Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist and brain researcher. I had the privilege of hearing her speak at a conference a couple of years ago and she changed the way I think about my brain, my life, and emotional intelligence.

You may be familiar with her TedTalk entitled A Stroke of Insight, where she details how she survived and studied her own massive stroke. Her astonishing and terrifying eight-year journey to full recovery sheds essential light on the neuroplasticity of our brains and the fact that we can choose who and how we want to be in this world. That if we embrace both the thinking and (perhaps more importantly) feeling capabilities of our brains, we can unleash our greatest gifts.

The title of this blog post, “We are feeling creatures who think,” was something Dr. Bolte Taylor said during her session at the conference I attended. This sentence delivered by an accomplished brain scientist and stroke survivor provided the most compelling “business case” for developing emotional intelligence and “soft skills” that I’ve ever heard.

Using emotions to achieve results

At ADVISA, we work with leaders across all industries – accountants, tomato farmers, diamond tool manufacturers, tech entrepreneurs, physicians, scientists, teachers, convenience store owners, lumberjacks, water bottlers, and more. We exist to help them influence others to achieve results through trust and a shared purpose. In doing this work for decades, I’ve seen that emotional intelligence does, indeed, separate the best leaders from the rest. 

Here’s why.

  1. We all have emotions.
  2. Our emotions impact our personal effectiveness and sense of wellbeing, whether we realize it or not.
  3. At best, we leverage our emotions to help us build trust and a shared purpose with others, catalyzing change, and engagement. At worst, we ignore or dismiss our emotions, and they build up in unhealthy ways, causing us to become our own worst enemy.

Consciously using emotional information to guide our thinking and behaviors is emotional intelligence, and all leaders need it. Desperately.

The reality is that smarts and hard work are merely table stakes for effective leadership. Emotional intelligence skills like empathy, interpersonal relationships, emotional expression, and stress tolerance (to name a few) are essential to helping people cope, connect, and find meaning at work.

Develop your leaders

If you are curious about your level of emotional intelligence and you are eager to develop your skills, check out our Emotional Intelligence Leadership Series. We’ll help you embrace the fact that you are a feeling creature who thinks, not the other way around. We’ll teach you how to leverage emotional information so you can effectively choose who and how to be in the world. Click this link to learn more and get started on your development journey.

Leverage the power of emotional intelligence

Are you looking for some Emotional Intelligence hacks to implement in your office right away? Check out our blog on leveraging the power of emotional intelligence in your workplace.