Letting the Good Emotions Roll
We are now realising the importance of emotions in thinking, reasoning, decision-making, leadership and relationships. Thinking is not just linear and rational. Our emotional brain precedes our rational brain when processing information, having the potential to remove consciousness from decision-making. It is also worth noting that our responses are informed by patterns, held in our subconscious mind, based on the experience and beliefs that we hold from our early lives. Your emotional brain, not your rational one, tells you what is true – it is your felt sense of a situation or a person you believe.
Having a level of emotional competence provides social skills useful for recognising, interpreting and responding to emotions in oneself and others. These skills enhance our personal, relational and professional performance. Unlike IQ our EQ skills can be learned and grounded. Not only are they shown to deliver high performance for both individuals, they enhance our general satisfaction with life. General emotional competence comprises of abilities related to understanding oneself (intrapersonal) and others (interpersonal), relating to people (interpersonal), adapting to changing environmental demands (adaptability), and managing emotions (stress management) (Bar-On 2004)
Our emotions inform who we are and how we hold and control them influences our life outcomes and interactions. Emotions make us human, without them we lose our depth and breadth, our ability to be compassionate, empathise and our strength to deal with difficult situations. People who are seen to operate most effectively have been shown to hold higher levels of self-awareness and the ability to understanding and recognise the needs and requirements of others. They have what is known as Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
For many the subconscious patterns that inform their responses and the relationships they form are unknown by them. A person who holds fairness as a core value may have had this belief informed in their upbringing from their parents. There will no doubt be disappointments at the reality of life, they may respond by personalising the perceived injustices they observe. This belief will consequently inform their actions and behaviours with others.
Undertaking a process to realise that life is not inherently fair and treatment is not equal is one step. Looking deeper and seeing how our beliefs were formed and how they have replicated themselves in our behaviour, where our understanding has come from represents the seed of change.
As our brain registers emotion before logic, what we feel may not always be true. But what we feel is more powerful. Therefore if you feel undervalued, assurances and assertions will be of limited use. It is our felt sense that needs to change. Mirror neurons in our brains make this possible. They detect and react to others’ actions, emotions and even intentions. Mirror neurons enable us to recognise an emotion in other people, this is what makes authentic leadership so important.
So the challenge is that as people we have patterns we operate by, that others see and we don’t. We also hold a sense of authenticity and belief with people that may not be congruent with their words. The way we engage and work with people is led by our emotions not rational thought. Finally it is our emotional brain and not logic that informs what we believe. This all accounts for some quite big stuff for us in all aspects of our lives and makes it clear why the subject of emotional intelligence is a leading concept in organisational and leadership development.
We work with organisations and their leaders to discover their emotional profiles, both current and desired. We create bespoke coaching and development programmes tailored to leverage their success. We provide insight through the EQ-i 2.0, 360 and leadership assessments. Our training and coaching provides clients with the insight and tools to develop and manage their emotional competence, create and manage effective relationships, cope with challenges and improve their leadership capabilities. The benefits of emotional intelligence straddle both professional and personal lives; by exercising and focusing the development of their emotional brains clients derive improvements across their lives in wellbeing, happiness and relationships.
Start by asking, how effectively do you use your emotions in your life?
Do your emotions generate helpful or unhelpful behaviours?
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Contact us if you would like discuss how Vantage People could help you or your business.
Jemma Barton, Director & Coach
T: +44 7717 131 434
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