Emotional Intelligence: It’s Not About the Nail

This very short video by Jason Headley is brilliant… and LOL-worthy:

Woman:  “It’s just… sometimes…it’s… like… there’s this achy… I don’t what it is…”  [waves hands around forehead area]

Man:  “…”  [bites tongue, eyes dart to left]

Emotional Intelligence (“EQ”) is similar to plain, old-fashioned intelligence:  There are many different elements to being “smart,” and some people are just wired differently than each other… smarter, just in different ways.

When it comes to EQ:

  • Some people are good at recognizing the nails-in-the-head that cause the problems.
  • Some people are good at validating the needs/narratives served by leaving the nails where they are.

A coach with EQ is one who — given a willing “patient” — provides a localized anesthetic, a mirror and some surgical tools, so that the patient has the ability and willingness recognize and remove the nail from their own head, in the right time and in the right way.

Not to over-think this video, right?

Yeah, I agree with that guy.

Sooner or later, that nail’s got to go.


About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on June 7, 2013, in Coaching, Communication Skills, humor, Metaphors, Psychology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Hilarious! Video reminds me of me and my BF concerning my wisdom teeth. Still haven’t gotten them out, but still complain 😉

    • Haha… in her (your) defense, there is *always* some sort of “nail” that can be removed with some effort, but in the meantime a little empathy/sympathy would be nice, right? Yet it’s hard to do this — a lot of people (especially men) are rewarded for being tough and not complaining.

  2. I wish I had the original clip from White Men Can’t Jump, but this re-enactments all I’ve got.

    “I want you to understand the whole concept of drymouthedness.”

  3. ahhhh…

    i disagree with thispart of your post:

    “A coach with EQ is one who — given a willing “patient” — provides a localized anesthetic, a mirror and some surgical tools, so that the patient has the ability and willingness recognize and remove the nail from their own head, in the right time and in the right way.

    Not to over-think this video, right?

    Yeah, I agree with that guy.

    Sooner or later, that nail’s got to go.”

    since we’re overthinking the video, (and why not? it is brilliant)

    some CRUCIAL information is missing from _assuming_ that’s the best course of action.

    how long h
    as the nail been there for? would you still think it needs to go if it had been there for 15 years and had no problems until recently?

    maybe she put the nail in herself to address another issue? would you still think it needs to be removed?

    i tend to side more towards the venusian side. it takes a “guy” to assume that she doesn’t know about the nail.

    also, the video is a neat parable to something seen in the medical litt: “satisfaction of search”. you see something obvious that you think would be the cause of the problem, since, quickly, it fits your knee-jerk theory of cause-and-effect, and you get blind to other sign and issues that might be there.

    so, maybe a “coach” with EQ would use some transformational learning technique and give her the tools to remove the nail herself.

    however, the “healer” with EQ, would address the whole situation, way beyond “the nail”…

    • Nareg, what you fail to understand is… oh, okay, fine… I’ll validate your response… cause I know how much you *love* that…. 🙂

      Thought provoking, analogy-busting questions as usual, Nareg.

      (there? i hope you’re un-happy)

      See, I’m imagining a conversation between us, where I pull you back to the basic metaphor and tell you to replace the word “nail” with “cavity” and “head” with “tooth,” Mr. Dentist. [“Nareg, my tooth is really bothering me…” etc.]

      Ah, but then I hear your rebuttal, that’s it’s not about (immediate) cavity but the (holistic) oral hygiene and eating habits…

      Nevertheless, I press on to the basic message and you sheepishly admit that regardless of whatever else is going on, it’s wise to deal with the cavity, despite the attention/sympathy/victim-narrative benefits it brings, lest it become an even bigger problem and become infected..

      Ok, maybe we wouldn’t have that conversation.

      In truth, for me this video evokes a deep response on the level of systems thinking, which isn’t too far off from your comment of “maybe she put the nail in herself to address another issue?”

      Whether it is the guy or the gal who has the nail in their head, I don’t see the nail as just the one person’s issue. Rather, I see the nail as a piece inserted into a system that is composed of two people in a relationship. Yes, the nail’s presence in the system could be deliberate and have some ‘positive intent’ for that system, but no matter, the nail generates conflict and sets up a barrier for intimacy within the relationship.

      cf. Games People Play by Berne, cf. https://danspira.com/2012/02/08/complainers-critics-how-to-help-them-help-you-aka-plugging-the-hole-in-the-bucket/

      Hmmm… EQ Healer vs. EQ Coach… kind of like having to choose between Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra..?

      • lol grr@validation! lemme return the favour 😉

        i’m obviously looking at the video thru my “healer” (or one who tries to) eyes, and not “coach” eyes, and even tho those 2 things overlap quite a bit, they still have differences, and exploring those differences is crucial to learning. (yes, im in the process of attempting to wrap my head around hermeneutics..:)

        i really like your “the presence of the nail is an element that’s creating conflict in the relationship” angle, and from that pov, it would make sense to remove the nail and hopefully remove the conflict. (break the bucket! i mean.. umm.. fix the hole.. 😉

        the example you gave (hole in tooth) is, as you hinted at, more on the simplistic side, and a more realistic situation would be a chronic pain case where each sub-specialty thinks it is caused by whatever disease-model they believe in (or were trained in), ie, the “nail” in the head, and their “surgical approach” would be to remove the problem.

        treating those cases sometimes involves removing the nail, but more often, it does not. however, more importantly, it involves a complete emotional support. “the nail is there to stay (or not), help me cope with it and lead a normal life”

        or, for the tony robbins version, this “nail” is in our relationship and not going anywhere, or even if it did, the consequences won’t just disappear, so help me cope with it and our relationship will be able to move on…

        again, my my anti-reductionist instinct kicks in and forces me to say “recognizing the existance of the nail” and “validating the narratives of the other person” don’t have to be mutually exclusive… (which is what you were hinting at with your EQ coach example)

        (now i feel totally dirty with all this EQ handholding posting style 😉

      • You do a great job of the “EQ handholding” Nareg… sheesh… don’t undersell yourself! 😉

        We’ve definitely converged nicely in this conversation, too. On the transformative, nail-removing coaching approach, I included some caveats, “given
        a willing patient,” and that it’s something they are enabled to do on their own at the right time, etc. Question though: To what degree can one person truly be such a coach, if they are also involved in the relationship?

  4. oh and deepak chopra can suck it@!@! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Unhappy Truths: Giving Advice Hurts Everyone | Meme Menagerie

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