Emotions and work well done were long thought to be incompatible. Emotions were equated with a loss of self-control, an admission of weakness. To be professional, we had to cash all situations with impassibility. Today, we know that emotions, far from being obstacles to performance, can actually be a great lever. In this first article of our issue on emotions at work, we give you 6 good reasons to give them the floor.
Hide this state of mind that I can not see. Leave your feelings in the locker room. Previously, showing your emotions was considered an admission of weakness or a lack of self-control, at work even more than elsewhere. Emotions were also perceived as interference threatening to bypass reasoning and performance. To remain objective and rational, one had to be impassive.
Most men had not learned to listen or to show their emotions anyway. Women, on the other hand, had every interest in forbidding any overflow if they were ambitious to climb the ladder. Only a few men at the top of the ladder could afford the luxury of a burst of anger to establish their authority.
Fortunately, the emotions have, for some years, regained their nobility. We know today that they are an essential lever of motivation, energy, commitment, and efficiency. Emotional intelligence has also become a soft skill (we speak of soft skills) recognized and sought after. Organizations are increasingly looking to cultivate positive emotions and limit negative emotions among their employees.
The trick is not played, because allowing yourself to feel, listen and express your emotions is not easy, especially when we are told for years that it is better to be wary.
Here are 6 good reasons to convince you to give back to your emotions the place they deserve at work.
To cut short his emotions is impossible
“Leave your emotions at the door” is an injunction that makes no sense. Emotions are an essential characteristic of our humanity. To strive to feel nothing is illusory since we can not cut the flow of our emotions. We can not control when they will arise. You can choose to turn a deaf ear or put an opaque veil on it, but they will not disappear.
Rather than engaging in a fight lost in advance with his emotions, learn to dance with them!
Emotions want us well
Paradoxically, the more we try to avoid our emotions, the more they end up governing us. We sometimes say that by cutting themselves off, we will avoid suffering or losing control. Yet the opposite is happening. The best way to stay in control and get rid of it is to listen to them.
An emotion is a signal, which is triggered to inform us about the state of our needs. A positive emotion indicates that our needs are met. A negative emotion warns us otherwise. Every emotion is useful.
If you refuse to listen to what your emotions have to say to you and to fill the need that they signal, they will remain to lurk in the hollow of the belly to return all the more powerful to peddle their message. Imagine, for example, that one of your colleagues is systematically late. At first, it annoys you because your time is precious, but you do not say anything to avoid conflict. Over the weeks, you support less and less this attitude. Until the day when, by dint of internalizing it, your “annoyance” has taken such a proportion that you can not manage to address your colleague in a cordial manner.
An emotion that has been repressed for too long ends up gnawing at us from the inside, figuratively as well as literally. Conversely, listening to your emotions is an excellent antidote against stress, burn-out, insomnia and promotes well-being and self-confidence.
Emotions are a precious compass
Emotions have long been thought to be an obstacle to judgment and optimal decision-making. However, we know today that this is not the case, on the contrary. Because they serve as a barometer of our needs, they contain valuable information to guide decisions. Their purpose is simple: to encourage what makes us feel good, to avoid what is unpleasant to us.
At work, they are therefore an essential asset for cultivating well-being, pleasure, and satisfaction. If we listen to them, they will tell us what suits us or not, what gives us joy, enthusiasm, what motivates us or on the contrary, slows us down. They will serve as a compass to point us in the right direction and help us make choices.
Authenticity inspires confidence
Emotions are often distrusted because they are considered weaknesses and vulnerabilities. We think that others will find us ridiculous to cry, will laugh at our fears and laugh at our shame. Yet, what makes you feel more comfortable and inspires you the most: a human manager who dares to assume his limitations and weaknesses or a cold robot, distant, who never shows his flaws and seems permanently in the restraint?
Expressing your emotions makes you much more likable and affordable. Having the courage of your emotions commands admiration and inspires confidence. Of course, this is only true for people who know how to express their emotions appropriately, not for someone who assumes them but who regularly gets carried away in black anger or chases hysterics.
Emotions enrich relationships
The common misconception is that banning emotions at work avoids conflict and maintains relationships at a professional level. Yet it is precise because no one dares or knows how to express his emotions adequately and that everyone feels obliged to wear a mask that the relations at work are too often poisoned by the unsaid, the false pretenses and hypocrisy.
In fact, emotions enrich social relationships considerably. They are key to fostering authenticity, harmony, exchange and a healthy work environment. Those with good emotional intelligence can correctly decode the emotions of their interlocutors – expressed through verbal and nonverbal language – and show empathy. They can adapt their speech, choose the right time to request a service or make an objection … A great advantage to work effectively as a team!
Emotional intelligence is a skill of the future
According to the researchers, the level of emotional intelligence – the ability to perceive, regulate, express and take into account one’s emotions and those of others – would be a more reliable indicator than IQ to predict professional success. A meta-analysis reveals that about 10% of a person’s career success is directly attributable to their emotional skills. And yes! Being able to properly express one’s emotions has become a valued skill. It is even one of the assets of the human face robotization.
The good news is that emotional intelligence is also cultivated!
It is not a question of allowing yourself to break a chair at the slightest annoyance or of laughing out loud all the time, but to accept that our professional person is also allowed to be afraid, to be frustrated, angry, or overflowing with enthusiasm. It’s about learning to recognize, understand, and express oneself in an appropriate way so that they contribute to improving our satisfaction, pleasure, and commitment to work.