MOODS & EMOTIONS
“Traditional corporations have ignored human emotion. They have tried to pretend it didn’t exist or, worse, tried to suppress it.
The renewed focus on humanity in organizations requires an understanding of human emotions. To energize employees is to harness emotion. Bad emotions have a bad effect on profit; good emotions are fuel that drives productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction.” -James Martin, Cybercorp, 1996 American Management Association.
Why does mood matter in our personal and business lives? Our thinking determines our mood, creates our own reality, and drives our behavior. The results we achieve are the outcome of our behaviors. A wide range of studies supports this.
One especially helpful paper is “Why Does Affect Matter in Organizations?”, published in the Academy of Management Perspectives in early 2009. People are always in some mood or emotion. Moods and emotions permeate everything people do, and constitute a core business process. “Everything in life is pointing us back to our true nature.” – Stephen Cope.
Moods and emotions are an integral part of the effective use of language. They are crucial to clarity, morale, and organizational performance. Precise distinctions and tools in the methodology include: How to distinguish between moods and emotions.
Recognizing and utilizing four basic moods of life as a deeper level of emotional intelligence, and how they impact morale and performance. Understanding how to shift self and others from negative moods to positive ones. How to use moods and emotions to have more effective and influential communication that builds relationships and long-term collaboration. How to engage in constructive emotional leadership.
PHYSIOLOGY & BODY POSTURE
The body would seem to be an unlikely area of attention in the context of performance and improvement. Like moods and emotions, the body has largely been ignored as a key area of learning that impacts on individual and organizational performance.
The body is always present in how people listen to each other and speak with each other. Speaking is not limited to the vocal chords – it occurs from the body (this is well known for actors and singers). In fact, 93% of our language is non-verbal (posture, breathing pattern, eye movement, an inner “knowing,” etc.). An individual’s posture consists of the subtle configurations of muscles and skeleton that have been learned throughout life. In many subtle and powerful ways, posture can keep people trapped in negative moods, and negatively impact on listening and speaking.
The importance of the body can be expressed in the following way: Our way of being is embodied. We carry our biographies in our biologies. Specific tools that are part of this aspect of Ontological Coaching are: How to use the body to get into more constructive and productive moods. How small shifts in body posture can generate a more positive outlook and produce more effective communication.
To help clients explore and integrate the body as part of their learning, Authentic Leadership International’s Managing Partner, Colleen Slaughter, draws on her studies with Ariana Strozzi and Stuart Heller, internationally respected educators in this area, as well as her training as a Registered Yoga instructor.
Language is used to produce outcomes and generate realities. People act from what comprises reality for them.
Effective leadership, management, coaching, and team behavior depends heavily on how people use language. What is done, and how well it is done, is shaped by how people do and do not use language.
Listening is an ever-present part of human interaction in the workplace. Ontological Coaching provides a deeper and more effective way of listening that enhances communication and relationships. Listening is the crucial factor in communication, and essential for establishing trust and rapport; listening is a core business process.
Speaking is also a key business process. Ontological Coaching contains four precise linguistic tools (called basic speech acts) that humans use in everyday conversations to create reality and get things done. People are often not aware of how they use (and misuse) these linguistic tools. Awareness of how to intentionally use them produces more effective ways of conversing, relating, and performing in workplace settings. Stories and narratives are often silent, invisible, and in the background of everyday conversations. They reflect the deep culture of organizations and individuals and can be major barriers to change. They provide powerful contexts of meaning, shaping what people see as possible and not possible for individual, team, and organizational improvement.
A key part of examining language is to uncover destructive narratives, and develop powerful and empowering ones. What the client as the observer experiences physiologically, feels emotionally, or recites aloud (or in her head) influences the impact she will or will not have. As explained through the BEL and OAR models, by focusing first on the body, emotion, and language of the observer – rather than just the actions – the right actions the client needs to take to reach the desired result will flow naturally and effectively, as such actions will be in alignment with her true self.
In other words, by shifting body, emotion, and language the observer becomes much more effective in achieving her goals.