• Susan Hatcher

Socially and Emotionally Incompetent Executives Leading their Organisations to Ruin.

Updated: Apr 30, 2019

No matter how brilliant you, if you are an executive who can’t manage your emotions you shouldn’t be anywhere near your board, employees, stakeholders or customers. The good news is that 'emotional intelligence' can be learned but you have to work at it. If you can master the six rules to increasing your emotional intelligence you are more likely to have better relationships with the people that matter and be more likely to succeed at work and in your personal relationships.

Rule 1 - Reduce Negative Emotions

  • Stop Negative Personalisation

You could thinkg - 'My boss did not return my call because he’s ignoring me' or you could consider the possibility that she has been very busy and is waiting until she has the time to give you her full attention. When we avoid personalising other people’s behaviours we can perceive their expressions more objectively. Remember people do what they do because of them more than us.

  • Stop Fearing Rejection

'I am applying for that promotion and if I don’t get it I will be shattered'. Alternatively you could think if I don’t get this one I am likely to get another. You can manage your fear of rejection by preparing yourself with other options in situations so that no matter what happens you have an alternative for going forward.

Rule 2 - Stay Calm and Manage Stress

Your approach to managing stress can mean the difference between being reactive or being assertive. It can also mean the difference between looking stressed out or appearing composed. The secret is keeping your cool.

Here are two tips to keeping our cool:

Tip 1 – if you feel anxious or a bit nervous some fresh air and cool water on your face will do wonders and avoid stimulants such as caffeine.

Tip 2 – If you feel fearful or discouraged try some intense exercise such as running or cycling - remember ‘motion dictates emotion’.

Rule 3 - Express Difficult Emotions and Be Able to Assert Yourself - If Your Need To.

Setting appropriate boundaries is part of life and means that colleagues know where you stand. It’s perfectly acceptable to disagree (without) being disagreeable. It’s also acceptable to not feel guilty about saying 'no'.

When expressing your emotions try the ABC approach – I feel A when you do B in situation C.


I feel disappointed when you don’t follow through when you told me you would.

Rule 4 - Manage Difficult People - Don't Be Reactive, Be Proactive.

There are 3 tips for to stay in control when challenged by a difficult person.

Tip 1 – If you feel angry or upset with someone count to 10 before you say anything. Chances are you will have opted for a better way of communicating instead of complicating the issue by losing control.

Tip 2 – Try to put yourself in their shoes and empathise. Begin your reply with ‘It must not be easy….’

Tip 3 – Deflect a difficult person by identifying consequences to their behaviour. It will aid that person to move from a position of disrespect to respect.

Rule 5 - Bounce Back from Adversity

Practice resilience and choose how you respond in to life’s disappointments.

Remember: Winston Churchill, Nobel Prize-winner and two times elected UK Prime Minister wasn't always as well regarded as you might think. He failed sixth grade and was defeated in every election for public office until finally he became Prime Minister.

Rule 6 – Be Able to Express Intimate Emotions in Personal Relationships.

Make sure you don’t neglect the relationships that you have outside of your business or career. The ability to effectively express and validate tender, loving emotions is essential to maintaining close personal relationships.

Marriages, like careers, need constant nurturing... the secret of having it all is loving it all. - Joyce Brothers

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