Emotional Intelligence

At School we learn to sharpen our rational skills. Emotional intelligence is pushed to the side. Yet these skills are very important to make foundations for better events, stronger teams and to conquer every challenge. Jerko Bozikovic from Expert Academy coaches many companies on this subject. Today he inspires us in this eventplanner.tv episode.


Kevin Van der Straeten
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At School we learn to sharpen our rational skills. Emotional intelligence is pushed to the side. Yet these skills are very important to make foundations for better events, stronger teams and to conquer every challenge. Jerko Bozikovic from Expert Academy coaches many companies on this subject. Today he inspires us in this eventplanner.tv episode.


Hi Jerko. Welcome to our studio.


Thank you for having me.


Well we are going to talk about emotional intelligence. But what is it about?


Well, Emotional Intelligence is a concept that has gotten to be known for the past decades. We all know Intellectual Intelligence: IQ. But there’s also something that we call EQ. That is actually something that is covered to describe lot of people, who is successful in their lives. That they... now they could be described as having an excellent life, an excellent career, an outstanding whatever relationships with people and they were... people... researchers wanted to know, what is now the difference that make the difference between somebody who is performing well, good and somebody who is performing outstanding. And they saw that actually a lot of skills those people had we would put them together in the basket of emotional intelligence.


And how can that help you make a better event?


Well, first I'll explain may be a little bit which skills we were talking about.


Yeah. Perfect.


Things like communication skills, excellent communication skills, you know very good listeners, people who can create good rapport with your people beyond the same wave length, have a good level of empathy. But also people who have insights on their convictions, on their emotions, on their fears, on their values, on their goals. So the more you have insights about that, it would be easier, it becomes for them to, you know to reach the life that they want to reach and to create the life they want to create. If we have all those skills and these are things that you can develop you know, it’s something yes, you can be born with some of them but you can develop them.


You can also learn them?


Yes, you can learn it. We could also use them and apply them in events. For example, we all know, now the times are not very easy, economically at this moment.


Yes, there are challenges.


Yes there are challenges, let's put it that way. So you know it could be that now some people get de-motivated. People lose their focus. You know, it would be good besides the whole logistical aspect and content of an event to see ok. But people creating the event, how are they doing you know? Is this really one team? Or is everybody just focused on their own thing? Because if you don’t have a team you will never reach the next level. You could also look at ok, you know, do we believe in this event? Or are we just performing something? Doing something? But you know my gut feeling says something else or I’m not convinced that this will be successful. Well, these are all aspects that will help create not such good a event.


And how did you tackle these issues?


Well, for example, if you feel that the team is all over the place, have a team building. Or have an open communication with the entire team and say ok, you know... ok guys where’s your focus... what are you based on? What are you dealing with? The moment it's out there then we can do something. Sometimes we really want to create something unique. Ok. Have a brain storming session, have people think out of the box, challenge them, make them play with their creativity. These are all the aspects we could put in the basket of emotional intelligence rather than just look at the things from an intellectual point of view.


You were talking about fears earlier. Does it also apply to, for example, public speaking?


Of course. Absolutely! It’s funny there’s a study that has been done amongst men and women. And public speaking is in the top three of both. And actually for women public speaking is in Number 1. And then there’s death and then giving birth. For men on the first place there’s giving birth.


That's funny.


And then there’s death and there’s also public speaking. So for some reason lots of people have this image, this thing that they think: “Oh my God, if I’m going to be on stage, so and so will happen and you know we create those fears.


And what can you do about it?


What can you do? First of all you have to know a fear is something that is often not reality but something that is put in our minds that are projected to the future and bring it back to the present as if it is already there. I'll give you an example. I could have gotten into a fear while driving to this place here, thinking: "Oh my God, I'm having this interview and probably he's going to ask me difficult questions and I might stumble over my words and lose my way of thinking etc." By thinking those thoughts projecting them to this interview which I'm not having because I'm still in my car, I'll bring them back and I start having physical, emotion and mental reactions. My breath will be fast and my heart will be beating faster, I might be sweating a little bit. And I say: "you see it's a real fear", but in reality is that? No. It's something that I made up in my mind. So most fears, not all but most fears are things that we think will happen and therefore we pretend as if they are. So that's the same with public speaking. And there's so many tools, I work with so many artists and public speakers and leaders of industry and CEOs etc. on how can you change your focus? How can you work with your breathing, how can you work with your body? Looks with standing on your both feet and ground yourself but also how can I change my focus. If I look at this big gap of people in front of me as the enemy, assuming those who know better than me of course I'm going to make myself smaller. But I can also change it in my mind and therefore I'll create a whole different reaction and I'll have a different energy and I will be seen as being different but that's actually me who changed something inside of me.


Just before this interview you said something very beautiful in the makeup room. Everybody was talking about the economical crisis and you said I don’t participate in it. Can you explain?


Yes. And I don’t want to say there’s no economical crisis but then again you know one my key sentences in life, that I think is very important is the following one and it says, "Life consists of 10% of things happening to us and 90% of how I react on it." I see a lot of people with whom I work, saying the opposite. They say: "Life is 90% of things happening to me and only 10% of it are my way that I can react on it." And I don’t believe that and actually something happened over ten years ago in 2002, which I want to share with you. Some friend of mine, they created a new event company and in January 2001 and in, like beginning of 2002 they said, ok Jerko we’d like to spend a whole day with our team, have communications and team building session with you and in the afternoon we'll go over the whole financial structure of our new company. When they asked me I said: "Ooops, that's going to be a difficult meeting". Why? Because we all know if you started a new business in this business it takes at least 6 months, not just a prospection of planting seeds, you know of creating lot of relationships and it’s only the last 6 months that you can maybe start doing business. Now we all know what happened in the second half of 2001, you know 9/11. So what was the impact of 9/11, you know the whole world economy went down and especially crazy things like events and you know, people would not invest in that anymore.


Yes, that's the first thing that goes out.


Yes, there was nobody. So what happened is that in 2002, there's this very enthusiastic but also very capable people like creating this new company saying: "Ok guys, you know we are going to have to relook at our financial structure..." and I'm like help, help it’s going to come, the bad message. Well because we need to rewrite our business plan. The amount we were supposed to get in three years time we got this year.


That's a good news, isn't it?


And I was like, that's impossible. And they were like "No Jerko, it's true." And I said "No, that is impossible." Don't you know 9/11 happened? Don't you know there's no money for anymore events whatever? And their answer was: "Well, you know what? That might be true. But we didn't believe that. We did not believe that there were no companies willing, wanting to invest in their clients, in their employees. So we as a company changed our focus and we all went searching for those companies that wanted to invest and I believed that whatever you give, you'll get back. If I’m nice to you, you'll be nice to me. If I'm angry at you, you’ll more likely be angry at me. So if I have this conviction that you know: "Hey we are here and we are going to help you. And we are going to make the best event possible for you and your team and your clients, and you know we’ll find ways how to detour this whole economical situations and we will be creative", you’ll attract people around you because somehow you have those vibes around you and you will attract people who are open to that. So when in 2008, the new economical crisis came or financial crisis, I looked in the mirror and I said, you know what, I'm not going to play that game. I don't want to say that there's no economical crisis, you know, there's lot of people and countries who are having a very tough time. But still, I do believe that because we are constantly staying in this negative reality, it doesn't help us to move forward. And my reality, reality has become that actually I raise my prices and I've received much more jobs than before.


That's interesting.


Yes, I did see a lot of colleagues you know have to close their books but I also saw lot of colleagues who boomed and I really believe because you know we are more aware because of using those skills of emotional intelligence. Now what do I really think about that? What do I really feel? How do I believe about this whole situation and how can I use those 90% my reaction, my attitude on what is happening to me? To influence it? And you know I always can change my focus. I can choose to look there, or there or there. You know, if I keep looking only there, that's going to be my reality, that's what I will see. But if I start looking there then I'm already engaging in our conversation, a relationship and these are choices we all can make and these are things that I believe we all could use much more you know in events, in companies, you know everywhere.


That's a very inspiring story Jerko. I want to thank you for coming to our studio. And you at home, thank you for watching our show and I hope to see you next time.