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Transcript: How to Create Magic at Work (EP45)


Intro (with music): Welcome to The Culture of Things podcast with Brendan Rogers. This is a podcast where we talk all things, culture, leadership and teamwork across business and sport.

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Brendan: Hello and welcome to The Culture of Things podcast. I’m your host, Brendan Rogers, and this is episode 45. Today I’m talking with Amy Lynn Durham. Amy's the author of Create Magic at Work and the founder of the Create Magic at Work membership group. She uses her skills as a corporate mystic to bring spiritual intelligence and emotional intelligence to energise and transform the workplace.

Amy is a University of California Berkeley certified executive coach and emotional intelligence practitioner who spent years in the corporate world successfully managing hundreds of employees for private and publicly traded companies.

As an expert in building positive company cultures, Amy designed Create Magic at Work to bring a variety of services and strategies to aid in cultivating teamwork and harmony in order to improve profits and employee morale through executive coaching workshops and virtual group coaching sessions. If you want to learn more about spiritual intelligence and how to create magic at work, then listen to this conversation.

Amy, welcome to The Culture of Things podcast.

Amy: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Brendan: It's an absolute pleasure. Amy, I want to dive in because we've got a lot to cover today, and you've got a lot of value to share. I want to go back to what was mentioned in the intro. What is this corporate mystic thing? Tell us a bit about that.

Amy: Well, I’ll start with the outlandish answer, which if you look at my astrological chart, I’m a Capricorn sun and I’m a Pisces moon which means I’m a corporate mystic. Capricorn is very corporate. It's ruled by Saturn—the taskmaster planet, and then Pisces is the watery mystical psychic side that you display when you're at home—that was my Pisces moon. Your moon sign is who you really are when you go home from work.

What was happening in my life was I was that Pisces mystic—the watery emotional, tapping into my intuition, tapping into my spirituality when I was at home—and then I would leave and I would go to work and I would be corporate Amy. I would be very competitive, I was aggressive, I was win at all costs. That may be like some shadow side of the Capricorn coming out.

Then once I merged the two and became my authentic self, I was like oh, I’m a corporate mystic. I’m here to bring heart and human connection to the workplace. I’m here to bring what I was working on at home to the workplace. Oh my gosh, this is actually improving profitability, productivity, and my employee retention rates with some meaningful connecting things that I was doing in the workplace.

Obviously not using woo-woo language or anything like that in the workplace but with just some really good emotional intelligence connecting activities. That’s how it started. Were you expecting that answer?

Brendan: Whatever you give me is fantastic because what I really want to understand and would love for you to be vulnerable about because you talked about your authentic self and you had this home Amy and you had this work Amy. How has this changed you? How has this made you feel? That actually you have a business, which is your true authentic self, and just your own inner self and how that's making you feel?

Amy: Oh my gosh, it's been interesting and it's been a bit of a roller coaster. I mentioned to you a fellow executive coach, oh my gosh, what I do every day at work was what I used to do at home all the time when I was off work. Now I’ve flipped the script (if you will) and it's become my daily work life.

It trips me out that that happened, but it's been pretty cool. The part of it, you have to not be afraid to be judged anymore feeling. It's scary to put yourself out there. You're not going to be everybody's cup of tea, and that's okay. You're going to attract the people to you that are meant for you and meant for your message. That's why I’ve given up—at least I try to give up—the attachment to outcome and just show up and serve.

Brendan: Yeah, it's a great point. I want to talk about your book. I just want to jump straight into that because I bought your book, I read your book, it's a fantastic little read. I was saying to you off-air thank you for making it short, impactful, and powerful because they're the books you just really feel like I’m going to read this. I’m going to smash it out. Some really great stuff in there.

It's called Create Magic at Work. What does the magic look like? Let's look at the end game. What does this create magic? What does magic look like?

Amy: If we're talking about the corporate workspace, the magic that you're creating would be an authentic connection between your employees, and then the magical outcome would be an increase in productivity and profitability by doing that.

If we want to take it a step further, if you want to dive into the connection, to the spiritual intelligence piece, it's those things that you can't see maybe with your physical senses right away but that you know are there. But then I want to add to that, especially for the corporate workspace, you can measure it at the end. You can measure your retention rates, you can measure how long your employees stay with you or how often they leave. That's a huge cost to a company is retraining people, right? If they're happy they stay.

So you can't add that data piece to that, but I add that because people have a hard time wrapping their brain around something they sometimes can't see with their physical human senses.

Brendan: Again, a great point. You just mentioned the term spiritual intelligence. It's not a term that I’d heard of before meeting you and having some conversations with you. Can you share with us what is spiritual intelligence and what does it look like?

Amy: Spiritual intelligence, there are a few definitions out there so I’ll offer you a couple. Putting your day-to-day concerns aside so you can operate from a space where your view is for everybody in the bigger picture as a leader—that's a big one.

The other one is maintaining inner and outer peace regardless of the situation. Coming from a place of compassion and empathy regardless of the situation. I like to describe it as operating from your higher self. It's a faith-neutral practice. You can be atheist, you can be agnostic. It's the next step after emotional intelligence and EQ. You get to SQ by way of EQ.

If you go back to the definition I like to offer—kind of operating from your higher self. That's the place of wisdom, love, and compassion that you can access within yourself. I think everybody has that no matter what religion they believe in. Or if they don't believe in anything, you still have that inner wisdom, that higher self person that you can access when you're in situations, and it's a skill. It's like weightlifting. Keep practicing, you can manage the harder things a little bit easier.

Brendan: What I’m really interested in unpacking is you've shared a couple of definitions around SQ and put some framing with that. You also mentioned EQ just then. Other people would be very aware of the term IQ. You've also mentioned physical intelligence as well and these four coming together. Can you talk to us about those four things, how they come together, how they interrelate with each other?

Amy: Yeah. In the SQ model from Cindy Wigglesworth, she has a multiple intelligence pyramid. It's like Maslow's hierarchy with the pyramid. The first layer of the pyramid is physical intelligence, then the next is IQ, the next is EQ—emotional intelligence, and then the final top of the pyramid is SQ.

If you look at the adult development theory, most people don't really get to EQ until they're in their early 20s. Their brain is not designed to act from a place of compassion and empathy the way we would think of when we think of EQ until their early 20s. And then people really start exploring SQ when they're in their mid-30s.

I mean, we're all human, there are exceptions to that. Some people might be super-advanced, but overall, it's physical intelligence, IQ. What is IQ? I’m blanking on it. What does IQ stand for? I’m blanking on what IQ stands for because I’ve been brushing past that space for so long.

Brendan: You're right. We say IQ, but—

Amy: Intelligence quotient.

Brendan: Intelligence quotient, you're right.

Amy: I have no IQ. I can't think of what IQ stands for. Just kidding. And then you go to EQ and SQ. But let me backtrack to the PQ part, so physical intelligence. That's where you learn to crawl, you learn to walk. Maybe you learn to eat. You have to develop your PQ to survive in life. And then IQ. The way I like to describe it is you learn math skills, you learn how to read and write, you learn all those different things in school. Then maybe you hit your early 20s and you are in EQ.

EQ is where, okay, am I aware of my feelings? Do I have self-awareness? Can I recognise when I’m being triggered? Do I have a strategy when that happens, especially in the workplace? Can I make a connection with others? Maybe with others that I don't even really like, but my EQ is developing and I can attempt that from a place of some compassion.

Then SQ is the I am part, and that's where you start really diving into what is my life purpose? What are my values? Can I sustain faith during difficult times? Can I maintain inner calm? Because a lot of us front with outer calm in the corporate space, right? But who knows what's really going on inside. Can I maintain inner and outer peace? Can I, as a leader, be a calming and healing presence?

Those are tall orders, and they're daily practices. We mess up all the time, and that's okay. But when you get to that point and you want to practice those skills, I personally think that's huge because you're creating ripple effects in the world, especially as a leader.

There's some data that shows that as a leader, how you feel, you can multiply it by 10 with your employees. So if you're agitated and upset or behaving in a way that's not calm, you can multiply that by 10 on how your employees feel. The ripple effect as a leader is huge.

Brendan: That's an enormous impact and leads me to my next question around the work you're doing with leaders and linking the top of the model—the EQ to the SQ. If you're working with a leader who is (I guess fair to say) deficient in EQ and therefore SQ as well, what impact are you seeing on that leader and then the impact that flows through to the team?

Amy: That is a huge impact, of course, because if you're working with EQ, if someone starts exploring EQ, then they start exploring self-awareness. They start exploring what triggers them in the workplace and how they can change that. If they're flying off the handle, if they're getting angry, if they're not making decisions from a calm place, that can change the whole landscape of your entire team if you start behaving in a different way.

If you start having an emotional management strategy. I always like to talk about appreciation anchors. It's one of my favourite things with emotional intelligence is you create self-awareness, you recognise when you're getting triggered—we can go off on a whole other tangent—I use the polyvagal theory a lot with neuroscience. It's when you recognise when your nervous system is getting triggered. They call that kind of like the red or the yellow zone. Once you recognise you're getting into red or yellow, yellow is like the fight, flight, or freeze.

So I’m triggered at work, maybe somebody made me angry, now I’m going to go into fight, flight, or freeze mode. What happens with that is your amygdala is triggered in your brain which is your survival mechanism in your brain. And it shuts down your neocortex, which is the part of your brain that can think creatively and think of different solutions more than just fight, flight, or freeze. So if you can recognise that you're triggered, you have about six seconds to take a breath or grab an appreciation anchor and pull yourself out of that before you hit fight, flight, or freeze.

At Create Magic at Work, we talk about appreciation anchors a lot. I do a lot of group coaching on what's your appreciation anchor. I personally use crystals. I have a ton of CEOs and leaders that will go speak in a leadership meeting and they'll have a crystal in their pocket because they get nervous when they're public speaking. It kind of grounds them down and you would never know it.

I get pictures and they have them in their hand. I got my crystal. I have some over here right now like this one I took with me to the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute. It's fluoride. It was to help me combat imposter syndrome. I was supposed to be really energetic in that way, but you can take anything in your life that means something to you and use it as an appreciation anchor and help you ground down.

People use pictures of their children, they use maybe a necklace that means something to them, whatever it is. I train individuals to when you feel triggered, hone in on your appreciation anchor and the brain can't experience anxiety, fear, and gratitude at the same time. So it'll pull you out of that. That's the second part of the EQ that we're talking about is having a strategy. And then we got into the crystals, which is the mystical part of me.

Brendan: I guess it takes me back to that technical term you used at the start of the episode woohoo. Very technical, Amy, but thinking about that term woohoo, what conversations are you having with leaders out there? Because when you explain this stuff it's not woohoo. It's really about creating connection and deeper connection, and we all know that connection is so important for individuals and humans to have. Great things grow off the back of having deep connections.

But how do you have these conversations when you're known as a corporate mystic and you're talking about some crystals and all that stuff and this technical term woohoo comes in? What conversations are you having with leaders, CEOs that are dealing with all sorts of budgets and they've got board members that are on their back about black and white stuff? How are you having these conversations? What are you saying to them to say this is not woohoo?

Amy: Exactly what I just said to you. I share the data, I talk about the brain and how it works, and they don't have to use a crystal. If they're not down for that, they can pick something in their life that means something really positive to them or bring some great gratitude. They can totally do that.

The interesting thing I think for me is because I’m knowledgeable in that space, I’m not afraid to talk about it especially because of exactly what you just said. I know these individuals are used to looking at data sheets, financial analysis. I’ve done it myself, I’ve been in that space, and they're not knowledgeable in what I’m talking about. So it makes it easy for me in that way because I’m coming from a place where I’m sharing information, I’m showing up to serve, and I know that it works scientifically.

I don't really get pushback if that's what you're asking because one—kind of what we talked about before—I think you attract who you're supposed to be working with. And then two, it's not like the minute you start working with someone you're like, here's a bunch of crystals, let me do a tarot reading for you or anything like that. It comes out organically through the relationship.

Maybe we're in coaching session number four or five. Hey, Amy, I heard you do tarot. Can you maybe pull a card for me? I’m open to that. I want to see what that's about. I’ve pulled tarot for CEOs, for somebody that was starting a non-profit that was picking their board members—all kinds of interesting things.

I don't know if that answers your question. I think once you create a relationship with someone and they understand that you're operating from your higher self and you want the best for them, that opens them up a little bit. Just having those little secret anchors that nobody knows about in their pocket is kind of fun.

My coworker and I spoke in front of a total of 1500 people at a keynote, and I brought him some crystals. We were partnered on a presentation and I said here, put these in your pocket. This is going to help take your nerves away. It's going to help us remember our presentation. He was one of those beer-drinking golf guys that you and I were talking about—executives. He's just like, okay Amy, whatever. Because we were really close co-workers and then, later on, he's like, Amy gave you some rocks in my pocket and I didn't even know what this was.

Now, to this day—it's been three, four years later—he's one of the ones that will send me, hey, I got this. I’m ready to go. I have this in my pocket right now for his appreciation anchor. Maybe just being open to have a little fun, try something new, not be so closed off.

Brendan: I like what you say because to me, whether it's a crystal, it might be a photo, or it could be anything, but it's really creating that anchor point as you refer to it. It's almost like a child’s security blanket. You just feel safer with whatever this thing is that means something to you that's it's with you when you’re maybe in a pressure situation and you may have some triggers. That's how I’m referring to it anyway.

Amy: That's absolutely what it is. I mean, we were actually smart enough as children to use that, but as adults, we should use it just as well, right?

Brendan: Absolutely. Going back to what you said, I think we lose that sense of fun and the sense of play. We become a bit more serious and a bit more boring as we get older, don't we?

Amy: Yeah, isn't that a drag?

Brendan: It certainly is.

Amy: When do you remember to have fun?

Brendan: Amy, you've mentioned data a couple of times. I’m a person that enjoys some of the data as well, and I know you’re referred to as SQ21 Model certified. So there is some data, there's some model around this stuff. Do you want to just give us a bit of perspective on what is SQ21 Model, and then we can dive into a few elements of that?

Amy: Yeah. This is what is really cool about the spiritual intelligence piece. Like I mentioned, you get to SQ by way of EQ. Once you've explored the EQ space, okay, I’m becoming aware of my emotions. I have a strategy. I try to make a connection. Now I really want to explore my life purpose and really elevate how I operate as a human being. The cool thing about SQ21 is it's broken down into 21 skills that are tangible for you to work on.

So when I discovered it, I was super excited because it's like we were talking about before. It took some of the woo-woo out of it and gave a practical application to what we're trying to work on here. It's broken into four different quadrants—self-awareness, universal awareness, self-mastery, and social mastery.

The social mastery piece goes from you being to actually doing. How are you a change agent in the world? For me, quadrant four is the big piece as a leader. That's the big explosion. How are you actually operating and practicing these skills with others? I’ll just hone in on one of the skills or I can do a couple, but one of them is being a common healing presence in any situation. I’ll just use my personal story.

I scored a little bit lower in that category than I would have liked, but it was no surprise because I can tend to be a pretty feisty person. I came from a very competitive corporate landscape. I would get in there with the best of them, and some of my old coworkers would crack up if they heard that I was working on being a calm and healing presence for 2021 because they probably get it. But it's so cool because you can pick a skill to work on and really improve on.

I want to be a common healing presence. I want to have others feel calm around me. I want other people to operate from their higher self around me because I’m calm and I’m operating from my higher self all the time. That's just one particular skill. But I will tell you, you pick a skill to work on and the universe will rise up and give you a ton of opportunities to work on it. I’m like, I should have thought this through a little bit more before I decided to work on being a calm and healing presence because you get the tests.

Brendan: You're so right. I mean, again, we become more aware of these things. They seem to show up all the time. What is it you are doing? Tell us the practical nature of being this more calm and healing person for you.

Amy: Sometimes I feel like I’m failing, obviously. I have a new puppy that has tested my patients over and over with potty training and things like that, and here I thought I was this big, centred SQ coach. I have this little puppy that's waking me up at 2:00 in the morning and has to go to the bathroom, and lack of sleep—there's your PQ, your physical intelligence going down a little bit so you can't operate from the SQ space as much as you would like.

But the things that you want to try to work on that would be, okay, how do I operate from my higher self, which is the place of love, compassion, and wisdom? How do I recognise when my ego is rearing its ugly head and I need to calm it down?

So for me, some of the training that I’ve learned has been to have a conversation with my ego. If my ego flares up or if I’m in yellow like I was talking about before—fight, flight, or freeze—I can take a breath. Breathing helps open up my brain. I can pretend like I’m two different Amy—higher self Amy, ego Amy—and have a conversation with the two. Why are you acting like this? What's really going on? Why are you upset? It's okay, I got this. I’m operating from my higher self, you tell your ego.

Your ego, to me, is almost like your child that might throw a tantrum sometimes. You tell them, hey, we're an adult here now. I got this. It's going to be okay. You can go to take a nap now. That's how I try to work on being a common healing presence. Obviously, the recommendations like meditation, I work with the phases of the moon, all of those different spiritual practices are really important to me.

But at the same time, what has been a very big learning lesson for me this year is that the people in your life are your spiritual practice. They're not in the way of your spiritual practice. They're there to help you. Thank you for being here and giving me an opportunity to practice this right now. I’m grateful for that. Because you can get to a space with these practices—at least I was—where I want to go meditate, or I need to do my new moon intentions.

My relationships are getting in the way of me being by myself and doing all my spiritual work. No, the people in your life are your spiritual work, and they give you opportunities to work on it all the time so take that to the workplace too. The people you work with can help you grow as a person and in your SQ skills. It can help you be a common healing presence. Maybe that person at work that just really gets on your nerves and triggers you are there because they're there for a reason and you need to answer the call.

Brendan: I really like that, just bringing that into just your everyday life. You just referred to yourself and that calm and healing presence. Of the other 20 in the SQ21 Model, is there one that you found with the work that you do with leaders that is more impactful or you've found some pattern in leaders where they really need to be spending or focusing a little bit more time? And if you have, it’d be great if you could share that.

Amy: That's a really good question. You're right, I tend to see patterns, but I don't know if I tend to see patterns based on the energies that are going on in the world, or based on if it's just a characteristic of a leader in general. But I will say that what has been interesting is the making wise and compassionate decisions has come up as a discussion point that could be worked on a little bit better for leaders.

It gets so interesting when the making wise and compassionate decisions come up because a lot of the leaders that I work with are great people, and they want to do well, obviously, in life and help make a difference. They wouldn't be coming to take the assessment if they weren't interested in that. That's been really interesting because what comes up from that conversation is judgment, how I’m judging others. How can I stay curious—that's a huge coach executive coaching value is to stay curious. Don't judge, don't create stories that might not be true.

So we get into conversations surrounding what assumptions am I making, how can I stay curious, how can I build my SQ muscle in this skill where I start small and then grow from there. In the past couple of weeks in particular, what has been coming up has been the Moses Code. Have you ever heard of the Moses Code?

Brendan: I haven't. Please share.

Amy: Okay. I’m no expert on the Moses Code but I love it. I talk about it with my clients quite a bit. The basis of it is that when Moses went to the mountain and God spoke to him and said, "I am that, I am." I don't know if you remember that bible story. That the comma was placed in the wrong spot, and that he really said, "I am that, I am." What that means is we are all one. This comes up in this making wise and compassionate decisions, not judging, staying curious.

It's a really cool practice that you can do in your life where let's say you're driving down the street, you just do the 'I am that, I am' practice. You point to each individual you run into. Maybe the homeless person on the corner—I am that, I am. The person that cut you off in traffic—I am that, I am. It's a practice that connects you to everybody, or there's another compassion exercise that I send to my clients that want to work on this skill. Just like me, this person is trying to avoid pain in their life. Just like me, this person wants love.

There are different statements there that focus on other individuals and say those statements, and then it's more connecting. It helps you understand that we're all kind of struggling through life and trying to make it, in a nutshell.

Brendan: There are a couple of angles I want to go to. I’m going to start with this one first. Just back to that wise and compassionate decision and some patterns you've seen through leaders you've been involved in. What is the impact of a leader not making wise and compassionate decisions, therefore, why should they work on this?

Amy: Let's start with the way that a leader is, whatever they feel, whatever energy they're projecting, you can multiply that times 10 to their employees. I would take that a step further into the making wise and compassionate decisions because people in the system—unfortunately that a lot of us have had to work in, are working now—are competitive, and it's a hierarchy that you work up to. It can be cutthroat at times.

So if you're a leader that doesn't make wise and compassionate decisions, your employees are going to follow, and they might even follow times 10. So you're rippling that down to an entire organisation at a magnified level that actually can cause a turnover, loss of profit, and (for me) a breakdown in humanity. If you're in charge of hundreds or thousands of people, you have a much bigger call than just profit. What kind of legacy are you going to leave on this planet with these people that you're in charge of as a leader knowing now that you create this kind of ripple effect? It's a big deal.

Brendan: Absolutely. There are some pretty serious consequences that you've just explained. What leader is ready for this? Because this is deep stuff. As you said, there's emotional intelligence and then it's going to the next level of spiritual intelligence. What leader is ready to transition and really get to that level of depth about themselves and their own self-awareness?

Amy: I would say if you feel like you've dabbled around in the EQ space—you don't even have to know what EQ is. Let's say you're like wow, I’ve really become aware of my emotions. I’m really trying to manage them properly. I really reach out and try to make connections at work. Now what? That would be like let's explore SQ. Let's explore really going that next step into these 21 skills.

Then I would also add—we hear this all the time on LinkedIn and in other spaces—what's my life purpose? Are you pursuing your dream? I’m stuck at this job but one day I’m going to do XYZ. When is that one day? SQ can really help you dive into what your values are and really try to figure out what your life purpose is.

Brendan: Let's talk back on the practical side of things again in relation to your book. You've got some really cool and (for me) some really powerful exercises in your book, Create Magic at Work. We haven't got time to go through all of those, but is there one that you can explain to people out there listening that in your experience it has really had a dramatic impact in a really positive way for making these connections, and people starting to move and foster into that SQ space?

Amy: Right away, my intuition is just going to the intention setting exercise just because it has that (for me) wow factor with employees and teams that you're working with. I’m talking to you today and it's a full moon day. It's coming up again that we should probably talk about intention setting.

The full moon is a great time to release things in your life that no longer serve you. If you know, if you follow the moon phases as a leader, you don't have to talk about them in the workplace. But if I was a leader and I had a meeting today, I would know the energies in the universe. Maybe I would end the meeting, hey, what's one thing you guys want to let go of today? Maybe from last month or in your life, or maybe something you weren't very proud of. Maybe a failure that you're not afraid to talk about, so you're creating psychological safety. But then you're adding that magic to it where you know it's the full moon and they're letting it go.

So there are some cool things you can do in the workplace for that, and that's the intention setting exercise. You can do it around goal setting, you can do it around your personal life.

When it's around the new moon time, I do bringing intentions in, goal setting, things like that. Everybody gathers around, they write down what they want to bring into their life—whether it's a goal at work, a personal goal, whatever it may be—they share.

Then I use this flying wish paper. I think I have a kit right here. I think you and I were talking about it before. You light it on fire and it burns down. When it hits the platform it flies up in the air. It's like you sent this off to the universe—this or something better. Who am I to know what is the best for me, but this is what I’m feeling right now. I think that's really powerful because it adds a little fun to the workplace with sending the little flying wish paper up into the air. It kind of has that wow factor.

Brendan: Absolutely. Provided the smoke alarms are turned off.

Amy: Everybody says that, but I guarantee you that it's so small. It's just a little tiny smoke and it goes out right away. It's not a workers’ comp situation where an employee could get hurt or anything like that, I promise.

Brendan: You mentioned the term psychological safety leading into vulnerability, which we all know is the best way to build trust, so again that connection. How does the sharing of that intention happen within a group like that? What do you do? How do you facilitate that?

Amy: So I would do it either at the end of a meeting to just send everyone off. With COVID and with Zoom, I’ve done a few actually on camera where we write them down, share, and then light them on fire together. If I’ve mailed out packs to individuals in a group session, and really you just have everybody write down what they want to bring into their life on a tissue paper and then you ask them to share.

That's the power right there and the magic is when they're sharing with each other because you're in the meeting or you're with your co-worker that gets on your nerves or did something to make you mad. You hear them share something vulnerable about their life that maybe they wish or that they want to bring into their life, or maybe something they want to let go of.

It actually goes right back to the compassion piece we were talking about, oh just like me they had a sick family member and they're struggling. Just like me, this person didn't get any sleep last night, wow. And then right there, boom, you're connected.

Then they light them on fire. Each person can light it on fire, let it go, you hold space for each person to do that, and then you break. All of a sudden, as a leader, you find out Shelley reached out to Johnny and they're working on a project together. They never even talked to each other before or whatever might be because they felt that human connection in that exercise.

Brendan: We had a conversation pre-recording and you showed enormous energy and you showed enormous energy through this interview now. Why is this work so important for you? What gives you so much energy around this work?

Amy: The answer to that is one, it's internal work that you start exploring within yourself to be a better human being. And then once you start discovering these skills and how they actually work and connect others, you want to share them. That is probably the biggest piece for me.

I’m super grateful that I’m able to do this. That the universe has offered me this opportunity, the financial space to be able to do it. I really feel like this is my life purpose is to show up, serve, teach these skills, and practice these skills myself because I’m not perfect. I’m working on being a common healing presence this year.

Then the biggest key with that too, there's a lot of perfectionism in the corporate world. I’ve learned that beauty is in the messy. When we make mistakes—like we talked about psychological safety and then it's okay to fail—the biggest piece is recognition. I always say recognise, repair, and recover. You're human. You're going to make a mistake. It's not going to be perfect, it's going to be messy.

But if you recognise repair and recover, every time it gets a little bit better and a little bit better. That way we're more gentle with ourselves, and we actually grow more because it's not like, well I failed. I’m not a common healing presence. I’m just not, that's just not me. No. I slipped up and now I can keep working on it a little bit more because I recognised it. What happened at that moment? Why was I triggered? How can I do better next time?

Brendan: Amy, that takes us to a nice wrapping up and closing point. Listeners today and learning about spiritual intelligence, the link with EQ, and the importance of it, the positive impact it can have on their own leadership, their own leadership style, and the impact on the team. What would be your parting advice for people to get started to take a step to put a toe in the water around this area?

Amy: I say if you're a leader, it is your responsibility to step out, be vulnerable, and have the courage to do something like this. If you are so courageous that you can analyse and hammer through a 50-page financial sheet in front of everybody, or if you're so courageous that you can lose your cool in front of somebody, then you can probably be just as courageous to maybe stick your toe in the water and try to share a piece of gratitude with your team for the day. Something super simple and small.

You don't have to light something on fire, but you can go around and share a piece of gratitude. During company time, let's talk about the skills of EQ. Are we aware of our emotions today? Does everybody have a strategy? If we get triggered, super valuable stuff, right? So to me, it would be, have the courage and the vulnerability as a leader to start. If you don't know where to start, Create Magic at Work has some fun ideas that you can read in the book.

My goal is that you just use that as a little jumping-off point and you have your answers within. You can create your own connecting activities with your team and go from there, but it can maybe spark that creativity within you.

Brendan: Great bit of advice. I guess, ultimately, we've talked a lot about creating the connection. But that connection helps people feel that they matter, which is obviously a very, very important part of leadership and working with people.

Amy, what's the best place for people to get a hold of you?

Amy: createmagicatwork.net, it’s a one stop shop, if you will. My website createmagicatwork.net, if you want to be a magic maker, go to that, check it out. Also, I’m on LinkedIn under Amy Lynn Durham.

If you're interested in how you rank on the 21 different skills of SQ—spiritual intelligence—you can go to my website, createmagicatwork.net, click on work with Amy, and you can purchase the assessment and a debrief from me.

The cool thing about this that I wanted to mention is you'll have this assessment for the rest of your life. You can refer back to it. You can look at it. We can rescore you later on down the road. You don't have to buy the assessment again or anything, and you can just pick different skills. Me, personally, I want to work on maybe a skill a year and really try to see where I end up 21 years from now.

Brendan: Fantastic, Amy. Thank you for sharing what you've shared today. Again, I’m really excited actually to dive into this SQ21 Model. There are so much crossover and so much excitement from my side. I can learn a lot about that, and how I can actually even continue to hopefully add more value to my own clients in that space because I know I’ve got a lot of leaders that I’m fortunate enough to work with that would really be excited to understand a bit more of that as well.

Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge, your expertise. Well done on the work you're doing, and thanks for being a guest on The Culture of Things Podcast.

Amy: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure. Thank you.

Brendan: I found it so interesting listening to Amy’s insights and learning about spiritual intelligence, the link to emotional intelligence, and how it all helps to create magic at work. One thing that resonated with me very strongly was having an anchor.

When I left home at 22 to work overseas, my sister gave me a guardian angel pin. She wrote this on the back of the card, "To my dearest brother. This is a little token to take with you to remember us when you're feeling alone. Take care and stay safe. Love you always."

I was very close to my sister growing up, and this anchor brings back fond memories of us growing up together. The anchor sits in my office and still travels with me to this day. These were my three key takeaways from my conversation with Amy.

My first key takeaway, leaders connect with people. In Amy’s book, Create Magic at Work, she shares a number of exercises that help build connection. Irrespective of which exercise you do, you must be deliberate about setting up a time for people to get to know each other as people. Creating situations allowing people to be vulnerable, and the leader leading the way at being vulnerable is the best way to build trust. This will help leaders connect with their people.

My second key takeaway, leaders make wise and compassionate decisions. At the root of doing this is ensuring leaders aren't judging. They remain curious and they don't make assumptions, or if they do, they show self-awareness and check themselves. Amy shared that whatever a leader is feeling, your employees feel that 10 times stronger. So the negative impact of not making wise and compassionate decisions is massive. Have a massive positive impact and make wise and compassionate decisions.

My third key takeaway, leaders should always be developing to operate from their higher self. When you are leading, there is an expectation that you should operate from your higher self. But we are all human and we’ll falter at times. I like to refer to challenging people as character builders. These character builders help you develop as a person and to operate from your higher self, at least most of the time.

So in summary, my three key takeaways were: leaders connect with people, leaders make wise and compassionate decisions, and leaders should always be developing to operate from their higher self.

A quick shout out to Sarah from The Wellnest Collective. Thanks for taking the time to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. In the words of a friend of mine and former guest Randy McNeely, "I appreciate you."

Now to our competition. To win this week's $30 Jangler gift card of your choice, answer this question. What does SQ stand for? Send your answer to brendan@brendanrogers.com.au. Thank you for listening. Stay safe, until next time.


Outtro (music): Thank you for listening to The Culture of Things podcast with Brendan Rogers. Please visit brendanrogers.com.au to access the show notes. If you love The Culture of Things podcast, please subscribe, rate and give a review on Apple podcasts and remember a healthy culture is your competitive advantage.