Emotional Engagement Powers Performance

Powerfully productive days are the result of energized brains, and brains are energized by the pursuit and fulfillment of driving needs. Emotionally intelligent leaders connect with their employees, understand what matters most, and partner with them to fulfill needs in skillful ways.  You’ll unlock energy in your employees which, in turn, will unlock performance.

How can emotional intelligence transform leadership?

Emotion energises an employee’s brain, and it’s this energized brain that sustains engagement and powers performance. Brady Wilson discusses how emotional engagement is more powerful than rational engagement.


Emotion Energizes Employees’ Brains

How can you tell when someone values you? Can you tell when somebody says they value but what’s really going on is boredom, disdain, contempt. You can tell, can’t you? The way you can tell is the same way you know that a psychological need has been met, you receive a signal. That signal is called an emotion, emotions are just information. They tell you whether your needs are being met or not.

When someone genuinely respects you, appreciates you, recognizes you, you feel it. And if you don’t feel it, all the assertions and declarations and assurances in the world will never make it true for you.

Why does this matter? It’s the emotion that energises your employees brain, and it’s the energized brain that sustains engagement and powers performance.

The Five Drivers of Engagement

Just as humans have basic physical needs, we also have an array of psychological needs. These needs (whether we like it or not) are essential, primal and biologically urgent. They are also essential nutrients to human flourishing. Yet, we’ve been socialized to stifle, mask, and repress them.

As a leader, you can transform the workplace experience for yourself and your employees by understanding the Five Driving Needs and learning how to enter into productive and genuine dialogue with employees about their needs.

Read: Five Driving Needs: A Guide to Fueling Productivity in the Workplace

Rational vs. Emotional Engagement

There are two types of engagement, rational engagement and emotional engagement. The Corporate leadership council did a study and discovered that one of those releases four times the discretionary effort than the other:

  • Rational engagement. “I understand the big picture and how my piece contributes to the whole. I understand the expectations my manager has of me and what I need to do to be successful.”
  • Emotional engagement. “My leaders take interest in me as a person. They listen in a way that makes me feel valued and respected. I’m proud of the purpose of what we do in our organization.”

Which one releases four times the discretionary effort? Emotional engagement.

Effective Leaders Target Emotion

Leaders who target emotion, not logic, unlock discretionary effort, improve engagement and drive performance. Welcome to the “feelings economy”, where only what’s felt unlocks the energy that powers up engagement. So if you’re looking to release the energy needed to unlock discretionary effort, fuel engagement and power performance, remember to target emotion, not logic.



The Engagement Paradox

Traditional employee engagement strategies aren’t working anymore. Scores are plateauing (in some cases even declining) leading to a crisis of belief for both employees and leaders.

This white paper offers a new path forward – one that blends the energy employees want with the customer experience and business results leaders need.


Without energy, your strategies are at risk


Transforming the way you engage with employees in today’s complex workplaces requires new approaches to leadership. Our customized learning solutions will help you grow leadership skills and fuel sustainable performance.

If you want more on this, check out our white paper, The Engagement Paradox which goes into how we can transform engagement and get the very best from our team.

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