Last week I spoke at two events on the topic of emotions in the workplace. This is a topic I have discussed in my weekly blogs on numerous occasions. At one of the sessions we discussed the role of emotions in day-to-day interactions and collaboration.
One point I make is that it’s fairly intuitive from early in our home life that if Mom or Dad are not happy or having a bad day, then that is not a good day to be asking them for a favor or something that you want. The same is unequivocally true for the workplace.
If you want to produce an outcome of great quality that requires that everyone involved be at their optimal state, then monitoring their emotional temperature is quite literally the most important first step. Sometimes, during the collaboration/discussion with another or a team, it becomes obvious whose emotional temperature is off. In almost all cases, the team will continue to engage, ignoring the impact of that person. There may be some good outcomes, but I would argue that an optimal outcome has been compromised.
This week, the first thing I’d like to ask you to do is to take your emotional temperature. If it is not great, know you will be underperforming as long as you are in that emotional state. Change it. Go for a walk, call your best friend—change your state. Secondly—and a lot easier I suspect—is to make a personal diagnosis of the emotional temperature for everyone you meet this week and for every meeting that you are in this week.
If your diagnosis (just as you did as a kid with your parents) tells you it is not optimal, then know that if you ignore this diagnosis and do nothing, you are likely to get a mediocre outcome. If however, you are able to emotionally change the temperature of the person(s), what we call in EQ parlance Empathy and Social Skills, then you give yourself and the other party a legitimate chance at performing at your best.