When we get closer to the top of organisations, we are paid to think and make decisions. Understanding how and why we make the decisions we do, knowing the strengths and limitations of our natural response and then consciously choosing to take the best course of action is what separates the excellent leaders from the mediocre. The first step is awareness of our natural response, and of what is important to us (our core values) as these will drive our decision making in order that we feel fulfilled and have stronger self-worth.
We often hear tips and tricks for helping us to “control” our emotions, but that’s the wrong idea: strong emotions aren’t bad, and they don’t need to be pushed down or controlled; they are, in fact, data. Our emotions evolved as a signaling system, a way to help us communicate with each other and to better understand ourselves. What we need to do is learn to develop emotional agility, the capacity to mine even the most difficult emotions for data that can help us make better decisions.