Understand how emotions shift in us all day long and how to best navigate them
Meeting a potential new client, we discussed why some key people in his team were avoiding communicating with each other. Let’s call him John said ‘well, we’ve brought you in because it’s probably all about the touchy, feely stuff and Kay, I don’t do that’. ‘You don’t do that?’ I said, risking being shown the door. ‘Everyone does that John, everyone does that all the time, it’s what it’s all about.’ How’s that for direct? How’s that for an opinion? It’s mine and I know it to my core. Two choices – as ever – take it or leave it but it’s true.
When someone explained to me that our emotions can be defined as ‘energy-in-motion’ it took on new meaning, one that really makes sense and, to all those ‘I avoid the touchy-feely stuff’ out there, think about emotion like this – energy-in-motion. At any given moment your energy can change and you behave differently. Something else happens and, depending how you decide to react to it, (notice I said ‘how you decide’) then your emotional state changes again. It can be like being on a rollercoaster.
Notice your own emotions and, crucially too, others’; as you become more aware that emotion is driving everything and everyone, you’ll be able to understand so much more about other people’s emotional states – and your own.
Here’s a typical scenario that plays out every day for someone, somewhere. I’ve put the ‘state’ in italics.
Rushing to a meeting to avoid being late (excitement, fear) you arrive just as the meeting’s starting (anxiety, embarrassment). As you take your seat (relief, anticipation) you’re asked a question (surprise and fear again). Someone else chimes in to help you (relief and surprise) and you gather your thoughts and add your opinion (relief and anticipation). The meeting carries on and you notice yourself relaxing (contentment and trust) and you’re asked to be involved in a new project (surprise and joy). You know it’ll be hard work with a lot riding on it and you say ‘yes, great’ (anticipation, fear, joy) and you all agree to meet again in two weeks to update everyone (anticipation, trust, anxiety). You return to your desk and call your partner to discuss this opportunity (excitement and surprise mixed with anxiety).
Can you ‘feel’ from reading the above, how much energy-in-motion is going on for you?
Our emotions are constantly shifting; the Whjatmore we understand about how that affects us and those around us, the more we can start to take notice of where we are in our emotional journey.
Ideas for you to work with:
• Notice – really notice – how you’re feeling. Try to tell yourself which emotion you’re feeling. Does this emotion serve you best for what’s going on?
• Knowing how we ‘drive’ our own emotions, moment by moment, start to drive your own more. Decide, ‘am I going to allow this situation to make me feel angry?’ or ‘if I were only to feel happy about this, what would I have to think about instead?’
• Notice how others respond and – crucially here – notice how they make you feel (or how you allow them to make you feel). At the end of your day, note which emotions came up for you and what was happening when they did? As you navigate the choppy waters of corporate working life, remember that everyone’s in an ‘emotional state’ and it’s worth considering your own as you approach people. They have to control their own states – whether they know it or even try but you can always choose how you respond. Always remember that. I do.
Let’s make it your time to shine, in your own way. When would now be a better time to go for Promotion, Recognition and Rewards?
For more information and immediately helpful tips on how to connect and be valued and heard in business: www.kaywhite.com