One of the things that is very evident in today's world is the lack of a major and very important skill for success and for life in general. Maybe, it is because of the fast paced nature of life. Or maybe, it is because it is not discipline concentrated on in schools. Or maybe yet, it is not something taught at home because parents never learned to master it or practice it.
The skill I'm talking about? Emotional control.
Emotional control, or Emotional Intelligence as is often called, is one of the most impactful skills to learn in your life.
Most people do not learn to control their emotions. Instead, they just "react" to a situation impulsively. They don't take the time to study and understand where that reaction comes from and why it exists. If they did, they may find that it is not the reaction they truly would like to have. And that is why so many times people will react and do something only to regret it later or ask themselves "Why did I do that?"
It's because of lack of control over their emotions. And is the lack of this skill that I believe is responsible for many of the problems in people's lives and in society. So, why isn't more attention placed on it? Because it's hard. It's hard to understand. It's hard to teach. And most importantly, it is damn hard work to put emotional control into practice. It is so much easier to be emotionally lazy and just react.
Case in point. Just recently, a member of one of my sales teams was working with a client on a specific solution. We work with a number of partners in our business and some offer similar solutions. We are careful that when we refer a new client, we give the information for all of them so that they have a chance to showcase why they should be the provider for the client.
In this case, the client was already a client of one of our partners, but the solution they asked my sales person was not a solution provided by that partner. In fact, we only have one partner that can and does provide what the client wanted. So, the sales person did what was best for the client and let them know that we could do the solution through the other partner. There was no maliciousness. There was not intent to hurt the current partner that does not provide the solution. In fact, they client would have been happy to use both solutions for their needs.
So what happened? When the CEO of partner that was currently in use at the client found out that the sales person had referred their "competitor," they went ballistic. They sent a scathing note to the sales person that was unprofessional and copied in my business partner and CEO. When they sales person responded stating that the client wanted a solution that the partner company did not provide and that they were doing their best to take of the client's needs, the partner showed not understanding and doubled down - even threatening some extreme action like cutting off service for all existing clients.
This was obviously an emotional reaction with made up assumptions for what was really a non-issue. The client needed a solution and in doing what is best for them, the sales person helped them. There was no threat to the partner's business or in losing the client as it was a very specific solution that they did not provide. Nevertheless, it caused a major uproar where things were put into writing in an email by the CEO of the partner that have damaged the relationship permanently as I will not do business with someone that treats people, especially my employees in that way.
This situation could have easily been avoided, if instead of just emotionally reacting, the CEO just did two things, 1.) Gave the benefit of the doubt and 2.) Gave me a ring. They should have controlled their emotions and asked themselves, "Is this company who I have worked with for years without issue and that has referred me business, really trying to take clients away from me? " If they had asked that, they would have come to the conclusion that is probably not likely. Secondly, all this CEO had to do was call me and say, "Dave, I don't want to believe this, but "scenario" happened and I want to know if you are taking clients from me." At that point, we could have discussed it and come up with a way to handle the situation together as true partners. Since an instance like this is rare, we could have mutually agreed how we could handle it in the future. I would explained how I understand their point of view on it and worked with them to create a better outcome and better partnership for the future.
But, no. Instead, lack of emotional control has hurt the possibility for that to happen as when I reached out to discuss it, the CEO just reacted and shut me down. They had made up their mind - even though their facts and assumptions were wrong. And that is how easily lack of emotional control can mess things up. I have no doubt that we will find a way to get things back on track with this partner, because regardless of this incident, we both need to do what is best for our clients. But, the whole incident was unnecessary and could have been avoided.
Learn to control your emotions. Learn to recognize them and choose your reactions so that you don't react off of assumption or partial information. Use logic and work through your challenges. You'll be much more successful in all areas of life.
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