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Is there a place for emotions in business?


We are taught from an early age to mind our manners and, of course, being polite and courteous is important to everyday interactions and helps us relate with others. But what about our emotions? Our emotions are extremely powerful and can often determine the end result of important life experiences.

The outcome of a business deal, negotiation or dealing with a client objection can all easily be swayed by our emotions and that’s just in the boardroom. Our personal lives are often a mixed bag of emotive responses to people and situations and yet we aren’t taught to harness their emotions, despite the powerful effect they have on our professional and personal lives.

As a business owner, entrepreneur, sales person, mother, partner and friend I understand the importance of resilience.

Over the years I have learnt how to trust my inner voice and mind my emotions. Emotions are never wrong, good, bad, correct or incorrect but are simply pieces of information telling us how we are currently experiencing our world. However, what we do with the emotions we experience can help or hinder us.

Why develop emotional resilience

Developing emotional resilience is an important skill for any professional, especially for those in sales and marketing where our patience and self belief can be tested on a daily basis. The first step to becoming emotionally resilient is to acknowledge that there is always room for improvement and learn more about yourself. There are proven business and personal benefits to Mind Your Emotions®. Professionally, you will have:

  • Healthier, more productive business relationships;
  • Better staff engagement, alignment and retention;
  • Healthy conflict management strategies which address the issues and don’t attack the person;
  • More effective leadership, team work, sales and service outcomes; and
  • Less sick leave, stress claims.

How to develop emotional resilience

The following behaviours and attitudes are some ways in which emotional resilience can be demonstrated and measured:

  • Have realistic and attainable expectations and goals;
  • Show good judgment and problem solving skills;
  • Be persistent and determined;
  • Be responsible and thoughtful rather than impulsive;
  • Be an effective communicator with good people skills;
  • Learn from past experience so as not to repeat mistakes;
  • Be empathetic towards other people (care how others around you are feeling);
  • Have a social conscience (care about the welfare of others);
  • Feel good about yourself as a person;
  • Feel like you are in control of your life;
  • Be optimistic rather than pessimistic.

There are many strategies we can use to help us harness the positive power of our emotions. Here are a few for you to consider:

  • The Big Four: 7-8 hours of Sleep, Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise, Doing Fun Activities;
  • Learn how to relax;
  • Thought Stopping: As you notice yourself saying something negative in your mind, you can stop your thought mid-stream by saying to yourself “Stop”. Saying this aloud will be more powerful and make your more aware of your habit;
  • Positive mantras & affirmations;
  • Change Self-Limiting Statements to Questions: Self-limiting statements like “I can’t handle this!” or “This is impossible!” are particularly damaging because they increase your stress in a given situation and they stop you from searching for solutions. These statements should become “How can I handle this?” or “How is this possible?”

For too long business has ignored the positive power of emotions. It’s especially important for sales and marketing people to make emotional resilience a professional development goal. Emotional resilience will always be a work in progress but can have significant impact on how we manage priorities, clients, customers, prospects, workload as well as how we communicate, deliver results and most importantly, how we feel at the end of each working day.

Sue Barrett is a sales expert, business speaker, adviser, sales facilitator and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting to provide expert sales consulting, sales training, sales coaching and assessments. Visit www.barrett.com.au