Emotional Intelligence at work
What drives Connection?
Each day at work we pitch an idea to a colleague or a boss, or to a board of directors, or to a new organization, or to a client on behalf of the company for the contract of our dreams. Regardless of who we’re pitching, your success boils down to tan act of connecting and showing someone that its worth believing in you.
Despite what you may think, most decisions, even in business are made with the heart and not the head. Everyone that you engage with at work has a desire, an ambition, a belief, a worry or a fear. It is these heart-felt emotions that almost always drive their decision-making.
It is hardly surprising that many of us consistently underestimate how critical it is to understand the emotional motivations of decision-makers. In a world dominated by facts, figures, benchmarks and bottom lines we sometimes forget that business is, at heart, a human endeavor. Decisions are made by people, and people have needs and agendas. Whether it is the desire to be recognized; to feel appreciated; to create something; to be admired; to lead; or to feel safe and secure, understanding the needs and agendas of decision-makers is a critical driver of business success. The rational face of the decision-maker may be the one that is most obvious to you, but it is the emotional part that actually buys. Getting decisions made your way is fundamentally about people, their ambitions, fears and desires.
Where do these emotional motivators (emotivators) lay?
The emotional motivators that drive decision-making are deep rooted and unspoken. While decision-makers may well rationalize and justify their choices on the basis of hard evidence, the reality is that visceral and implicit emotions are always fundamental to the decisions they take. It is the hidden emotional needs, wants and values that are the true motivators behind every decision. No matter how effective your team or great your product, few pitches will ever be successful or recommendations accepted unless your argument speaks directly to these deeply-felt emotional desires. The first step in influencing a decision is bringing the unspoken wants, needs and values of the decision-maker to the surface.
Does this mean that whatever expressed by the decision-maker is not really the real issue?
Of course there is always a business issue that a decision-maker needs to solve, and your main objective will always be to solve whatever problem the decision-maker has. The difference is that every obvious problem or opportunity takes place in a deeper and less visible context; one that is always linked to an underlying Want, Need or Value. These are the filters through which the decision will be made. Your task will be to resolve the obvious business problem in a way that links to their emotional motivators (emotivator).
How can we define these emotivators?
The ‘Emotivators’ describes the unspoken, emotional motivation that resides in the heart of any decision-maker. The true motivator behind every successful pitch. To drive decision-making in your favor, your pitch must find, tune into, lock onto and ignite the
decision-maker’s Emotivator. The Emotivator is at the root of how people behave and the lens through which people make choices.
What is the Emotivator comprised of?
An Emotivator comes in all shapes and sizes but is always present and always vital. Emotions and desires locked into this are as varied as there are different people in the world, but generally consist of Wants, Needs and Values.
Wants are positive desires to achieve something good. Wants are based on ambition and reflect confidence and a positive view of what the future might bring. Decision-makers may not be able to articulate what the future looks like (that’s where you come in!), but they look forward to it. People with a hidden agenda based on Wants will respond to bold gestures. They will want to feel that you understand them, can see what they see, and share in the excitement of the goal they seek.
Needs are desires for something that is lacking, and may reflect fears, worries, or a longing for an essential missing ingredient that is necessary to function. There is a sense of urgency surrounding the hidden agenda of needs, and this agenda includes a call for confidence. Individuals whose hidden agendas are based on needs are reticent and cautious. They need a good deal of assurance, and need to see confidence in you and your ability to deliver something that they lack.
Values are important and lasting beliefs about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. The roots of The Hidden Agenda for people who are motivated by values are their deeply held beliefs. For them, the issue will always be how they set, calibrate and measure their actions in accordance with the compass of their value system.
How does The Emotivator benefit me?
In any competitive situation the individual or company that can apply the greatest sensitivity to the decision-maker’s hidden agenda will have an immediate competitive advantage. The emotivator framework allows you to find the unspoken Wants, Needs and Values of decision-makers and then connect with them in an emotionally powerful way.
Once you have understood who your decision-makers are in terms of their emotivators, you will be able to connect your key strengths (your Core), your key beliefs (your Credo) and everything you wish to be (your Real Ambition) directly to the emotional motivators that drive decision-making. This is a hugely powerful way of selling or pitching, whatever the context.
Behind every decision there is an emotivator, the unspoken Wants, Needs or Values that reside in the hearts of decision-makers. When you identify it and connect your strengths, beliefs and ambitions to this, you win.