The emotions with the most potential to cause negative upset in the workplace are anger and fear. When feelings are intense, it’s almost as if the brain is being held hostage by the overpowering emotions. Strong feelings like fear, anger and anxiety impair the ability to think rationally. We get ‘out of sync’ with ourselves. The brain is wired to be on alert for any kind of threat, whether real or imagined. Anger and fear activate that so often heard about “flight or fight or freeze” reaction and it commonly takes as much as four hours for the body to return to normal, for the brain to get engaged again and for the person to be productive once again.
Here’s an illustration. Have you had a police car speeding up behind you with the siren blasting. What happens? I know for me my heart beats hard, my hands get sweaty and fear takes over my thinking. If I were able to logically look at the situation, I would realize that the cop wasn’t after me but that doesn’t happen. My body is taken over by the fear and my thinking ability becomes second fiddle to my emotions.
It is essential to build and emotionally intelligent organization to keep productivity and engagement high. So how do you start?
Leaders have to model emotional awareness – because of their reach and power to influence others, leaders who talk about emotions and practice emotional awareness in the workplace can transform the way teams collaborate. When they provide an environment that supports learning and self-correction, others will follow (it’s contagious) and performance will improve.
Respect privacy- Crucial to the success of raising the emotional intelligence understanding is communicating in a safe and affirming manner. The key is to deliver feedback to employees in an atmosphere that respects their privacy.
Offer training – Team training needs to give work groups a common language and shared understanding of what it takes to create and maintain an emotionally healthy environment
When stress goes down, creativity, productivity and morale goes up. Employees simply appreciate the employer who is committed to creating an environment where everyone can thrive. Read more…..Controlling Emotions in the Workplace.
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Be Well & Be Contagious
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