Turn your attention toward a certain part of your body. Do it repeatedly and the insula, right behind the frontal lobes, becomes more sensitive to that area. You “tune in” by tuning in. Makes sense…
As someone who teaches relationship building and improving communication to managers, this information is vital. Consider the manager who is not quite self-aware at this stage of the game. He can learn to pay more attention to his own emotions, his inner workings and not only help himself, but help everyone with whom he interacts. The more he tunes in to his body, ie his heart rate, his gut, his feelings, the more sensitized he becomes. It becomes a great source of information for him. The more sensitive the insula is to your own inner workings, the easier it is to understand the inner workings of others- a key managerial skill or deficit.
Dan Goleman calls it the “inner voice” in his book The Triple Focus. (What is the triple focus?- Understanding self, other, and the larger systems within which we operate)
I have worked with people for years to “trust their gut.” There is something beyond logic and rationale that often tips the scales in favor of a certain decision. We may have no idea why we should follow it, but when we do, we get it right. When we go against our gut, the results are often poor. Thank your insula for that.
Practice: How are you feeling right now? How do you imagine the other person is feeling right now?
If you practice, get feedback on and communicate about this process, you get better at reading not only yourself but others. Read others better and your chances of being better in the world of business improve.
Business is a series of relationships, if you want to be better at business, get better at relationships. Try on what the other person might be feeling and build your ventromedial prefrontal area. According to Damasio, it is what guides our most complex decision making.
As with any habit, the more you repeat it (correctly), the stronger and better it gets.