emotionally effective people

Skills recognition

The term ‘work’, as defined in the Core Skills for Work (CSfW), is intended to be applicable not only to employment contexts, but also in education and training, and broader community contexts and can equally apply to working with others:

  • on an activity in a classroom setting
  • to complete a group assessment task
  • in an organisation or project team in paid employment
  • in the form of a client/customer relationship
  • on a committee for a community group.

However, performance is not automatically transferable to new contexts, as application of skills, knowledge and understandings in a new context requires an understanding of that context.

An individual who has only ever applied their skills in a classroom setting will need to learn about the protocols and expectations of a work situation, and gain practical experience in applying their skills in a work environment before they can demonstrate their skills at the same stage of performance within that work context.

Modern business leadership styles promoted by people such as Simon Sinek have a lot of similarities to parenting skills and have been used in charity and community organisations for many years now as explained in this video…

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Emotionally effective people are consistent in their actions.
People that struggle to self-regulate emotions often give inconsistent cues that others pick up right before they snap.

"Child-like" behaviour

If you feel you are being treated like a child, you need to consider if you acting like one. If you don’t have children in your care you may not realise you are acting like a child, just as parents will likely not realise they are treating you like their child.

It’s just what both of you instinctively do. Particularly when you are new in a workplace, you will need to use empathy and explain it in a way others  understand. This model can help. Learn more about Circle of Security.

Training in the workplace creates a secure base, coaching builds confidence, and when confidence is damaged, find a mentor before you need one so you know who can help bring you back into the safe haven.
Attachment matrix
A characteristic of an effective team may be that each person is comfortable and secure being part of the team. However, team dynamics, the ever changing way team members interact with each other, means that it is rare that all members of the team feel secure, even when the whole team has a unified sense of direction to acheiving common goals.

Attachment styles

While attachment styles are formed in early childhood and remain with us into adult life. They can change due to our experiences, and a fight, flight or freeze is likely to be triggered in a competitive team environment.


People preoccupied with building relationships “just want to help”, but their focus is not of the tasks. Preoccupied people are Separation sensitive, so tend to be annoying to esteem sensitive who dismiss help as they don’t feel they need it.


This has a negative effect on the whole team the secure people into the battles, and the fearful withdraw and don’t want to pick a side, so remain largely unproductive and withdraw further from the team. 

Job Roles

Effective people collaborate, not compete. This form teams within teams, grouping people with similar personalities together, as shown in this model here.


People always have a preference , both for that tasks and the job roles. If you praise someone for their effort, rather than the person for being the best, you are more likely to get better feedback on how processes can be improved, which will lead to better performance. 


If people say they don’t mind doing anything, it would be an indicator of low emotional intelligence. It may be low motivation, or a lack of self-awareness of what brings them joy.

job security may be an issue, but as a manager trying to get the best out of a team, it's hard to know how to reward the team by giving them the work they like doing if the team doesn't know what they like.
Start with Why someone should do it; it's your job is not a compelling argument. What is about the goals and performance measures. How is the process, best left to the team to develop. What if is generally what if we fail, or what if we succeed?

Communication Skills

Emotionally effective people use empathy to identify the information people need to decide on a course of action.


As trust develops, the organisation’s why will likely match the team’s why, so the team will just need to know what management wants done. Management also has to trust the team will come up with the best way how to do it, if management can give clear performance indicators.


What if we fail is usually the question that leads to poor job security, and assigning blame leads to lower productivity.


If the answer to the what if question is “we learn from it and do better next time” the team tends to focus on the what and how, not the endless discussion of the theory (why) or hypothetical situations (what if).


Overcoming Core Sensitivities in business

Adapted from Circle of Security®

We all have strategies and motivations that guide our behaviour within relationships. Some of us might notice that while the thought of being close to someone is very comforting in theory, a partner’s actual needs feel demanding in reality.


Others may find that any kind of emotional distance from a partner feels quite threatening. And some people keep focus not as much on their relationship or partner, but on themselves being perceived as special or faultless within the relationship.


Developed from object relations theory (and the work of James Masterson and Ralph Klein) as well as attachment theory, the Circle of Security paradigm identifies three core sensitivities.

For more information on The Core Sensitivities: A clinical evolution of Masterson’s Disorders of Self, click this link


Many of us may recognize ourselves in one of the three sensitivities, which can inform the way we interact with or guard ourselves from others. These are the nonconscious protective strategies that help us avoid emotional pain when we perceive a person threatens intrusion, abandonment, or criticism in a relationship.


We all have relationship vulnerabilities that we may or may not perceive, and we have all developed patterns of behaviour that protect us from negatively experiencing that sensitivity — welcome to the club!


We all attempt to defend ourselves from emotions that make us uncomfortable.

Sometimes these motivations can become pathological: an intense need for affirmation of self-worth might turn into narcissism, for example.


But by and large, the vast majority of us rely on gentler forms of navigating our sensitivities as we build friendships, create relationships and seek solace. Unfortunately, we might also find that as we attempt to create stability in our lives and associations, our sensitivities lead us to construct unspoken rules for how to behave in relationships or interact with others. We set up expectations for partners to follow these unspoken rules and, in the process, may unwittingly violate their own unexpressed sensitivities.


The core sensitivities aren’t describing actions we take or even necessarily the behaviour we manifest; instead, they categorize the motivation for our actions.  Understanding our motivations and sensitivities — as well as those of our relationship partners — can help us step out of the constricting roles we set for ourselves and others. We can foster the meaningful interactions that were difficult within our former relationship strategy.


More investigation into the Core Sensitivities alerted me to the undeniable fact that we all attempt to defend ourselves from emotions that make us uncomfortable. Sometimes these motivations can become pathological: for example, an intense need for affirmation of self-worth might turn into narcissism, even for people who may not be diagnosed as a narcissist.


Below are the issues the core sensitivities linked to the 3 general reason why businesses fail, and links to well known business coaches who have solutions that resonate with people that have each of the sensitivities as a dominant force in their behaviour.

Separation sensitivity (Cash Flow Issues)

People who identify as separation-sensitive are focused on keeping relationships very close, and often feel threatened at the suggestion of distance or an important person’s lack of focus on a relationship. 


Fear of abandonment and being “the victim” is strong and might result in a willingness for people who are separation-sensitive to sacrifice their own individuality or wellbeing to make the relationship “work.”. 


This seems to fit the “martyr syndrome” in small businesses – “I can’t get anyone to help me”, “but my customers want….”, or “I can’t afford to pay someone to do it” are common cries from business owners.


Separation sensitive have an unspoken desire to be known as a victim to get help, but often become a victim as other play on their fear of abandonment.


Business owners are also vulnerable to abuse from business consultants who can play on this and say (for example) “I’ll show you how I did it, but you’ll need to sign up to my program to learn how to do it in your business”. 


Seperation sensitive seem to follow Simon Sinek. While leaders sell their "why", performance is measured by "what" you do. People may buy why you do it, but they will pay extra for what you do. This means being able to provide extra value. Hard to do when you've already give so much.
Esteem sensitive tend to be attracted to Tony Robbins style of coaching. Focus on being significant and certain that you can do it and you will achieve growth.

Esteem Sensitivity (Product Issues)

Esteem-sensitive folks feel compelled to be distinguished positively, with an emphasis on their own accomplishments and perceived perfection. Perceived criticism is difficult to accept and might threaten a relationship. 


People who are esteem-sensitive might focus on how they’re positively perceived in a relationship, at the cost of giving attention to the relationship itself. 


People that are overly positive tend to have less ability to differentiate between a weak and strong argument, and tend to believe if they can get in an investor or remove other limiting beliefs they can market their way out of trouble. 


While esteem sensitive may get negative feedback about their products, it is dismissed as not relevant ignore the naysayers. As they believe it is already the best in can be, why would they want to improve it? 

Safety Sensitivity (Strategy Issues)

Another way to think about safety sensitivity is to consider it “intrusion” sensitive. People who are safety-sensitive are very uncomfortable with others intruding into their sense of self. 


This includes questioning the business strategy, which may not make any sense to others, however feedback to that effect may be taken as a personal attack by someone who safety sensitive.


Safety Sensitive may notice it’s equally discomforting to keep others too distant; they might feel a desire for a close, intimate relationship but find themselves uneasy when having to interact within an actual relationship. This includes business relationships, however the closer the business partner gets, the more chance it is to a safety sensitive person that they will be taken advantage of.


This insecurity may be projected as questioning why help is offered, rejecting it feeling the need to be seen as more independent.

It could feel like relationships require “giving in” to someone else or that connectivity brings up feelings of being “too close.” 


This could be why some people struggle with networking and relationship marketing tools, like Facebook. Introverts are often told “come out of your shell” and coached into unsustainable behaviours



Gary Vaynerchuk tends to be the coach of choice for the safety sensitive. His take it or leave it approch to what he does, and keep doing it even if no one is watching appeals to a lot of people. It's all about crating action. Setting and crushing goals. If Sinek focuses more on Marketing, and Robbins focuses on Sales, Gary Vee would say there is a time and place for both. Find your goldilocks zone in business, which is exactly what safety sensitive look for in their personal life too.