Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
When is it acceptable to show emotions in business? We have been socialized to believe that showing emotions in business is taboo; we are taught to suppress socially unacceptable emotions by wearing masks to hide what we really feel. Yet, we face a myriad of challenges from the effects of economic downturns, clients’ non-payments or indecisiveness to employees’ non-performance and many more. Given the above scenario, as an entrepreneur you are bound to feel emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, disappointment and so on. So, how then are you expected to deal with such emotions?
It’s worth bearing in mind that over time, suppressed and unresolved emotions can lead to inappropriate explosions, making you seem irrational and completely out of control. So, suppressing emotions is not an answer, nor are extreme expressions of emotions which are usually a reaction to an emotion rather than a healthy response that seeks to resolve the situation.
Learning how to become emotionally attuned to ourselves, colleagues and clients can be beneficial to our businesses. The trick is to learn how to better handle our emotions and reactions to stressful situations. Here is a four step approach to dealing with such situations:
- Allow yourself to feel the emotion
- Understand what the actual emotion is and what triggers it
- Find a solution to the situation
- Let the emotion go
Consider frustration for a moment, once you acknowledge that you are frustrated then you need to understand what is causing your frustration. Determine what you need to do differently to alleviate being frustrated in future. For the most part, frustration sets in when your expectations are not met, - when this happens ask yourself: “Did I communicate my expectations clearly? Were they understood by the other person? Were my expectations realistic? Was the team equipped to handle the task? How else can I support them in future to avoid frustration?
Then, let go of the emotion because many times we hold on too much to negative emotions, re-playing scenes of frustration, disappointment or injustice over and over again. This is what is called rumination, which is very unpleasant and counter-productive.
Have you noticed that the more you rehash negative thoughts in your head, the more upset you become; in fact you get more upset than you actually were before because you have just magnified the situation in your mind.
So, whenever you find yourself in this situation, imagine you are at your computer keyboard - type in the negative thoughts and then drag them into the trash can. Don’t just leave them in the deleted folder but ensure you delete this information from your recycle bin as well, just in case you get tempted to read it again.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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