“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

Daniel Goleman, the father of emotional intelligence, rocked the business world with this challenge to get our emotional act together or risk failure.

No time of the year offers more significant emotional failure opportunities, both professionally and personally, than the holidays. When during the year do we face more work demands – pre-holiday and end of the year deadlines, and the holiday work party?! When during the year do we face more life demands – gift-buying, gatherings, family drama?! Like so much of life, we often let the holidays just happen to us, hoping simply to survive them. But finishing the year well calls us to manage the holidays’ flood of both delights and challenges.

As leaders – in your organization and in your life – now is a great time to use and grow your emotional intelligence, and purposely create your day-to-day and your memories. The skills of emotional intelligence, often referred to by its measurement EQ, are:


Everything you see, hear, touch, smell, and taste elicits an emotional response. Everything. Pay attention to how you feel when you are immersed in the high demand of your work deadlines, the work party, buying gifts, gatherings, and getting your crown done before the end of the year. Check out Daniel Goleman’s article for the Korn Ferry Institute to learn more.


The intensity of feelings or the sheer volume of them can flood you with stress hormones and cause you to become aggressive or emotionally distant. Discover and use EQ tools that specifically elicit a relaxation response for you – perhaps a shorter to-do list, listening to your favorite music or podcast, or lingering over a cup of coffee with someone who cares.


The key to using your emotions to thrive during the holidays begins with knowing what you want and purposefully designing it with a self-aware, self-regulated, clear head. Do you want less stress? More time with or without family? Spiritual renewal? No weight gain? And remember, when feelings threaten to derail what you want, you have self-regulation tools to get you back on track.


Knowing your feelings, how to regulate them, and what is motivating you, leads you to reach out to others to co-create what you want. You find yourself connecting more genuinely with others because you need their collaboration.

Social skills.

EQ is the catalyst to nurturing positive, effective relationships that naturally create the holiday memories that you want, while at the same time helping others to do the same.

When considering your levels of holiday self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills, I urge you to cut yourself and others some slack. EQ can grow through emotionally messy times like the holidays and the skills that you acquire will serve you and those you lead as you jump into the emotional messiness of 2020.

Happy holidays.


Curious how your leadership and relational dynamics are impacting the workplace?


I’m here to discuss your business goals and how WIT’s communication-based wellness solutions may be a fit for you.
~ Tori


Praise for Wit

Last year I made a serious effort to improve employee retention because it is key to my business success.  My employees are my best asset and I wanted to improve loyalty and morale.  I hired Tori and her team of WIT professionals as a “wellness” benefit for my employees and I have been astounded at how much it has helped.  I thought I was hiring Tori to help my employees, but as the business owner, Tori provides me a level of support that is unmatched by any HR professional or counselor.  She is my first call when I need advice and wise counsel regarding all of my business relationships.

Kathy Franklin, Owner, European Wax Center - Castro Valley, CA

As a trusted licensed marriage and family therapist for 25+ years, Tori has journeyed relationship challenges with executives, non-profit and church leaders, their families and friends.  Her expertise provides a focused approach that efficiently penetrates the mind and holds the heart. Her compassion for each situation is palatable. Her devotion to each company is impressive. The results are effective.

Tom Dowd - Owner, Dowd and Guild - San Ramon, CA
Kristi Rinehart

Tori has a knack for bringing clarity to core issues in communication and relationships in tension and then providing concrete steps forward. Her professional coaching has been instrumental in helping me navigate delicate client negotiations with integrity. I highly recommend her as a go-to advisor and coach on all things relational.

Kristi Rinehart - Principal, Rinehart Marketing - Coeur d'Alene, ID

WIT Professionals is an amazing team of professionals that helps your business improve the culture, productivity, and well-being of your workforce. Tori helps engage healthy strategies with the burdensome challenges we all face in work and life relationships. Tori is truly gifted at assisting leaders and employees with understanding their own internal and relational barriers. I cannot speak highly enough of Tori Dabasinskas.

Jeff Hunt, Founder & CEO, GOALSpan - San Francisco, CA

Our company has used Tori to assist with communication, provide clarity and new perspectives to our employees through group training sessions on Stress Management.  She has also been instrumental in supporting our management team.  Tori is an active listener, who asks deepening questions throughout the process.  This approach allows both parties a deeper understanding of the issue and helps the individual reach a solution with greater confidence.  By doing so, we are more comfortable dealing with difficult situations. 

Tina Onderbeke - Executive VP & Partner, Dowd and Guild - San Ramon, CA

Tori has a relational style that instantly creates an atmosphere of openness and mutual respect.  She has a keen ability to empower, affirm and show compassion to everyone.  She sees all sides to an issue and helps resolve communication challenges swiftly.  Her sense of humor and overflowing joy always lifts our spirits and her wisdom and giftedness has saved me hours and hours of stress. 

Kathy Franklin, Owner, European Wax Center - Castro Valley, CA

Rather than letting frustrations build and damage workplace relationships, Tori has helped us meet communication challenges by diffusing them through understanding.  Tori is a true professional who is able to put people immediately at ease and engage in meaningful conversation, which ultimately leads to better decision making and solutions.

Tina Onderbeke - Executive VP & Partner, Dowd and Guild - San Ramon, CA
Valley Dental Group - Dr. Kane, Dr. Chan, Dr. St. Marie

We really loved having Tori and Mary-Beth speak to our company. It was one of the most professional and personally beneficial staff meetings we have had to date. We loved having their perspective on personalities and inter office relationships and really striving to know ourselves better so that we can interact better as a team. They are a wonderful asset to our company!

Dr. Kane, Dr. Chan and Dr. St. Marie, Valley Dental Group - Renton, WA
Mary Beth King
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