Leadership Emotion

Emotions - 382031318_17f9632b01

Business people, unlike children, tend not to show their emotions.

We want to be seen as rational, analytical people detached from the push-pull of the ambiguities of the heart. Yet, reality is not this way.

Emotion is a key element in the complete and full success of any endeavor.

For some time I've had the notion that all our ideas originate in our emotions. What we think is really a way to understand what we feel. What we feel is really a response or reaction to what our five senses are telling us.

Look at the above picture.

What do you feel?

What do you think she feels?

What are her senses telling her?

Does she sense danger or anticipation of a dramatic surprise?

It is hard to say.

There is a trend towards greater autonomy for workers in businesses today. This is partly because the demands and complexity that we all face require us to depend more on people than before. Leaders are required to be more facilitators than bosses as a result. And the needed skills for this capacity are emotional in nature.

You can certainly read books on psychology and emotional intelligence to gain a better understanding of the emotions.To read about emotion is to intellectualize it. There is value in that, but I find that it is better to sensitize myself to the emotional and sensual experience that I am having. It makes far more situationally aware.

Here's a little experiment that you can try.

Carry around a pack of blank 3x5 index cards with you. On one side of the card, across the top, write down the fives senses - sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing.

Try to be aware of them and write down in a column all those things you see, smell, taste, touch and hear. These many things that you were unaware of before. On the other side of the card, divide the card into three columns. As you are aware of your senses, write down what you feel ( if you can) and then an idea that matters to you. Then, write down the people who are connected to these senses and emotions.

Here's my card from today. I spent the day at the hospital where my father is recovering from complications from knee surgery earlier this week.

  Emotions Card - 5 Senses

Emotions Card - Feelings Ideas People
This exercise teaches us how to be more observant, to become aware of the sense data that we are receiving from our surroundings, and to understanding how these influence our feelings about the situation.

Learning to emotionally identify the connections between our environment, our ideas and the people who matter to us is vital if we are to be better at the human side of work. Practice this exercise with your team, and avenues for better communication and coordination will emerge. 

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