GCE Strategic Consulting

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The blog that shares our expertise and perspective for driving business transformation, based on the successes and failures we've seen everywhere from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

Dealing With Emotional Decision Makers

 For those of you who follow me, you know I am a strong supporter of EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System).  If you look at the Visionary’s generic job description, one key difference that stands out between the Integrator and the Visionary: the Visionary “Operates more on emotion.” The Integrator, by contrast, operates “more on data and facts.” In other words, the Visionary works from their gut; the Integrator works from what they can observe.These are two very different paradigms that can and often do collide with one another in business. I have had the pleasure of working with many Visionaries both inside and outside of EOS®. I can tell you that when Mark Winters, one of the co-authors of Rocket Fuel, talks about the friction that collision can create, he couldn’t be more accurate.  However, as in any negotiation, until you have friction, you cannot drive towards solutions and a win / win - which is ultimately what matters most.If you are data driven like I am, here are a couple tips I have learned over the years in working with people that are more emotionally driven:5 Ways To Work with People Who Are More Emotionally Driven

  • Get to the root cause of the emotion -  Sometimes you will find it is tied to insecurity, failure in the past, or they are outside of their comfort zone.  If you suspect this is the case, walk through the plan painstakingly and help them understand how you can help alleviate their concerns through careful planning and execution. Help them understand your goal is to elevate them and the business - nothing more and nothing less.
  • Respect that emotions are as powerful to some people as quantifiable data is to others - I think we learn a lot of this in marriage and parenting as well.  It’s important to listen to the emotion, be empathetic, and calmly walk through the solution.
  • Realize that some may and do lash out if you question their emotions too much -  Generally those that are data driven can absorb fallout, however, we also need to help the Visionary understand your boundaries and that emotions are acceptable but not to the detriment of the relationship and your self worth.
  • Have regular meetings- EOS® refers to this as a “Same Page” meeting.  As Gino Wickman says, “Keep the circles connected.”  When you are not communicating, you drift and everyone pays the price including the business and its employees.
  • Be constructively direct, transparent and always put the greater good of the company above all else.  

All of this sounds simple, doesn’t it? It isn’t. Many people are scared to death to be in this situation and to have to have these conversations.  Instead, they focus on self-preservation and or just fix up their resume and leave the company rather than dealing with it.  Too often you will find a visionary or owner who is constantly turning over staff and/or the staff doesn’t stop them from going off the deep end and that is detrimental to business growth.I will admit not all people or visionaries are comfortable with confrontation, however, there are some things I look for that give me a hint about how receptive they might be.  4 questions to answer to see if someone is receptive to feedback and confrontation

  1. Do they have a professional coach?  
  2. Are they truly trying to implement EOS® in it’s purest form?
  3. Are they a member of EO or Vistage?
  4. Do they read professional or self development books?  

If you see them doing several of these items above, then they are probably very open, they just don’t know how to move forward yet.  You have now identified that you are working with someone who is emotional. However, their actions tell you they want to grow as a business and person.  This is where your leadership comes in. Managing up for the greater good is as important as managing down.  Ask your Visionary the question, “Is this a safe environment?” and “Can I share some observations that will not only help you grow but your company?”  If the answer is yes, go for it! If the answer is no, cut your losses as you probably can’t help them. Unfortunately not all people can be helped; oftentimes, ego gets in the way.I hope some of these little tactics can help you get through the friction and to real win/win results.  If you have any questions or want any other pointers please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@gcestrategicconsulting.com.Want the Complete Sales Operating System? Sign up here - and never miss another blog post!