Intense emotions—from bitter spouses, grieving family members, or hurt victims—make legal representation complicated. Addin resentful coworkers, demanding bosses, and sensitive employees, and productivity becomes even more challenging. Compounding matters is our own emotional state related to worry about missing a deadline, overlooking a strategy, or the angst of not being responsive. In all of these situations, emotions run high. It’s easy to assume that these types of situations cloud the effectiveness of sound judgment. It is true that intense emotions, unchecked, will lead to impulsive actions, erratic decisions, and feeling overwhelmed by massive emotional overload. This would explain why most people think that in order to make better decisions, one should strip emotions from the equation. However, that tactic causes us to miss important information that emotions supply.
Intense emotions need to be calmed before decisions are made. However, eliminating emotions entirely and becoming analytical, logical, and rational, devoid of emotional input, limits our creativity and problem-solving abilities. Brain scans and images show two distinct neural pathways. One represents the analytical and logical process; the other represents the empathic pathway. Interestingly, when one system is activated, the other is suppressed. This seems to make common sense, but the consequences are not so common. The empathic network activates far more areas of the brain and is able to consider other variables that may be overlooked with just the analytical process. The empathic network allows us to process emotions within ourselves as well as in our clients. This pathway, which would align with emotional intelligence, is what allows for a better understanding of a situation, clarity in what our clients need, and the ability to manage all relationships.
Learning to understand our emotions and the emotions of others provides us with invaluable information as well as a competitive edge. This equips us with the ability to lessen the emotional reactions of others, experience more positive emotions and joy, and connect on a deeper level— all qualities that may not seem obvious to business success but are fundamentally more important. Our reasoning is important to how we strategize and represent our clients, but how we interact with our clients is important to how we sustain a business and maintain profitability. So emotions are important when considered as part of any decision, as long as they are not out of control, lacking reasoning. We want both systems—the analytical and the empathic—working in conjunction with one another.
That is best of both worlds!
For more information on emotional intelligence, client management, or business development, contact Robin Lavitch, MA, PCC, with Surpass Your Goals at www.SurpassYourGoals.com for more information.