“So, if you look at emotions from that angle, they really aren’t that scary.”

Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here, a transformational coach who shifts people from languishing to flourishing. In this video, I want to talk to you about emotional agility, or as it was traditionally known, emotional intelligence.

Many leaders feel that emotions have no room in the workplace. But as individuals and as human beings, we are emotions. We consist of emotions, and 83% of our decisions are based on our emotions. Hence, we need to bring our emotions to the workplace So, if you look at emotional agility, it’s all about understanding and managing your emotions as well as those of others.

Let me share an example with you. When you look at, say, a sales report, what do you see? Data, figures, trends, analyses, patterns. Your emotions are exactly that, they are data. That is according to South African psychologist, Susan David. She says emotions are data. It’s your way your body tells you; I like this, or I don’t like this based on your value system, your assumptions, and your beliefs. So, if you look at that, same as your self statistics, if there’s a downward trend, you will be experiencing negative emotions and your body will tell you, I don’t like this, go and correct it.

If you’re experiencing positive emotions and your sales report is going through the roof, your figures will tell you, I like that … Give me more of that. So, if you look at emotions from that angle, they really aren’t that scary. They really are just data to work with. So, once you understand that concept, it is really working with them in your teams.

And if you see that your team is experiencing positive emotions, understand what the underlying values, standards, and beliefs are that are encouraging them and are hitting the mark. Because once you understand that, you can say, okay, this is what they need more of, and you will get more of that. Because positive emotions naturally flow into productivity, fulfilment, satisfaction, and happiness.

Negative emotions, or the ones we really don’t like, we suppress them and we hope they go away. But truth be told, they don’t. They actually need the most attention. And the more you leave them, the louder they get. So, be proactive when it comes to the negative emotions within your team. Look at where people are feeling overwhelmed, or fearful, or anxious, or things aren’t working for them. And try to understand why. Try to understand from their perspective what values, beliefs, or underlying assumptions are not being met. Don’t think about yours. It’s not about yours. You two will have two different perspectives. Think about them. And once you understand that, you can try and address the emotion.

As I say, emotions are just data. They are just statistics that you can work with. They are not scary at all, but they are critical in your business because you make the most of your decisions with your emotions, not with your cognitive brain, as we all think we like and do.

Over to you for sharing your comments and experiences.

What score would you rate your emotional intelligence at?

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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