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Master the art of using your emotional intelligence

Over the course of the years, I have seen so many gifted individuals who, because of their emotions, are not achieving the success they deserve. One of the easiest mistakes to commit is to arrive at a business decision based on primarily emotions.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 13:59 IST
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Over the course of the years, I have seen so many gifted individuals who, because of their emotions, are not achieving the success they deserve. One of the easiest mistakes to commit is to arrive at a business decision based on primarily emotions.

In the heat of the moment, we can make a wrong conclusion. It is important to note here that I am not referring to the "feeling" or intuition that we may have about a business deal or condition. I am talking about formulating a decision while feeling angry, unappreciated, betrayed, scared, happy, confident or fortunate.

I realise that feeling these emotions may be commonplace at any given point in a day, but it's the intensity of the emotions that govern the feasibility of making important decisions. If your sentiments are "in play," and you are experiencing these to a high degree, positive or negative, hold off any important decisions, business, or otherwise, until you are in a neutral and balanced state.

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times, “It's a matter of principle.” To me, that's another way of saying, “It's a matter of satisfying the spoiled child inside me!” There aren't too many spoiled kids who are accomplished in their fields.

There is also an immense difference between doing what you "think" is right or doing what you "feel" is right when your emotions are in play. In sales, which is the business of emotions to begin with, you occasionally run into a rude customer, or the company makes a change that starts your emotions swirling.

I have had salespeople coming to me complaining, "It's not fair!" and I say, "Maybe not." They say, "It's not right!" and I say, "Maybe not." And they say. "It's a matter of principle!" and I say, "maybe not!"

I often relate to them the story of the pedestrian, who was waiting for the light to turn green so that he could cross a busy street. When the green signal was finally on, he hesitated because the cars didn't stop.

Then a little voice told him "It isn't fair. It's a matter of principle. The light is green and you are right." So, he began to cross the street anyway and he turned out to be right — dead right! What good is right fairness, or principle if it costs you the success and happiness that is rightfully yours?

Invariably, because of the intensity of your emotions, you are not seeing things very clearly. Better to wait until the storm subsides before taking any important decision lest you be a victim of that little voice, who later on will call you an idiot for taking those decisions.

Unless your life is in danger, a couple of hours’ or a couple of days’ delay won't make that much difference. Remember, there are always three sides to a story — your version, their version and the truth. Search for the truth, then take your decision.

Speaking of the truth, the reality is that every decision we make has emotional and rational components because we are emotional and rational beings. Certain decisions require that you should be more influenced by one than the other.

So, how do you know when to pay more attention to the logical side? In sales management, we have the same quandary with the fact that in sales you know when to be more of one and less of the other? The rule of thumb is that you lead people and you manage things.

So when dealing with facts and figures and the like, you should lean towards your rational intelligence and with people, your emotional intelligence, but you will notice that in all cases you use intelligence. You won't be able to achieve long-lasting success by using just one of them. You will need both.

Part of becoming successful will require intelligent business decision (rational intelligence). I wanted to make this point to clear any misconception about whether or not emotions should enter into the decision-making process. The truth is that they always will, because emotions are part of who we are.

Courtesy: The Spirituality of Success, by Vincent M. Raozzi, published by MacMillan India