Emotions like anger, irritation, guilt, sadness, fear and jealousy are controlling our behaviour. You are who you are and you do what you do, but if you confuse those two, then you will become the emotion. This is not very handy in your privet life, but will also undermine your leadership.
It makes you difficult to follow and your environment will become insecure. Others don’t know your emotions, but they see only your behavior. If they don’t understand that, than your relations will become under pressure and your leadership difficult to maintain.
Emotions will give an adrenaline rush in your body, resulting in the reaction: Flight, Fight, or Freeze.
It’s a reaction to survive. A primary reaction developed in our childhood and mostly based upon experiences in the past and not on the present.
They very often will bring you in a state of impotence, because they bring back your pain, anger,sadness or fear.
If you think that emotions will overcome you, then that is a misunderstanding. They are messengers and advisers. The question is: What are you going to do with them?
Acting as if there is no problem?, behave aggressively and offensive?, or complete silencing? That are not the best ways to get a good communication and connection with the other. This counts not only for negative behavior, also exuberant joy has its limits and could undermine your reliance as a leader.
What you are radiating, you will get back!
Fortunately you have a choise; you determine what to do with your emotion! An emotion is a reaction upon what you are observing. It is a messenger, a comment, which makes you lose sight of reality. It doesn’t mean that emotion is nonsense and that you should hide that away. An emotion asks to be felt, but is certainly not automatically your behaviour!
You are experiencing an emotion, you are not the emotion!
So, What to do? It starts by recognizing and acknowledgment. Ask yourself: What kind of emotion is it and what does it means for me? What does it say about me?What does it touch in me? Next, Accept the emotion, you can’t turn it back! Something has touched you very deeply. Okay then: What is, is!
Every emotion is a messenger and you can recognize them as follows:
- Fear is always a warning.
- Guilt feeling, a collision with your conscience
- Sadness, an unpleasant feeling of deep displeasure.
- Uncertainty, an awareness of your borders.
- Irritation, indicates commitment.
- Jealousy, a signal of desire.
Looking from meta level ( from a distance to yourself) and if you know what the emotion is doing to you, then you decide what you do with it. You have become bigger then your emotion! As a result, you will get a big gift:
You determine your behaviour instead of being dragged along. Behaviour, based on insight and recognition and not on pain, fear or other misery from the past, but on your wisdom of today!
The art is to become the observer of your own emotions.
Is showing emotions always bad? No, not always! Nothing is sometimes better than having a good cry and even anger can be very functional, but this writing is in the context of our leadership and emotional leadership is not functional! That fly’s in all directions and knows no boundaries, not upwards in joy and exuberance and not down in anger and irritation! People do not longer understand you, you move in all directions!
From an authentic and inspiring point of view, you may show your emotions, but under one condition: You have to know the difference between “being the emotion” and “having the emotion”
To handle emotions in the right way is of great value, certainly when you know that negative emotions are much stronger than positive ones. You almost never forget them, if they are concerning you, or when they concerning others. Irritation an annoyance will stay for a very long time!
Count to ten!
Going back to my childhood my mother told me often, that I have to count to ten before I reply. My quick tongue, quick thinking and my emotional character, were a dangerous mix, for the other, but also for myself. Years later and a lot of experiences richer, I have learned and appreciate to use this ten seconds.
Till today, these ten seconds are helping me. They last long enough to realise that an emotion is coming in and that I have to take some time to find out what it is telling me. After that, there is room for wisdom and to act intuitively, instead of impulsive.
Five emotional facts:
- An emotion always means a message. Go searching for this message.
- You are not the emotion, You have the emotion. Observe it.
- To control the emotion, you have to be bigger then the emotion.
- Recognize the emotion. What touches it in you? Acknowledge the emotion. What is, is.
- Count to ten.
Inspired by the book: “Eenvoud voor gevorderden”, written by: Ben Meijering.