Why Everything You Think You Know About Office Emotions Is Wrong



I know, I know – “Keep emotions out of the workplace”

WRONG!! Let’s take a closer look at emotions.

First, let’s clear up a common misperception. The words “feelings” and “emotions” are not interchangeable, although most people use them that way. Feelings are physical – for example, a pit in your stomach, tightness in your throat, or simply a sensation of warmth. Emotions are actually just responses to those feelings.

Emotions FEEL good or bad, but in reality, they are neither good nor bad. They just are – and one of the best ways to grow as a person, and as a leader, is to listen to and understand your emotional responses and know that emotions are part of a process, they are not automatic. People usually react to their emotions instead. They judge their emotions as “good” or “bad” instead of listening to the emotion and figuring out what it’s trying to tell them. Emotions are related to how we interpret events and situations. Look at emotions as tools to help you understand what is going on for you in any particular situation, and ask questions such as “Why did I have this response?”, and “What can I learn from this?” These questions allow you to observe what’s going on and to pay attention to what’s happening, instead of just reacting to life’s circumstances. Wouldn’t you rather learn to respond instead? Believe it or not, most people REACT only and don’t even know the first thing about choosing their responses in life… think about that!

This weekend at home and next week at work, pay attention to your feelings throughout the day – and your emotions – and pause to figure out what you can learn in the process. And as one of my coach friends always says, ask yourself, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”




Nicoa is the Managing Partner of Holland Archer and President and Chief Relationship Rover of Roving Coach International where she brings 16 years of experience in global corporate communications and strategic human resources (HR). As a strategic business partner and coach, her collaborative approach to innovative problem solving is refreshing and motivating for those working with her. Most recently Nicoa served as the SVP of HR for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions where she provided key leadership in the transformation of Misys Healthcare, positioning the company and culture for growth and the ultimate merger with Allscripts — creating the NEW Allscripts (MDRX).


Comments are closed.