The Pixar movie Inside Out showed us in concrete, colorful, vivid ways what it can look like to be able to recognize the five core emotions of human beings: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. Sometimes you can separate them (i.e., is it anger or fear?); other times, it’s a free-for-all. The changing emotions drove the actions of the characters, and they do the same for us.
Organizations talk about the importance of company culture while sometimes failing to focus on the force that drives the culture – emotions. If employees are unhappy (e.g., disgusted, disappointed, frustrated, or sad) with their job; if team members feel they have no purpose (a self-fulfilling prophecy); if individual team members’ values are not aligned with those of the company; or if the mission of the company is irrelevant to most people who come to work there every day, the culture will suffer considerably. The unhappiness will show in attitudes, teamwork, productivity, and overall profitability.
If you’re not aware of your or others’ emotions and how (or whether) those emotions align with company values, the team’s work (and personal) lives can be severely impacted. Solving these problems begins with looking inward.
What is your main emotion? Where do you “live” most often… and why?
After your self-assessment, if you can do so without assigning motives or labeling them based on your own biases, think about your colleagues, teammates, staff, and executives. What emotions are on display by those you work with?
It is the rare team that cannot benefit from at least occasional inward-looking discussions. How might it start?
Assess your current “emotional” culture. What results are being produced? Are projects completed on-time? Within budget? Do teams get along? Do employees smile? Are they engaged? If you don’t “feel” that your employees are happy, meeting deadlines, engaged with their job/team, etc., then you’re probably right.
Determine what you want your company’s “emotional” culture to be. You have a company mission and vision statement that, ideally, are aligned with your company’s values, but “culture” and “mission, vision, and values” are not the same thing. Consider whether your mission, vision, and values also align with your ideal culture. Because individual emotions very likely impact team results, we must take them into account. Failing or refusing to do so will, over the long run, almost certainly cause your company to suffer.
Discuss the current “emotional” culture with your workforce. Ask them what they would like it to be. You may be very surprised at the disconnect between the leaders’ image of the company and that of the employees.
Develop leaders’ awareness of feelings and emotions. Soft skills are increasingly important in driving organizational results. Leaders who reflect the ideal culture of the organization in their actions are profit-drivers, and employees particularly appreciate leaders who exhibit empathy. Connectedness drives results.
Partner with an external expert, like an executive coach.
As an experienced coach, I can be neutral and observe situations differently than those enmeshed in a difficulty. Using that neutrality and observation as a starting place, I can provide a wealth of expertise in emotional intelligence, leadership development, culture awareness, change management through behaviors and habits, and sustainable results.
Have you considered how you’re feeling, what’s driving your behaviors, and what you really want your life to look like? You may find some starting places in my recent series on Emotional Intelligence. (Click here to access the last article of the series which contains a listing of and links to previous series articles.)
Are you ready to take an honest look at your organization’s emotional culture? Personal biases impact our views, and you may not see the full picture. I can help. Let’s chat.
P.S. Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!
P.P.S. With over three decades of professional experience in corporate operations and executive human resources, I am a proven results-driven leader. My expertise includes strategy, change management, talent management and organizational development, employee relations, and executive and leadership coaching. I am a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, authenticity, and trust.
Click here to download my Trust Behaviors and Drivers Checklist which will help you determine exactly what behaviors and drivers of trust are present within you and your team.