The secret dream of every businessman is to get rid of emotions in business and communicate with employees at the level of setting tasks and controlling their implementation. In particular, this is manifested in the work of remote teams, when the interlocutors are away from each other and do not have a chance to communicate in person.
Why business cannot run without emotions and how to make the work of the remote team as efficient as possible? The answer comes from Valeria Kozlova, the founder of corporate EQ and an emotional intelligence expert.
In online communications, it is important to take into consideration the emotions of team members.
It is widely believed that if you work with someone in the online mode, you are unlikely to understand the emotions of the interlocutor. But this is not so! It is important for employees to be heard, so that they get kick out of self-realization and are praised. And if this does not happen, the person can simply leave.
Once, I had to send an offer to an important client, seconds mattered, and it was extremely important to do it quickly. And then my employee said that I gave him an order `not with the right tone`. At such moments, we all want to say `something not very nice`, but this meant to fail the whole project, to lose a client, money and an employee. I smiled, said some kind of typical, soothing words, and we continued to work at the same pace.
Communicating with a subordinate at the level of setting tasks means jeopardizing the project, because a person opens up only where he breathes in full. If he feels like a cog in a huge mechanism, there is no any pleasure in communication, and the more so there is no result. The most important thing in work, whether you stay in one office or interact remotely, is the result and the pleasure from communication.
The worst a manager can come up with is treating remote employees as robots that perform his tasks.
Those, who say `There is no place for emotions in business `, should get into the time machine and fly away into the past. At that end of the wire there is always a living person with his emotions, thoughts and opinions. And if you consider them in an online communication, you will get a much better result than if you do not.
How to identify the emotions of your online interlocutor
Emotions in online correspondence and in companies where work is organized online can manifest themselves in different ways. You can add a smiley to the message, you can start a conversation by discussing some extraneous topics, ask about the interlocutor’s hobbies.
We are effective in the event that 50% of our messages are rational, and 50% are emotional.
If both interlocutors look at each other from the screen and pretend that they communicate without emotion, then such communication is ineffective. They choose other words, speak different phrases and this behavior is really insincere.
It is important to understand your interlocutor’s emotional state and from this to build your own line of behavior. For example, for one of my clients the top of emotions is a contented smiley, while for another it’s a jumping dog. And when my other client gets angry, he forgets to call me by my name. He does not do it on purpose, but in this way he gives out his emotions, and then I try to understand the cause of his discontent.
And here is another example how to understand that something is wrong with the interlocutor. The person at the other end suddenly becomes inordinately talkative, asks a million questions about the weather, tells the whole political agenda, and pauses long if it`s a voice conversation. At the same time, he diligently avoids talking about work for which you are now communicating with him.
This may mean that the employee has messed up somewhere, but does not want to bear responsibility for this and delays the moment of reckoning. As in the previous example, he does it subconsciously and does not want to admit his mistakes.
This is the feature of online communications – it is very easy here to get away from what you do not like. You can answer monosyllabically for chat messages for hours, skip skype calls, referring to bad communication or unforeseen circumstances, and so on.
Carefully watch for minimal changes in the ritual of communication between your employees: being late, avoiding communication, sudden brevity, or lack of your name in correspondence – this all can be a sign that something is wrong with your interlocutor.
This is one of man`s natural desires: to avoid negativity.
It is important not to scold employees in the `stop being stupid, get down to business` style, but to find the cause of such a state and eliminate it. Otherwise, the employee will close in himself, and you will be left with nothing else to do but to dismiss him.
Work only with employees with a high level of emotional intelligence. If a person does not know how to control his emotions and model the interlocutor`s emotions, if it is easier for him to speak than to write, and he has the same answer to all questions, then his work is unlikely to be effective.
What to do about it?
To every conversation, whether it`s correspondence or a video call, one needs to be prepared, and the more the better. Abraham Lincoln said once: “If I have eight hours to cut down a tree, I`ll spend six on sharpening an ax”. And when you scroll in your head at least a couple of possible scenarios, emotions will not let you confuse yourself.
Always keep in mind the result for which you are now talking to your employee.
To tell a man to calm down is useless.
If you raise your voice, he will simply put a request for dismissal on the table.
It is very easy to succumb to the emotion of frustration when we continue to demand the result from the employee, but he did not succeed for one reason or another. Instead, you need to adapt to existing conditions and always concentrate on the result you need to get.
And when I have to deal with an aggressive interlocutor, I use my own Open up technique. At first, I realize that I am angry, and then I say a magic phrase in the style of `Let me go back to what we started with, now it seems to me that we are losing the point`. This phrase `interrupts` the anger emotion of any interlocutor, provided that she/he is emotionally mature. After all, emotional maturity is a must-have for every remote team member.