6 Common Emotional Myths at Work

by | Emotional Intelligence

It’s time to bust some myths about emotions in the workplace. There are a lot of stigmas and stereotypes about emotion, especially for women, in the workplace.

Here are 6 common emotional myths at work:

  1. Women are too emotional at work
  2. Some emotions are better than others
  3. You should control your emotions at work
  4. Being angry is a sign you’re passionate
  5. Everything you feel is true
  6. You should never cry at work

How many of these have you heard before? Let’s set the record straight. For one, our emotions are not based on our gender. The way we feel is based on our personality. Also, everyone experiences emotion, so the idea that women somehow have more emotion than men is completely false. What people usually are doing, is trying to categorize the behavior and reactions women express as so-called bad emotions, where men’s emotions are considered good. This is an attempt to reinforce certain emotions as weaknesses. For example, someone who is hot-headed might be considered passionate, whereas someone who shuts down or cries is considered insecure.

Here is the truth about emotions. We can’t stop, control or avoid them – no matter how hard we may try. When something happens, the emotional side of our brain is activated before the logical side, so there is no way to out-think or choose our initial emotions.

What we can and should do is manage our reactions to our emotions.

We do this by building our self-awareness and taking a proactive approach to our emotions. This is definitely a skill, and commonly referred to as Emotional Intelligence or EQ.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about EQ then don’t feel bad. Years ago, I had never heard of it before either. Once I realized that I had more control over my behavior than I had thought, I was determined to figure it out. Before then, I did what a lot of us do. Bottle things up and/or try to suppress what I thought were bad emotions. Unfortunately, this never works. It just causes things to build up and then come out at the wrong time, in the wrong way, sometimes to the wrong person.

How can you be proactive? First, stop trying to control your emotions, and start managing your behavior instead. Know yourself well enough to know what events at work trigger you emotionally, what those reactions look like, and how to make better choices. Check out my video on Emotional Triggers at work for more examples.

The simplest way to get started is by keeping an emotional journal. That’s exactly what I did! I walked around the office with a notebook and any time I noticed certain physical reactions or behaviors I would write them down and then ask myself why I was feeling that way.

What I noticed: I am annoyed and impatient with my co-worker
Why: Because they are taking a long time to explain something
Why does that bother me: Because I’m busy and have other things to do
Root emotion: I am feeling overwhelmed
How to manage it myself: Take a step back and re-prioritize my tasks, ask for help if needed.
How to manage it with others: Communicate better to my co-workers when I am available so that I can have uninterrupted time to knock out some of my work.

As you can see, the annoyed or impatient emotion wasn’t even the true emotion. I used to misdiagnose my emotions a lot in this way until I started journaling and reflecting. Doing this helped me increase my self-awareness. The more aware you are, the better you can manage your behaviors and attitudes.

Emotional Intelligence is the #1 skill that will help with your leadership development and career advancement.

It’s a game changer! That’s because improving your EQ skills will translate into improvement in every other notable soft skill needed for leadership success. That includes things like problem-solving, conflict management, building rapport, giving and receiving feedback, negotiation, collaboration, delegation, motivating others, decision quality, adaptability, and the list goes on.

Don’t let this be a blind spot for you! Start working on managing your emotions proactively and increasing your EQ. I will show you HOW to do this in my upcoming Webinar: “Managing Negative Emotions in the Workplace. How to manage your emotions at work and use EQ to advance your career.”

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I’m Jovita

I started this business because I am so passionate about developing others and helping them grow beyond where they could have on their own.

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