Emotional Intelligence and the Power of the “Pause”

ADDCA In The News

Grant Crowell recently interviewed David Giwerc for his Super Socialize Me! series. This is episode 24: Emotional Intelligence and the Power of the Pause.


Here are some excerpts of the interview:

David Giwerc shares his emotional story of how he left a thriving ad agency executive position; and succeeded with following his passion and purpose: a coaching school for ADHD entrepreneurs and professionals to help with achieving control, success, and happiness in the workplace and personal life.

About David Giwerc: David is the founder and president of ADD Coach Academy, an internationally accredited coach training program. He is also the acclaimed author of "Permission to Proceed…" a book for adults with ADHD seeking control of their lives. He serves as co-chairman on the professional advisory board of ADDA, the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.

David's Story: David used to be vice president of a division of a major advertising agency. On the outside, he seemed to be very successful, what with his job and lifestyle.

One day, David woke up feeling as if he were in a vacuum, a very dark place inside of himself. He realized he had chosen a profession and made decisions in his life not based on what he wanted, but based on others' expectations of what he should be doing.

Around that time, David read "Driven to Distraction," a book on ADHD by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. As he learned more about his ADHD, and in realizing how many people were out there with ADHD, he decided to take a coaching course and begin building a coaching practice. Eventually, David moved away to go into business with his father, who also had undiagnosed ADHD – David called it "a prescription from hell".

Eventually diagnosed and continuing to learn more about ADHD, David found there was little in the way of easily digestible information about it. He started discovering others, like his dad, who had it without knowing it. While at first his father had doubts, upon seeing David improving following treatment, he also eventually went to be diagnosed. Once discovered, David's following ten years with his father were what he describes as his best in their relationship.

Deciding to enter into the coaching profession full-time, David's practice grew very quickly. The school has grown to have fifteen instructors, students in twenty-five countries around the world, and has gained a number of professional coaching accreditations. All of this progress came about as a result of wanting to empower oneself to overcome the challenges of ADHD.

Emotional Intelligence and the Power of the Pause:

  • Research, has shown that about one third of the world has the capacity for emotional intelligence, defined as the ability to identify an emotion you're feeling within the moment you're feeling it; some label it "mindfulness."
  • "We are all emotional beings. What we pay attention to grows, and the most dominant thoughts we have tend to be negative" says David.
  • The human brain automatically latches on to negativity as it is – 87% of those with ADHD feel like "life is hopeless" prior to diagnosis and treatment.
  • Without pausing to pay attention to negative thoughts, the electrical waves within one's brain for that thought will be converted into neurochemicals. Those chemicals directly affect the limbic system – the emotional center of the brain – and dominate its activity.
  • Believing you're bad or incapable creates either adrenaline (causing fight or flight) or cortisol (increasing stress).
  • By pausing, simply identifying that negative emotion, and mentioning its existence to yourself, diminishes its effectiveness.
  • Further, by taking a few deep breaths alongside that pause, one provides the oxygen their brain needs to better engage the executive function area of the brain.
  • Those with ADHD are hypersensitive people. Their inner radar for emotional stimuli is not normally well understood naturally. Once it's understood through coaching and research, it can lead to greater advantages for those with that higher level of emotional sensitivity.