Everyone Experiences Emotions

3 Min

Thriving emotionally can lead to a more fulfilling and successful work-life. It’s far more worthwhile to recognize emotions than to ignore them.

Emotions aren’t the enemy of progress, they are here to get us where we need to go.

Here are some things to consider on your journey to thriving emotionally at work:

Emotions are natural

Think of emotions as nature’s way of processing the world around you to figure out what you need. For example, if you are about to give a presentation, you might feel nervous. That’s your body’s response to acknowledging the importance of the presentation.

Emotions impact work

There are pleasant and unpleasant emotions, and they affect the way you make decisions and execute work from moment to moment. Even if you don’t have an outburst or yell at a coworker, a slight annoyance or irritation can still impact your collaboration with others and vice versa.

You aren’t alone

Everyone you work with has their own emotions. You aren’t at a disadvantage because you have feelings about a project or even a person.

Bottled up or unacknowledged emotions can have negative side effects

Bottled up emotions can sometimes show up as anything from a headache to breaking out in hives to even more serious illness. Not to say you'll get sick from feeling emotions, but ignoring them doesn't necessarily mean they'll just disappear.

Let’s practice.

Your coworker says he isn’t a very emotionally expressive person, but you notice that he’s been short with clients lately and falling behind on deadlines. How do emotions relate to work?

Quiz 1 of 1

How do emotions relate to work?

Everyone has emotions.
Emotions are the cause of all work troubles.
Everyone's emotions impact their work.
Emotions are important at home but not at work.

The answer is C.

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s research has revealed that emotions impact our ability to make decisions. When you acknowledge your emotions, you can deal with them in a more healthy way.

Reflection point:

We all have different backgrounds and experiences with our own emotions and the emotions of others. What are the ideas, images, or biases you associate with emotions? In light of what you know now about emotions as biological responses, has anything changed for you?

Everyone Experiences Emotions - Video Transcript

The Greek philosophy, Stoicism, says we can put our emotions aside to make purely rational decisions and achieve our goals. Leaders of all types, from ancient military leaders to modern CEOs, claim this approach resulted in their success. But scientific research says that making decisions isn't so simple for CEOs or anyone else. Neurologist, Antonio Damasio, conducted a series of experiments on patients who had damaged prefrontal cortexes, the parts of the brain that process emotions. He found that these patients maintain their memory and ability to learn, but when met with a crossroads, they were stuck on analyzing their choices and never took the next step. Without emotions, they couldn't make decisions. Damasio, concluded that emotions give humans a pre hunch or gut feeling about which path to take and the motivation to act on what they know. Emotions don't get in the way of decisions, they help us. Bottom-line, emotions are involuntarily biological responses to the world around you. They're part of being human. They are also the way we get anything done at home and even at work.

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