The Cost of Emotions in the Workplace: The Bottom-Line Cost of Emotional Continuity Management

Rothstein Publishing
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Emotional Tornados in Your Workplace Can Be Just as Destructive as the Natural Kind If your company employs human beings, there are emotions at work. Emotions are part your company's culture and need to be as astutely managed as any other potential disruption to your business. The old paradigm of separating humans from humanity during work hours is not only antiquated thinking, it's high risk behavior. Emotional management should not be the sole domain of a few employees. Everyone can be awake and aware of the concepts and tools in this new book to effectively manage and channel workplace emotions. Of course, just as there are gamblers in "tornado alley" who ignore the warning sirens, you get to decide how much risk your company can absorb. Dr. Vali Hawkins-Mitchell, a leading authority in the growing field of Emotional Continuity Management, makes a compelling business case that the human emotion factor has a calculable, direct impact on the fiscal bottom line. She describes an event involving two rowdy employees who became violent over a work-related decision and how its effects led to her provocative new insights into the cost of mismanaged emotions in the workplace: Walking the halls, I saw, felt, and heard the disruptive effect of these two workers on 600 people. It was like experiencing the rubble of any other disaster. There was no physical wreckage, but the full range of emotions was exactly like that of any natural disaster. Everything was exposed and raw as if a common energy had stripped away the veneer of civilized behaviors. No infrastructure kept people safe in the presence of these out of control employees. People took sides, hid, ran, quit, overworked, underworked, ate too much, drank more, complained more, went silent, changed jobs, exited. They reacted as if all their system had been tossed into the air and was never going to land again. From that experience, I became sensitized to the differences between small gusts of emotions with no power and those with catastrophic force. Small variations in behavior can be early warning signs of trouble. "Dr. Vali" explains her own "Emotional Tornado V Chart" based on the Fujita scale, a method to observe, predict, prepare, plan, and write policy to manage workplace the full range of workplace emotions. She details how to control the employee "spinning" after emotionally-charged events, such as the effects of an abusive manager, layoffs, employee illnesses or stressful family situations, suicides, and headlined homicides. She gives special emphasis to managing office bullies and workplace emotions before, during and after an emergency or disaster. Dr. Vali offers these critical steps to all levels of management: Understand that emotions are going to happen, have measurable costs, can be managed in a compassionate manner that supports people and the bottom line, and don't go away just because they are suppressed, ignored, or devalued. In fact, they will distort and become even more lethal. Achieve realistic buy-in at the top - the CEO, owner, senior leadership - and briefly teach them key tools. With such awareness in place, emotions rising in the system can be reflected back into it in a healthy form with tools that increase loyalty and productivity. Managers will know that if a "tornado" breaks out, supports are already in place. Teach everyone, from the bottom up, tools to manage emotions.The primary key to emotional continuity management is that everyone is on the same team using the exact same tools, creating comradeship as well as intelligent procedures and policies.
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About the author

Vali Hawkins Mitchell, Ph.D., LMHC, jokes that she made a career choice at birth: she was born in the middle of an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale!

"Call it fate, call it divine intervention or simply the result of a very impressionistic and inquisitive mind," she says, "but I've made a career of studying how individuals, organizations, and communities deal with the emotional reactions that come during and following crises or catastrophic disasters."

Dr. Vali, as she is well known, holds a Doctorate in Health Education and Masters degrees in Applied Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy. She is a highly regarded public speaker, trainer, author, consultant, and educator.

A valued mentor and keynote speaker, she offers critical insights on the real human factors of disaster and emergency planning based on her experiences with major events such as the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina, Samoan earthquakes, the Indonesian tsunami, and Pacific Northwest Wildfires. She is considered by many as the leading authority in the growing field of Emotional Continuity Management.

Academically, Dr. Vali has been adjunct faculty member and guest lecturer at a number of universities and colleges, including Washington State University, the World Medicine Institute, and Lane Community College. She has contributed original research in the area of Psychosocial Dynamics of Families with Pediatric Illness, Tools of Trauma Management for Emergency Care and Health Care Delivery Professionals, and the Use of Quantum Poetry for Trauma Management.

As a counselor, she has been trained by the American Red Cross as a Disaster Mental Health provider and National Diversity Instructor, and has been engaged by the US Department of Defense to consult directly with military families, veterans, and service members in all branches since 2009.

As a business consultant and educator, Dr. Vali travels extensively, providing custom-designed trainings for individuals and teams, private and government agencies and businesses from mom-and-pop companies to large corporations.

Dr. Vali is the author of Emotional Terrors in the Workplace Protecting Your Bottom Line; Dr. Vali's Survival Guide: Tips for the Journey; Preparing a Go-Bag; and a number of plays, musicals, and children's titles. She is a performance musician and award-winning artist. She is a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) and is based in Seattle, Washington.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Rothstein Publishing
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Published on
Jun 29, 2014
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Pages
276
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ISBN
9781931332682
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Conflict Resolution & Mediation
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Human Resources & Personnel Management
Business & Economics / Management
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Reasonable variations of human emotions are expected at the workplace. People have feelings. Emotions that accumulate, collect force, expand in volume and begin to spin are another matter entirely. Spinning emotions can become as unmanageable as a tornado, and in the workplace they can cause just as much damage in terms of human distress and economic disruption.All people have emotions. Normal people and abnormal people have emotions. Emotions happen at home and at work. So, understanding how individuals or groups respond emotionally in a business situation is important in order to have a complete perspective of human beings in a business function. Different people have different sets of emotions. Some people let emotions roll off their back like water off a duck. Other people swallow emotions and hold them in until they become toxic waste that needs a disposal site. Some have small simple feelings and others have large, complicated emotions. Stresses of life tickle our emotions or act as fuses in a time bomb. Stress triggers emotion. Extreme stress complicates the wide range of varying emotional responses. Work is a stressor. Sometimes work is an extreme stressor.Since everyone has emotion, it is important to know what kinds of emotion are regular and what kinds are irregular, abnormal, or damaging within the business environment. To build a strong, well-grounded, value-added set of references for professional discussions and planning for Emotional Continuity Management a manager needs to know at least the basics about human emotion. Advanced knowledge is preferable.Emotional Continuity Management planning for emotions that come from the stress caused by changes inside business, from small adjustments to catastrophic upheavals, requires knowing emotional and humanity-based needs and functions of people and not just technology and performance data. Emergency and Disaster Continuity planners sometimes posit the questions, ?What if during a disaster your computer is working, but no one shows up to use it? What if no one is working the computer because they are terrified to show up to a worksite devastated by an earthquake or bombing and they stay home to care for their children?? The Emotional Continuity Manager asks, ?What if no one is coming or no one is producing even if they are at the site because they are grieving or anticipating the next wave of danger? What happens if employees are engaged in emotional combat with another employee through gossip, innuendo, or out-and-out verbal warfare? And what if the entire company is in turmoil because we have an Emotional Terrorist who is just driving everyone bonkers?" 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As a manager, you can usually handle disruptive employees. But sometimes, their emotional states foster workplace tension, even making them a danger to others. Your own confidence is at risk. In The Manager’s Guide to Bullies in the Workplace: Coping with Emotional Terrorists, noted counselor Dr. Vali Hawkins Mitchell gives you sensible advice for keeping the bully from dominating the workgroup and destroying productivity – and maintaining your own healthy emotional balance at the same time.

Sometimes the difficult person is an overt physical bully, which makes it easy to simply fire the person. Much of the time, however, the problems are more subtle and build up over periods of time. They undermine your ability to manage your team – and they can spread to the rest of the team, destroying teamwork and productivity. In this short book, Dr. Vali helps you to:

Recognize the types of upsetting work situations that bullies exploit to their own advantage, such as change, grief, and violence. Understand why emotional terrorists make it so difficult for you, as a manager, to deal with their behavior. . See the symptomatic tools and techniques of the emotional terrorist, such as harassment, lying to supervisors, tampering with documents, etc. . Conduct training to help other managers and team members recognize and handle the signs of impending emotional conflict – you will love the “Snakes in the Schoolyard” exercise. . Know exactly what to say and not say when you must have a one-on-one interview with someone you consider to be a bully. . Be an effective manager in a world of challenges – protecting and preserving the mental health of your employees and yourself. .

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