It’s Business – Leave Your Emotions at the Door

Daniel Goleman, who focuses on emotional intelligence, shares with us that if you are tuned out of your own emotions, you will be poor at reading them in other people.

How true is that!

We all have emotions and we can all get a little sensitive at times. The trick is how you remain composed when battling a hurricane of emotions.

One thing that I keep at the forefront of every encounter is to remember that people will always remember how you made them feel.

It’s not about the words that you uttered but the experience they had with you.

You project what you feel

Emotions can have a major impact on your business decisions.

When we are stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, the leader that resides in our pre-frontal cortex checks out of the planet. Then, we are left standing there speechless, not being able to focus or control our emotions.

The more intense your emotions, the more clouded your judgement and the more likely you are to make unintended mistakes about a business deal.

There is such a thing called a balanced mindset between the right and left hemispheres of your brain. While the right is the creative, imaginative and emotional side, the left is the logical side of your brain where you can reason and analyse.

By standing in between the two and allowing both sides of the brain to work together, it feels like you are the mediator.

You see both sides of the story.

You are the mentor – giving advice when needed.

It’s like you become your own leadership coach. You clarify goals, increase your self-awareness and unlock your true potential.

In others words, you take a step back and watch the magic unfold.

You can’t logic your way through emotions

Emotions play a part in all of our decisions. Nevertheless, how aware are we of our emotions, let alone how they play out in business?

One of my favourite quotes from Confucius is, ‘to go beyond is as wrong as to fall short’.

Dichotomies always exist in every business. There are successes and there are failures. There are good business partners and there are some pretty shoddy business partners. There are some happy customers and there are some unhappy customers.

The key message is – do not allow your emotions to rise and fall like the waves of the ocean.

It’s the ‘how’ we keep ourselves composed, balanced and able to see both sides. At the same time, it’s preventing ourselves from getting trapped into either version of the stories we tell ourselves.

However, if you are anything like me, you have to be careful not to wear rose-coloured glasses all the time.

You may see only the positive in everything that you do, which can influence your decision making in business. Getting psyched up and excited will make you want to jump into every opportunity that comes your way.

This is why self-awareness is the number one muscle that you need to stretch, flex and build if you want to be in control of your emotions when it comes to business.

You can’t do good work, if work is all you do

When you involve others in your business decisions, it’s a win-win for all.

Be human. Get to know who you are doing business with. This includes your customers. Show them that you have a heart and that you would like to collaborate.

Don’t make it all about work. Get to know a little bit about them. Understand what drives them. Find out what gets them motivated.

Be transparent. Ask them what’s the best outcome for them. This way, you get valuable insight into the business deal rather than playing a guessing game.

In addition, take lots of notes and share your notes with them, so to make sure you are on the same page. It’s essential when there are emotions involved in making a business decision.

Through neuroimaging, neuroscience shows us that when you write your emotions down, you are taking them out of your unconscious mind and bringing them forward into your conscious mind. Therefore, the process removes the intensity of your emotion.

After all, you are a human being

If we were to round up some shiny golden nuggets from this article, there would be four major takeaways.

  1. Be the observer in your business. When you are feeling overexcited and you risk overestimating your chances of success, allow your emotions and thoughts to flow through you, without judgement and without attachment.
  2. Write down the pros and cons. What are the risks? Is this something that you really want to invest in? Even if you have no reservations in moving forward, I would still sleep on it and then see if my excitement is the same a couple of days later.
  3. Do not make a business decision when you are feeling overwhelmed. During these moments, we know that the leadership part of our brain has gone to sleep and that we can’t reason at full potential.
  4. Connect, collaborate and be human. Regardless if they’re your business partners, customers or team members, show them that you care.

Overall, emotions are an integral part of business. They influence the relationships in our lives, both personal and professional.

Therefore, it’s important for us as entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders to acknowledge our emotions and pay attention to how we are thinking and feeling.

Once we do, we will be able to make better decisions, build stronger partnerships and get greater business results than ever before.

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