Our current corporate environment looks down upon being emotional at work. Emotions come in the way of productivity. People that express their feelings freely are often considered weak. On the other hand, the need of the hour is to develop leaders at every level in the organisation.

As a leadership development specialist while I work with leaders across the organisation through different agendas in workshops and programs – many of the programs are fundamentally geared towards becoming more emotionally intelligent. This means understanding your own emotions and those of your team members is essential to become better leaders. Increasing your emotional quotient (EQ) is a fundamental leadership skill.

So, the question is, are emotions at work good or bad? The answer to this is not straightforward. It is essential not to forget that we are human beings even on the job. We have roles, goals and are striving towards growth and making things happen for which we need to be driven by logic and not emotions. However, we are people that have feelings, emotions, behaviour each unique from the other along with our own experiences, intellect, and knowledge. At work, the focus is often on getting things done, and emotions are considered unimportant. But as people go higher up in their roles, they begin to understand that it is mastering their own feelings and leveraging them to follow their own purpose, passions, values, and beliefs and that in others is what will take them far and ensure success.

The big secret I want to reveal is that it is not that successful senior leaders who always look in control or are calm and composed in the most difficult, high-stake situations don’t have emotions or that they are very good at pushing their feelings away. They do the work of dealing with their feelings by recognising, understanding and interpreting their emotions privately. When they do have to express themselves public they have mastered the art of being authentic and from a place of owning their emotions. This allows them to be clear-headed when they need to be the most. If you don’t do that, those emotions will creep up at the most inopportune times – primarily during the most stressful work situations.

So yes, emotions are human. They are trying to tell you something about yourself. If you give them their due and listen to them regularly, they will allow you to not only function at your best but will also facilitate your development as a leader.

Bhavna Dalal
Bhavna Dalal

Views are personal.

The author is the founder and CEO of Talent Power Partners a global Leadership Development company based in Bangalore. She is a Leadership Development Specialist, an ICF Certified Executive Coach [PCC] and author of the book - Team Decision Making.

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