Using Emotions to Drive Performance

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It is an old adage that your emotional and professional worlds should be kept apart but Anne Kreamer, a former Nickelodeon executive and the author of the new book It’s Always Personal, begs to differ. By putting on a front and making an effort to conceal your emotions, you not only lose relatability and trust but also miss out on opportunities to translate your emotions into results. How does this happen? Beth Dreher tells us exactly how we can harness the momentum of our feelings to achieve tangible outcomes:

Anger

When upset and indignant, engage in joint problem solving to diffuse the anger and embrace communication. Blowing a gasket at work is “universally uncool,” says Kreamer. But opening your emotional floodgates strategically can lead to solutions if both sides are willing to work together. Rather than confront the offender in the heat of the moment, schedule a one-on-one meeting. “The specific time and private space establishes boundaries so you have a greater chance of achieving a constructive outcome and maintaining the relationship,” Kreamer adds.

Joy

Transfer the positive energy from feelings to work, increase creativity and productivity. When you’re in a positive mood, your brain activity actually shifts, says Kreamer. “Your focus deepens, and your dopamine levels increase, which helps you see things from a different perspective.”

Anxiety

When anxious and flustered, it is a good time to seriously look into you planning skills and stop procrastinating. Are you unclear about an assignment? Feel underprepared for a meeting or overwhelmed by your workload? Identify what’s behind your fear and take specific action — ask your manager for details, write and rehearse your presentation, delegate some responsibilities. You’ll calm down and do a better job. “No boss minds helping an eager employee learn something new, but every boss resents having to intervene in a bungled project,” says Kreamer.

Crying

We are humans. Crying at work isn’t a sign of weakness or even a signal that you’re unhappy in your job. “It’s a yellow flag, a signal that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed,” say Kreamer. If you feel yourself getting teary, take a walk outside if you can. Then set up a meeting for the next day with the person who triggered your tears. Of course, move on from the fact that you had to unload and engage in serious self-reflection.

This post was originally published on Readers’ Digest. TheYoungProfessionalGroup.com takes no credit for the work of the author.

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xinni.kung@digneconsult.com'

Xin Ni is a final year Sociology student at the National University of Singapore. As an intern at Digne Consult, she manages the Young Professional page and writes for its blog. She enjoys reading up on intercultural communication and baking in her free time.

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