Do you know the expression “Count to ten”? What do people mean by it? It’s nothing more than managing our emotions. And at work? How do we manage our emotions?
Let’s start by defining emotion: Emotions are a sudden change in our predisposition to act. They arise from something that happens. Every time people experience an interruption in their lives, they experience emotions that are spontaneously expressed.
We are very often unaware that we are expressing an emotion; we express emotions in various ways, such as in our body language or facial expressions, even when we believe or think we are not expressing any.
Our work identity and the context we find ourselves in will affect our behaviour in one way or another. We have several identities as individuals (worker, husband, wife, mother, father, aunt, brother, etc.) and exhibit various forms of behaviour depending on the context. We have to bear in mind that certain forms of behaviour may have various consequences which differ depending on whether we are with people at work or in a private capacity.
Everyone experiences emotions, even when we are unable to recognise them; that means they are also experienced in organisations and we need to know how to manage them.
If we are unable to manage our emotions at work we may end up behaving inappropriately, giving a poor answer to a colleague or being disrespectful to a client or supplier, by working ourselves up more than usual at a meeting and losing our sense of propriety, etc. This happens when our emotions get the better of us and we have no control over them. This will determine our employment relationships forever and significantly undermine the success we wish to achieve.
A properly cohesive organisation or team with good emotional management is crucial to a company’s success and smooth running.
Managing emotions = business success
I cannot choose my emotions, but I can choose the action I need to take in order to avoid the impulsive response I am drawn to by my current emotions. So, what can I do to choose this form of action and avoid doing what my present emotions are urging me to do? Our advice to you is as follows:
1. Relax (breathe, breathe and breathe)
2. Accept your emotions
3. Identify them and even give them a name.
4. Note the opportunities you can gain or lose from these emotions. Don’t do anything, just wait and observe.
5. Go over the internal conversations that have led you to these emotions. (thoughts, beliefs, etc.)
6. Build alternative conversations
7. Act on the basis of a new mental model.
We invite you to identify the emotions you have had throughout the whole day and ask yourself: What emotion do I have right now? What do I call it? How is it affecting me? What am I feeling? Do I like it? What does this emotion say about me? What do I identify with it?
“We are not responsible for our emotions, but we are responsible for what we do with them” (Jorge Bucay)