How emotionally conscious do we need to be?  As a child, one of my parents frequently returned from work full of fresh frustrations. Naively I told myself, “I am not going to become a ________  when I grow up!” What I didn’t anticipate is that in every profession a person will be confronted with situations requiring emotional bandwidth. 

Frustrations are unavoidable, and it is to our advantage to embrace the real presence of both positive and negative emotion in the professional environment, sooner rather than later.

There are usually more factors in play than our emotions may tell us. In effort to discern what our emotions are communicating, we will be wise to also look at evidence and facts, patterns and history. This gives us a fuller picture, and helps us acknowledge emotions while also putting them into context.

Many years ago I was taught a basic diagram which was related to how you might consider your personal faith.  

Fact ➡ Faith ➡Feelings  

I was asked to consider what would happen if things were switched around?  In our case, let’s imagine what would happen if a leader approaches challenges by putting their faith into their feelings? What are the dangers there?

The diagram has served me over the years as a gentle reminder to be aware of the potential of my emotions to positionally take the forefront as I experience and assess situations; as I evaluate and make decisions.

It implies that our feelings are not more reliable than facts, and that our faith in something or someone should be inspired and rooted in what is true over impressions. It is true that emotions can prompt us to take healthy risks, they can stir us to enthusiastically embrace challenges, to believe the impossible is possible! 

In effort to discern what our emotions are communicating, we will be wise to also look at evidence and facts, patterns and history. 

These are just a few of the potential benefits of positive emotion brought into our professions. You may know a person on your team whose enthusiasm is contagious! We need these folks to help us consider possibilities!

Emotions can also potentially sabotage or sky-rocket a leader's motivation, sense of security, and confidence in their or others’ contributions is significant. I hope the diagram presented here becomes a helpful guide to examine the place your emotions are taking in your leadership, though I also want to emphasize the helpful factor of openly exchanging (even emotional) experiences with other leaders.

LeaderImpact groups offer an approachable environment where marketplace leaders can safely unpack their challenges and victories, and the emotions that come along with them. 

It is important for a leader to have such a space so that when he or she steps into the pressures of the workplace, they are fueled and equipped to be healthily oriented in their emotions.

You can join a LeaderImpact group by connecting here.


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