By now we all know that emotional intelligence at work is a must. The expression and acknowledgement of emotions, EI development and vulnerable conversations must be encouraged and sustained because one works better when one can be himself/herself. And we need emotional cultures to support that.
It is no secret that building an emotional culture for your teams or, in other words, designing the overall culture that your workplace fosters in terms of emotions, attitudes and values, requires thoughtful implementation. You can start by exploring these five facts:
#1. Expressing emotions at work means more productivity
When people feel comfortable expressing their feelings at work, they tend to be more productive, creative and engaged. That’s right, the old saying telling you to leave your emotions at home is wrong, always has been! Our moods and feelings impact our performance, even if we suppress them. The key is to embrace them and bring all of yourself to work, with confidence and lots of self-awareness.
#2. Emotions are contagious: negative or positive, they travel at the speed of light
Take a moment to check in with yourself. How are you feeling today?
Good, now look around you: how are the people around you feeling? Right. Chances are that the mood in your office is homogenous, because, well, emotions are contagious. That is why it is so important to encourage self-expression and talk about how we feel so that no emotional elephant gets in the way of our work, silent yet so very present. To consciously choose what we want to feel and not to feel, what associated behaviours are we nurturing.
#3. Conflict and anger are not such bad things
With an open mind and EI tools at hand, conflict and anger can become places of possibility. Conflicts can be seen as catalysts for change, while anger and frustration can point out important issues that need solving.
Good conflict in the decision-making process is essential and, when managed carefully, it becomes a momentum carrying out needed or desired change. The same goes for anger. Oftentimes we get angry to protect not-so-great aspects of ourselves – pride, control of others, defensiveness, etc. – and when we become aware of it, we can start working on ourselves and get better.
#4. Great ideas need authentic courage to be brought into the world
How many times did you stop saying or doing something because you were afraid you were going to be judged? The fear of vulnerability holds us back and so many valuable ideas get lost along the way.
Here’s the thing: the secret to stronger and brilliant teams is vulnerability. When you talk about difficult matters, you get closer and work flows in a different way. You see each other in a different light and are able to accommodate each other’s needs better.
#5. Asking the right questions goes a long way
When we understand the underlying motivation behind someone’s behavior, it is easier to resolve conflict and find shared meaning. But how do we make that happen? – Listening.
When we listen to understand and ask the right questions, supporting our partner rather than shifting attention back to ourselves, we will get a better chance to understand their behavior and meet each other in the middle.
Got all the way down here? Good. Now take a moment to imagine the perfect working environment for you and your team. What do you want your people to feel?
We’ve always advocated for taking the time to explore the way things are and making plans for the future. This is in fact why we wanted so badly to develop personalized Emotional Culture Deck sessions. So that you get to start those conversations about what truly matters in the office and co-design the experience you and your people envision together. Check it out. It is fun, we promise!