Quit Spewing Your Emotions All Over People
It’s a tough world out there. The business and work world has always been full of stress and difficulties. Challenges abound whether you are at a small business, a startup or a large corporation. Lack of resources, interpersonal politics, more and more expectations – always more work, not enough help, and mostly never enough time.
Now with the Covid-19 pandemic there is a whole new level of stress, uncertainty, and amplified emotions. This is a time for us to practice more empathy and understanding of one another.
And we need to also hold one another to a better standard of behavior. So bear with me, this is a tough needle to thread in one posting— We have to balance our empathy and understanding for another’s situation with allowing others negative emotions expressed unprofessionally to be accepted as the norm.
Celebrating Bad Behavior
In the most extreme we’ve celebrated inappropriate behavior and looked the other way as some of these assholes have made their way to the top because they got “results”. When we look at many that have risen to a position of authority in the last few generations of leadership we see a lot of examples of results at any cost thinking. In fact, it pains me to write leadership in that sentence as these are not leaders, they are managers, CEO’s, VP, owners, and certainly not leaders.
Some have learned how to cover that behavior up in values and mission statements that are spoken to and used politically but when you dig below the surface at the decisions and actions taken – results regardless of how they were obtained- is what is rewarded.
Look around where you work now and you know exactly what I’m talking about here. Now, we can definitely point to the few who are true believers and are leaders. Those who maintain their professionalism and are the best examples of their profession. They treat people well. They don’t take out their day or circumstances on other people. They have emotions and feelings but do not lash out at others.
Unfortunately, it is not only that elusive Them, it is also all around us. We are part of the problem.
Stress Is No Excuse
We all have bad days. Occasionally our negative emotions rise to the top and are on display for all to see. Recognizing emotions is one thing. Understanding that negative emotions are going to happen and they will spill over from time to time. And still, this is never an excuse for poor and unprofessional behavior.
Passion is good. Dig deep and use that passion to propel forward. Use it to motivate and inspire others. Never use your emotions as a weapon against others. Whether it be intentionally or because the pressure has built up and need to release on the next person you come in contact with.
Emotions Are Not To Be Trusted
Emotions are not the enemy but they are not to be trusted. They are unwieldy and unpredictable. They have no logic. They come and go for an incredibly myriad number of reasons far too complex for this humble writer. One moment they can come from some deep seated compulsion rooted in an unexplored and unrealized childhood trauma or because we ate the wrong food before bed, didn’t get the right exercise the day before, and haven’t had a proper bowel movement. Our emotions cannot be ignored but we must not be ruled by them.
That is the way of madness.
The good news is that this is a skill that can be learned. Actually it is a number of skills that all need to be employed to be successful at professional leadership. That professional leadership is not something for a select few but for anyone who works with others and are trying to accomplish anything of value.
It is time that we place civility, politeness, courtesy to one another, mature conduct and professionalism at the top of what we respect and reward. All of these can be done and still be action oriented, still get amazing results. And those results will not only be the numbers on a balance sheet, they will be fully realized outcomes that are desirable for all.
Enjoy my LinkedIn post on Politeness : A Touch More Civility Goes A Long Way
Check out this Forbes post from Stephanie Wells