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The Case For Emotions At Work

Written by: Christine Patton, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

The language of the heart is driving the next revolution in business. Historically, the important management initiatives of the past decades have included structured rationality, and a focus on statistics, intellectual exploration, polar relationships, and conceptual brilliance.

Group of young people having fun while working at a coffee shop.

While these initiatives have had their payoffs, they have come at a price in the workplace – mistrust; uncertainty; distance between managers and those they manage; stifled creativity; anger and resentment; vanishing loyalty; and “quiet quitting” (those dedicated to keeping their heads down to just collect a paycheque).


Research and management reports are driving businesses to magnify our reasoning capacities and, at the same time, to use the energy of our emotions and the wisdom of our intuition to derive the benefits of connecting at a fundamental level with ourselves and those around us.


It’s true that our rationality and our capacity for feeling are not that far apart. Brain scientists confirm that our capacities for reasoning/decision-making and for emotion/feeling intersect in our brains.


For example, we can feel pleasure from acquiring new information and that pleasure is related to our curiosity. One study outlines how information-based pleasure arises from a network involving the association cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, striatum, opioids, and dopamine. Imagine the creativity that could flourish if emotions were welcomed as part of the innovation process.

Contrary to conventional thinking, emotions are neither positive nor negative. They are all valuable as they have much to teach us about ourselves and what is going on around us. They are the messengers of the body and spirit, giving instructions on how to proceed in any given case.


The HeartMath Institute more appropriately defines emotions as “depleting” or “renewing,” as they each have a direct effect on our physiology. Approximately 1,400 biochemical changes are set in motion by our changing emotions. Two of the hormones produced are cortisol, the “stress hormone,” and DHEA, the “vitality hormone.” Once produced, some hormones (cortisol) stay in the body for hours and have a long-lasting effect. Depleting emotions increases cortisol production and renewing emotions increase DHEA. Intelligent energy management is essential for maintaining equilibrium and clear thinking.


Emotions serve as the most powerful drivers of not only our physiology but our human energy, authenticity, and willpower. They are behind our intuitive wisdom and drive the source of our greatest ideas and profitable information.


This feedback, from the heart, is what ignites creative genius, keeps us honest, shapes trusting relationships, provides an inner compass for our life and career, guides us to unexpected possibilities, and provides inner tips that problems lurk.


“It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Studies have shown that emotions are necessary for ethical values such as trust, empathy, resilience, and credibility. They’re also essential for social capital or our ability to build and sustain reliable, honourable, and profitable relationships.


They are powerful organizers of thought and action and indispensable for reasoning and rationality, insight, and good judgment. This kind of practical intuition is a felt sense – an intelligent feeling or inner knowing that something is either right or wrong. Emotions offer us a pre-reflective logic that can be brought into the open and made explicit.


Something great leaders inherently have is the inner fire to create excitement or motivate others in a direction that builds a successful company that is able to compete in the future.


Feelings are powerful catalysts for change, and without them, we would not be forced to take a good, clear look at who we are, what we’re capable of becoming, and where we’re going in our life and work. Emotions do not happen to us; they are generated by us – always for a reason and to learn something.


The ability to experience the heights of excitement and passion is commensurate with our capacity for feeling frustration and fury. All can be channeled into valuable feedback and action.


Of course, intelligent, emotional management is a critical part of the game. We all feel emotional impulses – anger, irritation, and frustration – from time to time. But paradoxically, it is with emotional intelligence that we learn to stick handle our response in a productive or constructive way.


HeartMath techniques work perfectly to help us learn to create choice points when such experiences arise. The choice at the moment is what helps us to become the most effective chief executive officers of our own life and work.


The development of the language of our hearts is indeed the harbinger of the success of a business.


How can you be part of this critical next step? Connect with me at: chris@powerwithin.ca


Let’s chat about the Activating the Heart of Teams program and how I can help you curate a workplace of enhanced positivity, trust, and productivity.


You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


 

Christine Patton, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Christine Patton is a personal development expert who excels in the delivery of information, tools, and support to enhance empowerment, resilience, and passion. She is the founder of Power Within, through which she speaks, coaches, trains, and writes about the importance of our inner connection for rapid transformation. She is a Certified Trainer with The HeartMath Institute, has written a book called Showing Up-Becoming the Me I Want to Be – Aligning Your Life and Work for True Success and has had a radio show with VoiceAmerica.com called Unstoppable You! and does a regular podcast called WunderWisdom. She believes a better world is around the corner, and we create it with our own inner work.

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