We’ve all heard the saying ‘people will forget what you did, but remember is how you made them feel’.
Emotions are powerful, marking the milestones of our life’s journey. Don’t believe me? Think about your life and the memorable moments – chances are, there are some powerful memories marking the moment: your first kiss, your wedding, the birth of your first child, when you met your spouse, that beloved pet you had to bury in the backyard, your first job, etc.
The old saying, in my view, is true. What is also true is that what we feel impacts our decisions and actions for better or for worse.
Chances are that you can recall several instances where your emotions clouded your better judgment: that email you should not have sent, the words that should not have been spoken aloud forever clouding a relationship, that decision you were to fearful to make, and the regret and ‘what if’ that followed forever more.
Independent research has shown an undeniable correlation between feelings (emotions) and decision-making biases. By better understanding ourselves and being able to identify our feelings in the moment, we are able to elevate our fortitude and be mindful about taking charge and directing our responses to show better judgement and be more appropriate with our decision-making.
This is an essential life skill for everyone. Whether you are a business leader, a teacher, a spiritual leader, or a working parent at home – even your children might be battling with emotions impacting their actions without knowing the cause of their anger or frustration.
For too long, development programs have skirted around emotions and moods, perhaps because it has been regarded as something nebulous and difficult to measure. Perhaps we ignored the impact of emotions because we did not really know how to navigate these murky waters, and felt vulnerable to admit to experiencing emotions like fear, shame, doubt, fatigue, anger. Those emotions were often something we wanted to lock in a dark closet, because they were not as ‘cool’ to admit to experiencing as their sister emotions like joy, satisfaction, hope and pride.
Try as you will to hide from them, they impact your decisions and actions, regardless. In turn, they also impact your relationships, your career, your company and work culture if you are in a leading role. The prolonged COVID-19 virus has been shown to leave a permanent mark on the wellbeing of everyone, with one in five adults suffering from some form of depression during the pandemic (double the amount of the previous year).
It has also been proven that not being in optimal mental health of any kind can lead to disengagement, turnover and absenteeism, resulting in declining wellbeing and ultimately, productivity.
The great news is that Dr Magda du Preez, of ITD Assessments created a new program with a unique validated approach to measure moods and emotions and the impact on appropriate decision-making and team functioning. The program tackles the issue head-on and results in rapidly increasing productivity measures, better safety scores and increases in engagement and better leadership ratings and more appropriate decision-making, as a manager who participated in our program said:
“I can see progress. In the beginning our operations meetings were just arguments half of the time. We have calmed down and became more focused on learning and sharing and problem solving.”
To be truly well, requires a proactive and reactive response. In other words, we need a holistic program that tackles this issue at the roots.
Before we can empower people to take ownership of their feelings and emotions, we need to understand where their heads and hearts are at. ITDA does a great job to approach the issue from a variety of perspectives, to ensure a very comprehensive understanding of each individual so that a person-specific plan can be designed to fit each individual, rather than a one size fits all approach. Some of the tools to inform individual development planning include:
Hogan HPI behavioral profile
Emotional response profile (PrEmo)
Unique moods (PAM)
Applied leader behaviors & decision-making competency at work (LCIA360)
Work Decision-Making Competency Index (WDMCI)
Recognize context complexity
Sometimes we are only aware of a dull ache deep inside us. Not everyone is equally astute to identify the emotions they are experiencing, nevertheless understand how to make the ache go away – especially when it is not physical. The program is targeted to create confidential insight through one-on-one coaching, so that each person can start the journey to a more fulfilling life, preparing to thrive, rather than merely survive. The fort is built one session at a time, after first ensuring the foundation is solid, to help you withstand even the stormiest context the future may throw at you.
What would you have your legacy be? How would you be remembered?
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears