We feel emotional awareness, one of the two key components of establishing lasting relationships, usually without much control over it, but we can’t communicate such awareness without first engaging our minds to find the right words. In general, we have some degree of control over our emotions, but we can choose to have greater control over how we express them in a business setting, if we so desire. The other component of establishing relationships with people is the management of our communication of feelings and emotions (communication skills) for the best outcome of our business.
Too much emotion and we’re likely to be ostracized or, at best, a poor performer at work. Too little emotion (or ignoring emotion entirely) and we’re likely to be seen by our colleagues and customers as rigid and inflexible, unable to make good decisions involving people. Those in Sales or Management can well appreciate the need to have the right balance of intellect and emotion. We can’t very well control our emotions too closely, but we can definitely control how we express them.
Ultimately, it’s the sensitive interplay of the awareness of our ongoing interactions-at any particular moment, along with the social awareness of the right way to handle those emotions, given the business context we find ourselves in-that creates the power of lasting relationships. For example, successful sales involve a sensitive awareness of the customers’ needs in the various stages of selling a product or idea, from opening to closing. Therefore, selling with emotional awareness involves:
- Listening before speaking
- Letting the customers lay the groundwork to clarify their needs so we understand them deeply, and only then,
- Demonstrating a genuine understanding of their needs (listening skills), and
- Presenting a warmly persuasive attitude and doing what’s necessary to satisfy the customers (presentation skills)
In essence, by ‘thinking before you speak’ you can manage your emotions to turn your business contacts into long-lasting business relationships.
To learn more, read the revised and updated Relationship Economics paperback edition with 40 percent new content, including an all-new chapter 10 on social media and business relationships (Wiley, Feb. 2011).