Dr. Jeffrey Auerbach is a psychologist, coach, and author who has coached health care executives, physicians, and physician leaders for more than 20 years. This episode focuses on the complexities of emotional intelligence (EI). Jeff explains to Marie and Les that there are four broad domains of EI: (1) knowing yourself, (2) managing yourself, (3) understanding other people, and (4) being able to effectively and sensitively manage relationships with others. Specific competencies within each of these four domains are enumerated. Dr. Auerbach makes the case that by developing EI skills and competencies, physicians become better equipped to perform at their peak in today’s demanding and stressful medical environment. By knowing, managing, and regulating themselves, some physicians will be able to avoid becoming overwhelmed and emotionally overloaded by potentially destabilizing interactions that come up in the course of everyday medical practice. The discussion drills down on the topic of burned-out physicians who experience anxiety and dread about going to work. Although it may be helpful to be aware of these feelings, dwelling on them excessively on a Monday morning may be counterproductive. The role of emotionally intelligent leadership and its positive impact on teams and organizations is also touched upon. Research findings indicate that physicians who are led by emotionally intelligent leaders are less likely to experience burnout. Drs. Auerbach, Curious, and Schwab also discuss the role of EI in preventing conflict. Negativity in the health care environment may arise when emotionally unaware individuals blurt things out impulsively in a way that incites others. Consequently, EI may be viewed as a core competency for all members of teams, groups, and organizations.
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