Startup 101 – Emotional Management a Must in Business

Managing emotions is an arduous task for some but a skill that is essential to success in business and personal relationships. We all have and experience emotions whether we like it or not. Managing emotions mainly deals with unpleasant emotions: anger, fear, frustration, depression, despair. Emotions are the feelings we experience days today, such as happiness, pride, boredom, sadness, anger, and frustration. Emotions are a part of our everyday existence as they move through the body, affecting our state-of-mind, performance, health, and energy. Emotions cannot be helped. Emotions we don’t even realize we are feeling can influence our thoughts and behaviors; they can also travel from person to person like a virus. Due to this virus-like state, it is of the most utmost importance for those in positions of influence not only their own emotions but understand the need to monitor and perhaps influence the moods of others.

Management is in a unique position to dictate the pulse and rhythm in their workplace. “We engage in emotional contagion,” says Sigal Barsade, a Wharton management professor who studies the influence of emotions on the workplace. Broken promises, laying the blame on others, dishonest communications, and ignoring employee suggestions are all unfortunately very commonplace in real-world management. So how does management expect their employees to manage their emotions in the workplace if the tone that is being set is negative or one of disregard? Without that emotional-management component, a work environment can become toxic. ASSET Education

Those in leadership positions are often not really good at working with people and so spend a lot of their time avoiding and/or strategizing how to deal with, avoid, or get rid of those who are troubling. In fact, a great deal of leadership is actually about emotion management. Emotions are also essential to inspirational leadership. These managers often lack the necessary people skills, communication skills, and leadership skills to influence the emotional tone of the workplace. This is a critical oversight by those in upper management who do not get or provide the training to create a positive emotional tone. So in turn, employees’ moods, emotions, and overall dispositions impact job performance, decision making, creativity, turnover, teamwork, negotiations, and leadership. online learning SEL course

For Management to be in complete control of emotions of the workplace, they need to be a master of themselves, both theirs and their employees’. It is essential for employees to positive at work — but this has to be supported by upper management. Employees need positive feedback, and if they do not see that coming, or do not even get acknowledged for their work, they will look elsewhere. This creates a turnover and increased costs and lowered performance. Many employers in the current economy are quick to just higher someone else rather than address this aspect. They fail to look at the long term costs of losing an employee in downtime and in the retraining of a new employee.

One of the most fundamental things necessary to improve employees’ attitude and to create a “culture of love,” is to adopt systems that recognize and reward those positive attitudes and behaviors. When managers are manipulative and treat employees just as “equipment” rather than humans beings, poor attitudes follow. And a workplace where emotions run rampant can turn off employees, vendors and customers alike. Similarly, it is the duty of the manager to ensure that he manages the negative emotional attitudes of his team in such a way that such attitudes are not reflected in their performance. Managers also need to learn how to lead by the example they set -how to deal with their own pain in positive ways that can inspire others to deal differently with their own difficult situations. Barsade gave the example of a manager who was dragged down at the start of every day when passing by the desk of an employee who either grunted or gave no acknowledgment. The manager took control and simply started following a different route through the office. If the company is losing money and experiencing the effects of downsizing, should the manager, feeling stressed and overwhelmed, convey his despair to his workers. Or should the manager try to appear cheerful and act as if nothing is wrong? Barsade says it’s possible for the manager to convey emotions that are both authentic and positive, saying something like, “I know you’re worried. The ability to summon positive emotions during trying times of stress is the key to being a successful manager.

Most organizations have traditionally focused on teaching logical and rational thinking and have neglected emotional learning in their development programs. The main implication is that organizations should focus on hiring managers with high emotional and social competence and also provide EI training and development opportunities for managers to enable them to create a positive organizational climate. Effective listening is an important aspect of learning to do that as well.

Listening effectively is difficult because people vary in their communication skills and in how clearly they express themselves, and often has different needs, wants and purposes for interacting. Still, listening is an important skill and needs to be taught. The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and to be understood. Feedback must take into account the needs of both the giver and the receiver. Otherwise, it can be destructive when it fails to consider the needs and feelings of everyone involved. Listen to words, body language and emotions to understand the player’s both conscious and unconscious needs. By feeling heard, many negative consequences of a disgruntled or upset employee can be lowered if not stopped altogether.

Managing emotions does not mean denying their existence or ignoring them. Never tell an employee he should not feel that way. Feelings are a biological reaction a circumstance, event or stressor and cannot be helped. How one can help is to acknowledge the feelings and help the employee consider positive possible choices they have to resolve their current feelings. Take a minute to consider the importance of active listening by thinking about how you can be a good active listener in terms of body language–or what you do during communication, voice–how you respond to the speaker and content –what you say when you respond to the speaker. Active listening is an effective tool to reduce the emotionality of a situation. Every manager or sales team leader that can learn these skills will find that their team will overall increase in company loyalty and performance. Managing emotions is something that must be addressed, not avoided for success.