Did you know that two of the top “emotional triggers” at work are feeling unappreciated and unheard? When we feel this way, a section of our brain called the amygdala is activated. The amygdala is the part of the brain responsible for the stress response. When it’s activated, stress hormones are released into the bloodstream creating the “fight or flight” response. This means that feeling disrespected at work results in the same physiological stress that we experience when our lives are in danger!
In an industry driven by numbers and getting the sale it is often easy to forget that the way we act can have jarring effects on our co-workers, employees and even our customers.
In an article titled, “Emotional intelligence: Don’t forget about people” David Lykken, host of Lykken on Lending, producer of “Today’s Mortgage Minute” ,and contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, says “We talk about ‘the consumer’ like it’s an abstract concept quantified by ideas such as ‘consumer sentiment’… And it’s not just consumers; it’s employees, it’s partners, it’s investors. All of these are people–and not just numbers.”
Lykken goes on to say “As leaders in the mortgage industry, I believe we need to invest more in bolstering our emotional intelligence. We need to work on strengthening our levels of empathy. We need to be able to understand what people want and why they behave the way they do. The old saw is true: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
With the re-emergence of the mortgage industry after the financial crisis of 2008, it is important to remember to view people as people, and not a means to an end. The financial crisis demonstrates better than anything else, that obtaining the quickest and easiest sale isn’t always the best long-term solution, even for the seller.
Being empathetic and open simply means considering someone else’s perspective; being mindful of others, open and interested in their viewpoints. Many business leaders now consider empathy to be one of the most important skills for effective leadership. In his classic Harvard Business Review article, “What Makes a Great Leader,” Daniel Goleman said “Leaders with empathy do more than sympathize with people around them: they use their knowledge to improve their companies in subtle, but important ways, by thoughtfully considering employees’ feelings – along with other factors – in the process of making intelligent decisions.”