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Emotional Intelligence

Mental Health In Nigeria

The Mental Health of Nigerians in Nigeria is failing. In this piece, I will explain how we can fix this disturbing phenomenon.

 

Nigerian Government has focused on politics instead of Governance for a while now so we need to focus on other systems and structures that can provide value to their Citizens.

 

The first is worship centers. Worship centers should please create mental health departments led by professionals who act like mental health first-aid responders. Professionals who can resolve issues like Grief, depression, trauma, sexual and emotional abuse, etc. The painful reality is no matter how much you pray, we can’t all live forever so people will still die, experience prolonged Unhappiness, deal with trauma etc. Physical and emotional death is part of life so instead of living in denial and pretending we need to create structures and systems to accommodate realities. Prayer is good but if you don’t pray for food to appear on your plate when you are physically hungry why are you praying when you are emotionally hungry? God also created science so let’s stop rejecting God’s mercy.

The second pathway is Organizations. Organizations should please have a monthly mental health budget for employee awareness programs and activations. There must also be monthly mental health check-ins, and accessible therapy gift cards. We must normalize gifting the gift of mental health because emotions drive people, people drive the bottom-line.

If we don’t honor the above urgently, the implication is clear. We will lose more people to addictions, depression, and suicide. Worship centers, Organizations, and Individuals must take responsibility for this to avoid this mess, please!

Namaste.

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Emotional Intelligence

How Leaders Can Be Assertive Instead of Aggressive

An interesting incident happened to me in my final year in college. I went to the administrative department to check my name on what we call the “notice board” in Nigeria. My name was meant to be part of the list of final-year students who were expected to join the National Youth Service Corps.

In Nigeria, you are expected to serve your country for a year after your final year of college. Instead of getting a regular job, you dedicate a year to serve your country. On this fateful day, I went to check my name and pick up my call-to-service letter. Surprisingly, my name was not on the list, despite me excelling in school. I wondered what happened, so I asked the administrative office.

I was told it had something to do with my grades. I responded emphatically that my grades were fine, and then the woman I met checked the data before her and discovered they had made an error. My name was omitted from the list. This oversight would cost me a year because it was too late to include my name. I was legitimately upset that I was going to have to wait for an extra year. I shouted and yelled at the administrative executive. I was deeply upset about the oversight and painful mistake. I felt as if I was boiling. But in hindsight, I could have handled the situation better. I didn’t have to shout and yell to pass my message across, and I could have escalated it to her boss if I chose to.

In other words, I was aggressive and not assertive. I attacked her instead of attacking the issue. I communicated my pain, not my message. I focused on her, not the problem itself.

I tell this story because this is what many of us do in business. When there’s an issue, instead of focusing on what went wrong and seeing if they can fix or mitigate it, many people attack, shout, yell and use words they’re not proud of. Then, they feel guilty or regret their statements later on.

As leaders, it’s important to learn how to be assertive, rather than aggressive. When you are assertive, you can communicate your message and attack the issues, not people. But when you are aggressive, you are attacking people.

A couple of days later, I ran into the administrative executive at an event. Unfortunately for me, she was an acquaintance’s mum. I felt deeply unhappy and my guilt increased. I was not proud of myself. This acquaintance had said beautiful things about me to his mother, but I had messed it up in my moment of anger. Was my anger legitimate? Yes. But was that the best way to resolve the issue? No. I did not have to yell, shout or utter unkind words. I should have focused on my desired outcome. I should have dealt with the issue, not the person.

A couple of days later, I ran into the administrative executive at an event. Unfortunately for me, she was an acquaintance’s mum. I felt deeply unhappy and my guilt increased. I was not proud of myself. This acquaintance had said beautiful things about me to his mother, but I had messed it up in my moment of anger. Was my anger legitimate? Yes. But was that the best way to resolve the issue? No. I did not have to yell, shout or utter unkind words. I should have focused on my desired outcome. I should have dealt with the issue, not the person.

To become more assertive, remember that how you communicate a message is as important as the message you are communicating. This means your style of delivery is as important as the content of the message. When you experience an emotional flood, instead of responding immediately, pause before you speak.

Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist Viktor Frankl is known to have said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space.” I believe that in that space lies your emotional power. As a leader, you can control your emotions and reactions by taking frequent pauses. Pause before you speak. Pause while you speak. Pause after you have spoken. Your pause is what turns your emotions into emotional intelligence. Your pause can help you take control of the situation you or your team is facing, rather than allowing the situation to control you.

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Emotional Intelligence

Once upon a time,

I was invited to train 45 Judges on workplace emotional intelligence at a retreat venue in Nigeria.

I had also been informed not to address them as “Sir” and “Ma” but by the title “My Lord”.

When the training started, I honored “My Lords” by reminding them that they are some of the rare people in the world who share the same power spectrum as the creator.

They have the power of life and death in their tongue, can terminate and preserve, can extend or destroy. People can live or die at their word; they are the earthly most high.

While I recognize and honor their power, I would like to ask them a question,

Who are you without the power?

Who are you when your title, status, appellation, and sirens are stripped off?

Who are you without the external branding of intensity?

Who you are without the title is why I am here.

It was an intensive soulish engagement.

2 hours after and an ocean of tears (mine inclusive), I am proud to admit that we emptied ourselves of ourselves.

#Emotions drive people,

#Emotions drive judgment,

#Emotions drive power.

We are emotions in motion

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Emotional Intelligence

The Girl Who Stood Up for Emotional Intelligence in Nigeria.

Hello Tribe,

I have a confession,

My documentary is ready, and the trailer is out but I am scared,

I am scared of the impact of the documentary,

It will make you cry and touch you where you have never been touched.

I cried watching it and I think you may be teary too.

Here is the link,

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_ek5SDpiDV1qwGtMNncY-Q

or just input @emotionsdoctor on YouTube.

Could you please help use your prosperous hands to share the video? let’s make Emotional Intelligence viral.

Thank you for supporting and rooting for me,

I am rooting for you too.

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Emotional Intelligence

How to forgive without an apology.

Imagine how elated and joyful you would feel to receive a confirmation letter to resume your dream job but your excitement is replaced by unhappiness and anxiety a couple of months later because your upline has a habit of subtle condescension and making you feel like you are not good enough?

That was how Vanessa felt at her dream job daily. She dreaded showing up at work and attending meetings led by him. It felt like there was nothing she did that was good enough.  She even studied harder, executed faster, and increased her productivity, but they mattered little to him. It felt like he was dedicated to shredding her morale and esteem.

Finally, she escalated to the human resource team, who intervened and reduced the emotional heat for a while. But her upline continued until she couldn’t take it anymore and resigned.

A couple of months after, she got a higher-paying job and an emotionally healthier workplace. Vanessa, however, observed she had some painful residue left in her. She felt her upline never understood the impact of his words, tone, and physiology on her. He also never validated her feelings or took responsibility for his passive aggression. Vanessa’s traumatic experience started seeping through her new job, she walked on eggshells and lived on the edge despite the kindness and support she received. To her, their love was unreal, and they would very soon reveal their true identities.

Interestingly, her new team was waxing stronger and happier, so she knew she had to confront her pain and trauma. She had to forgive someone who may never understand her pain nor apologize to her. She felt grief at the thought of how much sacrifice she had invested in her work, only to be treated with disdain and disrespect. But Vanessa eventually realized that she needed to begin the journey of forgiveness.

The path to forgiveness can be difficult, but there are steps each of us can take when we find ourselves in a similar situation.

 

The first thing she did, and I suggest we do is to tell ourselves that if people knew better, they will do better. People do the best they can with what they have. Her upline didn’t have the emotional tools to connect with his team, he didn’t understand the importance of the word human in human resources. He had good intentions but bad execution.

I also suggest we write ourselves an apology letter we wish we received. Empty our hearts with our ink. Excavate and evacuate our thoughts, feelings, and emotions on the sheets just like Vanessa expressed everything she felt while working at the organization. Appreciated the good seasons and moments and acknowledged the subtle toxicity. By the time she was done, she felt a sense of relief lifted off her heart.

Finally, we must forgive ourselves for suspecting our capacity and not feeling good enough. For allowing subtle attacks to pierce our core and make us doubt our competence and expertise. For transferring the aggression to some of our co-workers, partners, and children. If we can, can we reach out to them to apologize and take responsibility for our share of the emotional pain and transferred aggression, please?

Vanessa not only forgave her upline she also forgave herself. She forgave herself for processing and holding tightly to the pain. Let’s do that, too.

Categories
Emotional Intelligence

THE LETHAL POWER OF SHAME

I train on SHAME weekly and the last time I did, I wept because Shame is lethal, shame is deadly and a major reason woman don’t leave bad marriages is because of SHAME.

The shame tied to departure, restarting, and being single again.

Women are dying in bad marriages because they think God hates divorce. They think God will rather have them die than leave. Like really? The same God who offered David a murderer and adulterer a second life ticket. Or Saul a terrorist / Boko-haram member a soul renewal? Or Rahab the prostitute an ancestral ticket?

We were not born ashamed. We learnt shame and in the same way, we learnt it, we will unlearn it.

Women are no longer going to fade away.

They will no longer nurse high blood pressure and diseases because of an unequal yoke.

They will no longer say their best lives happened when they were single.

Shame needs 3 nurturers to survive,

Secrecy.

Silence.

Judgement.

Shame depends on aloneness, the belief that you are alone. It can’t survive empathy or a compassionate conversation. Infact, the less you discuss it the more you drown in it. So it threatens you to secrecy.

Shame comes to steal, kill and destroy and we are no longer going to lose women to bad entanglements.

Yes, we will embrace therapy but if your partner decides not to attend a family life therapy session, isn’t that a home goal?

A woman can’t build a house a man is determined to destroy.

Categories
Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence in Nigeria

Dear Nigeria,

I am sorry I couldn’t speak with you yesterday. It was my rest day.

I also observed that people were consumed with you,

So I decided to wait till you could create time for me.

Emotional Intelligence in Nigeria

I met you about 4 decades ago.

It was love at first sight.

I was in love with all I was told you could become.

But as decades passed by, it became an abusive home.

The more I loved you, the less I received.

I kept praying and hoping for an intervention but alas,

I have accepted my reality.

You will always exist but I will not so I have to invest my life wisely.

I have to accept the fact that I can love you from afar.

I am also not called to you alone, I was instructed to go ye into the world…

So I have obeyed the instruction.

I still love you but I can’t fix you alone.

All you have become is also not your fault.

You are who we are. Though we hate to admit it.

And if you have to change, we all have to change.

We have to prioritise people preservation and earth preservation.

We have to accept the fact that great Nations are built from emotionally stable families.

Happy diamond jubilee.

May the rest of your life be the best of your years.

Emotional Intelligence in Nigeria
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