One of your greatest assets is one that’s often overlooked. I’m talking about your personnel. Not just their training or professional experience but something even more intricate – their emotional tone.
Every person is in a particular “emotional state” or tone at any given time. Although they may change tones for short periods, people are chronically at a specific level. Like a musical scale, these emotional tones can be high or low – with each emotional tone having an inherent set of predictable and observable personality characteristics.
At the higher or more upbeat tones like enthusiasm or cheerfulness, people are more honest, communicate better, produce more and take a more positive view of life and are therefore an asset. This is what we are hoping. A blessing in any office. As a staff member descends the scale, they become more unproductive, negative and dishonest and are a liability.
The overall tone level of your business is determined by the combined tones of your individual employees. Furthermore, their tones can be raised or lowered temporarily by what’s occurring around them and even by the emotional level of the people communicating to them. To see this in action, let’s look at how the tone of a manager can affect the productivity and emotions of his staff.
Imagine an executive who needs his employees to make an important sales target by the end of the week. On the last day, they still have a ways to go and he tells his manager it’s vital to finish before closing time.
An enthusiastic supervisor would most likely see this as a challenge and devise a solution. He’d treat his staff as team members and they would work together to make it. Given a realistic target, they would probably be successful.
On the other hand, if the manager were a chronically angry person, his operating basis might be to browbeat the staff into making the quota. When the executive walks into the office, he shouldn’t be surprised to be greeted by resentful silence and very little production.
Of course your best route to success is hiring people who are emotionally high toned in the first place. But that is a topic we’ll cover in a later newsletter. For right now, let’s say you take a look around your business and you have some employees who are in the lower emotional tones. How can you turn these employees into better assets for your business? How can an executive or manager improve his communication lines to his staff?
Here is a simple exercise you can do: Go around your organization and inspect areas. Sincerely show an interest in each of your employee’s work. This exercise could include talking to some customers or clients if possible and being interested in them as well. I’d like to hear about the results of your inspections. Feel free to contact me.
CEO and Founder
International Executive Technology
Note: The Tone Scale is so important that we produced a DVD – Emotions in the Workplace – to help executives learn to recognize the tones and how to use the Emotional Tone Scale. The film provides a fast and practical introduction that can increase your success and make your office a less stressful, happier and more productive place to work. For more information click here.