“The most successful business leaders are often experts in emotions.”
You are a hard worker. You get to work on time every day. Actually you get in a little early because you know how valued your time will be today. You know someone is going to call and ask for an unplanned report. You know that someone will call and question the numbers on the report you just submitted at midnight last night. You know because this is your typical day. These typical days have added up over the year and it is clear that you are stressed. You are stressed not only because of the amount of work you are doing but when you look around it seems like the rest of the team isn’t working as hard. Only a handful of people are coming in as early as you are and most are gone before you leave for the day. This frustrates you and you have now begun to complain. You are questioning everyone else’s work ethic. You are questioning whether they value the work or deserve to be on the team. You question whether this is all worth it. What you may or may not realize is work has you feeling a way that is not good for you. You can call it anger or frustration but either way it is not good for you. What you need to realize is it is important to you to remove that feeling because it is not aligned with your success. This is a fact because every action you take will be impacted by the way you feel. Remember your beliefs drive your thoughts, your thoughts driving for feelings and your feelings drive your actions. Every result you get will be a culmination of the actions that you take.
Answer the Phone!
Let me further explain how this works. You are angry and frustrated with the situation at work. One day you need an answer from a coworker and you call their phone. You call it 3 times and they don’t answer. You then text them twice and then they finally answer. When they answer you immediately go into a speech on how you shouldn’t have to call them 3 times and they don’t answer the phone. You explain to them that we have phones for a reason and any professional will have it by them to answer at a moment’s notice. Your tone is a tone of frustration. You tone is too close to condescending. Now the person on the phone has a choice. You see that person on the phone is a professional. That person on the phone has worked in corporate America for decades. That person on the phone is smart and hard working. Yet you decided that because that person didn’t answer the phone they deserve a lecture. That person on the other side of the phone can decide to give it right back to you. That person on the phone could tell you that if he/she doesn’t answer the phone that means they didn’t want to and if you don’t like it you can take a hike. What is wrong with you that you can’t wait 10 minutes for a response? That person on the other side of the phone could get angered or frustrated and the battle could begin.
The other choice that person could have is to choose to understand that they don’t know what is going on in your life to act like this but because of who that person is he/she has no plans of reciprocating. That person knows the importance of emotional intelligence. That person knows that nothing good is going to come out of having a spat with you. That person knows that the interaction with you is only a blip on the radar screen of their life. That person knows better than to give you the power to take them to a place they do not desire to go. That person would rather let you be there by yourself. That person is well versed in the Beliefs/Thoughts/Feelings/Actions/Results formula. That person studies the formula daily and therefore is focused and ready to take on life every day. It may seem weak to give you a pass but it actually took a lot of strength to do so. That strength builds every day and today was a great example of its availability. That person knows who they are and knows they don’t need a lecture from you about answering a phone. That is a laughable offense to that person. When that person hangs up the phone they will say to the universe “You have to be kidding me”.
Regardless of the choice that other person made the result is the same. You are now known as the person who lectured a professional on how they should answer the phone. That person now fully understands the value you see in them. The picture is crystal clear. The results of that interaction will most likely be an impaired relationship with someone on your team. The best teams get the best results and because of your actions the team is further bruised. That bruise can definitely be repaired but it will take some clear action on your part to do so.
A Different Approach
The only way you will take the proper action is to get control of your feelings. Let’s take that same incident and approach from a different emotion. Let’s say you had just written down 5 things you were grateful for at the start of the day. This never fails to put you in the right emotional state to start the day. If you were in the right emotional state you would have called one time and no answer. You may even have sent a follow up text. Then you would have waited. You would have waited because you know the other person is a professional. You know you don’t know what they are doing or why they aren’t answering. You don’t have a belief that they are just slacking and won’t answer the phone. You won’t think that they see that it’s you and decided not to answer the phone. You will be comfortable waiting for them to call back because they have never given you any reason to think bad thoughts. Then when they call you back and tell you they were driving and didn’t hear the phone vibrating because it was in the cup holder you will be ok. You can now get the information you wanted from them. You can get the information that wasn’t even critical to know in that 10 minute window in the first place. You will find out the person on the other side of the phone has control of the situation and everything will be ok.
Even if it doesn’t happen like this and that person was ignoring you, you will still have a better result coming from a different emotion. That person could be going through something. That person could have a grudge against you for some reason. By taking different actions after the phone call was answered you may be able to find out either of the two. By expressing genuine concern and empathy that person may open up and tell you something about their situation. By having this discussion you may be able to give them advice on how to get better, either with their own situation or their relationship with you. You could be the cause of someone else getting better. But this will never happen if you don’t take the appropriate action. Taking the appropriate action will always garner great results. They may not be immediate but they will be there, you just have to trust it to be true.
The way you think about any situation can be linked back to your beliefs. The only reason that you are feeling a certain way is because of the thoughts that you are having at that time. The way that you feel will then impact the actions that you take. Therefore it is critical to your success that you monitor your feelings so that they can positively impact the results you get out of life. Yes you are human. You will at times be angry. You will at times be frustrated. Yet you just can’t afford to stay there. You must get control of the situation before the situation gets control of you. This is your life and those are your results. If you want to own them you must take ownership of your feelings so that you take the right actions. I am a firm believer in the benefits of practicing gratitude every day. Yet that is just one tool. If that tool doesn’t work for you then find another one. Do whatever it takes to gain control your feelings so that you get the most out of life. It may seem a daunting task you and if so you are not alone. There is a reason why some people are more successful than others. Some people have decided to take on their emotional intelligence and handle it accordingly. Are you up for the challenge or will you succumb to the pressure and not live up to your potential? The choice is ultimately yours. Make the right choice and you will have great success. Make the wrong choice and you may never find true happiness. This is your reminder to raise your awareness to determine how you are feeling and then choose if those feelings are beneficial to you. You may be surprised what you discover when you raise your awareness. As always I wish you the best and remind you to enjoy the journey.