Great conversations are built on a foundation of awareness, which includes:

Emotional intelligence: an awareness of emotions in oneself and others that helps people navigate situations.

Motivators: values, which inform what people want to talk about.

Style: how people approach communication.

Perhaps on the surface, emotion has no place in business, but that is unrealistic. People are influenced by emotions, but star performers and great communicators have some mastery of those emotions.

They are emotionally intelligent, able to process their own emotions and self-regulate even in upsetting circumstances, and they connect well in conversations, or with crowds, with their ability to inspire, motivate, and engage. Consider that Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were each credited with being inspirational, and Reagan was known as "The Great Communicator."

According to author Shawn Kent Hayashi (Conversations for Change), there are seven core emotions that produce measurable chemical changes in the body:
• love
• joy
• hope
• sadness
• envy
• anger
• fear

Each in turn produces physical manifestations, like trembling, stomachache, and sweaty palms. Finally, those seven core emotions produce any one (or more) of 26 emotional states of being – feelings like hatred, jealousy, frustration, freedom, passion, optimism, and so on.

Gaining control of those seven core emotions is a way to control those 26 states. It is possible to develop emotional intelligence; to gain control of the feelings by being aware of those core emotions and choosing thoughts and actions that inspire a desired feeling.

This requires five emotional intelligence competencies:

Self awareness: knowing what one feels in the moment.

Self regulation: being proactive rather than reactive toward emotions, thus choosing the end behavior.

Motivation: playing to one's own passions, skills and abilities.

Empathy: the ability to identify what someone else feels, and use that ability to create rapport.

Social skills: the ability to work in a group and align members toward progress.

It is also possible for an individual to be stuck in an emotion – to have a "default" emotion, which in turn influences every action and mood. Even if the emotion is positive (like joy), that emotion may not be appropriate to every conversation, such as a conversation to terminate an employee.

This displays a lack of empathy and an emotionally illiterate speaker.

To move up the "emotional ladder" from #7 (fear) to #1 (love), one must recognize and acknowledge the emotion of a moment; then take actions to select another emotion. Key to this is not judging an emotion as undesirable – the emotion simply is.

Anger is not an evil emotion. Rather, it can be an indicator that someone has crossed a boundary, and the situation calls for a conversation. The conversation will defuse the cause of the anger, and in turn, the anger itself.

Still, some emotions are more constructive, more solution focused than problem focused. Angry employees may say that their bosses are "slave drivers" or are vague in their directions. If instead those employees focus on their bosses' strengths and envision a more positive workplace that relies on those strengths, then the employees are ready for a constructive conversation.

Finally, people leave behind them an emotional wake, for good or bad. Emotionally illiterate people are likely to be surprised when they learn that they leave everyone in a room feeling angry or fearful.

An emotionally intelligent person will recognize and process emotions, and leave an emotional wake of hopefulness or joy (where that is appropriate).

Author's Bio: 

Samantha Johnson is the online content manage of Business Book Summaries.

Business Book Summaries (BBS) provides comprehensive, concise summaries of the best business books available. Using stringent criteria, only the top business books published each year are selected to be summarized. More than 260 summaries are produced each year…that’s one each business day. The BBS Library includes more than 1,000 summaries of the top business books from the last 20 years, and is constantly growing. The summaries are available in a range of formats, from text to PDF to MP3 to PowerPoint to PDA.