Today’s businesses operate in an environment of constant change which gives rise to disagreements and debate. This is healthy. Successful companies rise to the challenge by relying on a diverse and multi-talented team to collaborate, develop and examine potential solutions and then choose and implement the best solution. Fighting occurs when emotions derail the process. Emotions are part of the process – everyone has them and they show up everyday in every situation. Recognizing and managing these emotions is the difference between success and dysfunction or even chaos.
Research has shown that our emotional and rational minds work in parallel – when the emotional mind is on top, rationality goes out the window. Sometimes the emotion is obvious with tensions escalating on either side – such as when anger is met with defensiveness and anger. Sometimes the emotion is not so obvious – such as when passive aggressive behavior shows up. But whether the emotion is obvious or subtle, expressed or submerged, the ability to reach a rational decision is compromised until the parties willingly move past their emotions.
Here is where the principals of Emotional Intelligence come into practical application. While it is possible to temporarily set emotions aside in order to make the rational decision, they will surface again at the next opportunity unless positive steps are taken. Take advantage of the opportunity to examine the emotions that surface following the Principals of Emotional Intelligence:
- Become Self-Aware – What are your triggers and what’s behind the emotion? What caused your anxiety and why does it feel personal? Is it insecurity or a desire for power? Natural competitiveness or overly-competitive? Do you view your self-worth only in relationship to others? Is someone else’s success your failure?
- Manage Your Reactions – What action do you take when you recognize that emotions are running high? Do you leave or postpone the conversation until calmness prevails? Take a walk? Find an alternate way to address the disagreement?
- Cultivate Empathy and Compassion– What is triggering or driving the other person? What does it feel like for them? Often, miscommunication, misunderstanding and fear can fuel negative emotions. Empathy and compassion go a long way to neutralizing emotions and bringing the parties together.
- Be Assertive – Avoiding conflict does not move the organization forward. Focus on the business needs, develop strategies to remain calm, avoid making judgments and speak objectively.
Emotional Intelligence is a powerful tool for understanding and finding solutions to the myriad of business problems that arise from leading and managing people and teams. Contact me today to discuss your team challenge and how the principals of Emotional Intelligence can help.