What a leader will constantly display, is their ability on how they’re able to control their emotions. The maturity of any person after all, is their ability to direct their feelings, thoughts, and behavior, this under dire situations such as stress. This quality is what’s most sought after in leaders.
So it begins by knowing and managing your emotions, which will translate into leading your organization, this regardless of hierarchy. This is when leaders are needed to adapt to what’s known as emotional intelligence, this by adopting the scientific based patterns regarding how our emotions react, and how to manage them.
Once we understand how our mind is able to adapt, we can then become consciously aware of influencing our feelings and thinking patterns.
We can then evaluate the reality around us more clearer, make precise decisions, while improving our ability to reach our goals. This allows us to gain greater agency, along with improving the quality of living intentionally.
How The Mind Comprehends
Intuitively, what our mind feels like is a cohesive unit. What we perceive ourselves as, are rational and intentional thinkers. But what reality shows, is that the intentional part of our minds is similar to a ringleader of emotions and intuitions.
What we have are two distinct thinking patterns in our brains. The first is our minds on “autopilot,” while the other thinks and reacts intentionally.
What the term intentional refers to, is it’s a way of thinking and comprehending about living deliberately, and therefore gaining greater command.
The Mind On Autopilot
The autopilot mind is a cognitive process, that takes place primarily in the amygdala region of the brain, which we’ve developed early in our human evolution.
What this does is guides us through our daily stresses, helps us make snap decisions, or forces us to react to perceived fight or flight, life and death situations. It helped us in the past to keep us alive, but isn’t that critical in our modern everyday life at the office.
What we have instead are a variety of small stresses, such as what to eat for dinner, which isn’t dangerous. What the impulsive autopilot mind does however, is treats them as real threats, which produces anxiety.
What all this turmoil on a daily basis does, is punishes our mental and physical well-being. What making snap judgments which are a result of intuition and emotion does, is feels real because they’re immediate and convincing. These reactions however aren’t always right.
To Think With Intent
What the intentional mind does, is expresses our rational thinking. It’s activated in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area which has developed more recently.
It instructs on how we react as modern humans, this because of our recent increased interaction in larger social groups. What intent does is allows us to handle more complex mental activities.
What this includes is managing individual and group relationships, probabilistic thinking, logical reasoning, and learning new information along with recognizing patterns of thinking and behavior.
Two Thinking Patterns
When the mind’s reacting on autopilot, it doesn’t need conscious effort for it to function. What intentional thinking requires, is deliberate effort for it to activate, which can often become mentally tiring.
But with enough motivation and training, intentional thinking can be utilized on will, this by just turning it on. This can be done during certain situations where the autopilot mind, is about to make a mistake.
Autopilot vs Intentional Thinking
Autopilot thinking is an emotional response. It’s quick, intuitive, and based on instinct. What it doesn’t need is effort on your part. The majority of them are the right decisions, while it’s also prone to making systematic blunders.
What intentional thinking requires is reasoning and mindfulness. What it requires is conscious intent to activate, which can drain out mental energy.
It’s used primarily when we’re learning new information or logic, and in social situations. It’s often activated once “autopilot” makes an error.
Using Autopilot Thinking
Autopilot thinking is a lot more powerful and predominant. What our emotions can often do is overwhelm our rational thinking. What our intuition and habits does is determines the bulk of our lives.
This is considered a good thing, as it would become extremely mentally exhausting, this to constantly think intentionally, regarding every action and decision that we make.
Using Intentional Thinking
What intentional thinking does is cracks the whip. What it does is guides the mind to think deliberately, so it’ll progress in the right direction, steering us towards our goals.
The autopilot brain is more undisciplined, dominant and unwieldy, being extremely slow to alter thought patterns. It will mindlessly attack perceived threats on impulse, but it can be harnessed.
What the intentional thinking brain can do is alter the autopilot brain. Over time, it’s intentional thinking that’s capable of altering the autonomic thinking process, feelings, and behaviorial patterns. What it can eventually do is take charge of your life, allowing you to reach your goals.
Intent Becomes Autopilot
What all this leads to is emotional intelligence, which is the preferred trait of leaders, those who chooses to use intentional thinking, rather than autopilot thinking.
So instead of constantly allowing the autopilot brain to function, someone who’s got high emotional intelligence will interfere, and direct how the autopilot mind reacts, eventually making it a habit.
So to increase your own emotional intelligence, take the effort to mindfully track your autopilot responses. Know what the autopilot mind is thinking and feeling, and what the behavior patterns are.
Where it all begins, is knowing which steps you need to take, this by evaluating, while knowing where your emotions along with your intuitions may lead you to, all this to become a better leader.