Improving an emotional intelligence competence takes months, rather than days, because the emotional centers of the brain are involved-not just the neocortex, the thinking brain where technical skills & purely cognitive abilities are learned…But the basal ganglia & its links to the emotional centers learn differently: To master a new skill, they need repetition & practice. That’s why it’s hard to learn leadership abilities effectively in a classroom.

A teacher can’t instruct your brain circuits that carry old habits of leadership to relearn new habits. What’s needed is practice: The more often a behavioral sequence repeats, the stronger the underlying brain circuits become. People thereby literally rewire their brains: Learning new habits strengthens pathways between neurons, and may even foster neurogenesis-growth of new neurons.