angry-boss-firing-woman

How can a manager control his temper?

Which one is more effective: talking or barking?

angry-boss-firing-woman

When it comes to controlling emotions (temper) it is always easier said than done. But it can be trained and it all starts with creating self-awareness about our emotions. Having such awareness specifically denotes the importance of having a high degree of social & emotional intelligence in the discipline of management (the managing of others, whether employees, business relations or random members of our social circles).

how_to_control_your_temper_

We all know the cliché that is not so much a cliché actually but closer to a fact:

you can’t control something you do not know well

&

you cannot manage others if you can’t even manage yourself.

I try to remind myself that emotions can always choose the rational path of calm words (smart & effective communication) instead of deeds and automatic reactions (impulsive communication). But our emotional reactions are naturally faster than our rational considerations. That’s a bio-physiological fact we can’t do much about, but can only tame gradually through training and lots of practice.

Talking

If you think about it, you can always TALK about your emotions; how angry, disappointed, misunderstood, tensed, worried or impatient you are about a certain employee’s attitude or performance, instead of BARKING OUT these emotions.

But the problem of emotions control often arises when:

  1. We think that our true thought/position in a certain situation can only be fully communicated, understood & respected by others when it is accompanied by emotion.
  2. We think that others will only take us seriously when they see our emotions (which can be true by the way depending on your audience and their level of social intelligence)
  3. Talking is viewed as a sign of weakness (culturally or group-collectively) and barking as a form of strength (also, culturally or group-collectively).
  4. We are not the talking type that releases regularly and timely but the type that bottles up impressions about others until they evolve into powerful untameable emotions that erupt at once like a volcano in the most poorly-timed & destructive manner!

Coaching

Controlling emotions does not necessarily imply suppressing them, but rather channelling them to reach effective communication. That’s why a face-to-face setting is usually preferred in solving conflicts, with as less external factors as possible influencing the calm & effectiveness of communication.

Communication is best served when conducted in a rational manner based on words and voiced thoughts that describe our emotions clearly & constructively, instead of uncontrolled eruptions that describe our words and thoughts poorly & destructively.

quote-Robert-Quillen-discussion-is-an-exchange-of-knowledge-an-29277

Which one is better a discussion or an argument?

Let’s compare both and find out for ourselves.

discussion at work-openanswer

A discussion is a communication style of which the outcome is not predefined, while having “mutual understanding” as a pre-determined final goal before entering into it. A discussion is supposed to lead to the best solution of a given problem, a clarification of a misunderstanding or the best valuation of an idea, to mention some random examples.

Such “understanding” is to be reached & accepted by all engaged parties at the end of a discussion, based on healthy communication, proper exchange of ideas, information or opinions and genuine agreement (as opposed to artificial one for the sake of muting “high volumes”). It’s a collective, non-selfish & constructive process by nature (even if no outcome is reached yet).

Quote Michael P. Watson

An argument, on the other hand, is characterised by the “will to win” clearly visible through the show of interruptive emotions. An argument is less effective than a discussion in most cases but can be necessary depending on the counterpart’s openness to having a calm discussion. Having an argument is mostly the result of us being unable to suppress whatever emotion that we have at a given moment of discussing a topic, whether anger, impatience, anxiety, disappointment or sadness etc.

Paradoxically enough, having an argument at such times can be a healthy release of pent-up negativity; one that needs to be out of the way, first, for a calm discussion to take place.

work-argument-openanswer

I find arguments to be generally ineffective & counter-productive than discussions because their goal is either:

  1. Predefined: when we argue for the sake of arguing (releasing negative energy because we WANT to), OR
  2. Non-defined at all, when we argue because that’s all we can do now (releasing negative energy because we CAN’T discuss calmly)

Quote by Joseph Joubert

Therefore, enforcing an arguing style of communication is a counter-productive, selfish & unfair form of communication aimed at convincing the other party of one’s points of views, legitimizing the use of irrational communication (shouts, fictitious outrage, refusal of agreement, interruptions, unmeant disagreements, lack of self-reflection, manipulation of facts etc.).

An argument is at its best when it means “a reason given in proof or rebuttal”, only as part of a debate or a discussion and not as a way of communication.

self_motivation

If you can’t motivate yourself, nobody else will. Do you agree?

Yes, and no.

Self-motivation, when existent, is more powerful than any external motivational factor, yes. It’s no wonder that “self-motivational abilities” are often mentioned as a characteristic trait/habit of the majority of successful people.

Achieve-Greater-Success-With-a-Daily-Self-Motivating-RegimenHaving said this, I also believe that all humans experience some degree of low motivation at some stages of their lives, as a result of continuous hardships, disappointments or “bad luck”, even when they’re putting in their utmost energy and positive hope in it. In such case, the power of external motivation comes in very handy or even necessary. 

Sometimes that inspirational voice in ourselves dies out or is muted down though all kinds of factors and it does no harm in such case to call in the help of external motivators, whether professional or simply existent in our comfort zones; a good friend, a colleague or a family member. 

Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

Motivation has become an industry of itself, with big names like Anthony Robbins inspiring millions around the world with what often sounds like common sense but nonetheless very powerful to hear repetitively. But also through world-famous platforms like TED Talks featuring people from all backgrounds and colours who share the most inspiring words that we need to hear in order to revive our desire to achieve, flourish or believe in ourselves once again.

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

 

 

WRITING-STYLES

What books influenced your writing career the most?

Great question!

I have no writing career as such, but I do enjoy writing. I can better share who my favourite authors per language were & how others described my style of writing.

Naguib Mahfouz‘s novels influenced my Arabic the most. I read them all, except for about 7 novels. His novels are a must read for anyone who loves culture-rich literature.

Naguib Mahfouz

Naguib Mahfouz

Harry Mullisch‘s books must have influenced my Dutch, although I’m told to have a distinct non-typical Dutch style of my own through a blend of some English and Arabic influences, clearly obvious in my use of long sentences that don’t break my thoughts and my preferred use of formal jargon making it closer to “legal language”, like this one long sentence right here!

I read his most famed ones like “The Assault” & “The Discovery of Heaven”; a reading tip for lovers of world literature.

Harry-Mullisch

Harry Mullisch

English is more of an indiscriminate mix. Though, I recently received the valuable comment from my most valued critic, my father, that I have something of Franz Kafka‘s & Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s styles in my critical writing (both non-native English authors by the way) . I considered such a far-fetched comparison a true compliment and one to follow-through with!

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

Having read only the translations of their works, my thanks should go out to the translators, I guess; a humble ode to the most underrated professionals throughout history!

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Leadership

Leadership is not about titles and positions but about influencing others. Do you agree?

I disagree on this one.

If leadership is only measured by our random influence on the lives of others, then we may as well all be leaders in a general sense, since we always influence other lives to some degree, through our social being.

Leaders

In my opinion, leadership in general, whether good or bad (to stay within the generic question wording) is mainly concerned with the power to persuade others to follow what you do, say or believe in. There were always good and bad leaders, who shared the “leader” label, and who led others through a combination of charisma, eloquence, identification, power, inspiration, love, hate, fear and/or deception.

The good ones lead others to goodness.

knowitall

When do you know when to shut up, and when to speak?

quote-knowledge-of-the-self-is-the-mother-of-all-knowledge-so-it-is-incumbent-on-me-to-know-my-self-to-khalil-gibran-70767

Knowledge is knowing what to say, without necessarily saying it all the time. People by nature have an almost automatic aversion towards “know-it-all types”, even if they indeed know it all, most of it or mostly. Even if they “know it all” compared to the ones who think of them as “know-it-alls”. It is just how we are as people.

We don’t like to entertain the idea that people whom we perceive as our “equals in everything”, may suddenly not be so equal in something like “knowledge”, but actually higher than us. That’s why we are more susceptible to accepting the same piece of information (with a nod and a smile) shared by a professor, who’s clearly a PhD. holder, than from a colleague of the same age and education who read more books about the topic, including the professor’s own book on the topic, with only a Bachelor’s degree and an insatiable thirst for knowledge!

Sometimes the reason behind this “aversion”, is that the stereotypical “know-it-all” persons, indeed, tend to be smug & condescending towards others who know less, can do less or who are less extrovert with what they know.  Know-it-alls often have a total lack of the kind of social skills and empathy needed to pay attention to such a fact or to make such a quick observation of their surroundings, before they address others or share their knowledge.

know-it-alls-among-the-many-things-they-dont-know-how-much-o-demotivational-posters-1370370005

Other times, the reason has mainly to do with the recipients of knowledge themselves. Such knowledge can be shared by someone who simply happens to know more, but it is often unnecessarily and unconsciously viewed by the counter-part as “threatening” to their own self-image or own standing (in a group). Such people are mostly insecure or less confident than others, but have a habit of channelling such insecurities the wrong way. There are many people who tackle their low confidence problem by welcoming knowledge from more knowledgeable people without the intervention of things such as “ego” or “comparison to themselves”, thereby turning a “vice” to their own hands by making it rather a virtue.

One can also say that if knowledge is factual, applicable and/or useful to the audience or to the discussion at stake, then it should be shared regardless of how it is received and perceived. But hey, there is a reason why people prefer watching certain types of TV programs; some may reject the idea of liking movies, soaps and entertainment shows and others may make jokes of those who watch discovery channel and national geographic as being “boring” or “not so cool”. A difference is there, and plenty of choices are there to make. And it is okay.

When to shut up

Mastering manners of sharing knowledge and knowing how to channel it responsibly and effectively is a sort of wisdom not everybody has. It is mostly related to age but more often to life experience, social skills and character.

It’s a waste of time, for instance, to share your knowledge of the solar system with those who are still “agnostic” as to whether “the earth is flat” or a “rounded globe”. (not such an extreme example, if you realize there may be people on our global earth, who still pick their brains around this fact)

And it’s also a waste of time to explain the importance of choosing the right accounting software for company operations, to a group of accountants who want to start their own accounting company, during a start-ups seminar, only because it’s part of your one-fits-all proven seminar-script as a coach or a speaker, that has always proven successful with previous seminar attendees.

Wisdom is knowing when, what, how and to whom you should say certain things and when not to.

SONG-OF-THE-DAY

What is your song of the day?

Avicii – Hey Brother

Hey brother, there’s an endless road to re-discover.
Hey sister, know the water’s sweet but blood is thicker.
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

Hey brother, do you still believe in one another?
Hey sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

What if I’m far from home?
Oh, brother I will hear you call.
What if I lose it all?
Oh, sister I will help you out!
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

Hey brother, there’s an endless road to re-discover.
Hey sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

What if I’m far from home?
Oh, brother I will hear you call.
What if I lose it all?
Oh, sister I will help you out!
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

 

Dedicated to RASH-HIM-MUT-MER.