Does what we feel drive how we think, problem-solve, and lead others?
I used to think not. I’ve recently discovered it’s time to rethink, or, more aptly, re-feel that.
Going through the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in Action certification course last week, I gained a new appreciation for how feelings drive everything we think and do. Like it or not, neuroscience research has proven feelings trump intellect for being our brain’s “Chairman of the Board.” Even Albert Einstein realized it when he said: "We should take care not to make the intellect our god: it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead; it can only serve."
Experience and research have shown leaders who are able to experience the full range of their feelings (e.g., anger, anxiety, fear, joy, love, sadness, and shame) in healthy measures lead more effectively, and lead richer lives.
A while back I had an executive client who referred to his feelings as the "f-word" and told me not to bring them up ... at all. In his own time and way he opened up about them, which I believe led to his promotion and later a better role in a different company, one that helped him to thrive personally and professionally.
How does what I’ve said here make YOU feel?
If this all seems like the “touchy feely” stuff to you, you’re not alone. I get a lot of that. Yet that “stuff” isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s crucial for outstanding leadership.
There’s a ton of research, business cases, and excellent reading on this. So if you want more information, or to discuss what your path to EQ may be, contact me. Unlike IQ, which may be a capacity that's measured and left at "it is what it is," many of us have the opportunity to strengthen our EQ. With an assessment you will discover which feelings you are experiencing, how that measures versus other people, and what you can do to develop those to optimal levels. Thus you can lead and live at your very best.