Who's Driving Your Conversations?

Feb 04, 2024

Has this ever happened to you?

  1. The conversation in your head: I am so angry. I'm overworked and under valued. I'm tired of this and I'm done trying to be nice. 
  2. The next conversation you have with a colleague (or your boss) has an angry, judgmental tone and edge to it, no matter who it's with or what the topic. There may even ben an explosion of negativity who you are shows up in your words ...your emotions.

It happens to me every time I forget that I am not my emotions. Stop for a moment and feel in your body the difference it makes to change that internal conversation ever so slightly by saying: I feel angry. I feel overworked and undervalued (instead of I am.... 

It may be subtle at first, but the shift in language shifts the way you think about your self.

Play with the difference in these two ways of having your internal dialogue. In the first instance, you identify with the emotions - they are in control of your conversations. In the second case, you are separate from your emotions (you feel them), which gives you the power to choose your responses, actions, and choice of words.

What Do Emotions Have to Do with Workplace Success?

This many not be a new concept for you, but do you remember it in the heat of a conversation ignited by overpowering emotions? Every conversation we have is an opportunity to remind ourselves: I am not my emotions.

This simple awareness gives you the power of choice. You can intentionally use your words to facilitate shared understanding, connection, kindness, and mutual opportunity.

Next time you find yourself saying, "I am so ____!"  PAUSE. BREATHE (take a nice deep breath or two), and restate it, "I am feeling so ____." Then, GET CURIOUS. Ask yourself:

  • What's triggering this feeling?
  • What is it trying to tell me?
  • What do I want to feel instead and what would shift my feelings?
  • Is there something I need... to learn? Do? Say?
  • How can I most effectively communicate with others in this situation?
  • What do I want to have happen?

If you can remember to do this in the heat of a triggering conversation, it will improve your relationships, your effectiveness at work, and your sense of wellbeing. And keep in mind, when your colleagues have that angry, judgmental edge - they are not their emotions. PAUSE, BREATHE, and GET CURIOUS:

  • What might be triggering their feelings?
  • What might they need?
  • How might you most effectively communicate with them?

Give it try...experiment!


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