Workplace Wisdom

09 Apr 2013

This Is What to Do with an Employee Who Cries

Here’s an example of how to use emotional data to help individuals work more effectively. A frontline manager in a service company was known to have an emotional hair trigger. When Charisse didn’t care for the way a conversation was going, she would lower her voice, her lip would tremble and, in a matter of seconds, her eyes would well up. Charisse’s previous bosses may not have owned up to their own reactions to her emotional displays, but most of […]

03 Apr 2013

How to Help Colleagues Regulate Out-of-Control Emotions

No matter how important it is to take everyone’s feelings into account, it’s still not reasonable to expect tears, shouts, or clenched jaws in the workplace every day. Excessive or poorly directed emotions get in the way of the work. So now that you’ve had some more practice coping with your own emotions, you can take another look at the emotions of the people around you, think about ways to recognize their feelings, and work with that information as well. […]

25 Mar 2013

How to Manage Your Own Emotional Data on the Job

Emotions in the workplace: You may not like them, but they’re there, all right, and you can’t just wish them away. “Feelings and emotions” reminds me of those “ring around the collar” ads for Wisk back in the ’70s: “You’ve tried soaking them out and scrubbing them out, and still you get” feelings and emotions, feelings and emotions! They’re messy, and can become permanent if you don’t deal with them skillfully. And yet emotions can give you truly pertinent, useful […]

19 Mar 2013

How to Use the Data of Emotions in the Workplace

Anyone who says feelings have no place in the workday might as well say that breathing has no place in the workday. A human without either one is a corpse. The ability to use emotions as data — as triggers for assessment, opportunities for creating better teamwork, and levers for cultural change — is necessary and valid in today’s workplace. People are awash with emotion all day long. They bring their feelings with them and experience even more of them […]

22 Nov 2011

Feedback Resistance

Nobody enjoys being critiqued, corrected, or criticized. It’s hard to hear that we’re not good enough, or that we’re not okay just the way we are. It’s hard even when we’ve asked for the feedback because we want to grow, develop, or simply improve. Even when we agree that the comments are true. So it’s only natural that we feel resistance to being critiqued when we haven’t actually asked for the feedback, disagree with it, or feel misjudged. It’s easy […]

22 Mar 2011

Signs of Socially Intelligent Life: Getting the Best from a Group

Seeking the “wisdom of crowds” is quite popular right now, and I’ve always believed in scanning the room to get the “sense of the group.” I’m also a big proponent of the value of teamwork and believe in enhancing the ability of work teams at all levels to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate. “Emotional Intelligence” — the ability to recognize and manage your emotions so you can interact more effectively with others — has been an accepted concept since author, psychologist, […]


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