Emotional decision-making

The work and research of Brené Brown has been hugely inspirational to me. As has Professor Marc Brackett and the work from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.


Their insights into vulnerability, shame and courage, as well as the use of emotion have had a particularly significant impact. Changing the way I live my own life, the way I make decisions and how I put those decisions into action.

Today I was reminded of the beauty and the vulnerability that comes with feelings, of allowing myself to connect with my emotions and using them to make decisions. It leaves us open to failure, to pain, but, if we have done the hard work to develop our emotional intelligence, we can be more confident that the decisions we do make will be values-based and honest to ourselves.


We are regularly told by our leaders and colleagues to leave our emotions at the door, and not to bring them into our work places. This has been a historical hang up from many moons ago, when scientists didn’t see emotion as important and favoured cognition...simply because they could measure it. Times have changed.

This absence of emotion is now increasingly being shown to hamper our decision making, not just because we leave them at the door, but because we don’t utilise emotions in our decision making process very well.

We rely far too heavily on our cognitive and reasoning brain, when in reality, almost all decisions end up being made in our emotional limbic brain.


So the next time you make a decision, bring your emotions to the table and see how they influence the decisions you make.

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