|Take one ... then take two.....|
E+R..... your emotional response, then your rational response
said organisations are not emotional was clearly smoking something.
From my experience wherever people are involved, emotions are part of
working with organisations and leadership teams, I notice everyone has
an emotional response to what is going on around them. In many
organisations, the emotional response to what is going remains
underground, or at the very least, discussed in the private conversations and connections amongst people.
are often portrayed as emotionless objective beings but that simply
isn't human. Every leader has emotional as well as rational responses.
And when things go wrong it is easy for leadership to be angry and frustrated, acting from that first emotional response; berating staff and demanding action.
some leaders consciously take time for clear rational thought. Leaders
willing to be thoughtful after their first internal emotional response
to a difficult situation are perceived as cool under pressure. This in
itself is hard work.
Reactions in action
few days ago, one of my clients, Sara, and I were discussing how she
might manage her frustrations when things don't work out as she expects.
From our discussions Sara had been practicing noticing her first
response, and then thinking through her second response, and choosing
how to respond. Sara said she was learning something new. She went
on to describe a recent experience. A manager in her team had made a
major "stuff up". In doing so, he had deeply offended the local
community, having neither consulted nor developed a relationship with
the community leaders. And now this event had happened. She was livid.
She imagined tearing a strip of her manager for allowing this to happen.
Then she tuned into her second response.
So she asked herself what did she really want to achieve?
knew she wanted her manager to realise the seriousness of what had
happened and for him to take responsibility and repair the situation.
She considered her approach.
First thing next morning she and her manager met. Tell me how this happened? Was her opening question to begin the conversation. Her manager was mortified. He realised he had made a serious mistake. He outlined what had happened. Sara asked: How are you going to fix it? Let me know what you are thinking. The
manager outlined his plan, and Sara helped him shape up his actions
that day, that week and over the next few weeks. They agreed how he
would update Sara. Then she said, I
want you to turn this around, and in a year's time when you and I look
back on this, I want us both to see your managing this incident as a
result was that the manager was appreciative and relieved, and Sara
felt she had enabled him remedy the situation, and for him put processes
in place to ensure it wouldn't occur again.
How is your E+R process?
Think back over the past few weeks. How often do you act out of anger and frustration?
Now here's a suggestion: when you realise you are being reactive, recognise this first response, then tune into yourself: what is my second response? And, what is the outcomes I want from this interaction?
What question am I going to ask, that will generate the thinking and action and ensure all of us achieve the results we want?
If you're interested in looking at your E+R responses, contact Diana