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Last week we began a discussion about emotions in the workplace. This week and next we look a little deeper at your understanding of your emotions. Are you aware of your emotions? Is your day to day awareness such that when an event or transaction takes place, you sense what your emotions are at that moment in time? Are those sensations/emotions inwardly focused or externally focused? Are you sensing other’s emotions?
The first step in understanding is awareness. For years this whole area of emotions was pushed down or attempted to be hidden and dismissed for business life. It was somehow reserved for things outside of business. The reality is that this perception of separating emotions based on at the office or outside the office was false. The emotions were and still are present in each of us in all situations we are involved in.
We may have developed skills to reduce those emotions or in reality, regulate them more dramatically in the work setting because it was viewed potentially as a weakness if you had too much emotion in the workplace. I can personally say this was part of who I was in the late 70’s and early 80’s. As a young emerging manager in the high-tech world, it was survival and we did not have time for such nonsense as this soft stuff of emotions. “Just suck it up” or “Get over it” were some common phrases people would utter when such visual signs of emotion would present themselves in a co-worker. I give you a personal example. An employee came into my office to let me know that her grandmother had passed away and that she was going to need to leave and head home for the funeral. In my ignorance to her emotional needs, I jumped right into what needed to be done to make sure the business was not affected by this sudden change in operating plan. What was on her plate for the coming days, who would follow up with her cleints etc. I was not going to let this event impact the business. I totally ignored where she was at during the unfortunate loss in her world. Looking back on this event, I would not blame her one bit if she thought I was a complete jerk or any number of other words that could be inserted here. The facts are – I was a jerk. I was not aware of the emotions of myself or my co-worker at the time when they were most needed. I realize now how poorly I handled that situation. Maybe it took place to teach me a lesson but at what cost to the relationship between my co-worker and myself. I’ll never know the real impact it had on her. I do know the significant impact it has had on me and I strive each day to have a higher awareness of my emotions and those of my clients, co-workers, acquaintances, family and others around me.
Looking back, this was such a misalignment of building a high performing business that all I can say is thank you for allowing emotional intelligence to become a more vivid part of leadership growth, development and success.
This week take a few minutes prior to, during and just after an emotionally charged event or transaction and allow yourself the opportunity to get a sense of where your emotions are and what that knowledge can potentially do to affect a better outcome for all involved in the situation.
Next week we will investigate the regulation of that awareness so you can not only be aware of your emotions and those around you but also the process of regulating that understanding for better results.
Emotional intelligence peak your interest? Call JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 or (407)984-7246.