At the end of the day, performance is what we're obsessed with. How we perform in our work, in our family, in our group of friends or in our relationships. Furthermore, many people look for coaching support to learn how to act in their lives in order to increase their performance.

However, in our everyday life there is a point that people often miss, which is called emotions. In fact, we are guided by the emotions we have, but we often underestimate them. If we are happy, we will have certain actions resulting from that spirit, on the other hand, if we are anxious or angry, other actions will follow from that.

“Many coaches are focused on behaviours; they tell you what you must do to be successful. For example, when you go to see a golf coach, he gives you technical tips about your swing, about how you stand. There's nothing wrong with that”, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, said Jeremy Moore, who has run leadership workshops and coaching sessions in the United Kingdom.

What does science says about it?

Before arriving in Portugal to retire, Jeremy was Managing Director at Zoomcow for many years, where he has been nurturing leadership, measuring performance, teamwork and how humans perform at their best. “The zoomcow story has its roots in our knowledge of neuroscience and what really drives our subconscious and the behaviours that emerge”.

To illustrate the importance of emotions in our decision-making process, Jeremy explained that: “neuroscience tells us that any decision we make is a feeling justified by logic”.

“Proof of this phenomenon is the famous psychological case of Phineas Gage, a railroad worker who on September 13, 1848 was involved in an accident. An explosion drove a metal rod into his skull and through his brain, severing the link between the frontal cortex and the amygdala, the emotional processing centre of the brain”.

In the end, he survived, but his personality had completely changed. Although he was still able to pass tests of logic, he was unable to process emotions and create feelings and, as a consequence, was unable to make decisions.

“We are emotional animals, we have feelings, even if our emotions seem irrational at times, it is this subconscious underworld that drives most of our behaviour. We put it to you that feelings will trump thought on nearly every occasion. Anyone who has fallen in love will surely understand what we are saying”, Jeremy said.

Emotions in business

“People should care more about what others feel than what others think” - this goes for company marketing as well. Jeremy Moore, who has been an executive coach for 20 years, explained why.

As we have seen, emotions lead to actions. Everything we do is guided by an emotional state, including consumers’ behaviours, even if we don't realise it. In this sense, brands can be more successful if they create a positive emotion in their customers, because “it doesn't really matter what brand your phone is, they are quite the same. What matters is how you feel about the product,” he said.

Furthermore, “the battlefield is not about producing the best phone, it's about producing the best emotions about the phone. Leaders should really care about the experience they create,” he added.

Family and relationships

Coming out of your ego to listen to other people's emotions, especially when it comes to your partner or relatives, is not always easy. When someone tells you that you did something very wrong that made them very upset, most people get defensive. However, this can be heartbreaking for the other person, as often the only thing they want is to be heard and to fix the damage.

Despite, “how we feel is more important than how we think and that in most cases feeling will trump thought”, many people find it very difficult to focus their attention on people's emotions rather than thoughts.

“People never ask how you feel. They usually ask what you think of your job, of what are you going to have for lunch, of what do you think of your colleagues. However, they not ask you what you feel about it”, he said.

Company’s leaders and productivity

Most of us want a positive work environment, and leaders are no exception to the rule. However, in an experiment with a group of leaders from different companies – asking them to describe what are the main characteristics of an outstanding organisation to work for – Jeremy found an interesting fact: “we want what we don't deliver”.

When asked what are the main characteristics of an organisation to work for, they listed aspirational traits, such as “work life balance, trust, team-spirit, safety, challenging, equality, supportive etc. But when asked for the main characteristics of the organisations they run and lead, the responses are overwhelmingly negative – bullying, passive aggressive, gender inequality, insecure, no work-life balance”, Jeremy told me.

In his point of view, leaders need to get “out of their heads, and tune in to how people are feeling, their emotions, because this is the end of the telescope that will be the champion of change, that will improve productivity, drive future performance, embrace diversity and address mental wellbeing”, he said.

All in all, “any decision we make is a feeling, which we justify with logic”, he finished.