Performance, Emotions and Change
You can enable performance at a higher level by going deeper into the emotions playing out. This is especially true during times of change, and in context of transformation programs, as the associated work represent a significant emotional charge.
Dealing with emotions is not always easy, it requires courage sometimes, and time, effort and energy. So it is not surprising that it is often avoided at work. But avoiding it comes at a cost, disengagement and lower productivity.
It has become popular to speak about the topic of emotions at work, with concepts such as emotional intelligence, vulnerability, psychological safety. This is good, but it is important to remember that it is not a technical topic. Dealing with emotions at work require an emotional investment from leadership.
When this emotional investment is there however, then it is not rocket science to do the work. As human beings we are by default highly capable to deal with emotions. We might need a bit of practice to do so in a work environment, if the habit is to avoid it.
There are some skills and good practices involved. Creating a safe space, establish a language for emotions, and develop the tools to understand and deal with emotions is valuable and sometimes necessary. And when it is done right, you will benefit from immediate positive impact on peoples well-being at work, the organisational health, and the business results.
Creating time & space to understand emotions makes you more efficient & effective, especially during change.
How we deal with Emotions at Work
Like always, we take a highly practical approach to Emotions at Work. Learning about psychology and emotions in theory can be interesting indeed, but the impact comes from practicing and experiencing what it is all about in a real setting, in the context of business, and in the context that we are still human beings, even when we are at work.
The foundation for the practical work is to ensure a safe space for everyone involved. This too is not a theoretical exercise, it is about the real trust, the real actions and behavior demonstrated, first and foremost of the leader, and then of everyone involved. If the trust is low and the guards high as a starting point, then you move forward with small steps. With the right approach, you can embark on a virtuous circle of improvement.
But dealing with Emotions at Work is not only about coping with difficulties and addressing dysfunctions. It is equally powerful for high performance teams to become even better. Tapping into your own emotions, and others, to understand them and act on them is a leadership superpower that has no upper limit on the potential.
We work with a large tool box acquired over the years, from (among other sources) the INSEAD EMC Program. We help develop the language of emotions, the ability to listen, observe and reflect, working on yourself and with others, develop emotional “intelligence”, and ultimately use yourself as a “tool” to understand what is going on in different situations. We also help demystify the current buzzwords like vulnerability and psychological safety.
And as we stated, this is not about theory, it is about practice in real situations at work, tackling the organisational and business challenges at hand.
If the Emotions at Work are avoided, “checked at the door” as they say, or diminished with the pretext of “being professional”, the risk is that bottled up emotions convert into resignation and passive-aggressive behavior.
Acknowledging Emotions at Work and creating space to deal with them builds trust (fast) and installs serenity among co-workers, that is turn has a positive effect both on teamwork and business results.
How we help
We help creating a safe space for our client to manage Emotions at Work, we contain difficult situations, and we transfer the necessary knowledge to develop adequate leadership and management practices in the organisation.