Managing People – Why do you need Emotions ?

Leadership – Managing People

For the last 4-5 years of running Leadership Development Programs for technical mid-managers I find that some struggles they experience regarding people management are pretty universal. I remember being in the same place at the beginning of my management career as well.

I decided to share the ones which participants of Leadership Programs state as the most valuable lessons they took for themselves.

Part 1: Mind & Heart

We, IT managers, throughout all our education and professional life, are trained and used to use our analytical mind. We know how to solve very complex technical problems. We are great in solving all kind of systemic problems. And we were always rewarded for it. We were rewarded by the number of projects we finished in the certain time frame; performance and quality of our code and our knowledge of complex technologies used in our company and their interdependencies. We love when people come to us for advice. We thrive on technology and solving problems for our company.

But when it comes to people and relationships… we feel that something is off – we are not exactly “at home” here.

What usually we are not fully aware of is that when “we manage the team” we need to manage every single person in the team separately.

And, what we are managing, in fact, are their emotions & perceptions.

What we often don’t realise is that all humans, including our employees, are “emotion driven creatures”. The fact that, by the way, everyone in marketing sector is very well aware of.

As a result of every word we use, every gesture and behavior we conduct we invoke an emotion in the person we are communicating with.  Then, that emotion is translated to a perception = meaning. Perception obviously is always very subjective and depending on the persons inner world. (I will talk about it a bit more in my next post).

Every action our employees will take or not for that matter, will be determined by the emotional imprint we leave with them and the meaning they create out of the event or the interaction.

The emotion we ignited in our employee would determine if our feedback was well received and corrective action taken, if the person would take extra responsibility we wanted them to take, if they would be inspired by new initiative we would like them to start etc…

Nobody was ever inspired by pure logic.

Be aware and always intentional in your interactions with your team: to inspire and move your team you need your mind and heart hand in hand.

Ask yourself: “What emotions I need to ignite with this person? How can I do that? What is important for him / her? What emotion I need to feel in order to connect with her /him? To understand her?”

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