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4D Leadership

4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

Twenty years ago the accumulation of skills, knowledge and experience (‘horizontal development’) was sufficient for business success. Today, it’s not. 4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development, offers a new approach of ‘vertical development’.

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Is business rational or emotional?

Is business rational or emotional

As misunderstandings go one of the most consistent and profound misunderstanding is the one about emotions. This misunderstanding is especially true amongst men and even truer in business. We often hear executives say things like: “Let’s take the emotion out of this”; or “there is no place for emotion in business”; or “We need to make a rational decision”. The implication in the last example being that rationality operates in the absence of emotion.

These comments show an almost complete lack of understanding of what emotions are, their purpose, how they work and specifically the role they play in decision-making. Go and speak to any decent neuroscientists and even the most hard bitten analytical reductionist will admit that rationality actually requires emotion. You can’t have rationality unless emotions are involved. They are not two completely separate systems they are intimately intertwined. Thus it is impossible to remove emotion from decision making even if you wanted to. Business is neither rational nor emotional; it is both rational and emotional.

Addressing this misunderstanding was one of the driving forces behind the creation of our new app – the Universe of Emotions. Bizarrely emotions are not that difficult to understand and not even that scary – so why men ‘run for the hills’ at the mere mention of the word is baffling. Emotions are just energy-in-motion. They are composite physiological signals made up of all the physiological data coming from all the different bodily systems – your heart, your lungs, your gut, your muscles, joints, liver kidney etc. Emotions are just data. Men normally like data so why dismiss this crucial biological data?

If we can detect the data (i.e. feel the energy-in-motion), correctly label the data and most importantly change the data, then we have developed emotional intelligence, emotional literacy and emotional self-regulation all in one go. The development of such capabilities confers a massive competitive advantage simply because most people (and by people I’m afraid I mean mainly men) are unable to change how they feel on demand. Most leaders lack control of their emotions, rather their emotions control them. If you develop the ability to change how you feel then you get the control back – you have the emotion rather than the emotion having you!

Download the Universe of Emotions app to begin your journey to emotional understanding and control.

Or read more about the role emotions play in decision-making.

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Dr Alan Watkins

Alan is recognised as an international expert on leadership and human performance. He has a broad mix of commercial, academic, scientific and technological abilities.


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