Managing the Emotions Driving your Workplace

Do you ever feel emotionally overwhelmed, and wish you did not have emotions or others could get a hold of themselves and be rational about issues or stuff?

Emotions drive our behaviour and consequently our performance hence managing emotions is the key to having and amazing workplace and living a successful life. Four out of Five top Fortune 500 companies take all their employees through emotional intelligence training, from the sweeper to the CEO. They realised that every human is emotional and given that we have not been schooled about our emotions, left illiterate about our emotions even as adults will create negative outcomes both at work and in life.

We are living in times of rapid change, complexity and social decay, and survival emotions are running the show and yet if we manage our emotions effectively we can create fulfilling lives from inside ourselves without yielding to a lot of the external pressure. HR Professionals are constantly dealing with outputs of individual and group emotions like conflict, disciplinary issues, performance, low morale, intolerance, stress, absenteeism, alcohol abuse and many more. Often these issues are addressed it externally with policies and procedures, or with counseling in some instances and the change is not sustainable or lasting. While these approaches assist in dealing with the aftermath of emotions, individuals need to be equipped with tools to manage emotions not the aftermath. HR professionals just like anyone dealing with people; managers or individuals working with others have to develop emotional competence. Almost all the HR competences including Organisational Development (OD); HR Practices; Learning and Development; Recruitment and Selection; Reward Management; Safety, Health and Environment; HR Information System; HR Administration; Employment Relations; Coaching and Mentoring; Risk and Compliance require astuteness in handling emotions. HR professionals and managers have to lead by example, deal with people problems, read emotional climate and transform it, if need be, handle difficult situations and develop good relationships internally and externally.

Emotional Intelligence is a strategic tool that helps managers and individuals produce results. Emotions are the currency that improve your company’s creativity in the face of challenges, create synergy in teams, improve information flow, allow intentional living and ignite the best most inspired performance from employees.

As a manager or business executive you may have asked yourself the following questions:

  • Why do some employees get into accidents more often than others?
  • Why do some employees violate company ethics and policies?
  • Why do some employees ignore the rules of the organisation?
  • Why do some employees use illegal drugs while on the job?
  • Why do some people cause conflict while others are so gifted at resolving it?
  • Why do some employees put self-interest ahead of the organisational values?
  • Why do some salespeople build large books of new business with ease while others struggle to do so even though they seem to be putting forth the required effort?

In most cases the answer to the above questions lies in the ability to manage one’s emotions ”emotional intelligence” rather than the individual’s “personality type. Unmet emotional needs cause the majority of problems at work and when people are not equipped or organisations do not take an interest in equipping individuals these human behaviour issues persist.


Mavis Mazhura, MA.

Human Behaviour Specialist, Mavis Mazhura is the author of Navigating The Rapids and Waves of Life: 10 Lessons to Managing Emotions for Success, Co-author of The Change and the cofounder of Training B2B CC, a leading provider of emotional intelligence training. She is a frequent trainer/facilitator and keynote speaker at public and private engagements. Contacts: Training B2B CC Tel: 011 326 2499 Email:

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