Communicating Good

Luis Moreno - Human Centered Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

February 06, 2022 hosted by Samantha Massaglia
Communicating Good
Luis Moreno - Human Centered Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
Show Notes Transcript

The need for workplace leadership that is supportive, empathetic, and uplifting is more important than ever.  What does that look like?

This episode features Luis Moreno, an expert in Human-Centered Leadership and Emotional Intelligence. Luis has over 18 years of corporate experience in 7 Fortune 500 companies, and with his strong knowledge of Human-Centered Leadership and Emotional Intelligence and his collaborations with other experts worldwide, he's been training a new generation of leaders to be more Human to help foster workplaces that are healthier and happier. 

Luis obtained an MBA in marketing & strategy from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota and is a Humphrey Public Policy Fellow. He is engaged in efforts to increase U.S. Competitiveness and Shared Prosperity as a member of the Young American Leaders Program (YALP) at Harvard Business School. The Minnesota state government gave Luis the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions in the areas of race relations, justice, community service, education, and civil and human rights.

Follow Luis on Twitter and Instagram - both at @LuisMorenoTCBPN and on YouTube at Luis Moreno TCBPN.

Communicating Good - Luis Moreno - Feb. 2022

Tue, 2/15 1:34PM • 46:15


people, emotions, Luis, person, empathy, feelings, feel, happening, workplace, thinking, leaders, thought, experiences, body, hear, leadership, understand, perspective, work, fun


Samantha Massaglia, Luis Moreno

Samantha Massaglia  00:00

 Welcome to Communicating Good. A podcast by Samalat Media, a communication strategy and content production consultancy. I'm Sam, your host and the Sam of Samalot. 

Like me, you're probably hearing a lot about the Great Resignation, which is referring to the roughly 33 million Americans who have quit their jobs since the spring of 2021. This is the highest quit rate since the government started keeping track two decades ago. 

Many of those choosing to leave their jobs right now cite toxic or ineffective workplace leadership as their reason for leaving. This trend doesn't show signs of slowing down, which means that new leadership practices that support, uplift and inspire workers must be adopted, and adopted as soon as possible. 

So what does that look like practically speaking? Well, this week I'm joined by Luis Moreno, an expert in Human Centered Leadership and emotional intelligence, to talk about exactly that. Luis has over 18 years of corporate experience in seven fortune 500 companies, and with his strong knowledge of human centered leadership and emotional intelligence, and his collaborations with other experts worldwide, he's been training a new generation of leaders to be more human to help foster workplaces that are healthier and happier. Luis obtained an MBA in marketing strategy from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota, and is a Humphrey Public Policy Fellow. He's engaged in efforts to increase US competitiveness and shared prosperity as a member of the Young American Leaders program at Harvard Business School. And the Minnesota State government gave Luis the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions in the areas of race relations, justice, community service, education and civil and human rights. In the conversation you're about to hear, Luis shares his valuable insights about leading with emotional intelligence. I hope you enjoy it and learn as much as I did. Luis, thank you for joining me today. 

Luis Moreno  01:49


Samantha Massaglia  01:49

So good to see you. I have so many questions to ask you. But first, I want to start with kind of a quick lightning round, just to get us warmed up. Okay? Four real quick questions. Here we go. Texting or Talking?

Luis Moreno  02:06


Samantha Massaglia  02:08

Please fill the blank. Taylor Swift is a 

Luis Moreno  02:16

She is a good singer. 

Samantha Massaglia  02:18

Bravo. What is the best advice you've ever gotten?

Luis Moreno  02:24

 Go slow to go fast.

Samantha Massaglia  02:26

And last one. Is it okay for a vegetarian to eat animal crackers? 

Luis Moreno  02:33


Samantha Massaglia  02:34

They'll be relieved, I'm sure, to hear that. Alright, now that we're all warmed up, onto the more substantive questions. So, you are a practitioner, and I would say even an evangelist of what you call Human Centered Leadership. What is that exactly?

Luis Moreno  02:53

Human Centered Leadership is more about concentrating on the people, on the human side of people. And then just kind of leading more with the heart. So always keeping the vision and the financials in mind, but making sure that we're connecting with the people on the human side.

Samantha Massaglia  03:10

Nice. So, empathy is a word that I think we began to hear referenced more frequently in the last few years, fortunately. In your mind, because I know there's a definite, definite, definite dictionary definition of empathy. But in your mind, what is the definition of empathy? 

Luis Moreno  03:25

Yeah, no. And so to me, you know, empathy is the ability that we have to feel in union with others, so is to make a decision to feel what somebody else may have felt in the past, maybe feeling at the moment, or could be feeling in the future. And it's also the ability to see somebody else's perspective and get interested in somebody else's something. So it's celebrating somebody else's victory. 

You know, it's feeling that joy, because something good has happened to somebody else. And then kind of, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., it's understanding that, you know, an injustice is an injustice, you know, whether you're involved, you know, whether it's happening to you or not, it's an injustice. I would say, you know, so that's my definition. 

But I wanted to take this opportunity to say something that I've been talking to other people about. It's like, when is a problem a problem, right? Is a problem a problem when it is affecting you? Or is a problem a problem when it is a problem, regardless of whether it is affecting you directly or not? Right? So connecting that with the Martin Luther King, Jr. example, is when he said is injustice only an injustice when it is happening to you or not, right? Because then kind of from a workplace standpoint, I asked the question on one of my LinkedIn polls on research that I'm doing whether people have witnessed an injustice at work and whether, you know, they have kind of failed to do something about it, and it's like a very high percentage. I don't remember top of my head what it was, but like close to 90% of people say yes, so. But that is changing right now. Where, for newer generations coming into the workplace, maybe for like, you know, Baby Boomers, it's like, hey, you know what, it's not with you. So just kind of, you know, lay low and don't intervene unless you have to. But I think for Gen Z's coming into the workplace, I think they'll be more likely to see an injustice and a problem is a problem, regardless of whether it is happening to them or not, and they'll be more likely to intervene and do something about it.

Samantha Massaglia  05:28

So just make sure I understand. So there was a poll, and a high number of people said that they had witnessed an injustice in the workplace, but they hadn't done anything about it?

Luis Moreno  05:36

Because of the risk of, you know, having repercussions. Right. So it's like that. So most of the people have witnessed an injustice at work. And they have opted not to do something about it because they didn't want to, you know, risk their jobs.

Samantha Massaglia  05:54

So, and do you feel that the Millennial generation and Gen Z, because you mentioned they would be more likely to take action, is that because, do you think it's a combination of they are less afraid of losing their jobs? You know, if we, as we've seen, sort of in the Great Resignation, and also just a, maybe an increase in social consciousness among them?

Luis Moreno  06:12

Yeah. So it's kind of all of the above. I think that the, you know, even social media and the internet, I mean, people talk about like, the negative things of the internet and social media, but there are good things about it, right? One of the good things is that, you know, there's that social consciousness of seeing, you know, for example, right now, through social media, there's a lot of videos about, you know, what some people, some kids are experiencing at school, and, you know, on the bullying side of things. And so like before, you know, somebody told you if you're an adult, and somebody tells you, oh, well, there's bullying happening in school? Oh, wow. You know, yeah, I remember when I was a kid, I also had that, that's natural, it's normal, blah, blah, blah. You don't really pay much attention to it. But when you are shown a video that you can see, when kids are being beaten up, or when you can hear the words, you know, like the very nasty, like, very violent words that really offensive words that someone could hear or, you know, being sent to them when you know, in a video to their phones, right? When you're 10,11, 12 years old, and you get a message, you know, in one of your social media platforms, and you get that kind of messages, you know, it kind of changes your perspective of things. So then you no longer see it as a spectator, you know, like, from a distance as a spectator. Okay, you know, that it's something out there, but I don't have anything to do with that. But it's rather, you are more willing. So the media and social media is connecting us to the point where we are now wanting to do so like, for example, right now, when there's news about somebody disappearing? Right? Oh, you know, so like, the recent case where, you know, like, Gabby, can't remember the last name, but you know, were in the van, and then she's disappeared and

Samantha Massaglia  07:59

Brian Laundrie. 

Luis Moreno
Right. Right. Exactly. So the country is engaged and is involved. And these young folks are sending, you know, sometimes the police department will receive, you know, hundreds of leads, and because, you know, people want and they don't know, these people, they don't know who they are anything, I've never seen them, but it's like, they no longer want to be indifferent, you know, they want to be part of what's happening. And in fact, now, you know, so for example, when so Netflix has a series out there about something bad that is happening based on, you know, inspiring true stories. And then you see, Google knows that the searches for that theme, you know, go way up, because you know, people watch the series, and now they want to know, Well, where did this happen? Where, you know, what's the connection? What can I do? Who can I call and you know. So folks are becoming more intentional about doing something about the things that are happening.

Samantha Massaglia
So, well, I am very interested in, in your story. So would you share a bit about the experiences in your life that created the person you are today? That is, someone who is so focused on human-centered leadership?

Luis Moreno 9:05
Yeah, no, you know, that. I, so I believe in that we need to evolve and learn and grow. And I noticed when I saw it, you know, I come originally from Latin America. I came to go to school here in the Midwest. And when I came here, I was working. I wanted to have fun at work. Like I wanted to, but I was quickly told hey, you know, here like work is not about having fun. Work is, do the work, like put your head down and just we have to, you know, work really hard. And I remember, and so you want to have fun, well after 5pm and before 8am, on the weekends, or when you go on vacation, when you retire, when you're 65 and you can have fun. 

And I was actually reflecting on that and thinking that that is in some countries, right, like in some areas of the US and you know in some places in Europe, like in, you know, Germany and some places in Asia, it is like that, that work is not associated with fun at all. But I, but I know that in some other parts of the world, actually, people think of work like, well, if I want to spend so much of my time at work, you know, I can't be in a place where I am miserable. I need to be at a place where at least from my well-being standpoint, I am in a place where I am with people that I like. That I feel good with. That I can collaborate. And we can do work that is for a feeling, that has a purpose that, you know, I feel is connected to the things that I, so then ultimately, if I'm working on something that I like, and I enjoy, then I'm having fun. 

And I was, you know, I remember that time, you know, more than 20 years ago, that people would challenge me on that. And then what you're seeing now in the new research and you know, after in the past two years with a pandemic, and now the Great Resignation that we're seeing, is you asked if this is one of the polls that I did. I asked, should work be fun. That was like, four four-word poll: Should work be fun? And I think it was a, I can't remember, but it was a very high percentage, you know, like around 80%, or something like that, that answered yes. And I think that they, so I think it was only 3% of people said no, because you had a percent of people I gave the option of 'It depends'. And because of all 'it depends', right? I mean, there are some types of job where you can be having fun. And obviously, that makes sense, right? I mean, yeah, I can definitely think of a job when you're not supposed to have fun. But anyway, so that, so that was one piece that I, that I realized, okay, you know, leadership, when we think about evolution, you know, one of the things that is evolving, is leadership. And that as we have new generations coming in, you know, even in the workplace, we have multiple generations, you know, four or five generations of the Gen Xers you know, we have Baby Boomers and you know, Gen Xers, Gen Y's Gen Z's all in the same place, and the folks that were very successful, you know, in the 80s, and they started to move up and they got to the top and they're, you know, leading all of these great organizations, they could run the risk of thinking, well, I can continue to be successful by leading the people with the same, you know, having the same success by doing the things that I did in the 80s, right, and took me here to where I am. 

But as the new generation is coming into the workplace, the things that were very successful in the 80s won't be successful now. Because what people look for in their leaders and how they want to be led is different. For example, they want to know how fun. So when, when, when a Gen Z comes into a workplace and says I want to have fun, somebody from my previous generation may say, well, great, I have a solution for you. I'm gonna buy a ping pong table, and I'll put the ping pong table right there, or a ping pong table, I put it there in the lounge. So that you know, during the noon break, right, lunchtime, or 5pm, you can go and play some ping pong, and then that's good. That's a result. 

But actually, what the Gen Z is thinking is not to play ping pong at noon. They're thinking about work, the content of what they're working on, the projects that they're working on. They want that to be purposeful, to be meaningful, they want to be connected to, they want to have fun. They want to work with other people that share their values, that are also you know, folks that are trustworthy, that have empathy, have compassion, that you know, that you can use humor with that are curious. And that's what they mean when they say that they want to have fun at work. Right? So then there's evolution. 

And the other piece that is interesting is that there are some changes, for example, in the 80s, and the 90s, early 2000s. The whole thing about how do you make somebody a leader? How do you help somebody learn, is throw them in there. And if they, you know, swim or sink, right, I mean, they got to swim, and that's the best way to learn is by allowing people to, like, see whether they can survive by themselves. But right, you know, that what we're seeing right now is that, that may have been amazing and successful in the past. And I'm sure that there are many leaders out there that were very successful by doing that. But that's not the way that is changing, right? So that is not the way that we want to train leaders now. And they, you know, as I go out, talking about how we can train future leaders, I think that the thought about, well, let them resolve things by themselves, is changing into when you, when we see the employee surveys, what they're saying is when they think of a leader, they actually think of a leader that is involved, is a leader that is, that they can go to and say, you know, I am experiencing the situation, I'm having this problem. And they don't want to be left alone to resolve the things themselves. They want to have this like okay, yeah, I'm willing to, you know, go ahead, but I need to have your support, I need to have your involvement I need to have your engagement. I need you to give me the guidelines, and I need you to give me the tools, and I need you to give me some wisdom that can help me to resolve the situation. 

For example, right now, in the past two years, you know, when we're, you know, after the murder of George Floyd, there's been a lot of learning in the DEI world, right, in the diversity agreement solution, and what we have with that, you know. The curtain has been lifted and a lot of things have been revealed, right? And there are, are a lot of forms out there that people were being indifferent to, and kind of like people look the other way. And some things that were not correct kind of were let, you know, to be happening. But they can't, they are not allowed right now, and they cannot continue to happen. 

So when you, if you are a leader, and you have a person on your team that comes to you and presents to you a very complex DEI dynamic that is happening on the team, it would be a disservice to the person, to the company, and to yourself to leave that very complex DEI problem to be solved by a junior, like a person that just graduated from college, is in their 20s. And you're going to put them to resolve something that the world has not been able to resolve. So those are, that is an example of a situation, for example, when you don't want to leave a person who are saying that you need to actually, you know, engage in the situation, provide the tools and provide the guidelines and the wisdom and the knowledge and be with them and check in with them and say, Hey, how's it going? You know, I'll check with you tomorrow, and help because otherwise, you know, from, from the data, GenZ's that are coming into the workplace, and they have leaders that are leaving them to resolve things by themselves and leaders that are distant and, you know, disengaged, you're not going to retain those GenZ's, you know, right, that they are, the likeliness of a GenZ to look for another job is much higher than a Baby Boomer.

Samantha Massaglia  16:29

I, I love that you're mentioning the research because I am also a big fan of it. And I think that there is, I'm so grateful that there's so much good research that's being done right now, that's revealing a lot of really helpful insights about generations. As you probably know, I'm a big fan of Millennial generation, and GenZ right behind them. But just more generally, I'm really fascinated by the human condition, what's going on with humans. And there have been surveys and other research conducted in the last few years that ask people for their thoughts on how to solve the major challenges facing the world today. Things like the climate crisis and disparity of wealth and poverty. And one interesting finding in the research is that people, especially Millennials, who are surveyed, feel that businesses are better equipped than the government to solve those challenges. Do you think that businesses are better equipped than the government to help make something like empathy more common?

Luis Moreno  17:22

So I have worked with some government agencies that are really doing a great job, and they are performing better than some other corporations. And I have worked with corporations that, you know, like private corporations that really are behind and have so much opportunity. So I think that in general, right, the perception of most people is many people have is that they think of government, you know, government is big and slow. And, you know, incompetent. It's not diligent, that people don't have the willingness or the, you know, they don't have the attitude of service. And whereas, you know, corporate, corporate tends to be kind of more oriented towards the customer, and be more diligent and more competent. But that is not always the case for everyone. And I think that you know, so that the good thing about diversity, equity, inclusion is to accept the fact that we're all, that we are all in a learning journey, and we're all learning. And one of our learnings is that there are some categories that we use to group people that actually, I've always thought, you know, when people use for example, nationality, right? And say, like, well, all Mexicans are the, you know, Mexicans or these. Or, you know, Venezuelans are like that, or, you know, right. It's like, think about, you know, if they say, well, Americans, you know, like, if you go to some places in some other places in the world, people will tell you Americans are arrogant, right? So But think about that, well, there are, you know, more than 300 million people here and we're not all the same. We're just so different. And there are some Americans that are arrogant, and then some other Americans that are not arrogant. But we are using then that category that group it with a nationality and say, Americans are. You know, now that there are instances where you can use a nationality for, you know, certain things like statistically, you know, you can say, for example, you know, a, you know, Latinos are young, because if you take, you know, we take all of them, you take their age, their median age, and then they come to be, you know, like a young age. So you can say the Latinos are young, because, you know, statistically they're young. But when we use them to say something like their arrogant, right, about an attitude, then, you know, I don't always, so I think that's an opportunity from a diversity, equity inclusion to not think about these categories to say or even when, you know, from a political standpoint, you say, Republicans are these or, you know, Democrats or these because, you know, not all Democrats are the same not all Republicans are the same theories. Or, you know, when people say, you know, African Americans are. You know, women are.  Imagine, right, it's like women are. Well, you know, there's probably more than 170 million women in the US, and I don't know that two are the same. Even if they're twins, they are not the same. So anyway, an opportunity.

Samantha Massaglia  20:08

So, we're roughly two years into the COVID pandemic. And we've all been separated in various ways. There's also been an increase in a number of not corresponding, necessarily, but nonetheless, contentious circumstances, especially related to things like partisan politics. So what have you noticed in relation to your work Human Centered Leadership during this moment in time? Are you noticing anything about people in general right now or culture more broadly? And I know, I recognized the irony that we just talked about no,t the importance of not broadly categorizing anybody, but.

Luis Moreno  20:44

I think that, so one of the messages that I've been sharing with people in my training is this idea of opening our minds, right, kind of like based on the fixed mindset and growth mindset. And sometimes there are certain things that we do, that we, that we just think of them as being something positive, that can work against us, and that are not always positive. So for example, one of the things that most people would think of positively is the concept of loyalty, right? So you're loyal, you stay always, you know, you stay true to something. So like, if I'm true to my values, I'm loyal to my values. So I, maybe I may have a thought right now. So right now, at this point in time, I, with the information that I have, and the lived experiences that I have, and everything that I've read and seen and everything that I've been exposed to, I have a thought about something. So then I take that thought, and I am loyal to it. And I live the rest of my life with this loyalty to this thought, that actually, so I'm thinking, well, it's amazing, because I, you know, that thought is, those are my values and my principles, and I'm going to stay tied to that, and I'm never going to derail from my value. So everybody would agree, you know, most people would agree that that's a great idea. But actually, that's not necessarily a good thing. Because when you do that, right, I mean, I have a thought right now, but that thought is based on everything that I've been exposed to as of right now. But in time, right, next year, in six years, or five or 10 years, there could be new evidence, new information, new technology, you know, that I've been, may be exposed to something different, I may mature, and you know, kind of change my mind about something. And if I have taken that thought, and connect it to my identity, now I have, I am locked, because I don't have the ability then to flex, and I don't have the ability to evolve and kind of, you know, switch and change gear, because I have told the world that you know, I have these thoughts. Okay, it's very dangerous, because it could be that somebody that you have a lot of respect for, and somebody that you love, says something to you with a, you know, kind of gives you an advice, a thought, a moral, story, or something, and then you are thinking that because you love that person, you are to live the rest of your life, you know, kind of following that message from that person. But what if, you know, so maybe when I was 10 years old, I had a grandfather that with the experiences that he had had in everything, and you know, what if he told me, a man that is in love with another man is not a man, for example. And now, so if I if I have to hold on to that, and live the rest of my life thinking that well, I'm going to have a problem because, you know, obviously, I am going to be dismissing people you know, I'm going to be thinking that people you know, a man that loves another man is not worthy of you know, love or existence or respect. And so what if I become a leader and I have somebody in my team, you know, a gay man that is in love with another man, then I can't, I don't, I will never have the ability to respect that person, and I may not even give a job to that person because my grandfather, when I was 10 years old, told me that, right? So, what I have to understand is that those are just thoughts and opinions at a certain point of time that other people have, other people may share with me and that I may have myself, but I have to leave the my mind open and I have to leave the possibility that I can be, I can I can change, and I can evolve in my thinking, and I and I have to be able to stop believing something that I believe at some point in my in the past, and I can start believing something new that I didn't believe. Maybe I never believed in God. Maybe I grew up as atheist or you know, like I never wanted to believe in God. And then I had a close to death experience or something. I was in the hospital in coal mine, and you know, somebody came in did some praying now, I am living some miracle the doctors tell me, you know what, we don't. We can't understand how you're alive. Because all of the tests says that you're supposed to be dead. Maybe at that point in time, I decides that well, I want to start believing in that. Why would be, you know, I have to have the opportunity to, to do that and to have that evolution. And if I was a Republican and I want to be a Democrat, or I was a Democrat wanted to be a Republican, maybe I was always tied to one party. Now, I don't want to be tied to any party or you know, maybe before. So it's like, we have to be able to change why. So? That's a long answer to your question. But what I wanted to say there, is that, what I have experienced is that, because of that notion of the romanticism, staying loyal to something, sometimes people are thinking so, say, politically, right, they think so let's suppose that I grew up in a house where my grandparents told me, you know, immigrants are bad for the country, they come in, and they take the resources of others, you know, like, Latinos come here illegally, you know, that, and they told me that, right? So the, you know, so imagine now if I, if I live the rest of my life thinking that, but what I have to, so that you're you stay like tied to that, because that was told to me by somebody that I really admire and love and care for. So now, when somebody comes to me and wants to talk to me about immigration, because I want to, because I, because I love my grandparents, and they told me that and I really value that, I'm going to protect it with my life. So when people come and they want to tell me, I mean, it's like, no, it's like, thank you very much, you know, I appreciate it. But like, I have to go get something on here. And I go, because I don't even want to be exposed to anything that is different from what I believe, because I want to protect what I believe are my values and principles, which don't have to be, but I protect them in that way, right. So then I am I am lucky. I am,I am putting this wall around me that is actually blocking for other people that are coming to me to expose to me different perspective and different side of right. So, the what I, what so when I go in my trainings go out and talk to people, what I recommend is that, is the first is, this idea that you can actually understand you can actually listen, pay attention to and understand an idea that you disagree with, because understanding is not agreeing. Understanding is, I want to think through your logic, like you're going to share a story with me and I want to take the time to listen with it with attention. And I'm going to think through. Sorry, I want to think through the your thinking and I want to kind of like walk through the mechanics of your thought with you. But I don't have to move to believe what you believe. I'm just trying to understand what you believe. Right? And I have, I've had training where people say, Well, that makes no sense. That's like crazy. How can you understand something that you disagree with? Right? How can you, sometimes people tell me how can you empathize with somebody that you disagree with? And I say, oh, so they say give me an example and say, Okay, well, I'll give you an example. Law enforcement, right? When there is a situation that, you know, they're going to they receive a call and somebody has somebody else as hostage, there's a criminal who has somebody else that is, you know, retained, you know, under, against their will, right, so they're hostage. So they want to negotiate with the person because they want the person to release their hostage, right? So what they will do, sometimes they'll work in teams, and you have someone that establishes a communication with the criminal, right. So maybe on the phone or something, and they're trying they establish these conversations. While one person is talking with the criminal, the rest of the team is is like very quickly searching, you know, who is the person? Where did the person go to school? Where did he study. Where, you know, like, all the information that you can get as quickly as possible, right? Because they're trying to understand their profile of that person. Trying to understand, you know, first is like, what could be the motive? Why could the person be doing that? You know, did he, did the person know each other? Did they have any kind of relationship or something? If not, it's okay. What could have happened in the life of that person to do something like you know, what he's doing right now, right? And then also to find points of connection, like, what is something that the person is connected to, that I can use to gain some connection with the person, because I'm established, I'm trying to establish a rapport. And I am also trying to understand the psyches of a person. I'm trying to understand why is the person thinking that way? And why is the person doing that? So when I do that, I can get to understand you. I empathize with a person. I understand the person. I may understand why they're doing what they're doing, but I'm not agreeing. If you said,  was like no, you are agreeing because you understand. You're no, no no, because if I agreed, it means that I would be likely to do that too. And I don't agree that what he's doing is a good thing, and I will never do it. But I am understanding why he's doing it. And by understanding why I'm using he, because obviously most of the situation it's a man that is involved in this thing, right? Statistically men do that more than women. So I am just trying to understand the reasons why a person would do that. So that I can use in my negotiation to talk with them and convince them to release a person, but I will never be in the same, you know, in an agreement, that that is a good thing to do. And that I would do it myself, right. So that's an example of why understanding somebody else's position is not the same as agreeing. So, if you are on one side of the political spectrum, and you have always been, you know, so like, I've always been a Republican. I was born in Texas, my parents were Republican, my grandparents were Republican. I'm always recalling them, but somebody comes in, and they want to share an idea with you about x, about something that, you know, maybe just historically, Republicans have not supported. Well, don't worry, don't be intimidated, that the fact that somebody wants to share an idea with you, don't see that as a threat. It's actually a gift to you. Somebody is just kind of coming to you to share with you something that is valuable. Why is it valuable? Because it's somebody else's lived experience. And because we can not live all of the lived experiences. Only other people can live certain lived experiences. So then they come to us with a gift of you know, they're basically opening a window. The're opening in a perspective. They're sharing a perspective with us. So that's an act of generosity, you know, they're coming to us, sharing a perspective. So don't feel threatened, that the person you know, is like, the person is just being generous to you, giving you a perspective. Listen to a perspective with attention, consider it, understand it, and then decide whether you want to agree or not. And if you want to disagree, it's okay. And you can still be thankful to somebody who offers you a perspective on something that you disagree with, right? Because I, I cannot only be thankful because you changed my mind. I mean, it's like I didn't change my mind. But thank you for, you know, giving me the gift of giving me your perspective and helping me to understand why you think of something a certain way

Samantha Massaglia  32:13

That's, I'm really or wonderfully overwhelmed by, by by your answer. And it's, what you're talking about, this kind of approach to one another. For so many people, it's so counterintuitive, right? As you say, it's because it just, it's the opposite of what they have learned and been brought up with. So knowing that, so there's a whole new kind of muscle memory that has to be built around empathy. With that in mind, as my final question, is there one small step that you can advise people to take if they want to begin, to begin developing that muscle, that empathy muscle? 

Luis Moreno  32:54

Yes. So I will, so these won't be short answers, but there is one exercise that is a visualization exercise, right. And the visualization exercise is to think about, the so so emotional intelligence about our emotions, understanding our emotions, and managing our emotions. So in that, managing of our emotions, one exercise is visualize the how so, when, when we feel something for someone, right, if you if you're going to feel somebody for if you're gonna feel something for someone, that feeling, you have to create it. So one exercise is to visualize the process to create the feeling that you're going to feel for somebody. So let's think about two kinds of feelings. Right? So the negative feelings, like feelings of hate, for example, right, resentment. Those bad feelings. So think, we're going to think that our heart is the place where those feelings are created. So when we think of negative feelings, like hate and resentment, and those are very strong feelings that can be you know, very tough and hard and, and, you know, right, so they're very strong, and they need to be created in a factory. So now your heart is this factory that is, you know, to create hate, you have to use all these chemicals and in this process of creating hate, produces waste and the waste is like, you know, the cortisol and all of that waste is draining in your own body, right? So, when if I hate you, So Samantha, if I hate you to be able to hate you, I need to manufacture the hate that I'm going to feel for you. So because the place where the hate is manufactured, is in me and in my body. I am going to feel those feelings that I am going to feel for you. So like you may or may not know that I'm hating you. So you may or may not receive the negative effect of hate, because maybe you'll never, you know, I'm feeling hate for you, ,but you have no idea that I hate you. So you're fine. But I am not, because I am actually the one receiving the negative effects of the hate that I am creating inside of me because that cortisol that is being produced, you know, it's a waste of these manufacturing process of the hate, is staying with me, and it can stay for hours, for days, and maybe for years, right? So that's, that's a manufacturing of the bad, negative feeling. Now, on the other hand, you know, conversely, when we think of positive feelings, like feelings of love, feelings of friendship, feelings of gratitude, right? Appreciation. Then, because these are softer feelings, right, that are good feelings, they don't require a factory, so don't think of these people in a, in a factory, but think more of like a handmade process. So maybe these are, you know, the love that comes from mother's love, because they love their babies. So the motherly love of a mother and grandmother. So I'm thinking more like a table where you have this, you know, women with all the love creating with their hands. So it's almost like they are sewing right? So they're sewing this love with with all of this love. And then the whatever maybe waste of the process is more like the good things is like, you know, oxytocin and dopamine, and all of these good things that are coming into my body. So I went, if I love you, then I have to produce and create that love that I'm going to feel for you. And then you may or may not know that I love you, because maybe I don't tell you. So you don't know that I love you. But my body will actually benefit from the process of creating that love that is handmade in my heart. So if I have a body, and I have a place where I'm going to be making these feelings, why would I use my only heart, my only body to have this manufacturing process with chemical to produce these hate for others that may not affect others, but may affect me, when I can actually use it to feel something that is positive for me, that will be good for me, for my body, for my mind, that can actually affect my health positively. Because, you know, there is now you know, there's a lot of studies that will demonstrate that, you know, the feelings, you know, folks that live a life of gratitude and a life of love actually can live a healthier life, right? Because they're the you know, from a chemical standpoint, the chemicals that are released in your body, when you have positive thoughts are more positive for you and your health than the negative chemicals that are released into your body when you have negative thoughts like thoughts of hate and resentment. So my, that's a long story, but then in this exercise is to think about when we leave our house, our home or even within our home when we wake up in the morning. So in the morning when we wake up, we have no feelings, no thoughts because we just open our eyes coming back you know from sleeping for many hours. And the moment that we wake up and we have no thoughts and no feelings right. Our body's like searching, because I need to be thi nking something. And then what the first thing that comes to our mind is we go to the past, and usually the most, the strongest thoughts and feelings that we have are associated to something negative right is there be a sense of like anxiety. I'm worried because you know, it could be financial or something has happened at work. I'm worried about something. So in the morning that I wake up, I if I leave my, if I, if I have no plan, and I give it to my brain to find a thought to start the day with a thought, that thought is more likely going to be a negative thought because I'm traveling to the past to find a bad memory. But what I can do is when we think of emotions and thought, instead of being like a victim of emotions, where emotions control us, we can actually practice, and it's not an easy thing to do, but we can work and develop the ability to actually be able to design and create our emotions where we're no longer the victim of our emotion because we are always receiving them, but we're actually the creator of our emotion. So, the night before, before I go to bed and go to sleep, I can think of something positive. It could be  in the future. It can be, you know, think about something that, you know, you are interested in these podcasts. You want this to succeed. You can visualize this spot has been successful being out there, having you know many people listening to you. Maybe these become you want to write a book or maybe you want to do an event, or there's something. You want to buy a new house, a new car, or something, that something positive that causes in you a sense of joy. So you can think about the feelings that that gives you, right? It's, it's a it's a sense of like joy, ecstasy, you know, excitement. And then the night before you already make a decision. You have a plan that next tomorrow when I wake up and I have no thoughts and no feelings, rather than leave it to your own. Let my my body and my brain find a negative thought from the past. I can get ahead of that. And I already say, you know, the one thing that I want to think about is this book that I want to read that gives me joy. And then you know, basically, you know, you decide what you want to feel. And the interesting thing is that you can actually in the, in the studying of your emotions, you can pay more attention. And so through an exercise of mindfulness and attention, you can pay attention to the things you feel when you feel happy, and you feel excitement. And you are, you know, just you have hope, and you're excited about something. You have to pay attention to how it feels like, how does it feel in your body? How does it manifest? What happens in your body when you feel excitement and emotion? And then you can, if you pay attention to that, you can actually create like these photographs, where you are basically memorizing this good feeling that you want to have. So then, in the next time, so like, okay, in the vector of knowing your emotions, right, maybe, you know, last year, maybe I am divorced, and I went to pick up my kids at the game, and I saw my ex. And when I saw my ex, I, you know, became all and by made up my scandal, there, I started to, like, you know, act very, you know, and I made a, you know, I made a fool of myself. And then a year later, I realized, as I start learning my emotions, I understand that at that moment, I wasn't thinking rationally, because my brain was overtaken by by a big emotion, a negative emotion. And now I realize it today, a year later. But as I continue to learn about emotions and feelings, then I am going to accelerate, I'm going to accelerate the time in which I realize that the emotion that I'm going through and how long it takes, so now, I don't need a year to realize that that was happening to me, but I can maybe, oh, yesterday did that in the oh, this morning. And then you can get to a point where you can detect an emotion that you're feeling at the moment. So right now, you're talking to me, you're saying something, that I, you know, my body's reacting to it, and I can, although I'm feeling that feeling, I can recognize it, I can recognize that I'm feeling that emotion, and I can, you know, recognize that at the moment, and I can shorten that period of time. So instead of now is spending, you know, the next three days mad about something, I just can, you know, shorten that, but then it doesn't stop there. Because, you know, it seems, I have since I have studied what happens with my body, when I am, you know, when I am sad, when I am mad, when I am anxious, when I am in all of these states and all of these emotions, I'm going to choose what are the emotions that I prefer to feel because they are more positive for my body. And if I, once I learned those emotions, I can then on demand, I can actually generate that feeling, but not based on anything external. So like, I can be happy but not because some, not because I got a new job, I bought a new car, or because I published a new book, but I can be happy because I on demand, I make the decision to be happy, right. And I can, now that I know how my body feels when I am happy, I can then on purpose, you know, feel what I'm feeling. So in the morning again, don't let your body go to a negative thoughts of the past, you know, tell your body, I'm going to publish that book, I am going to buy the house, I'm going to you know, see somebody that I love. And then all of that emotion, you can then design the feelings that you want to have, the emotions you want to have. And people say, well, you can you know, design the life you want to have. If you start with your emotion, that's a good way to start. Because obviously your life is going to depend, to depend on what you feel and what your emotions are right? When we are under negative emotions, we make bad decisions. When we are on the positive emotions, we're more likely to make better decisions. And some people say that your life is the result of the decisions that you make. So if you make better decisions, you're going to have a better life. So then the connection would be, if you have better emotions, you have the likeliness of making better decisions. If you make better decisions, you have a higher likelihood of having a better life.

Samantha Massaglia  44:00

So mindful, deliberate practiced empathy. Yes, I think that's sounds like an amazing way forward for us out of this, this moment in time, Luis. Wonderful, thank you again, for your time, this has been a wonderful conversation, and I can't wait to get it out into the world and share with everybody so we can all start really practicing empathy.

Luis Moreno  44:21

Thank you. Well, thank you for inviting me, thank you for being interested in my work. And thank you for listening and for having an open mind to these perspectives. And I hope that you practice some of the things that we discuss here today, and then you let me know, you know, over the next few weeks or months, and you tell me what Luis, that  was, you know, that was crazy. I tried and it didn't work. Or, you may say, I try this thing. And you know, and I'm now, I'm experiencing something new and different and better. And I hear that from some more participants from my sessions and they'll come back a few weeks or months later and they'll say, you know, I have a better experience by applying something that we learned from our discussion and that there's a it's very gratifying to know that you can help somebody have a better day or a better life just by exposing a new perspectives and new ideas and something different that we will be doing.

Samantha Massaglia  45:12

Wonderful I will stay in touch thank you sir. The need for emotionally intelligent leadership is clearly significant. But as Luis shared, the good news is that there are simple, practical steps anyone, whether they're in a formal leadership role or not can take to connect meaningfully with others using compassion and empathy. To learn more about Luis and his work in Human Centered Leadership, check out the show notes for this episode at communicating That's because like the bees do. You'll find links to Luis' social media and other digital platforms that offer information about him. I hope you've enjoyed this episode of Communicating Good. Thanks for tuning in. And please feel free to send your feedback to See you next time.