Emotional Labor?

A recent BBC Capital article, How Faking Your Feelings At Work Can Be Damaging,  introduced me to the concept of emotional labor. The term emotional labor refers to the work you do to regulate your emotions to create “a publicly visible facial and bodily display within the workplace”.

Whoa! Do you find yourself doing this often? The article goes on to say that studies have found that burnout can relate more closely to how employees manage their emotions during interactions, rather than the volume of interactions themselves. Those who report regularly having to display emotions at work that conflict with their own feelings are more likely to experience emotional exhaustion.

Now you have emotional labor to add to all the other labors work asks of you. It is worth paying attention to. Emotional labor can clearly have a negative impact on your life balance and fulfillment at work.

I say this both lightly as well as seriously – perhaps your organization should pay you for the emotional labor involved in your work!

 

photo: DavidRockDesign, pixabay.com

The Power of “Pivoting”

There is a concept called pivoting that encourages you to move from a negative attitude to a positive one. Do you know how to pivot? Consider a time when you were in a bad or negative mood and you successfully got out of it. How did you do it?

I pivot by quickly getting to my center, becoming quiet and observing what put me in a negative state. Then, I choose what I want to do next. In some cases, my mood is deep, so I find music that helps me get into a positive state, take a break from a situation or find positive ways to view what is happening. I always, however, acknowledge and validate how I feel before pivoting.

The best pivoting techniques are often an individual choice. Here are some that I have seen people use:

• Having a mantra or affirmation that changes perspective when needed

• Acknowledging that “this too shall pass”

• Finding something that creates happiness (quickly)

• Deciding firmly how to deal with a negative situation, speak truth about it and move on

• Knowing how to center quickly, in order to gain perspective

• Getting out of a long-term situation that has too much negativity

Pivoting serves you and keeps you at your best. Build your skill at pivoting and the view you see will be a good one!

 

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Money, Money, Money

What role does money play in your life and work? Some think that money makes the world go round. Others love it to death. Some think money is the root of all evil. People project so much onto money. What is it really but a means of exchange? Best that you put it in its rightful place.

One thing that is worth your focus is the nature of your relationship with money. Your relationship with money is often influenced by the events and experiences of your early life on through to the present day. What has formed your relationship with money in your life? What emotions do you feel when you think about money? Be aware of these things. Best to understand how money moves in your world and how you can use it to create the life and work you desire.

Speaking of money, there is a podcast, The Money Millhouse, by Ellie Kay and Bethany Bayless that I am a huge fan of. I joined Ellie and Bethany on April 23 for a fun interview on coaching and money. AND The Money Millhouse is offering a free download of my book, Power Stories to listeners!

Please check it all out on iTunes , Google Play , Stitcher  or on The Money Millhouse website.

 

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Shifting Perspective

Sometimes, even the slightest shift in your perspective changes the way you see your life, your work or a particular situation. Do you ever consciously focus on how your current perspective is affecting the way you experience things?

If you are looking at something through a lens of anger, excitement, sadness, being tired, worry, fear, comparison with your past or comparison with others, you may not be seeing what is truly there. When you are looking at a situation, it behooves you to do a “perspective check” to make sure you are centered and looking through a clear lens. We al know that rose-color glasses or foggy ones can alter your vision.

Try to maintain a clear perspective and shift away from lenses that skew the truth. Doing so, can serve you well.

 

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What Stories Do You Tell Yourself?

In the early days of the coaching profession there was focus on the stories we tell ourselves. These stories impact our perspective, emotions and actions, as we build our careers and work every day.

Do you have a “story” that you tell yourself? Perhaps the story is that you are trapped in your current circumstances, that the world is against you, that there is no place to go or that you are underappreciated. Or, perhaps your story is that there are no limits, that you can do whatever you put your mind to or that the world will support you in your dreams. See the difference?

What stories do you tell yourself?

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When Things Catch Fire

burning match Skitter Photo stocksnap 2We all try to keep things cool and to address problems before they get out of control. However, sometimes things catch fire, such as the escalation of a conflict, a project getting out of control, personnel shortages or major disruptions within an organization. When things catch fire, how do you handle them?

It always pays to step back, if you can, and assess the situation. If you cannot, immediate, temporary action may be needed to put the flames out, such as separating parties or amping up with more personnel to meet a deadline. Be aware of your emotions and stress level when something catches fire. Do you panic or freeze? Do you become fearful? These responses can hinder your effectiveness and should be managed.

When things catch fire, a clear, calm head is your best ally. With that, you can lead and manage well and put the fire out.

 

photo: SkitterPhoto, stocksnap.io

The Intensity Of The Holidays

holidayspixabayYour awareness of the strength of emotions, personal demands and impact of the holidays is a starting point for managing through them. The holidays are not business as usual.

How are your colleagues, team and you yourself doing during the holidays? Are people keeping their focus, maintaining productivity and collaborating well? Or, are you noticing changes, gaps or problems caused by the holidays? The holidays call for adjusting the way you manage yourself and others. Best to realistically assess what can get done during the holidays as well as what must get done and plan accordingly. Doing so will serve you and your team well and let you begin 2016 on top of your game.

 

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Give My Ebook, Chrysalis, for the Holidays!

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Balancing Mind And Emotions When You Are Managing

ID-100273546Most people favor either their mind or their emotions over the other. It’s a matter of orientation, situation and preference. Do you favor your mind or your emotions when you are managing? I do not have to explain the difference in the two approaches. However, your choice (and it is a choice) does impact your managing style and results. The ideal approach is to balance your mind and emotions when managing.

Can you think of a time you were managing and favored your emotions? Can you think of another time you favored your mind? How did they work out? Were you in control or did they run away with you? Of prime importance, as a manager, is to use your mind and emotions with full awareness. They are great tools, but they need to be managed, too.

Balancing your mind and emotions when you are managing is a skill that will make you a better and happier manager.

I wrote another post on this subject a while back titled Balancing Mind And Emotions When You Fire Someone. You can find it here.

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Creating Joy

ID-100231395Sometimes you can get bogged down in life – with too much to do, too many irritations, pressure, unsettled emotions or dissatisfaction, for example. Things can be that way at times – it’s natural. You don’t want to stay there too long, however. Joy can be a great antidote to feeling bogged down. Sometimes, joy presents itself and sometimes it doesn’t. At those times when joy is not present and you need some, you have the choice to create joy.

What brings you joy? Create a bit of it the next time life bogs you down.

 

photo: criminalatt, FreeDigitalphotos.net

Response Or Reaction?

dreamstime_xs_42111776 copySometimes in a rush or the heat of a moment, we can forget that we have choice in how we communicate with others. A big lesson for me has been discerning the difference between response and reaction in my communications. Reaction is defined as an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event. Response is a reply or an answer. The difference between the two may be subtle, but can make a huge difference.

The way I’ve come to see this is, when something provokes a reaction in me, it is best that I settle and center before I communicate. A reaction is not under my control when it is an unconsidered or emotional one. Reaction is provoked by an action or feeling. A response, in contrast, is of my own making.

Here’s an example: if someone is upset with me, a natural reaction may be to lash back defensively. However, this could escalate the conversation in ways I do not want, especially in a work situation. My reaction is caused by their heightened emotions, not what I want to do. In contrast, a response is considered and dictated by me. The next time an opportunity presents itself, try responding instead of reacting. I think you’ll see its merits.

 

photo: Yuryz, Dreamstime.com