Claire Silverberg is a writer who loves exploring all sorts of topics in her work, such as wellness, business, and lifestyle. On her off days, you can find her honing her skills in the kitchen or reading on her patio. You can see more of her work at Homebuyer.
Pub: October 12 2021
Upd: January 31 2022
Most managers think that accounting for emotions in the workplace is unprofessional. As a result, they attempt to completely disengage from emotional influences. However, self-aware emotional decision-making is vital to making effective decisions.
If managers neglect emotions in their decision-making processes, they’re vulnerable to making unfair choices for the sake of objectivity. In order to truly make the best decisions in a position of leadership, you must know how to use your emotions as a tool in your decision-making processes.
How Can I Effectively Use Emotional Decision-Making as a Leader?
Reflect on the best manager that you’ve had so far in your career. You’re probably thinking of someone who earned your respect while being personable.
In most cases, you don’t want a manager who tries to be your best friend. But having a manager that you get along with makes your job a lot easier and can minimize conflict.
If you’re not as lucky, you may have also had a manager who is so focused on productivity that they treat their employees like machines rather than individuals. If you ignore emotions in your decision-making processes, you’re more likely to make unfair decisions.
It’s essential that you learn to work with emotions instead of ignoring them because good decisions need to be balanced. By acknowledging your emotions and sorting out which are useful from which aren’t, you will be a better leader.
Why is Employee Engagement an Emotional Issue?
Employee engagement is a way to measure how invested your employees are in the success of your company. More than ever, employees are seeking positions where they feel appreciated and taken care of. It’s not just about the money for the majority of the workforce.
So, how do you foster employee engagement based on this definition? You create an environment where employees feel dedicated to their position. This is primarily an emotional connection because employee appreciation fulfills emotional needs.
It can be difficult to think of ways to foster appropriate emotional engagement in the workplace. Supporting your employee’s emotional needs doesn’t mean that it’s time to become their therapist.
You can improve your employee engagement through simple strategies, such as building better communication. Ask them about how you can be a better colleague or how you can support their career goals. Knowing that their workplace supports their personal development can go a long way in improving morale.
Why Should I Care About Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is important to the well-being of any company and its employees. Employees with low engagement are more likely to make careless mistakes, which can have negative impacts on the entire company.
Most of the time, it just takes one careless employee to create a large issue, such as a large data breach. If your company doesn’t effectively support its employees, you’re more vulnerable to their careless mistakes. So think about employee engagement as a preventative measure.
Good employee engagement is generally a sign of company success. Workplaces with high employee engagement earn more revenue. Employers often overlook employee engagement as a factor that affects productivity. If an employee feels allegiance to their employer, they're going to put more effort into their output.
How Can I Make Good Emotional Decisions?
Effective emotional decision-making is a skill that requires practice. Because everyone’s emotions and experiences are different, not everyone will use the same strategies for their decision-making processes.
But here are some frameworks to use as a guide to help you figure out how you can effectively use your emotions to make decisions.
Focus on the Solution
Negative emotions, such as excessive stress, can distract you from finding a solution to your problem. It can be easy to get sidetracked by minor inconveniences that come up when you’re solving a large problem.
Keep your focus on the task at hand. If you find yourself getting distracted by lesser issues, jot them down as they come up so that you can move on and return to them later.
Finding a solution to your main problem and then tweaking it after is more efficient than letting your mind wander through every minor possibility.
Thinking through possible issues with your solution will make you a more thorough problem solver, but you need to stay focused on your main problem first.
Think About the Bigger Picture
Keep a log of your important work decisions. Be honest about your thought process and reflect on the outcomes of your actions. If you maintain a log of your decision-making, you can use this as a resource for resolving future issues.
A project log that focuses on your thought processes helps you identify common patterns in your work. For example, you may start to notice that you doubt your presentation skills but always perform well in the moment.
Visiting these emotions later helps give you a more objective view of how they play into your decision-making so that you can be aware of which emotions are getting in the way of your success.
If you’re in a leadership position, it’s important to think about the role that your emotions have when you're managing your team. Communication skills have the biggest impact on the efficiency and engagement of your team.
Consider adding a separate communication section to your log and check in with your team members often to understand how you can communicate effectively with each team member. Emotions play an important role in our communication style, so they play a role in employee engagement by association.
Know When to Ask for Help
Sometimes, you need outside help to decipher your emotions and their impact on your work. Everyone has to navigate their emotions in their decision-making processes, so reach out to those around you for support.
A trusted boss, colleague, or friend can all help you figure out if your emotions are getting in the way of your problem-solving. Odds are that they need similar guidance sometimes, so you can be resources for each other. Having a partner in your journey towards making better emotional decisions makes the process a lot easier.
Employee engagement is often overlooked as an important factor in a company’s success. For a long time, companies have underestimated emotions’ role in employee satisfaction, loyalty, and efficiency.
This is why it’s so important to take your emotions into account in your decision-making and leadership styles. When you're more aware of your own emotions and know how they impact your decision-making, you become a better leader.
Check out the infographic below if you want to learn more about how you can make better emotional decisions.