This week marks my 2 –year long challenge with my corporate clients who are trying their utmost to understand why emotions are so important at work. They have also been wanting to know why heart and mind connection is so vital for success in life. Furthermore, they want to synch their overworked mind with their slumbering heart because they know that charismatic people, leaders are the ones who are successful in living from the heart-mind connection. So for those heart-mind equilibrium seekers, here is my latest piece on Emotional Styles.
Nowadays from many research we know that emotions, far from being the neurological fluff that mainstream science once considered them to be, are central to the life of the brain and the mind. But what are emotions and how to we operate on them? Let us look at some basics first.
The smallest, most fleeting unit of emotions is an emotional state: typically lasting a few seconds or minutes, it tends to be triggered by an experience (an event in our life). They can also be evoked by daydreaming or introspection- a basic mental exercise some of us love to indulge in.
A feeling that last longer than a few minutes becomes a mood and if this characterizes you for years, it turns into an emotional trait. You all know people who are always gloomy, or I am sure you have people in your life who you remember as cheerful, positive or bitter most of the time you interact with them. Your emotional trait is your fingerprint on the world and is often the first image people see of you when you become friends.
Emotional Style is a consistent way of responding to the experiences of our lives and is governed by specific brain circuits (I am huge fan of neuroscience so see my other post on changing neuro-pathways for a better, more successful outcome in life). The difference between personality and emotional style is that personality analysis covers many aspects of a person, while emotional style is a specific assessment of how and why you react to evens in your life the way you do. It flags up your brain activity and certain techniques can change your responses, therefore you will lead a more fulfilling and happier life as a result. (this would be my job as a coach to help you identify this and work out strategies that would work for you).
Emotional Style comprises 6 dimensions and you are assessed on the scale of 1-10 (1 meaning less, 10 meaning highly attuned to the particular dimension):
Resilience: how slowly or quickly you recover from adversity
Outlook: How long you are able to sustain a positive emotion
Social Intuition: how adept you are at picking up social signals from the people around you
Self-Awareness: how well you perceive bodily feelings that reflect emotions
Sensitivity to Context: how good are you at regulating your emotional responses to take into account the context you are in
Attention: how sharp and clear your focus is
For me, the most exciting part of this work is to see how through mental training (surprisingly, through rigorous use of the mind) emotional styles change and using the heart becomes more natural. The result is an emotionally fluent, powerful, strong and charismatic person who shows up authentically in the world.
Please do get in touch with me if you would like to know more about this, get an assessment or work on your emotional style