I’m right in the middle of writing a module on this topic for the @ladieslifelounge (link in bio).  There are a few ladies that I have worked with over the past few months who are being labelled with being too emotional at work.  It seems like expressing emotion has become socially unacceptable particularly in the work place.  Particularly for women.  A lot of that comes down to the types of emotions that our being expressed.  If a man loses his rag, he’s considered as being just frustrated and it’s more acceptable, where as if a women does it’s perceived as being highly strung.

I still do a lot of corporate work with both men and women in leadership.  I would like to see the emotion and humanity come back into work place.  We have almost become robotic and generic with our emotions, even the ‘management and ‘leaders’ are guilty of this.  Though, obviously not in a bat shit crazy kind of way.

You can show you are feeling something in an ASSERTIVE way.  Communicate your emotions without imposing or upsetting someone else.  You obviously don’t want to trigger an emotional outburst in your colleague or look like you are displaying a lack of control.  So here are my tips for you on how to express your emotions ASSERTIVELY.

 

Tip 1  –  NAME THE EMOTION

This sounds dead simple, but when I ask women (and men) I work with to name it they find this really hard to do.  You need to connect with yourself and this requires self-awareness.    What is the physical sensation you are feeling and where in your body is it happening?   Put a descriptive word to it.   Whether it is anger, sadness, liberation, elation etc.  Good emotions as well as bad emotions.   Learn to name it!   Which leads on to ….

 

Tip 2 GIVE A CONTROLLED DESCRIPTION 

Rather than have an outburst.   It’s about being able to coolly describe the emotion, which is why it’s important for you to be able to name it in (Tip 1).   This can be tricky because when emotions take over we lose the ability to be rational.    That rational control can very easily disappear when our emotions are high.  But, when you can describe your emotions then you demonstrate a really high degree of self-control.  And that self-control has a lot of persuasive power.    Bringing your emotion to the conversation can be really really powerful.   When you can describe it in a controlled way.  It means you will have credibility and influence in the conversation and explain why your feeling what you are feeling.

For example:  I am feeling X about Y  because of  Z

I am feeling really upset because of the circumstances you have put me in that have made me look less credible.

 

Top Tip 3 BODY LANGUAGE

The illustration of the elements of communication is broken down into the following:

WORDS 7%

TONE 38%

BODY LANGUAGE 55%

So, you need to have congruence in your body language but still remain controlled.   If your body language and tone and words don’t match you won’t be understood and your point won’t be taken seriously.  Don’t fly of the handle!  Stand tall, use hand gestures and movement.

 

Top Tip 4  TO BE GENERALLY EXPRESSIVE ALL OF THE TIME

Be generally expressive all of the time– whether its positive or negative.  Don’t just save up being expressive for combative moments where you need to let your emotions out.   Positive emotions can be much more powerful in motivating other people into doing what you want them to do.  This also shows that you are balanced in showing both sides of your emotions.

 

For more information on using the skill of ASSERTIVENESS click on the link. XXX