Using emotional insight
for personal development and professional success


The purpose of Insight Emotional Intelligence is to help spread ideas that help people – life can be tough and we all suffer with areas of frustration, difficulty, pain, and blocked potential. The good news is there are many ideas that can help with this. And I've spent years learning them.

I am James Thirtle, an Emotional Intelligence coach, trainer and consultant. Drawing on insights from therapy, personal development, practical psychology and meditation I help people overcome obstacles, fulfill their potential and make the changes they wish to make. I draw from a range of sources, but work to apply everything I know in a practical, and personalised way. It's great to realise that the same ideas that help individuals also help organisations function better – naturally enough given an organisation is just individuals working towards a common goal.

But why Emotional Intelligence?

As soon as I started studying emotional intelligence I saw that it was a powerful way of expressing a lot of the ideas about personal development, communication effectiveness and an approach to life that I had been working with for a long time.  As a therapist and personal coach a great deal of my work came down to improving an individual's emotional intelligence – helping them become more confident, better motivated, better able to manage and deal with negative emotions. Helping give insight into who they were and how they could be more effective in the world.

I also began to apply Emotional Intelligence in new areas – to the way that organisations operate – the way they communicate with the general public and the way they attempt to engage with, and influence, people.  I found that when communication is viewed from an emotional perspective flaws in an organisation's approach become very apparent.  Organisations, and indeed people, often communicate with others assuming that others feel the same way that they do – essentially paying no attention to the emotional context of the communication.  This lead to some great consultation work that proved how useful EI could be to organisations, particularly those involved in campaigning, communication and behaviour change.

The term was popularised by Daniel Goleman in his extremely influential book Emotional Intelligence, published in 1995.  He defines emotional intelligence as the ability to manage your own emotions and the emotions of others, and he lays out a clear case for how one's emotional abilities are more important to success than one's intellectual abilities.  Put simply intellect acts as a 'gateway condition' for a particular level of success (i.e. you have to have certain intellectual skills to take on a particular career or reach a particular level of advancement in it) but once you have passed through the gateway further success is far more dependent on your emotional skills (for instance your ability to form good relationships, work well with others, motivate yourself and deal with set backs) than further intellect.  Intellect may get you there, but what happens when you're there is down to your emotional skills.

But the great thing about emotional intelligence is that it isn't fixed – we develop emotional skills over a lifetime, learning more about the way we work, the way we feel and how best to relate to others.  We may all have weaknesses in the way we approach the world, but with a little thought and some coaching or training we can really revolutionise the way we feel – then we get to benefit from new skills for the rest of our lives.


I approach all of my work drawing on my background as a therapist and clinical hypnotherapist (Insight Clinical Hypnotherapy).  I trained in Clinical Hypnotherapy at the Institute of Clinical Hypnosis – one of the U.K.'s leading Hypnotherapy colleges. I am one of the few students to earn a First in the Professional Diploma exam, the highest grade the Institute awards. The ICH course provides all students with training in an enormous range of techniques and therapies concerned with behavioural change, personal coaching and changing emotional perspective. However, by combining these techniques and approaches with insights gained through years of study, personal development and meditation, I think I have been able to develop further valuable insights and approaches to strengthen the work of individuals and organisations.