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Coaching Influence Leadership Personal development Resilience

Take the emotion out of it

As a women in Corporate and wanting to succeed in leadership, you cannot display an ounce of emotion, you are expected to be cool and calm.

I am passionate about my work and heavily invested in my team, working with colleagues and creating great outcomes. The passion drives emotion and that comes at a price in the eyes of the leaders of the business. With passion often comes outwardly expressed emotions, express at your peril! For me it can be cynicism, poor choice of words, frustration with progress and a feeling I am not being listened too.

A raft of academic research suggests that women are under pressure to maintain a cool exterior. Source:https://www.marketwatch.com/story/serena-williams-got-angry-at-the-us-open-final-and-paid-a-heavy-priceworking-women-say-this-sounds-eerily-familiar-2018-09-10

Here are some tips on taking the emotion out of your work:

  1. Exercise or meditate before work. If I have an important meeting or presentation I ensure I practice yoga, go for a walk or Surf. Surfing puts me in the best in mental state and I find I am exceptionally calm. The day ahead is always balanced and definitely makes a difference.
  2. Ask your peers to hold you to account. One of my peers gives me feedback constantly and I help him. He tells me I am far more powerful when I am calm. My messages are clear and land exceptionally well. Having an accountability partner definitely helps.
  3. Never speak to anyone when you feel frustrated or annoyed. Take time to meditate or pranayama breathing(Yoga breathing). Only speak when you have managed the emotion.
  4. Write and communicate facts only, remove anything that reads as emotional. Use read aloud to check what you have written or write save in draft and read letter. Even better leave what you have written for 24 hours and return to assess facts from emotion.
  5. Listen to others who are emotional, how do you react? Looking in the mirror is powerful for me and understanding how I feel listening to someone who is emotional. Ask your self do the messages land? are they believable or do you sense attachment, that might affect their judgement?
  6. If I feel that I wont be able to control my passion/emotion, then I ask colleagues to step in and I remove myself. Don’t be afraid to explain why, as this builds trust and rapport and also helps with accountability.

One of my amazing mentors Carol use to say “take the emotion out of it”.

There are many benefits to working on controlling emotion:

  • it reduces the time spent on mulling over a situation, when you have facts you can see the wood from the trees.
  • expend less energy, more productive
  • approachable by your colleagues, bosses and peers
  • more powerful when you are presenting

There are exceptions to this rule, but use with care and check with peers who know you. The only time using emotion is successful on complex issues that stakeholders do not fully understand the impact even though the facts have been laid out. In these times, emotion can be a powerful vehicle to land the message.

I hope this helps with “Taking the emotion out of it”