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The Benefit of Emotions Awareness and Management at the Workplace

Emotional intelligence is a critical 21st -century skill, and as such, companies with emotionally intelligent executive teams have a competitive advantage. Today, everybody must not only master their own emotions and be aware of them, but also craft strategies to support emotions at work. Doing so ultimately creates a more productive, supportive and energizing work environment for all.

Emotions : What are they?

Emotions can be described as feelings that you may sense deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. They are a normal and essential part of who we are as human beings. They give us information about the world around us and help us to navigate our social environment. However, emotions can also have a strong impact on our professional lives. they play an important role in our lives, affecting how we think, feel, and behave.

All emotions don’t have the same effect on ourselves some are impactful and some are non-productive.

There is a difference between expressing emotions versus being emotional. Some people think that strong negative emotions are linked to raised voices, slammed doors, eye-rolling and more. These are simply unskillful expressions of suppressed negative emotions - expressions that can cause harm to others.

Emotional Awareness

The spectrum of knowledge of emotions (of our own and others) is very limited. If I ask you to list emotions, you will probably come with the most common such as Joy, Happy, Angry, Mad, Sad and Stressed. This represents a very small spectrum of all the emotions we could feel. Even, in the very famous cartoon “Inside Out” of Walt Disney, only few emotions are highlighted :

  • Joy

  • Disgust

  • Fear

  • Sadness

  • Anger

These are the ones, we are the most trained to recognized and know. Even, with this very known emotions, we are still have trouble to deal with them and understand how we takes decisions, acts under them.

Let’s take some emotions such as angry, Irritated, stressed, nervous that are mostly non-productive emotions, but can you differentiate them in yourself? In others? In the same way, for more impactful emotions such as joy, happiness, Excited, we have the same confusion. What I want to demonstrate here is that we know very well the extremes emotions, but when it come to shades we have more difficulties with them. Not knowing what emotions we are really feeling could lead in extreme reactions and misalignment with the situation.

This is the reason we need to be more familiar with our emotions and understand what they are and how we acts under this emotions to be able to take control of ourselves and perform at our best.

This disconnection with our connection come from early in our childhood and from the society that want us to fit the mold. We feel uncomfortable with our emotions and are told to not express them or even deny them. They may show us as weak. Our education and the modern world valued employees who behaved like robots, providing & focusing on results. Leading people to differentiate their work from the personal life and block their personality when going to work to fit in the mold. You create a persona that is theoretically not vulnerable, but alien yourself by doing so not being able to express your best at work.

We are emotional creatures, and it is natural for our emotions to come out in the workplace. Not exploring our emotion affects our decisions and actions is more dangerous that expressing them.

Why Emotions Matter & How Do Emotions Affect the Workplace

It can be easy to brush off emotions in the workplace, but ignoring them can have direct consequences. It's no secret that emotions play a role in the workplace. When people are stressed, upset, or angry, it can affect their work performance and interactions with others. It's important to be aware of these emotions and how to deal with them. By understanding and acknowledging the role emotions occupied in the workplace, you can create a positive environment for your team and help them to excel.

Emotions take a role in every aspect of our lives, including the workplace. In fact, emotions can have a powerful impact on organizational behavior and communication.

If you encourage your team to bring their emotions to work, you will increase the team engagement and bring the best of your team members by making them feel themselves and able to express all their creativity. Doing so will do more than increase productivity; you’ll create a workplace that employees feel supported in, allowing you to recruit new employees more competitively. On the other hand, negative emotions like anger and anxiety can lead to conflict and miscommunication.

In some cases, emotions can even lead to organizational change. For example, if employees are feeling stressed or overworked, they may be more likely to speak up or take action. While emotions are an important part of the workplace, it is important to remember that they can also be a source of conflict. When communicating with others, it is important to be aware of your own emotions and how they might be affecting your ability to communicate effectively.

A positive mood has been linked with increased productivity, while a negative mood can lead to errors and accidents. Research suggests that we are more likely to make decisions based on emotion than on reason, which means that managing emotions in the workplace is essential for making sound decisions.

When we are aware of our emotions and can regulate them effectively, we are more likely to make positive choices that benefit both ourselves and our organizations.

The emotional culture in a workplace can help with predicting workplace outcomes. Here are some fundamental ways that emotions at work affect an organization:

  • A pleasant work environment attracts top talent - As well as bringing in the best people, an atmosphere of fun and support between co-workers fuels higher retainment levels and commitment to the company.

  • Excess of good thing – Too much of fun or camaraderie can get in the way of trust, professionalism and critical thinking and lead to lower productivity.

  • Too much stress affects brain power - Stress is shown to cause issues with memory, attention, impulse control, and mental flexibility. For this reason, workplaces that are excessively disciplinary or have a disregard for fostering a positive emotional culture, can end up with less productive employees.

  • Emotional exhaustion leads to burnout - Burnout is thought to come from low morale at work over a prolonged period of time. This can be because of any number of workplace issues such as feeling undervalued at work, a lack of influence, or a lack of camaraderie between team members.

  • Positive emotions lead to innovation - When workers feel safe to express themselves and are encouraged to take risks, they are more likely to come up with new ideas. And when those ideas are met with support and enthusiasm, they are more likely to be developed into successful products or services.

Positive Emotions

Positive emotions are common in a healthy and productive workplace:

  • Feeling valued - This involves feeling that our positive traits have been recognized and responded to appreciatively.