On 28 November we broadcast a webinar with CIPA on "Managing strong emotions at work". Our speaker, returning to IP Inclusive after a hugely popular webinar on "Imposter Syndrome" in September 2017, was career and leadership coach Jo Maughan. Andrea Brewster chaired. Jo's presentation was followed by a lively, insightful and candid Q&A session, with many helpful contributions from webinar delegates.
Jo explained the physiology behind strongly emotional responses, and the importance of turning triggered unconscious "reactions" into more rational responses to allow us to diffuse difficult situations. Often the simple act of labelling the emotions we are feeling, or that we observe in others, can help us to process them more rationally. These and other practical tips were used, together with personal anecdotes and insights, to help the audience to manage emotional situations in a constructive and supportive way.
Jo and Andrea emphasised that this webinar was not about stereotyping (women getting tearful and men getting aggressive), but about normal human responses that can be difficult to handle in what is supposed to be an emotion-free and rational context, in other words, at work. By recognising that we all experience strong emotions at certain times, although in different ways and in different contexts, we can dismantle the stereotypes and biases that surround our emotional responses and those of our colleagues. We can then stop our unconscious biases and assumptions from getting the better of us in such situations, and instead understand the genuine problems that lie behind them. We can value individuals for who they are, emotions and all, thereby creating more inclusive teams and a working environment in which everyone is valued and accepted.
You can access a recording of the webinar here, and download Jo's slides here. If you would like to find out more about Jo's work as a professional coach, whether on this particular topic or on other career issues, please feel free to contact her via her website.