What to Do with All Your Emotions

A short video about emotional reappraisal for managers.

This morning I spoke with a client about dealing with anxiety and setting boundaries while managing her team, which had just grown in size and was working longer hours.

Yes, business growth IS still happening in the midst of COVID-19! Yet, we’re also all dealing with more stress than ever, partly because of fears due to the virus and partly because - though we are very social animals - we have to be physically distant from anyone we don’t live with. That definitely creates its own stress.

The key to dealing with the stress and anxiety is:

Emotional reappraisal.

Science tells us suppressing emotions doesn't work. Ignoring them and behaving as though you are not feeling anything will backfire - either by becoming actually cut off from your emotions, or by having those emotions explode out of you at inappropriate times.

Yet giving emotions full control over our thinking and conversations can also be...

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Emotions At Work!

I’ve been talking to people a lot recently about empathy – what it is, what our reactions are to it, how can it be helpful – or not.

Many people believe empathy is a good thing, but do not generally give it a lot of thought, particularly when it comes to professional relationships. Whether you work primarily in an office as part of a team, primarily with clients, or primarily on your own, acknowledging that emotions are a part of life and being open to sharing compassion can be hugely beneficial. Even at work!

Compassion & Empathy – What’s the Connection?

Empathy is when we feel, or understand, someone else’s emotion. Compassion is one of the possible responses to empathy; in fact, it’s the goal. When we can see that someone else is in any type of distress – dealing with an emotion we typically think of as “negative” like anger, sadness, grief, disappointment, etc. – compassion is what we’re feeling if...

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What's my EQ?

….Um, I have no idea!

But I can tell you about emotional intelligence, and recommend a few starting places if you want to learn to use emotions wisely with all your relationships.

First, a word about sources

There are SO many! What I’ve learned has come from a great edX.org course called “Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work.” UC Berkeley professors Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas provide an overview of empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence, drawing from pioneers in the field like Daniel Goleman, who so many have heard of, as well as Peter Salovey and John Mayer and others. If this is a topic you’re interested in, there are PLENTY of opportunities to learn from masters. Seriously. An an example - look up Daniel Goleman on LinkedIn!

By the way, emotional intelligence and EQ are technically different things, like, to a researcher - but it’s easier to use them interchangeably, as I will here. EQ is simply the measure of...

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The Dreaded Icebreaker

I’m currently designing several trainings centered on emotional intelligence, empathy, and managing people. My biggest challenge is that most trainings are time-constrained - for instance, I just finished an outline for a 90-minute training to cover emotional intelligence, empathy, and active listening in the workplace.

90 minutes! with 4 activities!

That does not leave a lot of time for people to interact with each other, or with me as the instructor. Yet no one wants an instructor who robotically drones on, trying to fill as many facts and ideas as possible into a specific time, expecting you to either take notes at her pace or just remember everything she says - and only says once.

Trainings are meetings

The thing is, trainings are meetings. You bring a group of people into a room, and you expect them to leave either having learned something or made a decision about something. Everyone’s time is limited, especially today with so many distractions vying for our...

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Emotional Employee Got You Stressed?

This morning, I went to a local chapter of SHRM - that’s the Society for Human Resource Management. I had the opportunity to brainstorm how to handle it when an employee responds “very emotionally” during performance reviews, with “very emotionally” explained as “anger, tears, shouting, etc.”

My small group had experience in all aspects of human resource management, so we pooled our best advice; here it is!

pink-postcard-angry-employee.jpg
 

“Anger, tears, shouting…”

Definitely a stressful situation! An employee reacts very emotionally when given performance feedback. What to do?

Give Performance Feedback Often

Assuming the performance feedback was given during a formal evaluation, the first thing to understand is that nothing in a formal evaluation should be a surprise. Ideally, we all work with supervisors who let us know how we’re doing frequently, and talk to us as soon as problems arise.

Typically, managers...

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