The ten mistakes that destroy emotional energy in a business
We often deceive ourselves by believing that rushing helps us to achieve our targets. In most cases this is not true. Where are we going wrong and what is the correct alternative approach?
At the end of a working day you sometimes feel tired, with no energy left to do anything, not even to play sports or maybe even to prepare dinner.
The cause of such tiredness is often attributed to psychological factors and poor management of emotions and energy: Feeling exhausted is the physical manifestation of a neurological state that involves the whole emotional, and ultimately, energetic being of each and every one of us.
There is no intelligence without emotion. There may be emotion without a lot of intelligence, but that’s something that does not concern us. (Ezra Pound)
This happens because in the face of external pressures, usually perceived as a danger or a threat, you respond with a primordial, instinctive urge to defend or attack. Neurological studies show how emotions are driven by physical mechanisms – rather than reason – through the production of hormones that trigger a series of physically recognisable emotional responses (e.g. accelerated heart rate, muscle contractions, all the way up to a loss of focus on the objective to be obtained).
Emotions and the reactions that they trigger can weaken your best intentions and efforts until they have dissipated all of your energy. An entertaining vignette, but useful for reflecting on the problems caused by improper emotional management, is offered by Il Cinema Insegna, an archive filled with valuable film clips used for educational purposes, in a scene from the movie “Wannabe Widower” .
The protagonist, a stressed and frustrated shop owner, shows how poor management of your role and work flow can cause steep drops in energy levels.
Managing emotions: The ten mistakes that destroy emotional energy in a business
At work, emotions are not often kept in their place and are disconnected from any form of management, leaving room for instinct and haphazardness.
Many bosses, possibly even subconsciously, use the negative emotions of fear, anger, and defence to motivate their staff to get the desired results.
External pressure can also cause exaggerated, sometimes reckless and even counterproductive reactions regarding the ultimate goal, but it is also necessary to question the short and medium-term effects of negative emotions.
Continuous exposure to strong negative emotions determines a 30-40% reduction in cognitive power for a short-term duration of about 40-60 minutes from the exposure to a “threat”. In the longer term, increased incidences of health problems are seen.
Which leadership behaviours can make workers feel under attack and lower the emotional energy levels in a company?
#1. Using disrespectful language undermines our profound need for security.
#2. Treating people unfairly is contradictory to the pursuit of well-being and security.
#3. Not listening disregards the need for importance and creates distance between a leader and their workers, but also between actions and targets set.
#4. A lack of appreciation weakens the process of improvement and continuous growth.
#5. Robbing the workers of credit for their work destroys the relationship of trust.
#6. Being deprived of feedback causes a deep sense of uncertainty.
#7. Showing a lack of interest in the work overseen causes a lack of attentiveness to activities considered to be of lesser importance.
#8. Accusing or criticising instigates a blame culture, that is to say a continuous attack on people rather than problems.
#9. Setting impossible deadlines causes stress and results in a deep sense of inadequacy.
#10. Devaluing others to increase your own worth is the pinnacle of crippling behaviour, one that covers the entire range of fears and negative emotions listed in the previous points.
The decisions we make every day depend on our emotional state.
We cannot ignore it, neither for ourselves nor those around us.
The choices we make are determined by our emotions.
For the Lean Lifestyle ® Leader raising emotional energy is therefore a key step in increasing personal and business productivity over time.
Our perception of things changes according to our emotions; and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty is really in ourselves. (Kahlil Gibran)
CEO of Lenovys
Luciano is among the leading experts of Lean Thinking, Lean Lifestyle, Performance Improvement, Lean Lifestyle® and Impact Innovation experts in Europe. His professional philosophy has people at its heart, leading them to search for methods that can ensure better results with less effort and greater well-being.
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