Watch our Campfire Session on Emotional Intelligence in the Time of COVID-19. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

On 4/17/20 Marsha and Stephen were joined by Jay Pryor, author, speaker, executive coach, and facilitator of corporate training workshops around the world. Jay is someone who is very special to us. He has guided the personal and professional growth of many of us at Hailey Sault and continues to be “there for us” when we call upon him. We wouldn’t be the same without him. 

As we think about this time we’re in, now more than ever, we need ideas, insights, and community. We hope our weekly Campfire Sessions are providing the conversations you are craving about the issues and opportunities facing your health care organizations and its marketing leaders. 

This week, we discussed:

  • Emotional intelligence: What it is and how to practice it
  • Managing fear
  • How to be present for your staff when you aren’t present physically 
  • Sharing bad news with your staff
  • Working from home and shoring ourselves up to safely return to work

Here’s a summary of this session:

  • There are certain parts of our brain that handle emotions and when everything is working as it should a dance occurs in our head that produces the mastery and flow that create aha moments. 
  • Stress destroys or washes out that dance and blocks those aha moments from happening.
  • Our goal is to keep our stress level down and include things in our day that bring us joy.
  • We can do that by being mindful. By being emotionally “response–able.”
  • The key is knowing when our stress level is high and determining what we can do for ourselves.
  • Right now there are two pandemics gripping us—COVID-19 and fear.
  • Jay described F.E.A.R. as false events appearing real. We create scenarios in our heads that lead to fear. We worry.
  • Fear and worry keep our stress hormones active. 
  • We can’t dismiss the fear we are feeling right now. We have to do extra duty to stay in the moment, to give ourselves grace and to manage our thoughts.
  • As leaders, our jobs are to support our team. Every person in lockdown is experiencing some kind of stress. We need to be realistic about productivity and the extra stressors in people’s lives—especially those people home with young children.
  • Sharing bad news with staff is difficult. We need to reconcile within ourselves what to share and when the time is right—being forthright, transparent and authentic.
  • It’s okay to be vulnerable as a leader and to allow others to lead for a while.
  • Health care leaders must be thinking about how they are going to help their staff through the trauma each is experiencing treating patients with COVID-19.
  • What will work look like after this pandemic? Will we be more willing to work at home? What will we all need to do to feel safe?


  • Emotional intelligence is a practice that allows leaders to keep their stress level down and be emotionally “response–able.”
  • Fear should not be discounted right now, but it can be managed.
  • Be present with your team and also give yourself permission to be vulnerable.
  • Give yourself and your team a break, you are not going to be as productive as you were before this outbreak and that’s okay.
  • Find joy.

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