4 ways your emotions influence your decisions – by Larisa Sohorca

I sometimes get asked questions like: “So what is this thing called Emotional Intelligence?’”

Or I sometimes hear statements such as: “It’s business. When you make tough decisions, you have to think and analyse situations, not get emotional and weak.”

These questions and statements come in different variations, but the idea is somehow the same. We are still experiencing a certain lack of clarity on the role of emotions within the decision–making space.


Here are 4 facts about emotions that we learned from research and 4 steps you could take to explore them:


1. Emotions represent our ability to connect socially

Collaboration is one of the key skills moving forward. In order to collaborate, we have to connect. In order to connect, we have to develop our emotional literacy and become aware of how we show up in social and business settings and develop awareness on how others experience us.


2. Emotions are generated from our narratives

Listening to our own language is a great starting point to learn about our emotions. This can help us calibrate whether we say what we mean or we mean what we say, and so help us stay congruent in our choices.


3. Emotions focus attention by mobilising the entire organism in an approach or avoidance mode

Emotions are chemicals. They feed our body and give us signals to ‘move towards’ or ‘run away’. Emotions provide us with huge data about ourselves and the triggers that get us in motion. It’s just a matter of listening to these subtle cues and trying to understand them, as supposed to suppressing them.


4. Emotions provide feedback

Being in tune with our emotions is a sign of self-awareness. We seek positive feedback to validate certain competencies, thoughts or choices. We seek constructive feedback to enhance or change one or more of these. While it is great to ask others for feedback, it is equally important to check-in with your emotions and seek their wisdom.


In summary, our emotions are a great resource that informs and impacts our decisions. We may prefer to ignore, label or suppress emotions and in doing so, miss opportunities to make more meaningful, empathic and intentional choices.