Show me a company (or family, town, or country) in trouble and I’ll show you a company whose leaders failed to heed emotional cues.

Long before the trouble started, leaders had clear signs that could have helped them steer toward success. It’s not that they made one bad, fateful decision. They regularly bypassed signals that would have guided them to good decisions and actions. The effects piled up until things broke badly.

We can’t blame them for ignoring these cues, though. No one taught them–or us–how to catch and apply the wisdom of emotional cues.
From an early age, when an emotional cue came up, it felt bad. We didn’t know what to do with it. So we taught ourselves to ways to deal: get angry or avoid conflict, be charming or skeptical, get methodical or go hyper, follow the rules or break them, to name a few. We also soothed ourselves with stories–judgments–about the way the world is or we are. These ways and stories kept working so we kept using them. We got through childhood, school, relationships, and early work experiences.

But slowly, as the stakes and complexities grow, our ways and stories become less and less effective. Even the most emotionally intelligent of us miss the fact that our ways and stories have stopped helping and are even preventing our success as leaders and in life-at-large.

The good news is that we can teach ourselves to catch and apply the wisdom in our emotions. It starts with us being open to answering this deceptively simple question: “What is one thought I can think now that feels even little bit better?”

For ages, we’ve thought that to be successful, we needed to outthink the situation, the market, each other. Nope. We need to outfeel. 

In your corner,


Photo by Nam Anh on Unsplash