks aiding to optimal mental health.

Ok. Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you recommend five things that anyone can do to develop a greater degree of Emotional Intelligence? Please share a story or example for each.

My 5 Things Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBori4uhbqQ&feature=youtu.be

As someone who helps others deepen this for themselves, here are five things that I’ve found to be beneficial in developing a greater degree of emotional intelligence:

  1. Practice self-awareness through creating what I like to call a H.O.T. Inventory: an honest, open, transparent inventory around how you feel each day across the following domains of your life: life, career, relationships, health, spirituality. You can make a chart for this and scoring system accordingly to easily identify and name your emotions. This exercise helps with emotional regulation and awareness, further increasing emotional intelligence. The greater we understand ourselves, the greater we’re able to separate our own emotion from that of others and experience circumstances objectively.
  2. Develop a meditative practice incorporated with breathing techniques. Getting into this practice will help you respond, rather than react. When you meditate, you’re removing yourself away from external focus and stimuli and cultivating an internal focus of control. When we breathe, we are slowing down the parasympathetic nervous system which helps us become more in tune with ourselves. The 4–7–8 breathing technique is a great place to start to regulate the breath; breathe in for four counts, hold for seven counts, then exhale for 8. Repeat this process 5 times.
  3. Journaling: Stream of consciousness writing is a powerful place to begin as this allows you to uncover emotions and thoughts that may not be fully processed yet. To do this, set your alarm for 5 minutes and just begin writing as much as you can without stopping until the timer is up. This allows for emotional processing to occur, and when that happens, we’re freeing up space within our minds and hearts to be more present, and intentional presence increases emotional intelligence.
  4. Find a difficult question or circumstance to respond to every day: Doing this allows you to get comfortable with uncomfortable emotions and energy, and assists you in viewing relationships as a mirror to your inner world. This expands our emotional intelligence in relation to human to human, human to event, human to emotion, and human to circumstance.
  5. Create mental movies and activate empathy; Before reacting, or making a decision, play that scenario out in your mind and think about how the other person may feel as a result. When you create a mental image of what will happen before you actually do it/say it, you’re taking everything into account other than just yourself which allows you to make an emotionally intelligent decision. Observing the nonverbal cues of body language, along with practicing active and reflective listening skills also heightens emotional intelligence.

Do you think our educational system can do a better job at cultivating Emotional Intelligence? What specific recommendations would you make for schools to help students cultivate Emotional Intelligence?

Yes, I think our educational system can do a better job at cultivating Emotional Intelligence by incorporating the teaching of mindfulness, meditation, creative writing, and breathing techniques.

I believe that allowing students to have a few minutes in each school day to be still and present with themselves, learning to name their emotions, and accept that emotions are clues to deeper levels of awareness that they can access anytime.

Teaching them breathing techniques to regulate the parasympathetic nervous system and decrease stress levels is also crucial in developing more Emotionally Intelligent future leaders. Also, allowing students to have time to practice EI each day with another student by letting them freely express, pick up on body languages and social cues, and respond in ways that exhibit Emotional Intelligence will truly set up them up for relational success.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I am inspiring a movement where we spread love, not fear. We do this by cultivating a level of self-mastery, and an inner love so deep that it emanates outward to the world; a movement where inner healing is the new sexy, marrying human and spiritual potential is the ultimate peak performance, that unwaveringly trusting your intuitive & innate gifting is sovereign power, and that love always wins.

We will make this happen by partnering with gifted professionals around the world to facilitate their teachings of the above, giving everyone who wishes the ability to access these resources, particularly with a movement for children to learn aspects like Emotional Intelligence and other things discussed in this interview so they are equipped in contributing to the rise of humanity.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

While several incredible people come to mind, it would be the highest honor to have lunch with Oprah. I grew up watching her show, learning from her, and being inspired by her authentic and vulnerable humanitarian approach to impact as a female leader in this world. Her Super Soul Sunday and podcast never cease to inspire me, as her mission to awaken leaders to their best selves and discover a deeper connection to the world around them is fully aligned with my mission as well. It would be a dream come true to be featured amongst those global thought leaders, while connecting with Oprah through a level of depth she is so gifted in unearthing with everyone she connects with.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can connect with me on my website at www.danielle-laura.com, on Instagram at www.instagram.com/_daniellelaura_, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/daniellelauracoaching

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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