Feelings are our constant companions and help us to find our way in life. For example, the feeling of fear warns us against an unpleasant or dangerous situation. The feeling of anger signals that we have been treated unfairly or without appreciation. The feeling of confidence assures us that things will work out well.
If we understand our feelings, we can manage them and utilize them as motivator and guide. If we also can empathize with other people's emotions, communicate effectively and build relationships, then we have a high degree of emotional intelligence.
For a long time, entrepreneurial thinking has maintained the illusion that value creation is best achieved through rationality. It was believed that feelings in the workplace are disturbing and so do not belong there. Organizations were seen as a sequence of highly efficient, well-structured processes rather than human, living systems.
However, now research confirms that feelings can only be suppressed, not extinguished. If we constantly deny negative emotions, they influence our subconscious mind and slowly take control of our behavior. Our emotional intelligence is dwindling. If we apply this insight to organizations, we can conclude that there is an intangible reality in every organization that reflects the emotional state of the employees and the level of collective emotional intelligence. If the collective level of emotional intelligence is low, an emotional backlog occurs, which can be extremely destructive directly impacting the success of a company. Emotional intelligence not only plays a role on individual level and in the interaction with others, but also releases forces on the system organization.
Our latest infographic 'Emotions: The Invisible, Intangible Reality of Any Organization' explains and visualizes the dependencies.
Sources and a download link can be found below the infographic.