A common hear-say would reveal that you shouldn’t be emotional when you’re at work.
Possibly, your colleagues might think you’re a touch-me-not plant (in human form) who is sensitive to every situation and in the comfort of the fact that ‘this is who you actually are’.
But that’s not the case. When you communicate yourself with the right emotion at the right time (yes. I mean context here), you’re not going to feel out of place. You will start to feel comfortable with the real you and that would increase your performance effectiveness faster than you can imagine.
Let’s think of situations – though our probabilities would vary – where you don’t feel you’re quite yourself at work.
An impending separation from your spouse?
A post-pregnancy you?
Dissatisfaction as a result of not meeting your ambitions?
Peer-pressure to be someone like (?)
Health issues that are not letting the best come out of you at work?
A salary negotiation, which didn’t quite pan out well?
We can think of such cases based on our own set of life/ work experiences.
But the point to yourself should be to be able to express your emotions in a way that helps your organization.
Here are some ways that can help.
1) Find your creative fuel and share it with your colleagues. Perhaps you have an eye for creating stunning visuals. More professionally put, you can be a visual artist for coming with cool graphics and design and can see how you can add this skill to your current mix of work you’re doing for your organization. Or, you could be great with your gift of gab..and might want to host events and represent your organization in speaking forums. Another form of creative fuel could be your passion for reading books or listening to podcasts in your free time. And you might like to share what you read/ learned with your colleagues – which can also cross-pollinate your ideas with theirs. As a result, one of the outcomes could be sharing book reviews/ your company’s book recommendations in its newsletter! What this means is – sharing your inspiration or ‘mojovation’, as popularly put, with your colleagues/ company can open up new, blended work opportunities for you. By blended I mean what you love doing for yourself + what you love doing for others. Which translates to a healthy emotional relationship with your inner muse, as it is heard, acknowledged, and even appreciated!
2) Talk about your goals that inspire you at work – and seek help as to how to achieve it as a team. Publicly sharing your goals – both personal and professional – can elevate your performance at work. And chances you are more than likely to accomplish them, given that your goals also underpin social motivation. So, speak up on how you want to collectively achieve organizational goals – and you would have people chiming in with their creative ideas as well to support the big picture. The word to keep note of here is ‘being selfless’ in how you want to put your creative fuel/ nature’s gift to use, and propelling others to follow their own calling: all converging to channelized version of your collective emotions to feel success.
3) Have an informal chat, a bit more occasionally. Who doesn’t like to talk about the last movie he/ she watched on Netflix? Or a repeat telecast of ‘America’s Got Talent’? Or a documentary you really loved? Such work unrelated chats spice up our latent interests and reveal new areas of refreshing conversations and relationships you can develop aside from work. A simple act of making an extra cup of coffee for your colleague, and simply checking-in how they are doing otherwise, can also generate a warm, fuzzy feeling; a sense of belonging helps us implicitly express our emotions.
4) Encourage a practice of mindfulness and meditation. Daily 15 minutes meditation, ideally twice a day, can make you more attuned to your inner emotions. It also helps in de-stressing and appreciate the little things in life with more mindfulness. I have been practicing twice a day meditation, and have never felt more focused and alive in my entire life than what I’m feeling in my 30s! A simple act of delicious inhales and ‘letting-go-of-stress’ exhales will give you the ultimate lever to be your most amazing version of yourself – at life and work.
You’re not alone.
You emotions could create something gorgeous – which only your inner self knows the best.
So go ahead and create something the world would love you – and remember you – for.