2021 is off to a rocky start leaving many Americans stressed, fearful and angry following recent events. Emotions are strong drivers of decision making and behaviors—impacting our workplaces. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a critical leadership and team competency. How we deal with our own emotions and the emotions of those we interact with are part of a daily complex human equation.
Leaders must be conscious and aware of their own emotional triggers (like political assertions) and work mindfully to self-regulate in times of division and stress. We bring our emotional selves into meetings when we work with others. We don’t check them at the door (or at the computer before virtual meetings). Emotions can’t be “managed” – you feel what you feel. What you can manage– is how you respond to them. What action or behavior you choose to express.
When we allow ourselves to be swept up in our emotions, we often fail to think critically or about the consequences of how we are “showing up” with others. As a coach, I am concerned the raw emotional state many are in during this troubling time in America. I urge everyone to find ways to ground or find calm each day (outdoor walks, yoga, deep breathing, meditation etc) to counter the effects of feelings of anger and fear. And just because a “hook” appears in a meeting or interaction, doesn’t mean you have to bite the hook.