In today’s episode, we’re talking with Roger Wolkoff, emotional intelligence keynote speaker, about how to keep our customers coming back from more.
He shares tactical tips on how to become more self-aware of our emotional intelligence, talks about some of the misconceptions, and outlines how we can build trusting relationships with our clients.
It’s those trusting relationships that keep our customers coming back.
Join us as we unpack how emotional intelligence can impact your bottom line and what you can do about it.
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Show Notes 📓
✅ Interested in learning how Roger can help elevate your and your organization’s emotional intelligence? Check out his website: rogerwolkoff.com
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Read the Transcription 🤓
Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of Technically Speaking, we’re your hosts, Taylorr, and Austin; and today we are talking about how to keep your customers coming back for more. And if they’re not currently coming back for more how to get them to come back for more and the perfect person to talk about this is Roger Wolkoff. Now, Roger is an expert on emotional intelligence and building trusting relationships, and Roger shares with us his frameworks and ideas for building trusting relationships that keep our customers coming back for more, over and over and over again.
He shares with us some of the common misconceptions, the mistakes that people make when it comes to building these trusting relationships, and what we can do to systemize and put in place a way to keep our customers coming back for more. So, as always stick around until the end for some awesome resources that Roger shares with us, and as always, we hope you like this one. And we are live, Roger, welcome to the show, man, it is so good to have you here.
Roger: Taylorr, Austin, great to see you guys, man, thanks for having me.
Austin: Oh yeah, our pleasure. I love you as a human being; we see you quite frequently since you’re a CRM customer in our coaching program and stuff, so I’m grateful for that. So, I love you for those reasons, but I also like you because you like Tesla, and I just find that people that are fans of Tesla’s kind of there’s a community there, so I’m curious, what’s the latest and greatest as it relates to Tesla in the world of Roger?
Roger: Oh, I love you too, Austin, man, Taylorr, the same to you, man, you guys are awesome. So, what’s the latest, I’m still saving my pennies for one, have to have one.
Austin: Same, same, yeah.
Roger: And I just keep around and drooling, but it’s going to happen and it’s going to happen, no but, it’s going to happen, so that’s one of my goals.
Taylorr: Next year, baby.
Austin: Yep, and we’re going to high five in our new Teslas.
Roger: Oh, listen, man, the first thing I’m going to do is map a journey out and come visit you guys, I’m just going to supercharge my way there, but yeah, I just love everything about the car, how geeky they are and the fact that it’s all-electric and all that. And say what you want about Elon Musk, I really don’t care, I just, I love the cars and the fact that I found you guys are into them too, man, holy crap, that’s just pretty awesome.
Austin: Yeah, makes me happy, the three of us and Jeff Civillico, so shout out to you as well, Jeff, Tesla gang.
Roger: In my programs, one of the things I put up, I put up three things about me and one of the things I put up; I put up a picture of a Tesla and I say, and that right there, folks is a Tesla, not just any Tesla, my Tesla, it just doesn’t know it yet. I can’t wait to change that intro, that’s my Tesla.
Taylorr: Yeah, that’s right.
Austin: Yeah, for sure.
Taylorr: Next time you should be able to say, this is my Tesla, and then segue into the next thing, you can laugh at yourself, no one else will even know, it’s like the inside joke that you get to participate in yourself though. Oh, man, well, Roger, we’re really excited about today’s episode all about emotional intelligence and how to build trusting relationships keeps our customers coming back for business healthy. I’m curious though, why emotional intelligence? What lights you up about emotional intelligence?
Roger: Yeah, great question, so we’ve talked about this before, it’s kind of like that thing, we all typically want to go after that thing that perhaps we need the most help in and boy, early on in my career I needed a crap ton of help with my emotional intelligence, I really did it. It was pointed out to me that there were ways that I was showing up at work that well, they weren’t optimal, and so somebody took me to the side and said, you don’t need to always talk in the meeting, you don’t always have to bring something up.
You don’t always have to make a joke out of everything, so that right there to me started introducing me to two areas of emotional intelligence that were pretty key, one was self-awareness, that’s one of them, and the other was social awareness, right? Being able to read the room, being able to read the empathy and the emotions of other people just to know what’s appropriate, when it’s appropriate, and things like that. So, I just started getting more and more intrigued, fast-forward to when I became a, I fell into project management for 15 years, right?
Fell into that, and when I did, I found that I had this superpower for facilitating meetings, along with that came all the elements of emotional intelligence, which were self-awareness, self-management and then the social awareness, and then building relationships. So, I just became more and more intrigued with people’s behavior and being able to change the things that we could change, and emotional intelligence is one of those areas that we can change.
Austin: Yeah, emotional intelligence for me is like this topic that feels kind of abstract, but it’s really not, there are traits that all of us have that we can either bolster make better or reduce, and that will probably impact the quality of relationships that we have around us. And that is totally measurable, that’s something that we can put our finger on and say, by doing this, I was able to improve these areas of business, but it doesn’t get talked about enough maybe.
And I think it’s because being able to even really understand what emotional intelligence is, is a barrier of entry for some people because we hear that term and I think intuitively we think we know what that means, but maybe can we take a second before we get any deeper in the subject? Can you just define what this means for us, at least from your own perspective?
Roger: Yeah, and I’m going to take from the masters, Goleman and those folks, Daniel Goleman and everybody else who’s come before and talked about it. It’s our ability to understand our emotions and the emotions of others so that we can use it to guide and direct our behaviors and actions. That’s really; I think it in a nutshell, so awareness is key, understanding the impact because it can be huge, and then being able to consciously do something about it.
Taylorr: Yeah, so on that note and that’s a very awesome definition, thank you for making that so succinct; that perfectly summed it up. What’s something you notice in people who aren’t emotionally intelligent, what are some of those common traits and maybe not some of the obvious ones, but some of the more nuanced ones, right? Where people may even claim to be emotionally intelligent, but very clearly aren’t; what are some of those things that we could even pick up in our own behavior?
And I ask this for myself primarily because I noticed that I’m not perfect in this regard ever, so knowing when some of those red flags are, yellow flags are, so to speak about my own behavior would be super valuable.
Roger: Yeah, I appreciate you asking and that’s vulnerable to ask, it could be anything from we may not be good listeners, right? Good listening is one trait of emotional intelligence, knowing when to be an active listener, that’s a sign of empathy; it shows that you have an interest in what the other person is saying. Interrupting someone to tell your own story, being in it for yourself versus listening to someone else, that’s another indication, when you first asked me, I was thinking about another story that I got very early on when I started talking about emotional intelligence, I go back to the back of the room and this woman says to me, just like you say, well, I’m emotionally intelligent, why are people shunning me at work?
Or why are they telling me I need to be more aware of my behavior? And I said, curious, tell me what’s going on? And she said, what happens is somebody told me that I should tell them what I feel, tell them what I’m thinking all the time, I said, go on, and pretty much knowing where I thought this was going to go. And she said, well, I tell my manager what I think of him every single time that we have a one-on-one, and I said, give me an example, and she said, well, something to the effect of, well, Jeff, I think you’re rude, I think you disrespect women all the time, and I think you, blah, blah, blah, something else like that.
And this is all great feedback, but, and I said, okay, I think I see what might be going on here, I said, how often do you tell this to him? I said, oh, every time, every time we have a one-on-one, I said; every time you tell him he’s rude, every time you tell him you think he still has relationship issues with the women in the department, and she said, oh yeah, because they said, speak your mind. Then I said, okay, what you’re doing right there is candor, which is okay, but I don’t think you’re being aware of who you’re telling it to, or you may not be aware of how you’re delivering the message.
And so, there was a little bit of enlightenment on her part because she was very literal, right? I’m dealing with a very literal person here, and so through a little bit of coaching we were able to see what her non-emotionally intelligent behaviors were like, and then she was able to see where she could turn it into some more emotionally intelligent responses.
Austin: Oh, that’s a perfect breakdown, and what a great story to help explain that.
Roger: Yeah, thank you, I also get people saying like, hey, you know who could use this? My manager, could you get my manager to this? And of course, that’s an opportunity to open up and say, well, perhaps I could bring this to you.
Austin: Sure, so there’s a point there that I want to kind of drill down into for just a second here, and there’s this balance between being real and honest with people and telling people how you feel but doing it in a way that is constructive and not just pointing the finger, so to speak. So, when you’re having these conversations with people, how do you draw the line in the sand there?
Roger: That’s a great question, Austin, the way that I start the conversation, I start with softer inquisitive asks, I may not be as assertive or as aggressive as some folks, but I ask inquisitively. I ask them where they think the line is, I said, here’s a line, you and I are looking at this very differently, and perhaps the person you’re talking to looks at it very differently. What differences do you see between saying it this way versus this way? Instead of saying, I think you’re rude or you’re rude, right?
Not even using an I statement, how could you say, look, I perceive that you’re rude in these situations, and I perceive that when you say this, this way it comes off like this, what do you perceive? So, really just trying to create what I like to call a safer environment for that to happen, and there are some people who are a little iffy about this whole safe environment thing, but I think when we create that safe environment, we create a space where we can have good dialogue. So, that’s where I feel it’s okay to kind of tell somebody where that line is or where they think that line is and how they might be approaching it.
And in all kidding, I get told that myself sometimes when I’m using humor and there’s that line, it’s like, hey, you know what, that might have been a little too far, oh, okay, thanks for the awareness. It’s about having a compassionate conversation with someone to see if you’re on the same page about where that line is.
Austin: Oh, I like that you asked too, the last statement that you had there when you were walking through that scenario was like, what do you see here? And so, it’s inviting somebody to give you their opinions, and because I think sometimes like we were having this conversation with another guest recently, but people, they present themselves in ways that they don’t intend to. And so, somebody that’s acting rude may not even think that they’re acting rude and it’s just happening without them knowing, and if you can ask them what their take is on it.
Maybe they’ll be able to explain to you why they’re doing the things that they do that may for one, take the sting out of it a little bit, but for the other can create a dialogue as you’re saying, where now they’re having a conversation about what makes people comfortable.
Roger: Completely a hundred percent, right, Austin, it’s about intent, right? I may not have intended to offend you, but I did, and I validate that, it’s up to me to validate that you have that experience, right? And we can disagree about it, but the fact remains someone was offended and that’s your perception and that deserves acknowledgment.
Taylorr: Yeah, so can I ask, this is a funny question, because I’m going to ask you if I can ask a question, so I’m just going to forgo that, I’m going to ask the question, so here we go. So, one thing that I’ve always I think struggled with is particularly about the phrase emotional intelligence, is it implies a fixed value kind of like your emotional or your intelligence quotient an IQ, right? So, you often hear this phrase of IQ and then EQ and it kind of implies, at least for me, maybe I’m wrong, I’m hoping others might feel the same way that emotional intelligence might have this fixed value to it rather than this spectrum depending on your own personal awareness at that time of where you fall.
And what I feel like I’ve been hearing as you’ve been breaking this down for us is that emotional intelligence really kind of seems to be on a spectrum, and that thing is just moving all of the time and it’s our job to be self-aware enough or raise our awareness maybe with the help of somebody else to overcome that may be poor behavior that we may have had. Am I nailing that right, or can I expect that my emotional intelligence is a fixed value?
Roger: No, you’re a hundred percent right, it is not a fixed value, as a matter of fact, that’s one of the things researchers have shown, and we talk about in our programs and coaching is that your IQ is pretty much fixed. Your IQ is fixed, your personality is fixed, and people are like, well, that’s great, so I’m either blessed or screwed, I don’t know, which one with them both being fixed. But your emotional intelligence is something that you can change, research has shown that you can change that, and that’s the good news, right?
You can take an assessment today and you can look at how you score in each of those four areas I talked about: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management, and your empathy. And you can say, yeah, you know what? I can improve these, if I score low in one of those areas, well, where did I score low and where do I have an opportunity to improve? And with some takeaways and some practice or some coaching, you can work on those areas and get better at them.
For example, I know that I scored low for a long time in self-management because I was always, I wasn’t managing my own emotions well, because I was always paying attention to how other people thought or what other people were thinking that I wasn’t managing my own stuff well. But once I started looking at that comparatively, my scores went up and I’ve seen that with clients too, they can definitely go up, so there’s good news there. And the good news, the reason why we want to do that with our emotional intelligence, there’s so much research that shows that people with above-average emotional intelligence, outperform those people with high IQ, it’s amazing, it’s a staggering amount.
Those people who show up more emotionally together, emotionally intelligently together are going to outperform the quote-unquote smartest people in the room. Doesn’t mean that we don’t need the smartest people in the room, it just means that there’s a lot to this way of how we establish rapport and build relationships that is so important to how we do business and how we show up.
Austin: That makes total sense to me, business amongst basically every other area of life, it’s a collaborative process, right? So, intelligence alone that might help you solve a problem quickly, but that problem is probably impacted or influenced by other people that are around you, and so if you don’t have the ability to work with other people effectively and build those relationships then the intelligence is kind of useless. And that might be more or less extreme depending on the scenario or the environment, like maybe an engineer that is working in an isolated way on one specific thing may not be as impacted by EQ as somebody that is working more with people.
But I am not entirely surprised, I guess, by what you’re saying, that people with higher EQ tend to outperform those with IQ since just about everything that we do is a collaborative relational thing.
Roger: I enjoy when an engineering firm, a tech firm, even some of the finance areas call me in because, and my colleagues anybody in this field, not only do we speak about it, but we tend to spend time with these teams and these people to figure out what makes them tick, and I love that the assessments can point that out. Not only EQ assessments, but other assessments, but I like the EQ one because it really shows how you’re going to interact with your teammates and it’s kind of funny because when I walk into some of these places, they say, yeah, you know what?
We don’t quite get the team thing here, which is a great launch into a conversation to ask why several times. And when they take the assessments, nine times out of ten it shows up, their social awareness and relationship building is low for some of those folks, and that’s where the good news comes in. And you can say, look over time we can build these skills and create some awareness among your team if they’re willing and open to do it you’ll see improvements in how you’re going to work together, which is going to enhance your productivity.
And what people want to hear then is, yeah, that’s going to enhance our bottom line, so when people talk about, yeah, I’m not into that squishy, emotional intelligence stuff, my answer to them is, well, tell me about your bottom line, you care about that. Yeah, they do, and I ask it in a nicer way, but if you care about that, then I think you’d want to care about how you get there, so that’s why it’s important.
Taylorr: Yeah, what a good distinction there, thanks for drawing that line. One path that emotional intelligence, I think falls under is this idea of building trusting relationships, right? And I think trust is a pretty key word, especially in our world of speakers, coaches, consultants, the whole premise of our business is trust, especially in our delivery, right? And it seems like without the right amount of social, or I’m sorry, emotional intelligence we can hinder our relationships rather than building trusting ones. So what are some of the key, I guess, aspects to building a relationship that’s trustworthy, a trusting relationship?
Roger: Yeah, good question and there are a lot of people who talk about building trust in this area, and one of our well-respected colleagues in this space, David Horsager talks about trust a lot, some of the same tenants applies. So, to build that trust there are a number of things I hear; one, say what you’re going to do and do what you say, just following up on making sure that you are doing what you’re saying. Coming to the relationship with trust is often a keyway to do that, I know I tend to be, it depends on where our listeners are but I tend to come to the relationship with open trust, you really have to do something before you’re going to lose my trust. Other people, not so much, right?
They’re going to build that trust gradually, gradually, gradually, so to build that trust, come with something that you think you want to share that’s going to open up the other person. If I tell someone something perhaps that is vulnerable to me it’s going to help them be a little more vulnerable in the relationship. Come to the relationship showing little things like appreciation for that person, right? And be specific about what it is that you enjoy about working with them, we started off our conversation today doing that, right?
We were talking about the things we appreciate about each other, and that happened over time, it happened faster, I think than some relationships, but I think that’s another keyway that you can build rapport and trust. Another way that I’ve found that I’ve built trust quickly, when I was a project manager I did a crap ton of listening, a lot of listening, and I think that’s a huge way to build trust, the way that I did that, was anytime that I was on a team, let’s say we had I don’t know, six, eight people on a core team.
I made it a point to spend 15 minutes with those people and ask, and I would just say, what’s on your mind, or I’d say, tell me a story, a lot of people would be like, what? Tell you a story, tell me something going, tell me something going on in Taylorr’s world right now, Taylorr, tell me a story what’s going on with you, and sometimes people would open up personally, sometimes they would open up professionally, but whatever it was, it was something that was key and paramount to them at that time, right? It was whatever was going on with them right then and there, and it was a private conversation, and it was a trust-building relationship, right?
And I found after that time, they were like, wow, I didn’t realize I’d opened up so much, and I’d say, well, thank you for opening up, I appreciate that it created a connection, it helped make asking them to do tasks later on that much easier. It made working with them that much easier because we were removing barriers or whatever barriers we were removing it helped build up that trust, so those are just a few things that I think about when we’re talking about building trust.
Austin: We’re big fans of all things that are practical here at SpeakerFlow and those two things being a good, active listener and or showing appreciation for the people that we do interact with, that’s attainable for anybody, no matter where they’re at, no matter what stage of the process they’re in, no matter how successful they are, anybody can do those two things. And really it comes down to just people feeling like they’re being heard and that they’re being cared about, I think about this all the time, but people are very willing to open up if you just make space for them too.
People love to talk about themselves, and honestly, I think probably most of us don’t get that many opportunities throughout our normal days for us to talk about ourselves, and so if you just ask a simple question, like you did tell me a story, what’s happening in your world? I find that most people are pretty willing to just show or share with you what’s happening for them, and that’s such an easy way to show somebody that you care just ask.
Roger: A hundred percent right.
Taylorr: Especially, when so many things in our world are so transactional, especially, in the context of the work that we do and the things that we teach, we all want to grow our businesses, let’s just honor that fact, right? And it can be easy to let that transactional kind of mindset kind of slip in, especially, after you’ve closed your first gig, let’s say, or you finally hit your goal at the end of the yea, I feel like so much of the time we forget about that appreciation, that checking in with them, that true relationship part of our business can really get forgotten about in the sea of just trying to grow.
And I feel like if we just take a moment to appreciate our clients, let them know we’re still here for them, and check-in with them like, man, our business is just going to take off more than had we not done it.
Roger: It will, you said it right there, and that’s one of the things that I enjoy, and I’ll make a plug for SpeakerFlow’s community, that’s one of the things that attracted me to the work that you’re doing. I want to associate myself with communities of people who are going to support what I do in a real way, in an authentic way so that I can celebrate. I know when I celebrate with the community, I know the community is also going to celebrate their wins with me and we’re just going to support the daylights out of each other, and it’s going to be a learning experience, it’s not a one ups-manship or a FOMO thing at all.
If a colleague, listen to me, but if a fellow business owner, fellow speaker, fellow coach wins, I want to celebrate along with them that to me is part of what, that’s where emotional intelligence can really come into play in a community, right? Knowing that you have the space and the place to reveal those kinds of wins and be vulnerable with the community. There’s another group that I’m in that does something similar where the mantra of that group is, don’t grow it alone and it’s a bunch of small business owners from all walks of life who celebrate wins and who bring their challenges to the group and they feel supported by the community.
Those are the kinds of things that I think people should want to be a part of, and you can do that in your own, you can that in corporations and things like that, and you guys hit it on the head, as long as there’s a safe space and a place to do that and grow in a community, I think the better off you become in that community because it’s a chance for you to learn and grow.
Austin: Yeah, so one of the lines that you have on your website is this idea of customers’ jumping ship on you, and I’m wondering if the conversation that we’re having right now is partially or fully what factors into that for people’s businesses.
Roger: Yeah, I came up with that because that’s the way I felt working in corporate a lot of times, I left people because I didn’t feel the value, I didn’t feel like they were being their genuine self but people jump ship because they’re not having, the experience is just telling them, it’s not a good experience. It’s telling them something that I don’t belong here, or where do I belong? And so, my message is pretty much what you guys were just talking about, people want to feel seen and heard, and I think we’re hearing about that a lot right now.
So, right now happens to be that period whether we’re in the midst of or ending the great resignation phenomenon that’s going on. When people have choices, they’re going to leave, and then they’re going to want to be in the environment that best suits them, that’s going to make use of their talents and their gifts, and we all want to be appreciated for it. All the feedback that’s coming back says, well, I want to know where I stand, I want to know what my path up the ladder is or in this organization is going to be, and that comes from being seen and heard, and those are just very basic human needs, I think they’re just extremely basic human needs.
So, where am I going to go that I can feel seen and heard, and appreciated in a good way? So yeah, people jumping ship, that’s a visual that we all can get behind but why are they leaving? Why are they leaving? Well, things are so bad I’d rather go into shark-invested waters than stay on this nice ship, they’re not always shark-infested, but they’re going to take their chances in the water, they’re going to take their chances versus enduring whatever might be in their current environment.
Taylorr: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. The other thing I noticed on your website too, Roger is this recurring word, authenticity, being authentic, and I don’t think we’ve touched on that too much in this episode. It does seem that there’s an element of vulnerability for sure when it comes to emotional intelligence, but what about this idea of being authentic, and why is that such a powerful word for you?
Roger: It was a powerful word for me because, there are two reasons; one, it was something and still is something I strive to be, and I look for in other people, it had been a struggle. There were a lot of times where I would front being somebody who I wasn’t or putting things out there just to test people’s limits just by being just a little over the line with people, and I realized, you know what? I don’t need to do that. The second piece came from people who I saw in the workplace who were not authentic, they were making other people feel less than so that they could feel more than, and I saw too many examples of that and that’s eventually what led me to decide to create my own company.
And I actually came up with the name the weekend that I decided I was going to hang my shingle out and go help the masses, because I realized it is all about authenticity and what the all is, is that people have choices they can make about whether they want to show up authentic or how they want to treat other people, they’re all about choices. So, authenticity some would argue isn’t a choice, I think it is a choice because we make choices not to be authentic. So yeah, that word does show up a lot on my site, it’s a great catch when I talk to people when they always say, what does it mean to me?
And I tell them my story, and it’s a great opening to talk to them about what it means for them, and because it means so many different things and I find that’s another way to build my relationship with other people and develop that trust with them.
Taylorr: Oh, that is awesome, it’s definitely hard to come by, a lot of people we don’t have that authentic approach, and so I think when we get a taste of that, especially, with new interactions we kind of have that spark with somebody because of that authenticity, that vulnerability. It’s like, that’s the recipe that creates that magic it seems when you first connect with somebody. So, Roger, thank you so much for coming on the show today, if someone wants to learn more about the work you’re doing the coaching, the speaking, what’s the best way for them to find out more?
Roger: Hit my website, Roger, R O G E R, Wolkoff, W O L K O F F, you type that in I’m pretty much the only one in the world and Google will find me, help you find me. I love to chat with, I love to talk to people, so 6 0 8 2 7 9 5 1 6 0, [email protected], those are the best ways to get in touch with me, connect with me on socials and find me there, and I’d love to start a conversation and continue on with you.
Taylorr: Nice, Roger, well, I hope your phone doesn’t get blown up, so on that note thank you again so much for coming on, you’re an incredible resource and hey if you like this episode, don’t forget to rate it, like it, subscribe to it. If you want more awesome resources like this, go to speakerflow.com/resources. Thank you so much for chiming in, I just wanted to take a second to thank our sponsor Auxbus, Auxbus is the all-in-one suite of tools you need to run your podcast. And it’s actually what we run here at SpeakerFlow for Technically Speaking, it makes planning podcasts simple, it makes recording podcasts simple, it even makes publishing podcasts to the masses simple.
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