Post by Tanya Maslach, contributing Women On Business writer
“Here is another harsh fact; most women in management are more trouble than they are worth, which is why the glass ceiling is there and on the whole, you are paid less. But go ahead, believe what makes you happy.”
Stop for a second. How do you feel? Pay really close attention. Is your heart beating fast? Are you flushed? Are you leaning forward and on the edge of your seat? How many times did you read the above quote?
This comment was shared after one of my recent video interviews was aired on BNET.com’s front page featuring top management news stories and strategies. It began a flurry of activity, on and off BNET, and prompted BNET to feature it, and three other previously aired videos, in a mass newsletter mailing to their subscribers.
What does this have to do with business?
Look at how quickly emotions take over our actions and decision-making! As Daniel Goleman wrote over 15 years ago, any of us can become “hijacked” by them, ultimately allowing them to be the source of our downfall; from executives to teachers, flight attendants to parents, we are all potential victims. In fact, to see some of those victims (including yours truly) don’t just watch the video. Visit the comments on this video. That’s where the real hijacking takes place.
As Goleman has written, based on the many neuro-behaviorists and physiologists studies, emotions are contagious. Moods spread. And we don’t have to look far, or strain our memories, to find real evidence of this. Remember the events and images of January 20, 2009 – Inauguration Day? Or how about the time a senior manager walked by your office and demanded to know where those reports were? How about the last time you watched the news? Or today at work when you find 10 of your co-workers’ desks cleaned out – and your boss hasn’t once met with you to discuss the impact on your team and you individually?
The term emotional intelligence has gotten a lot of attention over the last seven or eight years – good and bad. What doesn’t change about any of the news is that the skills it refers to are grounded in biology and physiology – which means, they’ve been around a little while longer than the phrase itself. Mastering them is a crazy mix of art and science. Furthermore, these set of skills have been shown to be the key differentiator between a smart (technically competent) manager and a highly effective, respected leader (with some research reporting it’s responsible for up to 60% of a person’s performance – even higher for senior leaders). Learning how to effectively hone these skills is the most critical – the most critical – element of every leader’s development.
Let me leave you with a final thought. A recent study done in the UK and Sweden provided evidence that there was a link “between concrete managerial behaviours (“bad boss” behavior) and objectively assessed [heart disease] among employees”. In other words, that sickening feeling you get in your chest when you have to go to work every day? It’s not just the food you’ve been eating.
Follow the link to read more about the study and the article titled “Bad Leaders cause Heart Problems.”