Power To Choose

In sowing emotional leadership you are choosing to give to others in a way that honors their right to be heard, validated, and respected. – Dr Mike Gosling

Sowing emotional leadership is trusting in your emotional abilities and competencies to make no-lose decisions that will serve you and all those with whom you come into contact. Sowing emotional leadership is behaving with emotional intelligence. In sowing emotional leadership you are choosing to give to others in a way that honors their right to be loved, respected, empowered, and treated with dignity. In respecting others you are giving in to yourself; an action of conscious choice making – the habit of emotional leadership.

Deepak Chopra (1996)[1], in describing the Law of Karma, says;

Karma is both action and the consequences of that action. It is cause and effect simultaneously – because every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. There is nothing unfamiliar about the Law of Karma. Everyone has heard the expression, ‘what you sow is what you reap’. Obviously, if we want to create happiness in our lives, we must learn to sow the seeds of happiness. Therefore, karma implies the action of conscious choice making.

Whether you like it or not, everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices you’ve made in the past. Unfortunately, a lot of us make choices unconsciously, and therefore we don’t think they are choices – and yet, they are.

How often have your unconscious choices led you on the wrong path in your life? The place to begin is to define your path. Laurence (1990) [2] says;

Most of us have had a childhood of some confusion, misconception and insecurity. We either withdrew from, conformed to, or rebelled against life as we saw it. And we carry those patterns of behaviour and thinking into our adult lives. For the most part, we are living as a reaction to our childhood experiences and decisions. Our parents had their childhood influencing them! Round and round it goes unless we are freed from our past so that we can live freely in the present. It is ultimately our choice whether to stand still, or move forward in life. I sense that most people would choose an onward path – if only they knew how.

Conditioning has you entrapped in fixed patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions. Events – people and circumstances – trigger automatic appraisals (auto-responders) in you that have not served you well. You have been programmed into making choices automatically. You are what you are today because of the choices you have made.

Whether you choose to go skydiving by jumping out of a plane at 10,000 ft, deep sea diving, traveling to exotic or dangerous places, or watch a love-story at the movies, you feel an emotion that has a positive or negative effect on your body. When you appraise something that is said to you as a manipulation, it will generate a different emotion in you than if you choose to accept it as a compliment.

Positive emotions will reduce your stress and help relax you physiologically. Negative emotions raise your stress levels and harm you physiologically. The resulting emotional constipation will stick with you as you hold your emotions in – refusing to experience them and let go. You will hold onto a sense of being stuck and unhappy with your life’s direction.

Power To Choose is about you regaining control over your thoughts and responses. Reframing your current thoughts, memory, values, beliefs, expectations, and predictions, in a way that your appraisal of them produces the response or reaction you want.

Power To Choose is you deciding to fully engage your emotional abilities to perceive, use, understand and manage your emotions intelligently. It’s about you empowering you. You have the power within you to make right choices in life. You choose who you want to be. You get to be whatever you choose to think.

Making no-lose decisions

“Be careful! You may make the wrong decision!”

Ever thought or heard this statement before?

One of your biggest fears is that you have made, or will make, a wrong decision.

Susan Jeffers (1987)[3] says;

The problem is that we have been taught, “Be careful! You might make the wrong decision!” A wrong decision! Just the sound of that can bring terror to our hearts. We are afraid that the wrong decision will deprive us of something – money, friends, lovers, status, or whatever the right decision is supposed to bring us.

Making decisions can be a stressful time for people as they weigh up the reasons “for” and “against” the choice they are about to make. You may even put off making a decision as a way of handling the stress of having to make it. Or to avoid hurting someone in whom you’ve placed your trust, or to whom you’ve made a commitment – especially if your decision now is to break that commitment. Eventually, making a decision is something you will need to do on your own, after taking into consideration all the advice you can gather.

Jeffers tells us that,

… all you have to do to change your world is change the way you think about it.” She presents decision making as a No-Win Model and a No-Lose Model seeing the Choice Point as where your inner voice rules – making it difficult to make a decision. The No-Win Model is where you are constantly reassessing your decision. Each choice seems to be a no-win choice. The multitude of choices that pop into your head, make it difficult to know which is the right choice. “Should I do this or should I do that? What if I go this way and that happens? What if it doesn’t work out the way I plan? What if …

no-lose-decisionsJeffers views the No-Lose Model as the way forward. “If you stand at the No-Lose Choice Point, your ‘fearless’ self takes over.” Making decisions using the No-Lose Model, is assisted by what you feel in your “gut” – in your abdomen. Trust your body in that it will tell you what it needs, to have absolute confidence in your ability to make decisions.

Making ‘right’ choices

Making ‘right’ decisions causes many people anxiety. How often have you weighed up all the ‘for and against’ factors before making a decision, and yet still not be completely sure that you have made the ‘right’ decision. You may ask yourself, “What if I’ve made a mistake? What if I should have chosen Path A instead of Path B”?

You will have heard the cliché, “If you’re not making mistakes now and then, you are not doing anything”. ‘Mistake’ is a label you always apply in retrospect. When you realize you could have done something more reasonable – even though, the decision was right at the time you made it. ‘Mistake’ is a label you apply to your behaviour at a later time, when your awareness has changed. How often have you heard someone say, “I have a gut feeling about this. I just know intuitively that it’s the right choice to make. It feels right.” This is your intuition speaking to you; your mind having an immediate insight to something. But it’s felt in your abdomen. You ‘know’ that you have made the right choice by the feeling inside you.

On making a ‘right’ choice, Chopra says,

When you make a choice – any choice at all – you can ask yourself two things: First of all, “What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?” In your heart you will immediately know what these are. Secondly, “Will this choice that I’m making now bring happiness to me and to those around me?” If the answer is yes, then go ahead with that choice. If the answer is no, if that choice brings distress either to you or to those around you, then don’t make that choice. It’s as simple as that.

The emotional health challenge is about making healthy choices for your life. Sometimes it’s easier just to do nothing – or choose to do nothing! You get caught in the trap of it all being ‘too hard’. But with every choice you make you can create emotional health. Take action. Don’t wait for someone else to act, to help you. Otherwise, if you wait you will get pushed around. You see, there are two types of people – those who push and those who like to be pushed. Those who push see problems as a blessing. And if you have been blessed, be a blessing to others. Push forward with no lose decisions and exercise your gift of the power to choose.


[2]   Laurence, AM 1990, You’ve got what it takes. A Guide to self-discovery and effective living, Lotus Publishing House, Sydney, p. 4.

[3]   Jeffers, S 1987, Feel the fear and do it anyway, Random House, London. p. 111 – 117.

Personal Online Coaching

Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop. – Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Mentor

I hope that you are extremely successful, that life is all you’ve imagined it could be, and that you have emotional freedom and an invincible love of life.  I truly do!

If, on the other hand, you’re wanting some guidance to recognize, use, understand, and manage emotion and strengthen behaviors that may be stopping you from being where you want to be, let me assure you that the seeds of greatness are within you to be manifested now.  How can I know this?  Because the seeds of greatness are all around us. It is simply up to you to first believe that, and then to take the right action steps that will move you to the next level of where ever it is you want to go.  Emotion management and behavior change are perhaps the key – the most vital parts – of that process.

Let’s talk for a few minutes about some things you want:

  • You want to be a successful and effective leader.
  • You want to achieve personal and corporate goals leading your team through difficult challenges.
  • You want to earn a huge income to provide a comfortable lifestyle for you and your family.
  • You want recognition and affirmation of the good job you have done or are doing.
  • You want to be able to get along well with your colleagues at work and maintain good relations at home.
  • You want to fulfill your life goals with passion and purpose.

Personal Online Coaching will help you get everything you want! It combines research from my Ph.D. study into the emotional intelligence of managers in Singapore, plus evidence-based emotional intelligence constructs and cognitive-behavioral insights with practical, hands-on emotional know-how.  I’ve been through the ‘school of hard knocks’ too!  Plus you get all the resources available to you in the Emotional Leader website, including the coaching forum where your specific questions will be answered.

You know what?  You are much more capable than you think you are.  How do I know?  Because I’ve had to learn to stop annoying behavior to enjoy the success I have achieved.  I’m constantly testing and measuring what works and what doesn’t.  And if you’re prepared to follow The Emotional Leader Program (ELPro) for behavior change, you’ll discover the faster track to success as an emotional leader.  You will cultivate emotionally intelligent behavior for effective leadership.

The process that I will coach you through is the same one I have used with leaders in companies around the world.  This is a proven science-based process.  If you stick to my system, you will reach a new level of self-understanding and greater effectiveness in your personal and professional life.

By following a step-by-step process, my system will help you stop bad behavior once and for all and gain the confidence you need to create your vision, build your emotional leadership habits and live the lifestyle of your dreams.

Eight compelling reasons why you must choose
Personal Online Coaching!

Discover how to:

  1. RECOGNIZE EMOTION in yourself and others
  2. EXPRESS EMOTION using your emotional style
  3. GENERATE EMOTION to support thinking
  4. MATCH EMOTION to problem solve
  5. KNOW EMOTION to communicate awareness
  7. MANAGE EMOTION to influence others
  8. MASTER EMOTION to enjoy unlimited G.R.O.W.T.H.!

About Your Coach

A bit about me – Mike Gosling. I’m the founder of EmotionalLeader.com and my organization, Gosling International, the world’s fastest-growing provider of emotional leadership programs centered on applying your emotional intelligence to help you develop and use eight emotional leadership habits. The implementation of my coaching programs are guided by the stakeholder centered coaching practices of Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, one of the most well respected behavioral coaches and thinker on leadership in the world. I coach business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, senior level managers and staff in corporations, and individual professionals to strengthen their emotional intelligence and improve leadership behavior so they can fulfill their potential.

World renown behavioral coaches and mentors, Marshall Goldsmith, Frank Wagner and Chris Coffey and have written (2003):

The role of the coach has always been to get the best out of others’ performance, whether on stage, on the playing field, or in business. If leaders are to improve their own practice of leadership, they need leverage. A coach adds value to the degree that he, or she, can help the leader gain this leverage. Helping speed up the learning curve into productive behavior is the main value any coach can provide.

I have now personally coached and mentored more than 30 clients from different nationalities in Australia and South East Asia and taught hundreds of people in seminars and workshops. I’m now training emotional leaders globally to succeed through behavior change – To get from where you are to where you want to be! I call this the ELPro, which is based upon the principles of EASEQuadrant, a systematic method of learning to help you develop and practice emotional leadership habits.

[Leaders we admire] all build relationships and inspire us to give our best. Even though managers can be leaders it is not their managerial talent that inspires you to think of them as leaders. Usually, it is an interpersonal skill, a behavior that is expressed in such a way that it elicits our choice to follow, to be influenced, to admire unselfconsciously. – John Nirenberg (2003)

The Personal Online Coaching program, which is available online only through my EmotionMatters.com website is an exclusive suite of resources that is making a positive, measurable, long-term difference in the lives of clients around the world. Will my next client be you?

If you prefer an online solution to your coaching needs, where you can speedily access your emotional intelligence tests and course material to work on in your own time and pace – this is it! I would feel excited and privileged to have you on board. My behavioral coaching program can help you manage your emotions, improve your leadership behavior, and guide you to achieve the success that you deserve and that has always been waiting for you.

My schedule is able to accept a limited number of committed, self-directed, and motivated people to work with me this year. Let’s get started immediately. I’m excited to work with you!


Recognize Emotion In Yourself And Others

recognize-emotionPeople high in this emotional wealth habit typically …

  • Are open to emotions; they are attentive to whether words, voice tone, and body language match.
  • Are good at picking up when people are saying something that differs from reality. For example, they can tell if a colleague is not feeling ok even if she says otherwise.
  • Pay attention and pick up on the mood of a room or their environment
  • Generally not surprised when people tell them how they feel about certain experiences or events.
  • Are adept at reading others’ verbal and non-verbal emotional cues at work.

The ability to recognize emotion will help you to…

UNDERSTAND: How difficult it can be to ASK.


  • Recognize how I and others are feeling – Am I open to and can I read emotion data?
  • Ask others about my perceptions – What one behaviour do I want to change?
  • Be open to FeedForward[1]/feedback – How can I increase my self-awareness?


  • Ignore emotions as a source of data – about me, others, and my environment
  • Be rigid and blocked – be flexible and develop your tolerance for ambiguity
  • Be dismissive, defensive, or doubtful – Ask to elicit honest responses


You have been successful recognizing emotion when others see you:

  • Choosing one behaviour you will improve on, recognizing how you and others feel
  • Changing your mood after recognizing the impact it is having on others
  • Opening up to stakeholders as true coaches for your self-improvement


How difficult it can be to ASK. Why don’t we ask for feedback more often? The number one reason is: We are afraid of what we’re going to hear, whether we know what we are going to hear or not. For example: delaying getting a medical diagnosis, postponing a dental appointment, and waiting to ask for feedback regarding how we are doing as leaders – procrastinating. Feedback is looking back. Successful people like getting ideas that are aimed at helping them achieve their goals (FeedForward). How open are you to asking?




[1] Wagner, F Coffey, C & Goldsmith, M 2003, Coach’s Play Book, Praxis Press, USA.

Express Emotion Using Your Emotional Style

express-expressPeople high in this emotional wealth habit typically …

  • Understand and effectively express how they feel about various issues; that is, in the right way, to the right degree and at the right time.
  • Effectively utilise and are confident in using non-verbal emotional cues, for example, body language and tone of voice, to communicate how they feel.
  • Create greater understanding about themselves amongst their colleagues.
  • Are described by colleagues as “genuine and trustworthy”.

The ability to express emotion will help you to…

UNDERSTAND: How difficult it can be to give up old habits.


  • Know my emotional style – Express effectively how you feel
  • Work on my EAR-Identity – Be aware of your emotional “triggers”
  • Use the GAP – Get accurate perceptions and end emotional constipation


  • Be ignorant of my emotional style – We each experience our emotion differently
  • Become emotionally constipated – Listen to your body, it is telling you something
  • Express my emotions inappropriately – Express how you feel at the appropriate time


You have been successful expressing emotion when you see yourself

  • Expressing how you feel to others to build greater trust with colleagues
  • Adjusting your beliefs, values, and expectations that cause you pain
  • Putting a “GAP” between events and your responses


Human beings have an enormous capacity for self-judgement. Mackay & Fanning[1] (2000) wrote: “One of the main factors differentiating humans from other animals is the awareness of self: the ability to form an identity and then attach a value to it.” When your inner voice judges and rejects you, you damage the psychological structures that literally keep you alive. Prolonged self-judgement can result in lowered self-esteem. As stress rises, self-esteem decreases, and vice versa.

Get to know your own brain; how you process emotion. Be aware of the cause of your emotions and use the GAP – Get Accurate Perceptions of events!




[1] McKay, M & Fanning, P 2000, Self-Esteem, 3rd ed, New Harbinger Publications, USA

Generate Emotion To Support Thinking

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

  • Are more “in-tune” with their moods, feelings, and emotions.
  • Know which emotions can assist a task at work. For example, Positive moods help with creative tasks. Negative moods assist with analytical, detailed tasks.
  • Demonstrate greater awareness of how their emotions may be influencing their behaviors and performance at work.
  • Know how their emotional style impacts on work colleagues.

The ability to match emotion will help you to…

UNDERSTAND: How you process emotion with different tasks.


  • Know how mood impacts task thinking – Get the mood/task match.
  • Become unconsciously skilled – Use your emotional knowledge proactively
  • Tune into my physical sensations – Nervous arousal is your early warning system


  • See emotions as disruptive – Emotions inform and clarify our thinking
  • Be ignorant of my emotional style – Know your impact on others
  • Become emotionally constipated – Say “sayonara” to stress (negative emotion)!


You have been successful matching emotion when others see you

  • Developing knowledge of how mood impacts on task thinking
  • Responding to them consistently, using your emotional knowledge
  • Processing your physical sensations to get a balance of good and bad feelings


The body manages well with an optimal level of stress. Adrenalin generated to the optimal level of stress is needed for alertness and clarity and for being on guard – fight or flight. Pain is any unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. Although pain affects your body’s responsiveness – fight or flight – its overall impact on you lies within. Your perceptions are crucial in pain management. Pain is communicated to others through mood; language, posture, withdrawal, and abuse. Pain is manifested in the body as negative emotion (stress or emotional constipation) with severe physiological effects and can lead to nervous illness.