When to Use and When Not to Use Emotion in Business
Emotion. A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships with others.
While this is natural and needed for human survival in business, in can make or break you and should be used with intellect. I try to use emotion to make better decisions. I believe emotion is a great feedback center given to us to grow and survive. If I start to become happy, I look at the situation and ask myself – what is the downside of this? If I get angry or sad, I look immediately for the positive. While this is not easy, it does keep you from having emotional roller coasters of happy and sadness and polarized feelings and perceptions in extreme. Do you still get angry and sad? Of course, but less polarized emotional states are the goal. The goal is not to block all emotion. Again, as I said, emotions are feedback and much needed feedback. We can use them or they can use us.
How does this apply to business? Business, at its core, is an intellectual sport. 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, someone or many people are trying to kick your ass. If you make decisions on emotions, you can’t play the true game of business. The game is intellectual, not emotional. The people who win at business play at an intellectual level and the people who play at an emotional level lose.
Now, emotion must be used in business, but to benefit you, not to make decisions. A business must make sales and grow revenue to be sustainable and the only way to grow revenue is to sell and the only way to sell is to get people emotional. As Warren Buffet says, “If you cannot control your emotions, you cannot control your money.” Emotions are neither good nor bad – they just are. Many times, you will hear people say in business: “I like to go with my gut.” I disagree. Going with your gut is bad and I like to add some context when people say that. When someone says that, I immediately think GUT – “Gave Up Thinking.” Really what they are saying is – I don’t like to think, I go with my emotions and, so far, I have been lucky and it has worked. If you do not want to base decisions on your gut/emotions and want to use intellect, you really have to have the right tools, knowledge, experience and resources. I think many people use their gut due to lack of the right tools, knowledge, experience and resources. Set aside thinking time to come up with the right questions to solve a problem. Most people look for answers when they think and that is a failed way in my opinion. When I have a problem to solve, I look for the best question. As Albert Einstein said, “If I only had 1 hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes the solution.” Answers are typically easy to find if we ask ourselves the right question.
- Using emotion to make decisions in your business not a great idea.
- Making others emotional is the only way to make sales and grow revenue.
- Use emotion as feedback to let you know you are seeing one side of a situation.
- To have success, you must have mastery in your industry so you have the intellect and don’t have to rely on your gut to make decisions.
- Spend more time finding the question you need to ask and less time on finding the answer. You probably already know the answer if you just ask the right question to solve a problem.
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