Emotions: the roots of our life & business
Exactly how important are emotions in your daily business life?
Views greatly vary in the average boardroom. Not many grasp the devastating impact of emotions on decision making.
Just take a look at the video below (3:22 minutes). It is an interview with the famous neuroscientist Antonio Damasio. He discusses a ‘normal’ person, whose brain is slightly damaged: the connection between ratio and emotion is not working properly.
The take away: your opinion whether a certain (business) decision is good or bad depends to a very large extent on your personal memory or recollection of the emotional outcome of previous decisions. Taken by you or someone else.
The Emotional charge is key
If we liked the outcome we give the decision a positive charge and store it. If we regretted the outcome we give the decision a negative charge and store it. This emotional charge is stored jointly with previous facts and outcomes. In case you have to take a new decision you look for similar past situations. Was the outcome emotionally positive: you will do it again. Was it not: you will not do it.
This emotional charge is even a bigger troublemaker when it comes to individual behavior and interactions with other people. Take a brief look in the mirror: in every situation in which you felt uncomfortable, that feeling was caused by negative emotions. Be it anger, frustration, not being heard, disappointment, sadness, confusion, fear or something else. Let’s take fear: many decisions in the boardroom are influenced by their expected impact on personal reputation, job security, loss of face or feeling insecure. For the careful reader: often at an unconscious level, we attach a negative emotional charge to certain decisions, actions or alternatives. Unconscious means: we think we don’t do it because we are not aware of it. Which causes the believe that we can separate ‘rational’ decision making and emotions. What we actually do is suppress our emotions. The result is that they usually pop up at a very bad moment. Ever caught by sudden anger or anxiety in the boardroom?
Strong business case
We strongly believe that people who have learned to better deal with emotions are better leaders and take better decisions. Elsewhere on this website you will find a pile of research demonstrating that an incredible business case can be made for implementing emotional intelligence (=learning how to deal with emotions).
Emotions in the boardroom
We have met, coached, lectured, evaluated, gave key note speeches to and discussed with hundreds of supervisory board members and executives. Based on our personal experience we believe that also in the average boardroom emotions have an overwhelming impact on the performance of boards and individual board members. Sometimes it takes a 30 minutes discussion before board members do realize this. Sometimes it takes more than 30 minutes to help board members realize that it is very difficult for their employees -from blue collar up to senior executives- to better deal with emotions if their leaders don’t give the right example. So it is necessary to start from the top.
Our Dream is that as many organizations as possible actively work on increasing their emotional intelligence. It will contribute to an attractive business culture, pleasant working climate, higher integrity, employees who really feel connected with their organization’s purpose, more diversity and a better society. The icing on the cake: vast research proves that companies who invest in emotional intelligence steadily outperform their peers. They are in the first quartile with stock rates, net profits, sales and production figures, job satisfaction and low job turnover.
As it starts at the top, we prefer to work at the top. Hence our Mission:
We help supervisory board members and their organizations to
integrate emotional intelligence in daily business practices”.
We live our Mission by building emotional intelligence best practices in all services we offer and in all our other activities.
Often our approach route is to help people to come better into contact with their inner world: emotions and feelings.