Our gift may take us someplace. Our character will keep us there. – Joel Osteen -
Ready or not, the year 2013 and the year of Snake (Chinese Lunar New Year) is here. How should we, the KMers, prepare ourselves to practice KM and offer KM solutions to our “customers” for the rest of the year?
Without trying to be religious, I think we should pay more attention to conquering our emotion. (Hear Joel Osteen’s sermon for some sound advices on why we should exercise self-control on our emotion). Now I don’t want to sound like a pastor about this matter, so I’ll only talk about the relationship between emotion and KM.
Mastering emotion is important for every serious KMers because of the following three reasons:
First, uncontrollable emotions is disastrous as it can impair our ability to make quality decision. In KM lingo: no matter how much knowledge that we capture or distribute, we would not be able to reuse it if we can’t control our emotion. Dan Ariely, the author of best seller book: Predictably Irrational, ran an experiment that indicates that emotion can indeed cloud our judgment.
Second, mastering personal emotion is the foundation to employee engagement, which will eventually leads to knowledge sharing culture in the organisation. As Peter Senge mentioned in his best selling book: The Fifth Discipline, personal mastery (i.e. ability to control personal emotion, grow self-efficacy, and find life’s purpose) comes before shared vision and team learning. With personal mastery, people are engaged in their work and understand that knowledge capture/sharing helps to internalise their knowledge.
Third, controlling personal emotion is necessary for dialogue to happen. (Read David Bohm’s definition on dialogue for clearer understanding on what dialogue really is). Without personal mastery, people may not have the will / motivation to listen on the other person’s perspective. So they may blame others for what happened during After Action Review (AAR) or Retrospect sessions – despite being told to focus on the action, not about the person carrying the act. When dialogue fails, knowledge can’t be captured.
I hope I have convinced you on the virtue of controlling your emotion and thus enhancing your EQ. On this note, Daniel Goleman’s classic bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, is well worth the time to be re-read.