Driving Results: When to Use Emotion and When Not To

As a leader your job is to drive results.

"Check your emotions at the door" is advice I've heard many times. Sometimes that is appropriate advice. Other times, we would be better served to put our emotions front and center.

Let's distinguish between when we are best served between using our emotions and when to leave them out of the equation.

 It is not the best time to use your emotions when you are in fact-gathering mode.

The first mandate of leadership is SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, not better or worse than they are.

In this case, please check your emotions at the door. You are on a fact-gathering mission. You need a clear picture of where things stand. Your emotions can cloud your judgement. 

Leave the drama of the situation at the door. Encourage others to leave their emotions at the door and be objective. 

Once you have a clear goal in mind, bring your emotions to the forefront.

Think of your emotions as your superhero cape. You can don any cape in your collection anytime you want.

Your emotions are a powerful force when used wisely.

First get clear about your goal. Make it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable. Reasonable, and Timed). Once you have a clearly defined goal, allow your emotions to take the stage. 


You are way more likely to achieve your outcome if you are emotionally attached to it.


HOW do you use your emotions?

Connect yourself emotionally with having already achieved the goal.

Imagine you have already achieved this goal. Project into the future. Stand in that vision. Take it in.

How does it feel to you knowing it's already accomplished? Connect yourself emotionally with that outcome.

What do you see and hear in that future vision?

What does it mean to you to have accomplished this goal? How does it feel?

Allow the euphoria of emotions to come through. Get that in your bones! 

Expand your circle. What does it mean for others? Your co-workers, staff, superiors, customers, family, and community? If you achieve this, what is the ripple effect? Soak it in. Feel how good that feels to achieve it.

This will also increase your level of belief that you will do it.

Also, what are the consequences of NOT doing it?

What if you don't hit your target? Feel the pain associated with not accomplishing it. 

Project into the future 1, 3, 5 10, 20 years. How will it feel to you if you fail to achieve this outcome? What will that mean for your team? Your customers? Your family and community?

Bringing your emotions into this part of driving results will solidify your commitment to achieving your goals.

Strategy is the easy part.

Whatever result you're trying to drive - you can Google how to achieve it. It's not a matter of HOW to do something; it's a matter of WHY you're doing it. That is an emotional response. If you spend some time projecting into the future and associating those emotions to your outcome - you are way more likely to achieve your desired result.