Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 8.57.55 amThe difference between a successful presentation and a flop can be how well we use and manage our emotions. I recall a particular Executive team meeting a few years ago, we were having a very unproductive meeting, oppositional behaviour, and poor communication, and all in all so far it had been a great display of a dysfunctional team meeting. Next on the agenda the marketing team were joining us to present their new product launch. The team had been working 24/7, pouring hours and hours in to this product that they felt proud of. This was there moment in the sun, presenting to the Executive team to gain their support for the launch. Blood sweat and tears had gone into the presentation, they were all fired up and ready to roll. Or were they…?

The Marketing Team walked in to the highly charged negative emotional meeting, they could tell as soon as they walked in the door…the body language, the facial expressions, the tone of the Executives – it looked and felt like thunder.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 8.56.45 amWhat happened next is what I find interesting. Whilst the marketing team had prepared well, they had practiced, they had anticipated the questions, what they hadn’t counted on was the power of the negative emotions. They hadn’t planned for how they would manage their own emotions, and those of the people they were presenting to.   This was their downfall. With each challenging question and each negative look, the Executive team very quickly took the originally upbeat enthusiastic and positive Marketing team to a place where they could not answer questions that they knew the answer to, they couldn’t articulate all they had rehearsed, they began to very quickly look incompetent and ill prepared.

This was the beginning of a downward spiral, the longer the meeting went on the worse it became. In the lead up to this meeting the Marketing team had collaborated extensively, worked effectively together – but now it was each man or woman for themselves.

I had just witnessed the impact that negative emotions can have on our ability collaborate, think strategically, articulate ourselves effectively, manage our self control and perform well.

The great learning here for me was the importance of creating the right environment for people to shine and do their best, and emotions have a huge role to play in this. I also learnt that having tools and techniques to manage your emotions when you are faced with the “Executive team meeting of thunder” will go along way to allowing you to continue to shine regardless of the emotional state of others.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 9.12.16 amContact us at Outside The Lines to find out more about Emotional Intelligence and our up and coming Bali Retreats, there’ll be plenty of time for blue sky thinking!                    or