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Emotional Intelligence & The Limbic Brain

September 02, 2010 The About my Brain Institute

Genos International has offered to be the major sponsor of the awards for the artists who enter the “Brain Art Competition”. Thank you Dr. Ben Palmer and the Genos team for becoming involved in this great event.Emotional-Intelligence-&-The-Limbic-Brain

Genos International is the leading provider in emotional intelligence assessments in Australia. With this great news, this blog post deserves to talk in more detail about emotions, leadership and performance. 

Emotions are generated in the limbic system, a series of structures that lie beneath the cerebral cortex (our thinking brain). They get confused with conscious feelings, but in fact they are physiological responses to stimuli that push us away from danger or towards things that we find pleasurable.

Learning about emotions is essential for anyone who wants to be a great leader. Talent, experience, abilities and IQ will get you a job but emotional intelligence is what can help you with your next promotion - according to many experts in this field.

Emotional Intelligence is a term that describes the capacity of an individual to notice his/her emotions, manage them effectively, and recognize emotions in others in order to manage those relationships successfully.

Understanding how the limbic system functions, recognizing if the emotion is linked to a previous experience that may affect us and learning how to handle these automatic responses, can have a major impact on our performance at work and in our interactions with colleagues and team members.

Emotions can affect the way we perceive an external situation or event influencing our conscious thoughts, resulting in behaviour that may not be the most appropriate at the time. Aggression and avoidance are behaviours displayed by many in the workplace in team meeting situations, customer interactions, negotiations and performance management conversations.

Noticing feelings of frustration, anger, embarrassment or disappointment, for example, and finding out what are some of the thought processes and emotions behind them, can assist people to reappraise a situation and change it if appropriate.

There are several parts in the limbic system responsible for originating some of the emotions that everyone experiences on a daily basis. The amygdala is mainly responsible for the fear response. The hippocampus is mainly involved in encoding and retrieving memories that are associated with an emotional component.

The cingulate cortex is very active when people experience intense love, anger or lust. The thalamus distributes the incoming information to either the amygdala or the cortical areas for processing depending on what the input is.

The frontal cortex, even though it is in the neo-cortex, is also associated with emotions as it receives information from the limbic system and it produces conscious feelings.

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The About my Brain Institute

The About my Brain Institute

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