Female toddler wrapped in towel crying beside bubble bath in gardenWhen the best salesperson on the team begins to self-destruct because she can’t seem to corral her passions and emotions, it is up to you to create a way to let the steam out of the kettle.

Some of your highest producing salespeople can be a handful when it comes to leadership and managing emotions.  This is especially true when your high producing person is not feeling the love of the sale.  The very nature of high performance requires a healthy ego drive which needs to be stoked.  It’s a seesaw:  each conquest creates a boost of self-esteem and the failure to sell diminishes it.  If this goes on too long, emotions can go awry. Frustration, finger pointing, depression or self-doubt are common expressions.

Emotionally Intelligent Leader that you are, it may be up to you to create an emotionally safe environment for the expression AND transmutation of the emotions.

Visiting with one of my superstar clients recently, he shared his secret formula for creating the safe space for his high performers.

  1. Listen

Suspend agendas and preconceptions and clear a space in your brain and heart to simply listen.

  1. Compassion

Create a safe place for emotions to emerge by tapping into your compassion.  Without becoming hooked or triggered by the emotional expression, the venting runs out of steam.

  1. Triggers

When you observe the emotions, you can see the triggers.  Acute observation, especially if the venting is repetitive, gives you the knowledge of what triggers your salesperson out of her game.

  1. Structure

Establishing a structure for one-on-ones with 80% focus on the person and 20% on the results, builds trust and feeds the recognition machine.  (PS – this goes hand in hand with point one, Listening).  Create appropriate boundaries that are free from shame.

  1. Consistency

By remaining neutral and empathetic in all conversations, you create a consistent pattern of behavior and interaction.  Emotional balance ensures that you are able to offer feedback, brainstorm and bump your person back to their emotional center without any of your own triggers getting in the way.

Year end is around the corner.  With annual quotas and sales goals on the line, it’s never too early to create an emotionally safe environment for your employees.  End the year on an emotional high and begin 2015 with great momentum.

Mary Pat Knight, CEO of Leaders Inspired, is a Transformation Strategist, Speaker, Facilitator, and Coach committed to leadership and emotional intelligence in the workplace. She is known for cutting through corporate drama to create laser focus for powerful business and personal results for her clients. 

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Ever Wondered About your own Leadership EQ? Take the Quiz… 

Curious about your Emotional Intelligence skills, I’ve created a quiz for you. Don’t worry, no outside corporation will have your information. It’s just me and I’m a stickler for privacy. Click Here to go to the Do You Lead With Emotional Intelligence Quiz. A few short questions and you will receive your results and a little extra coaching by email to help elevate from where you are now. 


photo credit © Kinzie Riehm/Corbis