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The focus of our attention should be emotion

I remember as a child sitting in class and spending hours staring out the window.

Distracted, inattentive, poorly focused and disinterested.

These are all words that were used to describe me, by my teachers.

It would be easy to attribute this to poor cognition, maybe even to a lack of interest in the subject being taught, or indeed how it was being taught.

Some of these may have been true, but regardless of this, we are now discovering, from the use of modern and sophisticated brain assessment techniques such as EEG, that the three most important aspects of learning and also perhaps decision-making,


Focus, and


...are all controlled by our emotions, not by cognition.

We also know that students feel deeply engaged and connected when what they are learning is both relevant and meaningful to their lives.

Whilst some of this research is indeed recent, we have actually known large elements of this since the landmark book, Emotional Intelligence written by Daniel Goleman, was published in 1995.

All of this, of course, has relevance not only in the classroom but in our organisations. It therefore has critical significance in how we lead our organisations and how our organisations are steered.


If we want the people within our organisations to feel engaged and connected in their work, then we need to understand the connections between our emotions, attentive skills and decision-making.

And we need to understand the importance and significance of a Purpose, one that is both meaningful and relevant.

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