You might wonder what managing your emotions has to do with performing well or creating success in your life. I’m reminded of this most recently when I asked a client if he felt his emotions impacted his work. His answer was *laughing, “No! What matters is how I turn my client’s vision for wealth into reality. My feelings have nothing to do with it.”
I’m going to use this interaction as an example of how self-awareness affects performance. I asked my client to tell me some of the key success factors in his line of work. His top 3 were, “My knowledge, my staff, getting great clients.” To give you some context, he was very grumpy and frustrated that day and reported that nothing seemed to be working for him. So, I asked him, “If I were to interview your staff, what would they say about you today?” He laughed and said, “They are avoiding me and just giving me pat answers.”
“What would your clients say about you?” He replied, “You’re not listening to me, or what’s got your goat?” I asked if that ever led to negative repercussions to which he affirmed, “Yes, in fact I’ve lost clients because of it.”
So here is an example of how emotions were affecting a couple of his key success factors. He clearly allowed his emotions to run his day and his relationships. He didn’t listen well and both his staff and clients reacted. His failure to identify his feelings and how they influence his behaviour hurt his work performance. What he lacked was emotional self-awareness.
Emotional self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your emotions and how they impact your behaviour. It’s different than cognitive self-awareness which focuses on your thoughts and ideas rather than your feelings. In short, you know how you feel and why you feel that way and you can see how your feelings impact others.
My main point for you to consider today is without being able to recognize your feelings, you can’t control them. It’s also hard to maintain a positive outlook to influence others if you don’t know how you feel. According to a research from Cornell University, a high level of emotional awareness competency predicts your overall success at work.
The good news is this is a skill you can develop! But remember, like learning any activity, there are different levels of those skills, so noticing your feelings is not something you do once and then master it forever. It is something that takes attention and practice to develop. Daily attention, like mindfulness, is also helpful.
(Back to my client.) In this case, he agreed that he hadn’t stopped to think about how his mood was affecting those around him. I reminded him that he said he lost clients after a couple of outbursts. He admitted he blamed the clients then, but now he wanted to take responsibility.
One of the key tools for building self-awareness is tuning in to your body. Doing a body scan intermittently throughout your day can help you notice if you are tense or relaxed. Simply, you take a moment to close your eyes, and scan your body from head to toe, noticing where you feel tension. Wherever you feel tension, you simply take in a nice deep breath and then allow the exhale to release the tension. This strengthens your ability to notice changes in your breath and other parts of your body that accompany emotions.
So remember, your emotions not only affect your disposition, they affect your output as well! Don’t let your emotions get the better of you, your clients or your important relationships. If this sounds like you, book a session with me to learn how you can get control of your emotions and deal with them in more productive and successful ways.
Here’s the link: https://ellieballentine.com/services/private-coaching/