Match Emotion To Problem Solve

match-emotionPeople high in this skill of emotional leadership typically …

  • Have good emotional imagination, so that they are able to “flick-the-switch”; generate or shift emotions more effectively.
  • Create environments that make people feel more optimistic and positive in the workplace.
  • Communicate and interact in ways that motivate and engage others at work.
  • Help others see things from different range of perspectives.
  • Help people identify more effective ways of responding (behaving) to events that are causing them adversity.
  • Are able to demonstrate an understanding of others’ emotions at work. For example, they are competent in active listening and basic empathy.

The ability to generate emotion will help you to…

UNDERSTAND: How emotion is used in reasoning and decision-making.



  • Switch to the emotion of others – “Flick the switch” and start empathizing
  • Level, listen, validate – Everyone wants to be heard
  • Drop the “YOU” word; practise X-Y-Z: Am I communicating using “I” language?


  • Focus on the problem – Focus on the person and the problem will solve itself
  • Move too quickly – Moving at the other person’s pace conveys genuine interest
  • Practise INEFFECTIVE listening – Avoid at all costs


You have been successful generating emotion when others see you:

  • Demonstrating understanding of their emotion through your own action
  • Levelling, listening, and validating other’s feelings
  • Using effective communication techniques to build rapport and trust


Just as words are the mode of the rational mind, non-verbals are the mode of the emotions. Non-verbals are emotions you have or express that are triggered by impulses laid down deep inside your brain in the amygdala/thalamus/cortex interactions.

Research shows that people who take their own and others feelings and perspectives into account when decision-making at work typically generate greater input into their decisions from staff and key stakeholders.

Get ready to practise acceptance, permitting events to unravel around you, reacting to them spontaneously and freely, and experiencing fully your emotions; being ready to let go of childhood conditioning and emotional blocks. Develop and nurture your emotional intelligence abilities and competencies and use emotion to facilitate thought.

Emotions provide another source of information to consider when decision-making and reasoning in and out of the workplace. For example, by using anger to attend problem-solving or happiness to change your point of view.




About Dr. Mike Gosling

Best known for creating The Emotional Leader Program, Mike is a leading Executive Coach, editor of this blog, and Co-Founder of Connect with him on Twitter, at Facebook, and LinkedIn.