In the last few posts we’ve been talking about the concept of emotional self-management. We also discussed examples of people who lack emotional self-management, in particular when it comes to managing anger. This included me of course as well as the caveman-like managers who intimidate, abuse, and step on others to get the job done.
Anger is not the only emotion that requires self-management. In fact, individuals who are openly angry are sometimes easier to deal with than some of the other more subtle personalities. In this post, we are going to look at some profiles of individuals who lack self-management when it comes to specific emotions.
The list below describes 6 different profiles of people lacking in emotional self-management. As you read them, think about specific people you have worked with on projects. Who do you know that could fit into each of these categories? Remember that one person could manifest several of these personalities. Also, these profiles transcend gender.
· Anxious Andy – Andy is afraid of a lot of things, but most of all he is afraid of being fired. Unfortunately for him and his team, his fear may actually cause him to act in ways that cause the very thing that he fears the most. He is always on the lookout for reasons that he is failing and avoids taking risks or making decisions. Andy may even quit a job to pre-empt getting fired. He is scared to tell the truth or to hold people accountable (since he is scared that others will hold him accountable). He avoids conflict and hurriedly tries to smooth things over when conflict does occur.
· Sadsack Sally – Sally sounds a lot like Eyore, Winnie the Pooh’s friend. She is always sad and usually blames someone else for that sadness. People tip toe around her or tell her things are not so bad, just to avoid the inevitable tears. In this way, she becomes insulated from the truth because no one is honest with her.
· Happy Harry – Harry is always happy and excited. He smiles broadly and pumps your hand furiously when he sees you and makes you think you are the most important person in the world. He insists that everyone focus on the positive and ignores or dismisses bad news. People feel that Harry is not in touch with what is going on with the project and that he cannot be trusted.
· Irrational Ira – Ira is the king of wild mood swings. He is happy one moment, then crying, and then angrily lashing out at someone in the next moment. No matter how cheery Ira may seem in any one moment, he is a ticking time bomb. It is anyone’s guess when he will explode. People avoid Ira.
· Tightlipped Tom – Everything is “fine”, Tom says tersely through clenched teeth, "let’s move on". Though he is quiet, his body is screaming ANGER. Tom is considered “difficult”; no one wants to approach or confront him. When dealing with Tom, you find yourself wanting to move things along and get the discussion over with.
Do you know of people in any of those categories? What are the other personality profiles that I have missed?
And what about you? Which of these personality profiles would you put yourself in. Do you see yourself accurately? Where would others put you?