Emotional intelligence helps operate in unusual conditions

31.3.2020

Spring 2020 will always be remembered as a time when the normal became abnormal. This spring will have a profound impact on our usual ways of acting and thinking, as well as on our feelings. In this article, I want to dive into the world of emotions: how can we identify different emotional states and use this emotional awareness in our daily lives?

Different emotions and mindsets emerge during a crisis

Originally, I had planned on discussing a completely different topic. However, the globally disconcerting corona pandemic has evoked more emotions in us than we can recognise or dare to admit. Therefore, I want to focus on emotions in this article. This topic is also relevant because nowadays different thought patterns are strongly present, demanding us to re-examine how we see each other and the future.

Most encounters are now rapidly moving to various online platforms that utilise artificial intelligence. Nevertheless, this change does not eliminate the importance of encounters or their expected benefits. At Fredman, we still want to make sure that we can solve all of our customer’s problems.

Emotions are an integral part of humans and humanity. For example, we cannot distinguish between the emotions we have in our working life and in our personal life. As long as our brains function, we experience emotions. These emotions are present in every encounter, whether we interact face to face or through a screen

Evoking positive emotions in digital encounters

The more we shift to remote encounters, the more they demand our concentration. We need to carefully consider the platforms we use and the kinds of services we offer our customers. Even the most ingenious user interfaces will continue to be developed by people: people train machines and create scripts for chatbots and artificial intelligence. Emotional intelligence is already present at this stage.

Even though life and interactions are increasingly digitalised, we at Fredman still want to provide superior customer experiences — that “wow” sensation when your expectations are exceeded. Many of our customers are struggling with hard decisions and worrying about the future. In our encounters, we want to create a sense of security and let the customers know that we genuinely want to help them cope.

How is this possible without the signals we send each other in physical interactions? Our best advice is to focus on every encounter and fulfil the customer’s expectations as you would in physical encounters. Listen, advise and help.

As we use digital platforms, we quickly develop opinions about the user experience, the visual feel and the accessibility of the platform. We need to make sure these aspects are well thought out.

New interaction trends emphasise meaningfulness

Today, we are less afraid of interacting with each other on the emotional level. We know how to handle our emotions and how to act with discretion. This enables us to use our emotions for our own and our customers’ needs.

It seems that emotions have become more acceptable in customer interactions as well as within work communities. Emotional states are expected to be useful and constructive rather than criticising. This is a great development!

The focus has now shifted to meaningfulness, to solving problems and making customers feel better. I am happy to see that many companies concentrate on solving the causes of their problems instead of recruiting more employees to tackle the consequences of these problems.

This is also what we do at Fredman.

We will increasingly focus on issues that prevent us from providing the best user experience. We have reorganised our support functions so that we are now a central part of our company’s Service Design team. The desire to provide better service and to make customers happy guides us towards a common goal.

Every day we encounter customers and each other through various channels, both digital and physical. We need emotional intelligence, situational awareness and keen senses in all these encounters.

What is emotional intelligence?

So, what is this emotional intelligence that plays such a crucial role in encounters? Emotional intelligence is not linked to personality or how social or nice a person is. It is linked to our genome and brain activity as well as the habits we have acquired. It is also linked to how we regulate our emotions in the right ways based on the observations we make of our surroundings.

Can we recognise emotions and determine their gravity? Are we able to base our thought processes on emotional reactions? Can we influence our emotions?

1. The most important skill is to recognise and understand emotional states.
2. The second one is to be able to use this emotional knowledge.
3. The third one is to regulate emotions according to the situation.

Finally, I want to encourage and inspire everyone. We cannot influence everything that happens around us, but we can influence our own thoughts and mindsets. Let’s keep up the good vibes and be open to our emotions so that we can draw from them for the common good.

Let’s also take care of ourselves and each other. Now, in spring 2020, is the time to make the best of emotional intelligence – at work, at home and with friends.

Teresa Partanen
Customer Service Manager
Fredman Perfect Kitchen Oy

Fredman Group