Janine Moon
6 answers

Some of the things scientists are now able to see going on inside our brains are not only very cool but also give us direct information as to how to be better…more productive, more thorough, more successful. This means as a leader or manager, you can use this information to get better from yourself AND everyone in your work place.

While we suspected as much (since humans are social beings), scientists now tell us with certainty that people need social connection in the same way that we need food, water and shelter…it’s that basic, that important. We are built to connect with others, and need that human interface the same way we need food and sleep. (To some extent, Maslow got it wrong!) So smart leaders will make sure that their workplaces invite and reflect the kinds of social connections that make people their best: this means Emotional Savvy.

Emotional Savvy is about recognizing emotions and including them in any communication…as human beings, we can not separate them out. And if we choose to ignore them—because they are messy or because you think they don’t belong in the work place—things just get worse. Emotional savvy is the application of your emotional intelligence so that every connection you make is productive.

Here’s an example: you see that Bill, usually a good worker, has fallen behind on several projects. When you pass his work sites, you notice that he’s slowed down and once just seemed to be daydreaming.

As a manager you have options:

*head to his job site and tell him you’re watching: he’s got to stop goofing off;
*call him in and show him all the late projects and give him a deadline to finish them all; if he misses, well…
*catch him first thing in the morning and ask him how he’s planned his projects for the day. Listen to his response and get a conversation going that includes your expectations for his work.

What you find is that Bill, too, is concerned about falling behind and he wants your suggestions about getting his work back on track. The Boss Syndrome would have you tell Bill—in no uncertain terms—that he’s slacking and it’s got to stop. Knowing that Bill does care about doing a good job, you decide to do a little coaching instead of bossing. You leverage Bill’s motivation to do good work!

If you don’t pay attention to the emotions that come with people, then you’ll get a very small amount of what they can contribute to your business…their brains and their best work. And business results will reflect that.

* Workplace drama comes with ignoring emotions.
* Employees who bring their ‘C’ game to work are the result of ignoring emotions.
* Lack of risk-taking and innovation is the result of ignoring emotions.

So as a manager or project lead or team member, how’s your emotional savvy? If it’s not where it should be, or if you could use a boost, stay tuned…we’ll review some tips and suggestions in upcoming weeks and help you sharpen those skills!