Is there a connection anyway?
Can we influence behaviours through our emotions? The answer is, most definitely, yes, we can.
Emotions play a significant role in shaping our behaviours. They can influence how we perceive and interpret situations, as well as how we respond to them.
Emotions also play a key role in how well we learn, how we make learning stick, problem solve, how we are motivated and how we connect with others.
It is often overlooked why we are going to do things, rather the focus is on how we are going to do things.
With this in mind, how do you engage in conversations to incorporate emotions as part of everyday life within your teams and organisation in areas like culture, planning, strategies or goal setting?
It can be difficult to think about or find the why. A great way is to use the tools from Riders & Elephants. They have a selection of activities that guide the conversations and insights, with the centre being how people should be feeling / not feeling, and how these will show in people’s behaviours and what actions / habits you might want to instil or reduce to minimise or enhance certain behaviours and emotions.
I have had many successful conversations with leaders and teams using these activities and tools.
A powerful example was working with a leader and their team who were having challenges with their team culture, which was having an impact on their dynamics and working relationships.
The whole team first completed individual TTI TriMetrix profiling and had had 1-1 debrief sessions. During these 1-1 sessions we had already validated and reviewed their own awareness of their behavioural and motivational styles plus their own emotional intelligence. It was important to take these 1-1 sessions and bring this awareness together as a whole team. During this team debrief I was able to introduce the approach of centring the next part of the work around emotions and feelings.
Using the Emotional Culture Deck cards and Leadership Canvas from Riders & Elephants, we were able to have invaluable in-depth discussion around how the team wanted to feel / not feel and what they would see in each other if these emotions were experienced.
This aligned beautifully with the insights surfaced in the 1-1 and team debrief sessions with the TTI TriMetrix profiling, especially around emotional intelligence. The conversations about self-awareness of your own emotions and behaviours and awareness of others – so if a team member sees this behaviour in another team member it could trigger them to connect or check-in.
You can normally see a shift in those who were perhaps a bit cynical about talking about emotions and feelings at the beginning of the process. Generally speaking, all individuals see the value in the process they have just gone through. Importantly, you can often visibly see the lift in everyone’s level of energies as they have connected with the why.
This is exactly what this team experienced – they had connected with the why. Subsequent workshops with them, they have been able to share how the process has heightened their awareness of self and each other, talking a common language around this and opened a dialogue they have not used before which considers emotions and feelings. This has had positive impact on working relationships, which in turn is influencing the team culture.
Having connected with the why, we are now considering the next steps as we don’t want to just leave the process there. Using the why can be a great and appropriate segway into setting goals for the team. Often when goals are set the focus is on how the goal is going to be achieved, when it also needs to be considered why the goal is important – so the team is taking these next steps with goal setting.
It can be challenging taking this approach, but I encourage you to be challenged!
Let’s kickstart your conversations through Vargo + Lewis, using the ECD cards. Over a coffee we can share a slide deck and work through the activities with you, or you could download a pdf version from the Riders & Elephants website. Or jump head first and purchase a pack for yourselves – use the affiliate code KIRSTYALLOTT on the Riders & Elephants website for 50% off the Emotional Culture Deck cards.