We have an amazing computer in our heads. A super computer that is made up of 100 billion neurons wired into a trillion connections to each other. And we only use about 5-10% of the brains power on average. Our brains are also designed to be absolutely simplistic in an incredibly fast processing limbic system, or lizard brain, and a higher level, slow processing modern brain called the neocortex. Here is where we can develop your Emotional Intelligence
Our limbic system, among other things, is designed to keep us safe. During a time 300,000 years ago when there were things out in the environment that could eat us, we had to have the ability to make a lifesaving decision within micro-seconds. We still have that ability today, however it’s more often used to judge certain scenarios and people that come across for the first time. It is also where we keep our emotions. Again, to be simplistic and not to offend my readers that have PhD’s in medicine, psychology or neurology, this is where we respond emotionally to something within micro-seconds… Like when someone cuts us off in traffic.
Our neocortex system is designed to take in data and, like a super-computer, analyze the information and make a higher-level decision based on the information we have looked at.
Here’s the conflict though… humans have a hard time dealing with the battle that will rage inside our heads with our fast thinking, lower level emotional brain and the slower moving, higher level of thinking rationale brain. Often what happens is that fast brain wins, and outcomes are less than ideal or, even embarrassing.
True emotional intelligence comes to us when we are able to use our higher-level thinking part of our brain to over-ride the fast thinking lower-level brain. This takes a lot of practice and self-reflection! Here’s my practice list to develop your Emotional Intelligence:
Want to learn more and develop your emotional intelligence and higher-level thinking? Here are three books I recommend:
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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