I recently asked this question of a client who was sharing a story of having to deal with a highly
emotional manager. It’s not the first time I’ve heard a similar story.
Emotions at work
At some point at work, we’ve all come across someone who seems to monopolize the emotions
in the room - whether intentionally or not. They come in mad, sad, frustrated, angry, or
sometimes super excited and happy and chatty - all at the same time. They can blow your hair
back with their emotional energy or suck all the energy out of a room.
When emotions are in charge
When asked the question “Who’s really in charge?” I could tell my client wanted to say that he
was in charge, but the timing of my question allowed him to see where I was going. Whatever
emotions are on display in the room, the person who is showing those emotions is the one truly
in charge. Recognizing this dilemma places more pressure on the leadership to positively
influence a team emotionally. Doing so helps stabilize the team culture, which in turn helps
stabilize what emotions are needed, accepted, and tolerated versus those that are not.
Leading the emotions
This is easier if you are prepared, knowledgeable, and practiced in doing this. In The Leadership
Challenge program that I offer, this topic comes up in many different scenarios. Case studies
highlight how difficult it can be.
A leader is hired to turn around a failing café in a historic college. Profits are in steep decline
and the staff is in factions. Two years later it is thriving, profitable, and one of the happiest
places to work.
How did this leader turn everything around?
She created a vision and described what she envisioned the café would represent and
communicated how it would FEEL to those who came to the café and work at the café.
Describing the emotions helped others envision feeling that way too and ideas flourished to
help the café evolve to that level of success. She was able to enlist others in the success she
envisioned and those who wanted to be a part of it stayed and those who did not left.
Emotions influence how we rationalize our decisions, and they are an important part of
leadership in every situation.
I invite you to
Learn more about what the Leadership Challenge program offers. I can’t wait to hear your
points of view on every topic offered. (See below for some special offers this month!)