Dr. Tracey Adams Dishes about Emotional Intelligence, the Benefits of Bad Bosses and Leaving Your Phone at Home

Tracey Adams
Listen to the episode (0:42:41)

Kick Off!

What can we learn from having a bad boss, or working with a really bad coach? Emotional Intelligence expert Dr. Tracey Adams says plenty! Tracey and I recently met via a mutual friend and PYP MVP Elizabeth Case (thanks, Elizabeth!) and we hit it off immediately. Enthusiastic is an understatement when it comes to describing this powerhouse. I learned so much from our conversation on today’s episode, and I know you will love what she shares.

When she’s not off facilitating private retreats for women so they can show up more powerfully by using emotional intelligence for better well being at work and at home, Tracey Adams teaches emotional intelligence within organizations. In fact, her doctoral research focused on the correlations between a manager’s emotional intelligence and their team’s engagement.Tracey spends her time in Portland, Oregon raising two teenagers and igniting every room she enters with her infectious positive energy.

Move the Chains

One of the big takeaways from Tracey’s episode is this: when we allow other people to take the credit for winning, we actually win bigger. Tracey shares a great story about a time when she experienced this very situation — along with her honest feelings about what was happening inside her mind while it was happening (many of you will relate to the story she was telling herself).

She also tells a great story about a really bad boss she had who, because of how disconnected he was to her and everyone else he oversaw, taught Tracey how to show up even more fully for herself and the 28 direct reports she supervised.

“We can always learn something from every relationship,” she says. “Sometimes bad bosses can lead us to becoming our best selves.”


Being fully present with other people is a strategy Tracey uses to win at work and in her life.

“It’s amazing what happens when we leave our phones behind when we go to a meeting!” she laughs. “People actually talk to each other. Who knew?”

Another big score from today’s conversation with Tracey Adams has to do with understanding the relationship we have with ourselves. “We are always in a relationship of one,” she says. “Everything we experience in life begins with us.”

Interview Links

Learn more about Dr. Tracey Adams on her website here.

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