Emotions Matter: Takeaways from a Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Workshop

emotional intelligence
Marc Quote Graphics 2013

Countless studies have pointed to emotions as the source of learning, decision-making, creativity, relationships, and health. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence is a group at the forefront of such research. Their goal is to use the power of emotions to create a more effective and compassionate society. The Center conducts research and teaches people of all ages how to develop their emotional intelligence.

I was incredibly fortunate to have been included in a recent workshop for leaders at Tufts University that was facilitated by two experts in the field of emotional intelligence: Robin Stern (Ph.D., Associate Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence) and Christina Bradley (Postgraduate Assistant, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence). Here are my top takeaways from the event:

  • Research shows that ‘good stress’ promotes wellbeing. Good stress enhances performance. But the ‘bad stress’ of being overwhelmed and under pressure all of the time impairs performance. It weakens the immune system. It can make us physically sick.
  • Emotions impact decision-making, relationship quality, attention, memory, learning, creativity, and a plethora of other physical and emotional health outcomes.
  • A study by the Center found that Yale undergraduate students with high levels of perfectionism, workaholism and self-criticism predicted increased anxiety, depression, burnout, stress, loneliness, social comparison and sleep problems while also predicting lower self compassion, self esteem, social connectedness, contentment, and satisfaction with life.
  • At our best, we our “emotion scientists” — not “emotion judges.” We measure and analyze emotions.

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