The team is known for teaching and leading emotional connection got disconnected.
It happens in every relationship. All. The. Time.
During a particularly intense brainstorming session, two team members– J and R– got disconnected. It was poetry. I watched it happen and felt as if I were watching a play about emotional connection. J and R got triggered and entered their negative cycle. I watched as raw spots were hit where neither felt the point that they were making was being acknowledged. And both felt something fundamental to who they were was being criticized or diminished.
As our team leader took them through the reconnection process right away, J stayed engaged while R disconnected. R got up to go get a cup of coffee, protesting all the while that he was not leaving or disconnecting! Protective behaviors of lecturing, distancing, and defending brought about a change in their tone of voice and speed of speech: J’s speech sped up and R’s slowed down. Powerful.
I watched as the negative cycle took over and I felt humbled, honored, and enthusiastic about the process and the power of Emotional Connection. This “play” validated several points for me: 1) Emotions are powerful and they come up quickly! 2) They DO belong in the workplace because they are present and it forces us to be present as well. 3) Ignoring them will not make them go away (that’s a topic for another post). 4) Learning to articulate and share our emotions supports healthier, more productive, and more creative interactions.
I was also able to watch our team leader bring both team members full circle and into their positive cycle by recognizing and reminding us how important we are to each other. This resulted in R reconnecting with the team in a profound way.
What started out as a typical team disconnection resulted in us all feeling closer and more appreciative of one another! Our team dinner that night was our most fun and connected yet.
Being able to see leaders who are dedicated to living the emotional connection process, go through real-life disconnections, process their emotions, and then reconnect, shows where we can go and what we can create with these tools.
What changes in your interactions with your teams or relationships are you hoping emotional connection can support you in improving?
With care and respect,
Rhema and EmC Team