Managing Emotions as a strategic intervention tool for HR practitioners


When you look at the array of administrative and strategic issues human resource practitioners and managers have to deal with regarding the management of employees, all hinge on human behaviour. How to direct and  influence human behaviour to get the best out of them so as to achieve the desired goals and objectives. While organisations usually have a set of policies to assist with managing human behaviour, policies do sometimes fall short, as it is difficult to policy human behaviour.

I received a request for a quotation to address an exco team on human behaviour issues that include to discipline or to counsel, dealing wit insubordination, dealing with absenteeism, poor work performance, dismissal for misconduct, drunkenness on duty and a host of other challenging human behaviours. While policies are in place to deal with these issues, policies are prescriptive, they are dealing with the aftermaths of behaviour, rather than dealing with the causes or the determinants of behaviour,  proper diagnosis and addressing the causes of symptoms rather that dealing with the symptoms only.

Emotions are the drivers of behaviour, which means actions or inactions are a result of internal content and the quality of emotions one experiences and their emotional range. Whether you are talking performance issues, productivity, employee engagement, motivation, diversity, leadership, conflict resolution, negotiation, marketing, all depend on how people feel. The challenge is many of us have never been schooled around our own emotions hence many are unaware that they are not victims of how they feel because they can change that.

This is why I have looked at managing emotions as a strategic intervention tool for human resource management, whether by human resources practitioners or managers. Managing people’s emotions require their participation in the management process, which means equipping them to master how to manage their own emotions. Four out of five top performing organisations take all their employees through emotional intelligence training, that is empowering their employees to manage their biggest asset-emotions. When individuals do not know how to manage their emotions they become liabilities, costing them and the company. And such costs include high stress levels, lack of personal energy, fatigue, low moral, perpetual conflict and a host of other human behaviour challenges leading to low productivity. Empowering individuals to manage their emotions is a proactive tool to curb and prevent some of the emotional symptoms that are a result of inability to manage negative emotions. Managing emotions is also a holistic approach to dealing with overall human endeavours in the seven life zones that include; finances, family, physical, mental, social, career and spiritual. It empowers individuals to operate with an internal locus of control rather than external. Emotional Intelligence can be used as a strategic tool across the human resource processes that include recruitment, on-boarding, employee engagement, performance management, change management and so forth.

Wellness programmes within organisations can also use managing emotions proactively instead of waiting for the victims of emotions. What is interesting is that people do not want to admit that they are weak, ”the fear of failure”, hence when wellness programmes are reactive they do not save many, as those who need it do not want to admit that they do. When programmes are proactive, it is about empowerment rather than admitting weakness, for everyone wants to be strong and will avoid vulnerability, It takes awareness and ability to manage emotions to realise that vulnerability is strength.

Managing emotions is a strategic intervention tool which can assist organisations to prevent most of the aftermaths of inability to manage negative emotions.

About the Author

Mavis Ureke is a Human Behaviour Specialist, Chartered HR Professional, Learning & Development: SABPP/Human, author of several books including: Navigating The Rapids and Waves of Life: 10 Lessons to Managing Emotions for Success; Managing Emotions for Financial Freedom:The Invisible Forces Driving your Money Habits; Heart Boundaries;co-author of The Change and Aspire, Awaken and Actualise. She is the cofounder of Training B2B CC, a leading provider of emotional intelligence training. She is a frequent speaker/trainer/facilitator and keynote speaker at public and private engagements.Media personality, regular appearance on Business Day TV, other channels and radio, city press column author: Your Emotions, Your Money. John Maxwell Certified Leadership Coach, Teacher and Speaker, An affiliate member of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate

Certified Personal Strength Facilitator, Certified Master Trainer

Emotional Intelligence HumaNext, 6Seconds and TalentSmart. Certified Fatigue Management Circadians. Contacts: Training B2B CC Tel: 011 326 2499 Email:

2 Comments on “Managing Emotions as a strategic intervention tool for HR practitioners

  1. I am a school principal. I have attended some of Mavis’s presentations. I need this programme for my entire staff SGB included.As i presently planning for 2017 it cohld be a good idea to have your programme on my plan as well. Please send a quote. I have 6 members of SMT 24 Teachers 7 non teaching staff .
    We may need a meeting to discuss the necessary logistics.,finance,venue,date,sponsors ,tithe possibility of sharing resources with neighbouring schools.

  2. Interesting and educational blog, learnt a lot since I attended your workshop and reading your online blogs and videos. Thanks

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