Emotions Have No Place in Business – Really Now


"Emotions have no place in business."

This is what a market watcher is quoted, as having said, in The Edge recently.

This is also what I was taught when I studied management as a minor during my college years in the early 80s.

The same mantra was repeated by many of my superiors when I started working in 1986 till about mid 90s.

If you've been in business for more than 24 hours you know that that claim by the market watcher is false.

If you want to challenge this, all you have to do is just scream at every customer of yours and see if they still queue up for your product or service. Ok, maybe screaming is too drastic, just try being rude or frown instead.

Let's face it, do you do business with someone you don't like?

Here's some proof that emotions do have a place in business.

Money transaction No matter how great a product or service is from an organization you will stop patronizing them the moment your emotions turn negative towards the company.

Body language When I conduct sales training, I always include a module on body language. In body language, you learn the importance of mirroring the actions of the person you're trying to influence. When you reciprocate the actions of your customer, a positive relationship is built, i.e. positive emotions.

Coaching Similarly when a leader is coaching someone, it's essential that a positive relationship is built between coach and coachee. Otherwise, the development of the coaches will be ineffective.

Promotion If you've been in a position to promote someone, you would have realized that some candidates although have met their KPIs and have the skills for the next job, you don't promote them because you both just don't have the right chemistry.

Emotional Puchase If you've studied marketing, you would have come across the phrase. "people buy emotionally but justify logically".

Since about the mid 90s, studies seemed to hint that emotions are ubiquitous in business relationships and transactions. Today with the abundance of research on this topic, hardly any successful business person will argue on this topic.

In fact today the word "love" is used in business environments, but it was a taboo word upto just 10 years ago.

Maybe this market watcher is a desk researcher and has never been involved in business transactions and never received the memo that emotions do have a place in business.

When you coach someone, it's critical to understand, his or her "Emotional Why". That means get to understand what drives them - their passion. Once you know this, you can support them in modifying their behaviors.

Maslow's Theory is still very valid to this day although there are many detractors. Maslow has given us a way to pinpoint which level of the pyramid the coachee falls within. I use this as an easy way to clarify what a person's drivers are.

So, who says emotions have no place in business?


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