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Emotions in Business

Jay C
Showing the right emotions at the right time, while running a business, has proved that human resource is more important than any other resource in today's age. Keep reading to know more...
Imagine you are a customer!! You visited a shop to buy your needs. You are welcomed at a shop with great hospitality. You didn't buy anything first time. But you found same hospitality again at same shop. You are pleased with the shop keeper, although it was not a very attractive shop.
In opposite situation, you found misbehavior at another shop having excellent infrastructure and also low prices. Where will you go next time?
You are an employee somewhere. Your boss always misbehaves and shouts at you without any reason, just to show he / she is your boss. Will you be happy? And on the other hand, what if the same boss behaves politely and becomes kind enough to praise you for your work? You will be more than happy to complete your work, and also will be ready to put in extra hours whenever required.
Employees react to emotions likes appreciation, apprehension, defensiveness, inadequacy, intimidation, and resentment, in the same way. I can say that the give and take of emotions follow the age-old adage 'reap what you sow'.
Thus, it can be rightly said that 'Emotions in business' is the key to success in a competitive environment. Customer relationship is nothing but managing and expressing kind emotions towards your customers.
But you should be honest about your emotions. It is advised that one should never try to indulge in false praising, because customers get a gut feeling that they are being cheated.
Emotions in business is a largely untapped area. It is believed that one can gain a significant business advantage by examining the emotions at play in the business, and designing conversations that will help to enhance the productivity and the well-being of the employees and customers.
Take the case of Coca Cola or Pepsico. While extending their business boundary to India, they had to face people who were opposing MNCs to sell their products. "Be Indian, Buy Indian" was the belief after India got independence, and to gain entry into the minds of Indians, the MNCs had to bend their international way of conduct.
Even as a company when you are extending your boundaries to an international arena, you have to forget from where you are. At that time, you are just a seller and you need to win the hearts of buyers. Buyers can be anyone, therefore like I mentioned earlier, to become a global player, you need to jettison some of the cultural baggage in your thinking and in your policies.
Humans are emotional beings. Emotions validate our state of being human, and we cannot escape from that. Emotions in business, as in life, are the tricky bits. They have a tendency to get out of hand or they get bottled up and explode later. Carefully devised plans that seem great on paper can become derailed by seemingly irrational emotions in practical life.
Napoleon said that "in war, three quarters turns on moral matters; the balance of manpower and material counts for the remaining quarter." Even though we do not wish to equate business with war, we believe that this is also the case in business.
Emotions are often rational in the sense that they are based on what has happened in the past - the development of values, ethics, attitudes and behavior - all involving rational thoughts.
Even if the director of a company talks to a shop- floor aged worker gently, it motivates him a lot. Therefore its nothing but behaving like human naturally. I agree that when we work in a group, our colleagues are going to be our competitors. But it can still be said that emotions tie us in better way to work together as team.
One should always look at trends which enable organizational development, and seek to add an emotional touch to business, as means to enhance overall performance. Why I'm saying this is because, one employee's display of a positive emotion gets transmitted to other organizational members and eventually shows up across interpersonal transactions with customers, and may also fuel optimal organizational functioning.
Fredrickson's 'Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions' suggests that, positive emotions broaden people's modes of thinking and action, over time this builds their enduring personal and social resources (Fredrickson 1998, 2001). There is also a link between individual organizational members' experiences of positive emotions and the upward spiraling towards optimal individual and organizational functioning (Fredrickson).
Here are ten ways put forth by Barton Goldsmith to encourage correct emotional dealings in your company:
1. Find the emotional connection to what you do and with whom you do it.
2. Create an environment of openness; encourage people to talk.
3. Make it OK to talk about emotion within the organization.
4. Give people training in basic conflict resolution skills.
5. Encourage informality - functional groups tend to be more relaxed.
6. Encourage team members to bring their "whole" selves to work.
7. Admit publicly that not all management's ideas are good ones.
8. Encourage team members to think out loud.
9. Promote the belief, "Laughter is good"
10. Recognize the emotional connection to work, that ultimately makes the impossible seem possible.
To conclude, I can just remember a few words by Doc Childre and Howard Martin, "When the heart manages emotions, they heighten your awareness of the world around you and add sparkle to life. The result is new intelligence and a new view of life. Just be sincere in your efforts and appreciate the progress you make, not expecting to be free from unpleasant emotions all at once. Each success builds more power and excitement. It gets easier as you go. When long-standing emotional issues lose some of their intensity and importance, things won't bother you as much."