How to Design Emotionally Intelligent Student Centered Courses with Iggy Perillo

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In this LMScast episode, Iggy Perillo discussed the concept of emotional intelligence and its four key components.

Iggy Perillo is founder of WSL Leadership and a leadership coach. She is an expert in emotional intelligence and supports anyone who want to teach and deliver their message in an emotionally intelligent manner.

Iggy Perillo outlines the idea of emotional intelligence, which involves relationship management, self-awareness, self-control, and cognitive empathy. They talk on the important role that emotional intelligence plays in how we engage with others, develop relationships, and win people’s respect.

She thinks that impostor syndrome may be caused by a lack of self-awareness and self-confidence in relation to the unique problem of imposter syndrome. They stress the need of balancing one’s own ideals with the desire to make a good difference and the need to get over the fear of being judged by others.

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Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. State of the end, I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMS Cast. I’m joined by a special guest. Her name is Iggy Perillo. She’s from WSL We’re gonna get into some great topics today, particularly for people that are, have a message or something to teach and they want to do it in a emotionally intelligent way.

Maybe they’re navigating through some conflict and helping people level up in their lives. Welcome to the show,

Iggy Perillo: Iggy. Thanks so much, Chris. I’m so happy to be here. Let’s start with emotional intelligence for the uninitiated. How do you define emotional intelligence?

That’s a great question. It is a very pop culturey kind of word that’s out there and people are like, oh yeah, emotional intelligence.

No problem. There are actually, there’s research around emotional intelligence. It’s sort of created, evolved, you know, many people have researched this in terms of how people act and interact with each other, and they sort of have condensed around four key pieces of what emotional intelligence means.

One is, Self-awareness, and by self-awareness they mean emotional awareness. How am I feeling? I mean, sort of awareness of your own abilities of awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses. Those types of things are part of self-awareness, awareness of how you react in certain situations. Oh, this thing makes me crazy, mad you know, or this thing like, I love this.

I get so excited to talk about this, or whatever it is. So being aware of yourself. The second part is self-management. So that means. Oh, I need to, being aware of how I come across or being in control of how those emotions, how my self-awareness pieces are portrayed out in the world or portrayed out to other people, or when information comes into me, how do I process that, and then what do I do with it?

That’s kind of self-management, all those different things, like I know this thing makes me super frustrated. When I get super frustrated, I, it’s probably not helpful if I lash out at people, for example. So knowing that something super frustrating is coming in, how do I self-manage to process that and deal with that in a way that doesn’t make things harder or worse?

You know, whatever that does, that serves my self well. So there two parts. Self-awareness, self-management. Then we have. This sort of category of other awareness, which is actually relationship awareness is also what it’s called. And really this boils down to cognitive empathy is what this means. And cognitive empathy means, can I understand what the other person is thinking and feeling?

Can I understand what’s going on in that person’s mind or what’s going on in that person’s feeling? State. How well do I understand what’s happening for them? So not just understanding myself, but understanding them. Cognitive. So there’s sort of this word of empathy. Sometimes people think empathy means I need to feel what they’re feeling when they feel it.

Yes, cognitive empathy means I need to understand what they’re feeling when they feel it. But I don’t necessarily have that same feeling. If I see you getting super amped and excited, do I just get amped and excited too? That’s great. Maybe, but if I’m, I’m aware of you being amped and excited.

That’s cognitive empathy. And then the last part is relationship management. So that is where all these pieces around, how do I deal with what you’re doing and saying and what I’m dealing with and saying that we can work out together. And a lot of times that just gets boiled into conflict management is like the key, the, you know, The big surprise for relationship management is conflict management often.

Cause that’s when we see it most poignantly. We really are trying to navigate Ugh, you want something different? I want something different. Ugh, communication is breaking down, something’s not going right. So that’s one piece of relationship management, but there’s also relationship maintenance.

There’s also validating people, being a good listener, being really there for people in other ways. So they feel like you trust them or they feel like you respect them. Those are all parts of relationship management. So self-awareness, self-management. Cognitive empathy slash relational awareness. And then relationship management are the four pieces of emotional intelligence and they have a huge impact, as you imagine, on how will we act and interact with people, how we come across to people, how people value our expertise in a lot of spaces.

How will people trust us and how will people feel respected by us actually makes them more or less open to engaging with us in different settings.

Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s so, there’s so much in there. That is awesome. Oh, I know. It’s comp. There’s a lot to it. There’s a lot. How much of emotional intelligence is nature versus nurture or born with versus We develop it over our lifetime?

Iggy Perillo: Who even knows? I mean, there’s so much research in the cognitive science around anything that we’re born with, anything that we are nurtured with and is it one of those things where you have genetic predisposition, disposition for, and that it’s nurtured later? Yes, potentially. I like but so is everything we ever do ever.

But there are always like, we like to think well, what are the limits? Like I’m only five seven. I could probably train myself to jump really, really high. Could I ever get high jump high enough to, to dunk a basketball? Questionable. That’s still like a standard that maybe me being five seven personally in my body and my, you know, would never make it to.

But for emotional intelligence, there are skills you can learn. Like I could learn to jump a lot better. I could learn, you know, a lot more about. All these things would make that, you know, very obvious kind of physical achievement possible or closer to possible. On the side of emotional intelligence, there are so many skills and tools you can learn.

And some people were raised in environments where they were, you know, they were just cultivated naturally in their world around them. They had a good teacher, they had a parent that was really invested in their, you know, cognitive empathy growing up, you know, whatever it is. They grew up with siblings, they didn’t grow up with siblings.

There are all these different pieces. So. There’s I love, I, I always say emotional intelligence, which sometimes is abbreviated to eq, which I really don’t like because this idea of IQ is really kind of garbagey. I think personally speaking, the idea that you’re born with intelligence or not problematic, the whole history of iq, if you look that up, problematic in a lot of ways.

 Eq, I think. Don’t love that term, but emotional intelligence. There are skills you can learn there, there are abilities you can cultivate in there. There are some things that may be very hard for you to learn, but I’m, as my my role as apu, human development educator, there’s always more to learn and grow.

You can reset your default settings in a lot of these things. You can do a lot to evolve and change and grow. So, I don’t know the born with it or not born with it. Nah, I don’t know. Probably. Who cares? The reality is, All of us can improve and all of us can work on these things. Some, for some people it’s easier.

For some people it’s harder. That’s the beauty of being different people in the world.

Chris Badgett: I love that. Let’s focus this in on the, what I call the education entrepreneur. Somebody with something to teach, perhaps create an online course or become an online coach around the subject matter expertise. And just to speak to a couple of problems that I see in the space emotionally is.

There’s several things, and maybe we can tackle these one at a time. One big issue is called imposter syndrome, and it affects these people who wanna create, start launch their business or their course, or change the world, make an impact. But then oftentimes I see it manifest in some self-sabotage or some infinite oh, well I need all this technology stuff and it never launches, but zeroing in on.

That imposter syndrome, what’s going on there from an emotional intelligence perspective and how can we help those people? And I, by the way, myself included, I experience imposter syndrome, so it’s very common. But go ahead. Yeah,

Iggy Perillo: we all do at times. We’re like, Ooh, is that, is that right for me? And by the, and I think there sort of, I think there are people who are far better, better researchers on imposter syndrome.

So I will give you my take obviously. From my perspective of sort of my background is in, in experiential education, so creating experiences for people to learn and grow in very deep personal ways, but also in other sort of maybe skill based ways too, perhaps. I think the my take on imposter syndrome, there’s a couple things.

 Some people say oh, you’re just not confident enough. You know, whatever. Just be, boost up your confidence. Maybe that’s part of it, that you just don’t feel confident, and I think those pieces are best addressed by feeling feeling comfortable. I think really relates closely to feeling confident if I’m comfortable with the platform I’m using, if I’m comfortable with my expertise, if I’m comfortable with creating change, I think people aren’t always comfortable with those pieces, right?

If I’m out there saying, Hey folks, you can change, you can be more emotionally intelligent. If I wasn’t comfortable, if I didn’t really think that was true or if I, if I didn’t think that was quite the right thing to say, if I didn’t think that was. I think that’s gonna, you know, if I didn’t think that was right for me, that’s like the self-awareness part of that.

Like I need to be self-aware enough to know, oh, I think this is actually true and I think it’s okay for me to do this thing. For me personally, like I think it’s okay for me to say this to people out there in the world and. So that’s, I need to be self-aware. And I think for me, self-awareness also, there’s this part, this personal values like, oh, it’s a value to me to transfer this knowledge to other people.

It’s a value and important to me that other people can use this for positive ends in the world because that can influence leaders and educators to create a better world. That’s really important to me. That helps like basically that sort of internal self-motivation. And I think there’s also this part about how we’re gonna be seen by other people, like whether it’s okay for me or not is great.

Other people are caught up by the imposter syndrome around Ooh, people are gonna see me as this person. I don’t know if I, you know, I don’t like how I think they might see me. You know, those, I think that triggers some imposter syndrome for folks at times. Oh, I’m not the kind of person who, you know, just creates a course.

I’m not the kind of person who, you know, is a, you know, influences other people in their behavior. If that’s, if you’re, if you don’t see yourself as the kind of person who can be seen that way, I think that’s this big gap of imposter syndrome. And I think that for folks. Really just takes some, some personal work.

I mean, I don’t know, I don’t have a great solution for you at the end of the day to, other than to go back to your personal values oh, it’s important to me to have a positive impact and I can amplify my impact by, by helping leaders and educators have a positive impact. Cool. So I, I can tie this back to my own personal values and not just my aspirational values out there, but the things that actually guide my daily life, my daily, you know, decisions on a daily basis, those types of things.

I think that helps. Create this foundation that you can stand on in the, the world of education I grew up in. You saw I did a lot of training educators, tons and tons of training educators to step into these roles. And there’s this moment where like my boss would come in to ask me, they were edu pairs, like usually like sort of a mentorship pairing is how a lot of things worked.

My boss would come in and be like, Yeah, they can do this stuff, but can they stand and like this question of can they stand means, can they stand in their integrity? Can they hold this thing together? Can they like bring this, you know, vision forward for students who may or may not be, you know, excited or motivated or, you know, go up and down.

The, your learners are all over the place, so can they stand? Is this a fundamental question of can I stand as an educator? Can I stand as an educator in this space with this content matter? That sort of, once you align these things, I think it takes some of the pressure off for how I’m gonna be seen or how I need to see myself.

It’s, I can be like, I can own that. Those are parts of me and I can own imperfection. Right? I think there are also are perfectionists out there who are like, Ooh, I can’t do it because it’s not quite right yet. It’s not quite, you know, it’s never gonna be quite right yet. And so I, I know folks in that space often do well with deadlines.

 Here’s a deadline, this has to be done by here. And if it’s not, I mean, this is as good as it’s gonna get. It’s just I have to send it at a certain point. And so I think there are different ways to work around that. I mean, I’ve obviously lots and lots of ideas, but being able to stand in your integrity as yourself as a person is, I think a, a good first step to the imposter syndrome, which is a lot of times comes from the outside and how we think we should be seen or how we think other people are going to see us.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. There’s this quote, you might know who it’s from, it’s escaping me. It might be Margaret Mead or somebody, but it’s we experienced the world not as it is, but as we are. And it’s kind of like a projection of oh, well, everybody sees the world like I do, or everybody likes to learn the way I like to learn, so I’m gonna teach it that way.

But the challenge with education is, and online as well, there’s You know, the different learning styles. That topic is debatable, but the whole visual, auditory, kinesthetic thing, there’s the people that are like scanners. There’s people that like to do everything in depth. There’s logical thinkers, emotional hybrids of all these things.

How do we how would you help the, the educators out there who. One to broaden their view that people are really different out there and could all be in your same course. And two how do we design content for all different types?

Iggy Perillo: These are great questions. These are like the million dollar questions, right?

Which are, they’re such good questions. I think there’s a few things that are at play there. I would, I agree with your debate on the different types of learning and learning styles. But all of that is Out there for sure. I think though, the thing that is more essential to my role as an educator is the experience I’m creating for my learners and I.

To me there’s, I, I love the word pedagogy. Other people are like, that’s too science. Or what does that even mean? But by pedagogy, I mean the art and science of teaching together, like art and science together. There is science. Is that

Chris Badgett: what pedagogy means? Is art and science together? Yes. Is that what that

Iggy Perillo: Yes.

Okay. Art and science of teaching. Art and science of teaching together, yeah. Is pedagogy. Yes. Okay. So I’m, I, so it was just a shortcut to say the art and science of teaching, you know, in one word. Pedagogy. All right. And there is art to it, right? And I think the art is taken off this channel of wait, so I need to be really charismatic and put on a show and edutainment.

I’m like, that’s maybe, but maybe not. That’s not necessarily what I mean by the art And by science does it mean I need to be tied to my platform and do everything my platform says I need to do in exactly the way my platform is built? I’m like, No, your platform is not your pedagogy either, and your personality is not your pedagogy, but there is pieces of both are definitely part of how you create an experience for your learners out there.

And so when you’re creating that experience, you might know that you love to lecture and you love to I can just do a video monologue for everything. It’ll be amazing. And I’m sure you’ve seen this in your educators. I just wanna do video, video, video, video. And the videos are each 20 minutes long and you’re like, Whoa.

Like that maybe works for some people. Other people are like, in two minutes I’m clocking out. I don’t know. I’m gonna put this on double speed and it’s just gonna blast through what even happened. You know, I think there are ways we we get into what we’re excited about and this is like the challenge of all learners and educators to be a really good educator, you have to imagine not knowing the experience and the knowledge that you have, right?

To be able to put yourself in that learner mindset. That really is the experience I’m creating for my learners, but also, wait, my experience, my learner doesn’t actually know all the stuff that I know and it’s hard to pretend to not know what we know. Cause we’re like, oh my gosh, I’ve learned how to walk.

How would I coach someone how to walk? I don’t even know. Obviously there are people that literally coach people and train people how to walk as it, you know? That happens. But for most of us, I think. Without preparing to be that sort of educator, we’re like, well, you just put one foot in front of the other, go do it like obvi.

It’s so obvious it’s second nature. You know, we say these things which are not at all helpful for learners who are like, it is not second nature for me. I don’t have the same background, I don’t have the same depth of knowledge that you do, and so some of that’s just being scaffolding, being thoughtfully incremental.

Those types of things I think are kind of classically parts of it. But I would argue separately that in terms of addressing different styles of different people, There’s this whole concept of desirable difficulties that we forget about. We wanna make everything so easy, but. And the research they’ve done in collegiate settings.

So not, you know, again, take it for what’s worth, if you’re teaching a college class with adults out there, you know, as an adult with, you know, people of that, the college age group they find that the educators get the best ratings and the students often do reviews at the end of, you know, the semester, whatever the term the educators.

Who get the lowest ratings, the lowest sort of likable I don’t like that professor that much. They turn around later and find that those were the students who six 10, you know what, 10, 12 months later retain the most knowledge. So the most knowledge is coming from the people who are least likable in the moment.

And the, the way they’ve kind of dug through this research is those people in the moment create an actually challenging learning environment. So the students have to do things that are hard. And so those, creating the right desirable difficulties means people have to engage in a way. That is I think of it as like building those new neural pathways.

It is hard to build a new neural pathway. If you think of digging a canal, that’s a lot of work to dig a canal for all this like water information, ideas to stream down later. So if I’m doing the hard work of making it. Making it hard for you to learn, but adequately hard, right? If it’s too hard, people just clock out.

They’re like, I don’t get it. This is beyond me. If I incrementally bill you up, if I scaffold you into a place where you’re doing really difficult, challenging work, you might not like me as the person leading this experience at very much, and I have to be okay with that. If I value enough the learning outcomes down the road, if I’m as convinced and can stand in my integrity saying.

This is gonna help you as an educator later really change the world. That’s okay with me. If you don’t like me in this moment, if you’re not happy with, if I’m not providing the sort of edutainment, super easy, woo bells and whistles kind of experience for you, that that has value, there is value in gamification, for sure.

There’s value in tracking progress, there’s value in all these different pieces. But if I make it too easy for you to learn, you actually aren’t learning very well. So I have to balance this quality and like ease factor, and that’s where desirable difficulties come in, which are different for the audience, for the person, for the, you know, the topic, the subject matter we have, it might be different for different things and there’s some difficulties that are just too difficult if I just make it too hard for you to get onto the platform to learn anything.

You know, you have to log in and find this password, do a scavenger hunt to figure that out. Not a desirable difficulty, just difficult and ridiculous. But a lot of times in many platforms, many educators like, oh, I need that’s like the point of quizzes is to train, recall, or the point of quizzes is to train like deeper thinking or divergent thinking.

These different things which are not easy. They require some effort on the learner’s part. So how to get the right effort cultivated from the part regardless of style. And I might say oh, I’m a big picture person. You little detail people just deal with it. Your desirable difficulties would be a big picture person like me.

Yes. And if I’m only a big picture person and all my detail people are like, I don’t, this is wasting my time. Like they don’t feel the value in that. I need to, I need to meet people where they are to some degree to get them on board. But at the end of the day, I talk fast. I know this already. I’m like, it’s a D desirable difficulty.

Everyone can adapt to how fast I talk. They can dial down the speed later, you know, maybe. But is that really educationally effective? Like there’s, I have not studied my rate of speaking as a, you know, controlled experiment yet. I think there are those. The point being, what are the desirable difficulties I’m creating in that learner experience to help them learn well while not losing the people.

Cause I need to, if I only teach one person in one way, in one style, I need to find that one perfect student. Cool. I could find them. I’m probably more wanna find multiple students to, you know, if I really believe in my content, my subject matter, the value of what I have to offer, I don’t wanna just teach one student ever.

I need to be able to adapt and be flexible enough to reach many students. So that takes some introspection on my part about what are my desirable difficulties? How am I gonna reach people who operate in different ways? How am I gonna engage them and keep them moving along with me? And how am I gonna challenge them in ways that are challenging enough, like Flow State Miha six 10, Miha said, the flow is when we, what we wanna achieve is just beyond our abilities.

How do I keep moving them just beyond their abilities in a way that’s not too big? So that they’re like, they give up or not too easy, and so they’re bored. Like I have. It’s, it’s tricky. It is tricky. And there’s lots of factors to consider, which is mixed. I think education educators in particularly is super fascinating cuz it’s a match between myself, my personality, my abilities, my skills, my knowledge, and my learners skills, building knowledge, the platform, whatever its limitations, what are its capabilities.

All these different pieces have to flow together to make it really outstanding.

Chris Badgett: Wow. What’s, what’s an example? Desirable difficult or desirable difficulty. Like for example maybe in the entrepreneur niche. Let’s say somebody’s helping entrepreneurs and ex niche and they have to do hard things sometimes, like maybe do some prospecting to strangers or hire a team member and negotiate a salary or let go of an employee or whatever.

There’s what’s an example if we were like educating this niche type of entrepreneur where we would not give them a paint by number, super easy blueprint thing, but give them something that’s a little bit challenging. Yeah.

Iggy Perillo: I love this example you brought up about doing the outreach kind of part.

Like I need to validate my idea, but I need to do some outreach first and reach out to people and make sure I’m on the right track. So I’m in this development of my idea phase development or or testing ish, somewhere in there. Yeah. And so I’ve, I’ve seen this happen, which is why it’s a great example where you have a group of people and they’re like, okay, you need to go reach out to five people, you know, they’re potentially good clients and see if, see what they think of this thing essentially is kind of the vibe I’m looking at.

 And people are like, Ugh, I don’t know. Ugh. I’m not sure. Oh, that feels awkward. Oh, that feels like I’m, you know, whatever. People have resistance to this, right? The, and even calling it cold calling, people are like, no, I won’t never be that person. You know, there’s a lot of reactions to what, how you.

Address that, but then you’re like, oh, well, but I do need to do outreach. Like I do need to serve people well. And so the desirable difficulty is like how to get it done right? How do I motivate myself to do this? And I’m the person who needs, it’s already difficult enough. And so if I’m teaching this to other learners, like I’m tea, I have a class of entrepreneurs, I’m like, Hey, you need to go do this thing.

That’s where I might be like, cool, here’s your deadline. You need to. And I might, if people are really resistant, I break it even smaller. Like you need to come up with your list of 10 people who, who you know already that you could reach out to, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. What makes them a good person to reach out to?

Just spreadsheet list. Who cares? Number one. Cool. We did that. Awesome. Step two, you need to actually call or email three of these people by whatever the end of the week, by Friday. Report back to me what they said, how, how that went. You know, just ask them to schedule a call with you, you know, whatever. You know, I can break it down super teeny, right?

If people are very hesitant, and I mean, this also helps build confidence and they can check in in between or whatever, but deadlines are a great desirable difficulty. Get it done by this day because we’re moving on to the next thing. Once you’ve reached out to your three people, cool. You’ve had those conversations within a week.

Great. Now we’re gonna do step three, step four, step five. And so if you don’t do step one, It’s, you want this thing at the end. You want this beautiful business that’s functioning and flowing and amazing. You still need to do te and you haven’t done step one yet. Pressure, pressure, pressure. This is why I think learning communities as is also a beautiful source of desirable difficulties because there is subtle social pressures nudges that help people learn and grow.

If you hear everyone in your community, it’s oh, I reached out to two people. One of ’em was kind of weird, but one was awesome and someone was like, I reached out to five people and all of ’em were kind of terrible, but what? Okay. I learned it, you know whatever it is. And someone else is I reached out to 10 people and they’re all amazing.

They all just paid my, you know, they threw money at me immediately. I’m like, okay, well that’s cool, but those Those learning communities where people can act and interact, I think create some of that sense of, I mean, really it’s pressure to be honest, like positive peer pressure to keep growing and learning and, and to create that in a space where people aren’t like, oh, so and so did, did 10 people.

I did one and it sucked. I quit. You know, like whatever. Like you have to manage those communities and really pro-growth positive cultural ways because those can also turn into competitive, really kind of gross feeling spaces too, that people. You don’t learn a lot when you feel gross, right? Like we, we just aren’t open for that.

But, so yeah, a deadline as an educator is a great desirable difficulty or a step-by-step process. You have to show me your work. Show me your list of 10 people by tomorrow at three. That’s like a deadline, but it’s like a piece, you know, deadline, piece by piece. So cool, you had this list of 10, did you draft your email?

Show me your email. Drafter, you’re gonna send ’em, great. Send it. Let me know how that goes next week. You know, whatever it is, I’m setting up deadline difficulties, but also steps that are manageable for my people along the way versus, you know, And that’s understanding your audience and understanding the, the, the people.

And I know we all as educators have to sort of fit a range of people. We can’t just be like, I’m only working with this exact person. You know, it doesn’t, the people who say they’re exact per that person, even themselves self-identify, are not always that exact person. So you always have to be willing to flex and accommodate people and get them to where you want them to be.

It’s still on them to take the steps. I can’t take the steps for you. I’m not actually gonna email these people for you., I’m not gonna do your outreach for you. I’m not gonna draft the email for you. I can give you some templates, some ideas, but you need to do it yourself so it comes off as authentic so you can stand in, you know, and own that aspect of your business.

Yeah, deadlines a great one step-by-step processes like work homework, like literally homework. I love homework to be honest. They have to turn it in, you can see when it’s come through or whatever or, and that’s also an opportunity for feedback and, you know, supporting growth and change, but, Dead deadlines and homework.

Great desirable difficulties out there. Old school, but great

Chris Badgett: iy. Let’s talk more, a little bit more about the social learning or the cohort like you’re talking about. Imagine if, let’s say we’re a coach and we’re, we have a Zoom call with a group of people, or we’re managing a Facebook group or a forum or a, a social area on our website, how do we make those?

Like emotionally intelligent, emotionally safe, inclusive fostering a learning environment, how do we kind of hold space for those communities?

Iggy Perillo: This is another great question. I love it. I love it. Oh, well this is a woman named Amy Edmondson who wrote about psychological safety, and that is really what you’re going for is psychological safety in those spaces.

Just by the nature of how they operate, like it’s a little bit, they, you’re people don’t necessarily know each other. Who are in your, your Facebook group for example, or, you know, your your discussion space. And but they’re kind of on the same page. They kind of work together. They’re kind of maybe, you know, they might have meetings together.

They may know each other to different degrees. And I think the, those, there’s this other research by this guy Bodis, who talked about how the mood of a leader directly impacts the culture of the organization. And by mood you actually mean the mood of the person. There’s not like some scientific definition of mood, meaning like 14 different parameters.

It’s am I generally upbeat and positive? Am I generally do I like come down hard on the details, but then am loosey goosey about the big picture? Am I, you know, whatever it is. Like kind of my mood for how I interact with people is my first response to yell at people, you know, whatever those things are directly create the culture of the organization.

So step one is as yourself, make sure you’re showing up in a way. That builds the culture you wanna see in this, in these spaces. Cause it really, it is culture. You know, the culture of that team, that group, whatever it is. Are you showing up with a million? You know, when someone asked a question, do you have 500 answers that overwhelm them?

Okay. Like that. You might think you’re being helpful cause you’re like, here’s 20 different things you can do. And the people on the other end are like, whoa, I just needed one thing. Oh my god. You know, like that. The dynamic makes can be hard to read, especially in text environments, right? It’s just difficult to always get the mood or the vibe through things.

So showing up how you wanna create the culture is one thing. I think also being really willing to immediately engage with people. When you see someone kind of veering off and you’re like, you know, Again, in the world of text, it’s hard. So I’m like, oh, you’re such an idiot. I can’t believe you only reached out to two people and you’re supposed to do 10.

And you’re like, whoa. It’s actually not okay to call someone an idiot. And like I was joking. I put a smiley face, you know, whatever. And I’m like, you have to be willing to immediately engage when you see things that are like, that could be read weirdly, that could be read wrong, that could be seen as demeaning, you know, whatever it is.

If you don’t immediately. In interact with those. There’s this other quote from drer. I think Dr. Drer he’s like the, the culture is based on the, the, the culture you create is based on the worst behavior you tolerate. Mm-hmm. So if you were tolerating, if you’re letting like kind of garbagey behavior fly, that is actually defining the culture within your space.

So if there’s kind of garbagey behavior, you know, or just jokey or, you know, it can be red, weird. It doesn’t need to be like, Aggressively stupid behavior, like whatever. If you aren’t interacting with those immediately, or you have moderators, you know, however you structure your space, if you don’t have someone be like, Hey, that came off weird.

Let’s talk more about that and to engage people in learning in that space. That’s how you build the psychologically safe environment for people to learn and grow. Cuz fundamentally, you want your learners to be able to ask questions and sometimes they ask a question that. That could be seen as really basic, right?

You know, like you’re cruising along and someone’s wait, crap, what was that acronym? I don’t even remember what that means. And then you’ve only been talking about this acronym for two weeks, and they don’t actually remember what the acronym means. There’s this space where they have to be kind of vulnerable to ask that question, but also if they’re not supported in their growth and learning oh yeah, this means blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

You know, cool. Moving forward, you know, not a big deal that you didn’t know what that meant. I think that will help you out or, or not, or whatever. Or here’s some other take on this, whatever it is. If you’re not in that space of supporting Lian growth, it’s gonna shut down or turn toxic or get competitive in a not helpful way.

I mean, a little competition I think is fine and, you know, motivational and aspirational is great, but once it gets hyper competitive or people are sort of putting each other down to pull each other up, like it’s, I mean, we all. I don’t know if you’ve been in those spaces, but it’s just not that great for learning, to be honest, or in a class or in a space where it’s like if you ask a question, you know, it is like 400 eye rolls and a sigh ugh, okay, fine, we’ll go back to day one and talk about blah, blah, blah.

You know those that, none of that helps. What? What does help is treating people like fundamentally, assuming that they’re trying to meet their needs the best they can, and fundamentally, assuming that they’re trying, they’re here to learn and grow, especially if you’ve cultivated a learning slash growth space and.

Your job isn’t just helping them learn and grow on your subject matter. Your job might be also helping them learn and grow as a community of learners. Because they may have not been in a learning community like this where they’re expected to be supportive or they’re expected to, you know, offer support to their, their teammates.

You know, depending on how you create the container of that space, it can be super beneficial. Super. Like that sense of a team like, oh, we’re doing this together, we’re going through it together, we’re gonna. Be connected and mutual supportive is amazing, but that’s actually not an experience everyone else has had in the world, and so you may have to coach them on that behavior, those behavior aspects, and yeah, hopping on it really quick.

Not just oh, whoa, that seemed weird, but also yes, good idea. Yes. Supporting the behavior you wanna see as vocally, if not five to seven times more vocally presently than you do correcting behavior you don’t wanna see. I think those, those two pieces I’ve heard, you know, like you need five to seven pieces of positive reinforcement for every piece of negative reinforcement to balance it out.

Or else people will see you as being really negative and once they see you as negative, Not always a desirable difficulty. Be seen as negative. You know, if you’re not, you eventually erode trust and erode respect in those spaces. If you’re not seen as being supportive or moving people forward or helping, you know, with achievement of whatever sort you’re looking for.

Chris Badgett: Iggy. That’s awesome. Let’s, let’s talk more about conflict. Let’s imagine that we’re actually, maybe this is a little meta instead of dealing with conflict ourselves, which of course we need to figure out as well, but, If we’re, our subject matter that we’re teaching helps other people deal with conflict.

Whether it’s entrepreneurs who are having challenges with employees, or maybe I’m coaching, I’m a relationship coach and I’m helping people navigate a divorce or I’m helping a parent with a challenging child and a with a particular issue. That’s like what my subject matter expertise is. How do we help others navigate conflict?


Iggy Perillo: This is like the thing that I work in most, to be honest. Cuz people, and unfortunately though, it’s usually people are like, I’m having a conflict, help me solve it. Versus let’s step back and prepare for a conflict to happen. Cuz we know it’s gonna happen out there. Yeah. And so unfortunately we don’t have a lot of sort of background knowledge and a lot of, like I went to the public school system of the US does not actually, I don’t remember having a conflict management class.

It was just like we would learn subject matter, whatever we did. Yeah, so we don’t have a ton of background in conflict management or conflict response. I break it down into a couple different pieces and, and this is like, this is like the big picture and there’s like the small picture in the moment.

Like in the moment if someone, if I’m trying to help people in the moment, they’re like, whoa, this person just said something. I disagree. This is not okay in the moment. There’s that in the moment responses. I think people worry about how am I gonna respond in the moment and those you can train oh, do I need to Step back and look at the, from the big picture, do I need to just disengage from it?

Do I need to stop what’s happening right now and agree to talk later? Whatever those are in the moment, great. Develop your in the moment. Scripts, I think there’s some like scripts and processes we can develop. Cause I think a lot of folks are like, oh, in the moment if someone said, if someone confronted me on this, I would just shut down and not know what to say and run away and flee.

I’m like, okay, that is what you feel like would happen. Is that would be helpful or useful? Maybe not. Or you observe, you’re trying to coach your your clients to work through a conflict. And so if a conflict happens, how, like what is your plan for like as soon as you notice it happening, what’s your first step?

I think is off some very helpful for people that are gonna be working in that space. Oh, my first step is to recognize it as a conflict. Holy cow. Like I, I know what’s going on here. This is a conflict. And to. A lot of those conflicts, I think in those relationships you described, they’re known, right?

 I know the parent and the kid are gonna fight over curfew, for example. I know this is gonna happen, this is gonna come up somewhere, sometime in this, you know, in the scheme of what I do, I see this pretty frequently, whatever it is, you know, so you’re like, cool, when do you recognize that happening?

You, you need to recognize it. And, and people are subtle and people are sly and people are I think passive aggressive communication kind of muddies us sometimes. Oh wait. Do you really not like this? Or are you just saying oh yeah, I really like this, but their tone says they don’t, you know, whatever it is, like figure out that it’s a conflict.

Part two, I think, or that an a bigger, a deeper next step is to look at what needs they’re trying to meet with that behavior. So to separate behavior from a person and their identity. We often put those together instantly. Oh, this person is a jerk. I’m like, well, no, this is a person who has some maybe behavior.

You find jerky, you know, whatever it is, they. They interrupt all the time, whatever it is, like understanding that behavior and humans are different and humans can change their default behavior. So cool. We have a separation and then to speak to the behavior and not speak to about the person, the behavior as an identity of the person, right?

So if I have a behavior interrupting, I have a person. If I just think of them as the interrupter, that’s not gonna help me. They’re a person with a behavior I talk about Hey, this behavior happens. Sometimes it helps then to, when I engage in the conversation, like I’m only talking about this behavior.

I’m not talking about who you are as a person, I’m not talking about your ability as a parent. I’m not talking about, you know, your, your role as a kid and the power structures of your home. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about this behavior specifically right now because so many conflicts boil down to behavior we want or don’t want, or miscommunication.

So if you’re communicating clearly, it’s a behavior issue most likely. So I understand behavior. I look at what need that behavior is trying to meet. Oh, are you interrupting because you feel that that people laugh then and that builds a sense of community and a sense of belonging cuz you can interrupt and make people laugh all the time.

Well, maybe this need to feel community can be met in a different way that doesn’t, you slow down this process or make other people. Disrupt their flow or disrupt, you know, kinda what they’re doing. So we’re, we have behavior and we have the need that behavior is trying to meet. And then, then you open this discussion around well, cool.

How can we meet this need in a different way or with a different behavior? Or how can we change this behavior to the right time and place where it will meet that need? Like maybe this is a great behavior, it’s just not the right time and place for it, or the right setting. You know, different ways that can play out.

So behavior and needs, I think, are the best ways to look at conflict. And then from there, you open up a lot of possibilities in discussion, right? If I’m just sitting back here myself being like, oh, I saw you interrupt. I saw this happen. Cool. I’m gonna solve this for you by telling you what to do in the future.

If I show up and say Hey, next time, here’s what I want you to do. Precisely, you’re, you’ll either be like, cool, weirdo, I’m not gonna do that. Or, what are you even talking about? I don’t even know what I’m not even on the same wavelength. So having those conversations in discussion is super beneficial.

And I can ask you, I can be like, Hey, I see this interrupting behavior happen. Tell me more about why you’re doing that. Or, you know, this is where we like, like I’m not theorizing you. I’m not your therapist. I’m just looking at is this, is this about you trying to feel a sense of connection here? And you’re like, no, no, no.

I’m just trying to feel like. I have some power in this situation or else everyone just talks over me all the time. I’m like, oh, you feel disempowered? Great. Now I can work it on to help you meet that need of feeling more empowered in this situation in a way that works for everyone. And maybe that means we need to structure this so you have a time to talk, then you have a time to talk, then you, you know, whatever it is.

There are ways to balance the power. When I thought it was about fitting in and you know, feeling, you know, chummy, you felt like it was about power. So I need to do my research and I can only do that in conversation with you and figuring it out and having people look through these needs, these behaviors.

What, what need is it really trying to meet? It’s sometimes a little is murky in there. Our subconscious, our brains are like, there’s, we don’t always know what’s going on in there, but I think it’s always worth examining and I think that helps people move forward in conflicts and move forward facilitating other people through conflicts, because that’s why I end up doing, I end up training leaders a lot of times our educators to match conflicts within their organizations better.

They need to be able to listen and validate and really hear what’s happening because we don’t always share our, our struggles very well. We’re like, oh, that person, there’s that. They’re such a jerk. Cool. Well, what are they doing? What’s the behavior? When did you see it? What’s happening? How did, and separating the reaction from the behavior, right?

 Oh, I saw this happen and I got angry and you know, super frustrated, instantly cool. You being angry and frustrated is one thing. This behavior is another thing and we can. Let’s deal with the behavior and the how you feel is your work to do. You know, when you see that your own self-management is like its own channel on the other side.

Chris Badgett: So let’s, let’s just to give one more example. Let’s pretend we’re the parent sleep coach. What is behind the behavior of the fight between the kid and the parent and really the kids side at bedtime or cur or curfew or whatever. Mm-hmm. What are some possibilities? I know you have to talk to the kid to kind of figure it out, but yeah.

What’s the unmet need?

Iggy Perillo: That’s a great question. I mean, I would have to ask the kid, to be honest, I don’t have a child. Yeah. So I’m not as dialed in with a personal example, but when I’ve seen this happen with parents, the kid doesn’t wanna go to bed. The kid’s one more story, one more this, a drink of wa.

You know, like whatever. They kind of have these behaviors around, keep asking for things and I think, yeah. I mean, there’s Glasser, William Glasser is a guy who came up with this theory of five basic needs. And so these are the needs that could be met. And I like this Mo, there’s five. It’s simple. So one is safety.

Survival and safety, right? So is the kid feeling unsafe? There are monitor, I’m scared of the dark, or Yeah, there’s monsters under the bed. I’m, it’s dark. I feel unsafe. That could be one need that might need to be met. One is love and belonging. Like I feel I need to feel connected and secure in my relationships with people.

And that is, I think, I need a story. Can you gimme a another cuddle, goodnight. You know, like those kind of things. Proximity a lot of the, that is often a time where kids feel that sense of close and oneness with, you know, with a parent or with their caregivers, right? It’s like very close. A lot of love and belonging needs that are met are, are come are really present in those moments.

So that’s one that might need to be met or maybe. It needs to be met in a different way for the kid to feel that like maybe they need a hug and you just wanted to give ’em a peck on the cheek and go, you know, like whatever it is. Like potentially how the kid feels. A sense of love and belonging. Another is freedom and choice.

Freedom is part of that which is sort of self-actualization. And I think this is the kid who picks 14 different stories to be read. Cause they wanna choose and choose and choose and choose. They wanna have choices. So having options there. Or maybe they get to choose oh, do you want a hug or me to sit and read to you?

Or do you want. You know, a, a song, you know, whatever it is. I think there’s some room for choice there. Perhaps another is power, which is the ability to affect and have influence on others. And so like we don’t often think of children as having power because of that. That parent to child relationship, we’re like, well, I’m the parent.

The kid just does what I say. You know not obviously that black and white out there, but where does this kid feel a sense of power or a sense of efficacy that they can have an impact? And maybe that is being like, do this now. Do this now do this now. Bring me water now. Do you know, whatever. How do we meet this kid’s need for power?

And, and that might not be, this might not be the time and place for that need to be met, right? So there might need to be, it might not be optimal at bedtime. And the other is fun. So maybe this kid has a need for fun that is, they’re trying to meet through this activity and it’s just really fun to them and they want this silly story and they want, you know, whatever.

And fun is also reward for hard work, but also play and silliness and that sense of engagement. So I think if you look at those different needs, like what this behavior. What the behavior is specifically in that relationship could be actually literally working toward any of these different needs.

But trying to sort that out. Is this about fun, Is it about belonging, about freedom and efficacy? Is it about power or is it about sort of safety, security, you know, feeling, you know, comfortable and like secure in that space? And I think that opens the way to five different possible answers, but also more exploration, right?

Is this what is actually going on with this behavior? So I think that’s how I would approach that situation, is trying to look at. The, these different needs or, and depending on the kid, they maybe can’t quite articulate it and you’re like, not quite sure, like obviously there’s lots of possibilities, but there’s rooms for experiments like, oh, I wanna make sure.

I mean like you could tell the kid depending on their age Hey, I wanna make sure you feel really snug. I mean, I tuck you in really tight. You know, like whatever it is make you feel physically secure in this space. Or, I mean, leave the nightlight on or, you know, kind of these different things depending.

Love. So yeah, love, I guess that’s, that I explorer to start with.

Chris Badgett: Not to oversimplify it, but basically what I’m learning here is that conflict is really not about bad people, it’s about unmet

Iggy Perillo: needs. Absolutely. Yeah. I, I, I struggle to think that there are bad people. I mean, there is a lot of bad behavior.

Absolutely. A hundred percent not needed. Be behavior out there in the world. The humans, ugh. I mean, I struggle to put people in a good or bad category. Yeah. That’s, ugh, I don’t think that works for me mentally, but, There you go. I, I have,

Chris Badgett: I have one last question for you, Iggy. And this is, maybe this is kind of big, and I know you can’t lump all these together, but what I see in the world is a lot of anxiety, stress, and even depression.

And I know those are different things, but, you know we got all this stimulus coming at us and our customers, or our clients, or our students do as well. You know, technology is somewhat overwhelming. We’re a little worried about AI taking all the jobs. And we’re just kind of on edge because the world has gotten a lot more complex in many of our lives.

How can emotional intelligence help us and our, the people that we’re leading or educating how can that help improve the situation across those? Areas of anxiety, sadness, and stress.

Iggy Perillo: Yeah. When stuff is bad, what do we do, essentially? Internally bad though. I think that’s a good question because it’s internal.

I think there is a, like all those are sort of internal states, right, I feel stressed, I feel anxious, I feel worried. You know what? All of those kind of ways that people feel, I think they’re, I mean there’s, again, there’s four pathways for this, right? Like I need to, how self-aware am I? Do I know, do I know myself well enough to know what even makes me stressed or not stressed?

Do I know, have I kind of put this together, do I get, do I look at my calendar and feel stressed? And then do I put it together oh, I have so many different things on my calendar, that’s the stressful part for me. Or do I do I set myself up to be anxious about something that I know is happening?

I’m like, oh, I’m gonna put this off. Classically dealing with conflict, people put it off for three weeks and then the, they’re just anxious for three weeks because they haven’t dealt with that conflict. Oh, I’ll meet with you, you know, next month at this time, and you’re like, Cool. What are you gonna do for that month other than stress about this thing?

Cool. You know have you set yourself up? Are you self enough aware, self-aware enough to realize how you’re kind of creating these environments for yourself, the people you surround yourself with, the environment you’re in, the things you have control over. Right? And obviously we don’t have control over every piece of our environment.

We have. We have made choices that we’re like, oh, I could paint this wall if I don’t like the color, but am I gonna do that tomorrow? The next day, the next day? No, you know, I need to deal with it for now. This isn’t, not everything is an easy fix. Like the, the place where I work, for example, a lot of people can’t just I’m out like goodbye.

You know? That’s not an easy thing to do. So what my environment is causing am I aware of that’s putting me in these states? So that’s some self-awareness. The self-management piece is like, cool, when I see this, How am I reacting and how do I wanna be reacting when I see this? When I see my busy, busy calendar full of, you know, a million things.

I don’t wanna be stressed by that. I wanna feel excited by that. Cool. How do I retrain myself to see that and feel excited about possibilities versus stressed about all this stuff is gonna happen. My friend of mine has this phrase excitement, the anxiety and excitement together. Like, how can I at least move to excitement versus.

Anxiety from, you know, seeing this calendar lick, you know, ahead or whatever it is. So how am I gonna manage myself? How, and, and you can train yourself much there’s this beautiful book called Don’t Shoot the Dog, which is literally a book about training dogs. And but you can use it to train yourself too.

 Every time I see a say, you know, like you see people doing all these sort of different reinforcement activities to train themselves to react differently in different environments, how am I gonna train myself to see my calendar and feel excited versus anxious? Great. I can work on that. There are many read a million books on that Rewiring your brain.

Relationship management part, relational awareness part is interesting for this. If I feel stressed that AI is gonna take over my job and I’m gonna lose work, and I’m gonna be, you know, I’m often projecting down the road then I lose my home, then I lose my family, then I lose, you know okay, dial it back to the, in the reality of this moment I’m okay.

I think they talk about how anxiety is worry for things that haven’t happened yet. And so if I’m worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, There is a place for that. There’s rumination too. I think this is what you’re just describing, like the sense of this is gonna happen, this is gonna happen.

Oh my gosh. Or this already happened. It’s already happened. Ugh, everything’s terrible. To break out those ruminations are, I mean, there’s a lot of the, the classic sort of be present, mindful kind of activities about focusing on the present. And a lot of times we do that with other people and being emotionally aware and of other people.

Means being able to relate to them on a very human level. They’ve done these studies about how if two people are engaged in telling each other a story, one’s telling a story to the other person, they’re talking, you know, they’re sharing a story eventually, like their heart rates will literally start to synchronize and their breathing rates will synchronize and they see brainwaves like synchronize and like brain patterns because like they, we are sort of.

Hardwired to match the people around us and fit in with society where humans are very social in that sense. So we kind of need to fit in with the vibe of the groups we’re in with. And I see this, I work with athletes in sports teams. Like you see whole teams, like they can flow together and they’re like really in sync or someone’s out of sync and it’s not quite right.

Like you see it’s sports like basketball I think are pretty obvious where you’re like, oh, everyone’s just in place. It’s amazing. Behind the back pass, they knew where they were. Or you see people just like literally running into each other on the floor cause they don’t know where they’re going. And it’s a big old mess.

So if I’m aware enough of other people to know whose anxiety, whose anger, whose frustration in the space around me is, is kind of, is input that I’m taking in, right? Like we have a if you have the anxious coworker, am I just sort of buying into their anxiety as the way the world is or am I. Not, or how am I, how am I interpreting what they’re saying?

Like I’m interpreting them as super anxious, but maybe they’re actually really excited or they’re like, I’m interpreting them as yelling, but in reality they’re just super happy. You know, I’m interpreting that yelling is anger. When they’re like, I’m yelling, I’m excited. You know, whatever it is. So I need to be aware of how I’m interpreting other people and how I’m aware of them.

Am I accurate? Am I assessment of what’s going on in these other people around me in my space? And then that relationship management part, I think if there’s a lot of stress, how do I set boundaries or, and or how do I engage with people in a way that supports me and my needs while also being, you know, keeping myself he happy and healthy?

Do I need to sit in a boundary? You’re like, Hey, friend. When you look at your calendar and you’re like, oh my God, everything’s terrible. I have 400 appointments this week. I don’t need to hear that. Actually that doesn’t serve me in my week very well. If you wanna talk to me about, In an exciting meeting you’re excited about.

Awesome. I would love to do that. If you’re gonna, you know, spew your anxiety, what I take is anxiety to me, that’s not working for me. Let’s, let’s redefine this relationship. Let’s set some boundaries, let’s craft a relationship that is gonna work for both of us. That you need to share your, experiencing your feelings.

 Oh, you know, whatever this is. And I need to also feel happy and healthy in, in how we relate to each other. So I think that is sort of the, the last emotionally intelligent piece like, Relationship management does sometimes just mean boundaries. Like I, this is not what I wanna talk to you about, but this is, or I can help shape that behavior and shape that relationship in ways that meet both of our needs.

Chris Badgett: Wow, this is like a masterclass in conflict. How can we learn more from [email protected]? Tell us about what’s there, Iggy and how the, how the people can connect with you and what you’re up to over there At WSL Leadership,

Iggy Perillo: I’m up to so many things, to be honest. Website redesign is one, but right now you can find I have this.

It, the title is a little bit tongue in cheek, but it’s called Dealing with Bozos and Bullies, an Emotionally Intelligent Conflict Management Checklist, which really talks through that process of understanding people’s needs and then moving through a conflict and, and basically I give you like sort of a step-by-step framework for Cool, I understand their needs.

Now what, like then, well, you know, like that’s, there’s more steps to managing conflict. Well so that’s accessible there. People can just go and get it. I have a newsletter, I podcast a little bit, I write articles. So there’s a lot of, if you are curious about working either as an educator or a leader and how you manage that, create that space and that culture there, I have lots of articles I’ve written about that you can find there momentarily.

You’re also gonna be able to find the roadmap statement guide, which is a little more geared toward educators, and this helps educators really set up their learners. To be on the same page with them. And went back to when you talked about creating those desirable difficulties or in being able to engage learners in the space that where you create, sometimes you just need to orient your learners, the space you’re creating.

And if I’m like, Hey, we’re gonna go details to big picture here. Cool. Now my learners know. Okay, great. We’re starting with the details, then we’ll get the big picture later. Got it. I’m on board with that. I can be patient if I like one of these, or you know, more, or one of these less, whatever it is.

And so that’s like a quick little guide for educators. So really at the beginning of their. Sentence session, whatever it is, beginning of their program, to orient their learners to how it’s gonna come about so that your learners can get in sync and move along learning. So those both access will be accessible there momentarily.

The Roadmap statement guide will be there momentarily. The dealing with the emotionally intelligent conflict management guide is there. Right now I do one-on-one coaching with people. I do often webinars. Upcoming events that you’ll be able to find there. I’m doing a seminar on helping people not get eaten alive in their work environments.

That’s coming up next month. There’s just a, yeah, there’s always things going on over there. That’s awesome. That’s the best place to find it.

Chris Badgett: Iggy Perillo. That’s WSL Thank you for coming on the show. Thank you for shining your light. I definitely love what you’re doing in the sense that you’re sending out a ripple of positivity that grows exponentially through leaders and educators.

So good on you for that. Thanks for all you do, and we’ll have to do this again sometime.

Iggy Perillo: I would love to, Chris, thanks so much for being a great host for this brief, but very fun meeting.

Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMSCast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at Go to Keep learning. Keep taking action, and I’ll see you. In the next episode.

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