Volume 1, Issue 1
EMOTIONS! ISN’T THAT TOO PERSONAL?
by LENA BODIN, MBA, SPHR
Emotions are not personal when they affect the work environment and have to be managed.
I remember a situation years ago when I was managing a customer service team. One day one of the team supervisors came into my office distraught over dealing with a phone rep. She had asked the rep to do something in particular that morning and the rep simply refused. The supervisor insisted and the rep continued to refuse and had some choice words with the supervisor. The rep finally stormed out of her seat and left her station. The supervisor asked another rep to do the task. Later, I sat down with both the supervisor and the rep to do damage control and appropriately discipline the rep. She had difficulty understanding that her job responsibility included having to sometimes stop what she was doing and do what her supervisor asked her to do. The supervisor was also rather mildmannered and I knew she would often avoid assigning last minute tasks to the rep.
So, what happened in this situation? This isn’t dissimilar to situations that we all face from time to time as business leaders although maybe not at the same level. The simple fact was that the supervisor managed the rep’s behavior by often avoiding giving her tasks and putting additional burdens on the rest of the team members.
Every decision we make is influenced by our emotions. Rivalries and political battles in the boardroom; personality conflicts in work teams; or individual attitudes and negative behavior can impact workplace morale, not to mention productivity. At some point in our business lives, we have all experienced displays of emotional behavior which have broken down lines of communication and have made us uncomfortable. I am sure we can all relate to the story of the individual at work, whom people avoid because that person is “having a bad day.” Although we need to ask them to do something for us, or need their assistance to help complete a project with an impending deadline, we prefer to bypass them or put the project on hold until they are in a better mood, than deal with them at that point in time.
Psychologists have been researching the various aspects of emotions and how it correlates to someone’s success or failure in careers or personal lives for many years now. New information and research data is being identified continually and yet we have a lot more to discover and understand about this subject.
The concept of Emotional Intelligence is not New…