Last week we talked about the difference between using your emotional response to gather data about what is going on for you and creating emotional drama. We defined drama as the uncontrolled or unconscious expression of emotions, often in ways that exaggerate the importance of what has happened. Drama is the antithesis of healthy emotional expression; it’s the seeping of emotions into the workplace, through covert means, as a result of people not believing they have been heard or understood at an emotional level.
This week we want to talk about 3 ways to increase your ability to use your emotions to understand yourself more fully and to increase your ability to help others do the same:
1. As always, use the power of The Fundamental Pause© to interrupt your triggered response and ask yourself, “Is what I am about to do or say in alignment with my goals?” If you do nothing else, pausing allows you to interrupt your reactivity so that you can respond effectively.
- Similarly, if someone on your team or in your organization has a highly reactive style, you can coach them that they are undermining their own power with their reactivity and teach them The Fundamental Pause© so that they can reclaim their power.
2. When you have a strong feeling, ask yourself these three questions: “What am I afraid of in this situation?” “What hurdles am I facing in this situation?” and “What is happening to my spirit?”
- These are powerful leadership questions that can help you quickly assess what is going on inside you and whether the information is current or something that reminds you of your past. It’s important to assess if your reaction is about the situation at hand, or about old internal triggers. Sometimes drama erupts when you believe your feelings before you assess what you are reacting to.
3. From time to time throughout the day, check in with yourself to see what you are feeling. Get practice being in relationship with your emotional state vs. burying your feelings.
- There is considerable data that the most successful leaders use the whole of themselves to lead, and to do that you need to bring all of yourself to your role. In many organizations, rational, measured logic is what’s valued but in the best organizations there is respect for the wisdom of the humans who make up the talent pool, and an understanding of how to help people check in with their emotions to better understand what is going on.
This week, we invite you to spend some time practicing the 3 ways to increase your ability to use your emotions to understand yourself more fully and to increase your ability to help others do the same, listed above, and see if you can better understand your emotional experience and the data that it offers while at the same time interrupting any emotional drama in your life.