Years ago, when I started my career as an executive coach, one of my customers told me not to bring that “soft skill stuff” into my leadership coaching for his teams.
This terminology, which had previously been the domain of psychology and neuroscience, is now bandied around the boardroom. Emotional intelligence (EI) and emotional quotient (EQ) have become common terms used in business. In particular, we hear these terms used frequently in leadership training.
Executives are hyper-aware of “emotional behavior”, “triggers” and “hijacks” of their emotion. It appears to be expected of managers to understand these concepts and adapt their emotional responses with little more than a definition of terms.
For the past few decades, our education system has focused on the positive, encouraging adults to avoid showing negative emotions. Add to this mix, politically correct terminology, where we never say that anything is wrong, a weakness or an error, instead, they all become “opportunities”.
The overall message being sent to us is that emotions are wrong.
They are not!
Emotions are real, authentic and are neither right nor wrong. It is how we behave when we experience emotion that gets us into trouble.
If you have managers who struggle with controlling their behavior, you might want to send them to me to learn how to recognize and manage their emotions and how to learn to behave more effectively when under pressure.