Too emotional am I?
By Chris Barez-Brown
Emotions seem to be getting a worse and worse press when it comes to business. Some leaders believe emotions make you weak and therefore there is no place for them at work. That’s utter crap.
The leaders who think like that are usually scared of emotion and don’t know how to deal with it. They do everything they can to avoid the discomfort it causes them. Far from demonstrating strength, this just evidences stunted development; these leaders are emotionally handicapped and so will struggle to do a decent job.
Bless! Send them love and kindness. To be alive and enjoy the human experience is to embrace emotions. For us not to experience emotions would be not to be alive and would rob us of the highs and lows that make our experiences so special. Not only that: emotions fuel our energy.
As I emphasize in Part 4, it’s vital to get our physical energy right – it underpins being free – but our emotional energy really ups our voltage. Mira Kirshenbaum’s book The Emotional Energy Factor suggests that 70 per cent of our total energy is emotional and not physical. For us to show up with the energy that will create our freedom, we need to tap into our emotions.
To be running at full power we need to be sensitive to the emotional energy around us. It’s all too tempting to put our heads down, work harder and fuel ourselves with more Trenta lattes so we numb ourselves from the emotions we should be enjoying. If things are bad we tend to plough on regardless and try to get some comfort through judging others, escapism and sugar, caffeine and booze. Repressing emotions can only be bad for us.
‘Failure to find effective ways to express negative emotions causes you to stew in your own juices and can only be causative of disease.’ - Candace Pert, US National Institute of Mental Health
If you’re purist about emotion, any feelings can help fuel genius.
Sit straight now and take a deep breath in and audit the elements of your job that provide you with emotional kicks.
It could be an element the gives you huge satisfaction and helps release a deep passion. It could equally be a part of your work life that really pisses you off.
Regardless of how you may label those emotions, they can give you amazing energy. By identifying what gives you these visceral reactions, you can then deliberately make sure that they are part of your daily life which will give you an energetic boost at times when it’s necessary. It means that you are working on stuff you care about.
It is also useful to share your emotions with your teams so that they understand what is important to you, rather than attempt to give everything equal weighting and pretend you're a good little robot.
Call it out and you will find that you become way more compelling.
Adapted from Free! Love Your Work, Love Your Life by Chris Baréz-Brown, published by Penguin. Read Chris's biography and browse more from him in our Clubhouse.
(Feature image courtesy of Eneas De Troya.)