When Business Owners Are Cut Off From Emotion, They Make Bad Decisions
Recognize that emotions exist! It is not having the feelings that are the problem; it is how we learn to manage and understand them.
The Case Study
I walked into a client’s office for our appointment. No sooner had I knocked on the door to announce my arrival with “Hi, how are you today?” than she quickly turned and emphatically retorted, “How am I? How am I? I am overwhelmed and exhausted. The children need to be picked up, and I have one of the biggest deals unfolding today.
I am having a terrible time with this negotiation.” The issue at hand was about an important white paper they had co-authored. My client got the contract and, in fact, wrote most of the work. Now it was time to submit, and the other woman wanted her name on top and was trying to re-negotiate the credit for the work and the economic split. Of course, these things should have been settled prior to work. My client was furious.
Her feelings completely derailed her logical thinking.
I asked her to take three deep breaths and pause from all thoughts and feelings about the situation. I acknowledged and empathized with how difficult the situation was.
After being able to calm down and have an intelligent conversation, we clarified what was real in her knowledge of the issues involved and separated that from her feelings.
We know that making decisions based purely on knowledge or based purely on emotion is always the wrong decision, but by employing three strategies, we were able to come up with a new equation that got to the heart of the matter.
The very first thing we needed to do was to take a pause.
The second thing we needed to do was to acknowledge and empathize with her feelings.
The third and final step in the process is that she needed to do a body and mind scan and, in so doing, ask three questions:
• “What am I thinking?”
• “What am I feeling?”
• “How can we develop a new response that incorporates both intellect and emotion?”
As a result of this process, my client was able to make an offer of giving her a choice, name on top, or more money. It was very important for future projects that my client’s name be on top. She got what she wanted by navigating her emotions; she could navigate her client’s emotions and close the deal with great success!