Humans are complicated and yet…we’re not, really.
We like to think of ourselves as strictly rational beings.
But at the end of the day neuroscience tells us we are driven first… by emotions.
A better understanding of brain science (and our experiences with it) helps us be more in tune with ourselves and others.
Turns out, emotions play a huge role in helping us reach our full potential.
Emotions drive our thoughts and behaviors.
Ultimately, people perform based on how they feel.
How does it feel to work in your organization?
Under the circumstances of 2020, most of us carry on with our lives as best we can.
While we outwardly joke about it…most of us quietly wonder what’s in store for 2021.
What changes are ahead? What will stay the same?
Work, home-school, kids, parenting, care-giving…. routines are beginning to look “normal” again…on the surface.
Most of us are getting enough sleep, working out and eating well.
Still, things feel different and not quite right.
So, what’s going on?
As I see it, we’re experiencing a flood of different emotions every day and don’t quite know what to call them…how to talk about them…or process them.
These universal human emotions… like overwhelm, reactivity, fog, sadness, confusion, fear, anger…and grief are uncomfortable and for many of us…new.
They’re also unfamiliar and when we experience them it’s common to ruminate and slip into critical thoughts and negativity.
Then, when self-criticism slips in, we’re off and running with catastrophic thinking.
The first thing to do is stop. Take a deep breath and know this is completely normal.
It’s the fight or flight response at work and even though there are no lions or tigers chasing us, the ancient cellular structure of our bodies and brains kick in.…trying to protect us.
We’re hardwired to avoid danger.
So, what to do when we’re in this swirl of thoughts and emotions?
I like to stop and lean into the feelings.
I notice the sensations in my body and acknowledge them with as much compassion as I can muster.
In The Guest House, Rumi the 13th century Persian poet, reminds us not to resist the thoughts and emotions passing through us but to meet them with courage, warmth, and respect.
And what does this have to do with leadership?
Today’s cutting-edge leader, has the opportunity to grow and support others in this new and uncertain environment.
It starts with the willingness to be candid about our own experiences and give others the space to do the same. And, it all comes together through meaningful conversations with our team that reduce fear, increase trust and build human connection.
This is the New Workplace Imperative.
If you would like to know more about applying the principles of Emotional Safety and Trust with your team, click here to read more: