Control Your Emotions and Reach the
by Carole Nicolaides
Socrates knew it all along. If you want to succeed in life you must
"know thyself." This is the first step for everything and for
anybody who wants to make a difference in his or her life. The ability to
listen to our own emotions, wants, desires and needs is as important as
listening to others. In addition, putting the understanding of your
emotions (and those of others) into practice is equally important. There
are times all of us want to lash out at our superiors or peers for
violating our boundaries, not "getting it", interfering with our
projects, crossing the line, stepping behind our backs, taking advantage
of our absence and simply playing the old and cold business game.
Those are only natural feelings. Everyone has had them from time to
time. However, what you DO with those feelings and emotions is what
counts. Controlling your anger and frustration and learning to perform
more productively under stressful circumstances is the defining factor.
Unfortunately, changing your emotional response to others is considered
a "lifestyle change". And, as we all know, those are the most
difficult to implement and maintain. If changing unproductive habits were
as simple as being aware of them, we'd all be living ideal lives. Changing
habits and behaviors takes more than awareness and self-knowledge. This is
why traditional training (such as books, audio tapes, video training and
workshops) often falls short in creating long-term change. They don't
offer a consistent support system… the one thing that is vital to
maintaining new behaviors.
I recommend that you find a mentor or coach to assist with this
process. After all, there is an elegant beauty apparent in people that can
remain calm when no one else can. Aristotle said, "Anyone can become
angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right
degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, in the right way - this
is not easy."
The insights below will help you lay down a solid foundation for
managing your emotions and progressing forward in your career.
1. Learn rather than defend. Instead of going into a defensive
mode and trying to protect or force your views, learn from the situation.
Ask yourself what is really going on with that upset employee or coworker.
The old saying is true, "When you change someone's point-of-view
against their will, you've never truly changed them." From the moment
you lose control and retaliate (even if you are right) you've lost the
battle. However, by controlling your emotions and investigating the
other's viewpoint, you open yourself to a calm and enlightening
2. Acknowledge rather than agree. It is possible to acknowledge
that someone has a different point-of-view than you have without agreeing
with their point-of-view. What happens, more often than not, is that the
more strongly someone disagrees with us, the more adamant we becoming
about convincing them we are right. Before the situation gets out of
control, ask yourself, "How important is it that they agree with
me?" If the answer comes down to a matter of personal pride - let it
go. Acknowledge and respect other's views, the fact that you have a
conflicting opinion and allow the conversation to drift to another topic.
3. Express your emotions. Expressing empathy and being
emotionally honest is one of the things that will make you a true leader.
Everyone you work with already knows you are human. When you share your
strengths, weaknesses, triumphs and trials honestly with those around you,
you make a more personal connection. Let us never forget, people follow
those they like. While your primary concern at the office may not be to
make friends; opening yourself up to your team will help develop a sense
of trust and loyalty towards you.
4. Stay in integrity with your values. Emotional control does
not equate to silence. Just the opposite. When a difficult subject needs
to be addressed, you will be fully able to do so… with a level head.
When the truth needs to be told, you will be a person other's look to. By
showing others you are filled with integrity and you stand by your values
will help to define your reputation. Respect always follow those whose
"yes" means "yes" and whose "no" means
5. Tactfully handle the negative. It seems, regardless the size
of organization you work for, that negative people will always be present.
These are the ones that continually complain, create confrontations and
lack control of their emotions. If their contribution to your team does
not outweigh the damaging attitude, you may want to consider having them
transferred to a position where they would be more suited. Be aware of
these personality types. Also be prepared to handle the challenges they
will bring to you as you prepare to develop your new emotional steadiness.
Progressive leaders are emotionally stable leaders. They are the ones
others turn to during a crisis. They are the ones that become the beacon
of true leadership. They are the ones that make it to the top!
Carole is President and Executive Coach of Progressive
Leadership, offering executive coaching, organizational development
consulting and leadership development training. Improve your business
relationships, communication, team performance and bottom line starting
now. Visit http://www.progressiveleadership.com
for more info & subscribe to Carole's FREE Ezine.