The Emotional Culture Deck can be a very useful tool when forming new partnerships, whether those are between individuals, teams, departments, or different organisations.
Here are a few ways The ECD can be beneficial in these contexts:
Building Empathy and Understanding: The ECD helps partners understand each other's emotional needs and expectations from the outset. By making space for emotions and feelings in conversations, it encourages empathy, which is essential for building strong, productive partnerships.
Facilitating Open Communication: The ECD provides a structured way to communicate about topics that are often overlooked or uncomfortable, such as emotions and how they impact work. This can help to establish open lines of communication between partners, making it easier to address potential challenges or misunderstandings before they become issues.
Exploring Shared Values and Expectations: By identifying the emotions that each partner wants to feel and avoid, The ECD can help to clarify the values and expectations within the partnership. This can provide a strong foundation for collaborative decision-making and problem-solving.
Enhancing Trust: Discussing emotions openly can create a level of vulnerability that fosters trust. When partners feel comfortable expressing their feelings and emotional needs, they're more likely to trust each other, which is crucial for effective collaboration.
Preventing and Resolving Conflicts: Understanding each other's emotional needs and responses can provide valuable insights that can help to prevent conflicts, or to resolve them when they do arise.
Remember that every partnership is unique, so how you use The ECD might vary based on the specific dynamics and goals of the partnership. The important thing is to approach the process with openness, respect, and a genuine desire to understand and support each other's emotional needs.
DOC recently used The ECD to establish the social and emotional guidelines for a partnership with an Iwi they are in partnership with. Here's what the leader of the workshop said about the experience:
"I was feeling so nervous and uncertain before the workshop because there wasn’t much trust in the room – and the leader had advised against doing the workshop. But I knew we had to do it to move the partnership forward in a productive and safe way.
I was absolutely blown away by how well it went and the immediate feedback. One participant expressed that it was the most significant progress their partnership had achieved after many years of collaboration. Even the leader who didn’t think the groups were ready to have the conversation shared that they were wrong and that it was the absolute right step.
It was a total game-changer."
Use The ECD to answer this question:
What do you want to feel and not feel in this new partnership?
Step 1: Select the three black ECD cards that best answer this question above.
Step 2: Share why it's important that you experience these feelings in this new partnership.
Step 3: Describe what will help you experience these feelings in this partnership.
Step 4: Complete steps 1-3 for the undesired feelings (ECD white cards).