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  • Dr Annemarie Millar

From Passive Reactions to Proactive Choices: Predictions in Emotional Intelligence

Navigating the language of emotional intelligence requires sensitivity, depth, and reflection. As an emotional intelligence coach, the term 'trigger' has long been a staple in my lexicon. Yet, its passive implications, suggesting involuntary reactions without agency, has often felt misaligned with the essence of emotional growth. Drawing inspiration from Lisa Feldman Barrett's enlightening work on the brain's predictive nature, it's time to pivot from the passive 'triggers' to the proactive 'predictions'. This article delves into the transformative power of understanding emotions as predictions, highlighting the agency it offers in emotional intelligence coaching and for leaders globally.


Predictions: Owning the Space Between Stimulus and Response


The beauty of recognising emotions as predictions lies in the empowerment of the space between stimulus and response. This space, often overlooked, is where choices reside. It's a moment, sometimes fleeting, that allows us to assess, reflect, and then act, rather than merely react.


Why Embracing Predictions Elevates Emotional Intelligence Coaching

  1. Agency over Automatism: 'Predictions' celebrate the individual's power to shape responses. In emotional intelligence coaching, recognising emotions as anticipations fosters a sense of control, allowing us to sculpt our emotional journeys actively.

  2. Navigating Emotional Choices: The predictive model emphasises choice. Every emotional experience becomes an opportunity to choose, refine, and evolve. For emotional intelligence for leaders, this means leading with intention, clarity, and insight.

  3. Cultivating Emotional Resilience: Understanding emotions as predictions, leaders and individuals can develop resilience. This perspective shifts challenges from being reactive hurdles to proactive growth opportunities.

  4. Enhancing Interpersonal Dynamics: Leaders and teams attuned to the predictive nature of emotions can cultivate richer, more understanding interpersonal relationships, acknowledging the choices and intentions behind every emotional expression.

Emotional Intelligence Coaching: Charting Predictive Pathways


Embracing the 'prediction' paradigm is more than a semantic shift. It's a transformative approach that redefines how we perceive, engage with, and express our emotions. Emotional intelligence coaching, grounded in this understanding, becomes a journey of empowerment, choice, and growth. It nurtures a space where individuals and leaders can explore, evaluate, and choose their emotional trajectories.

In conclusion, as we transition from the passive confines of 'triggers' to the proactive realm of 'predictions', we are gifting ourselves a powerful tool: the gift of choice. It’s an invitation to harness the space between stimulus and response, making emotional intelligence not just a reflective mirror but a compass pointing towards intentional, meaningful interactions.


Dr. Annemarie Millar, as an avant-garde Emotional Intelligence Coach, is at the forefront of redefining our emotional narratives. Through the lens of predictions and proactive choices, she's guiding countless individuals and leaders towards a more empowered, intentional understanding of their emotional universes.

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