Emotional Hazards to Your Success

The best decisions are made with a clear head: no emotional tugs, no buried resentments, no alternative agendas.  That’s the ideal.  Maintaining clarity is much easier to do when evaluating someone else’s proposal or working with someone you don’t know well.

But it gets messy when dealing with people we know or if our views are tainted with the perspective of past experience.  For women, sometimes those emotions get in the way of effectively communicating in business.

Emotions are good.  When I work with women, I make sure to clearly tell them not to “stuff” their emotions.

It is the “reactive” emotions that can get in the way of effectively asking for what we want.    When I discuss reactive emotions, I’m not talking about passion for your cause. I’m talking about anger, defensiveness, impatience, and sometimes crying. Emotions born out of reactions can impair your credibility.

Julie, one of my professional coaching clients, was in a job doing repetitive, routine work.   As I worked with her, it became clear that she wanted more variety, challenge, and team leadership responsibility.  With the help of lessons learned in our individual coaching sessions about making her business case, she strategically and successfully maneuvered herself into a project manager position within her company.  Over the next year, she made significant accomplishments in a high-profile initiative.

Having clearly demonstrated her capability, Julie felt her pay and job classification should be upgraded to reflect her new role.  She grew upset when her boss didn’t initiate this conversation with her.  She did all the hard work and achieved the results–why didn’t he notice?

I worked with Julie to make the business case for what she wanted, without letting her emotions cloud her message and goals.

  1. Julie’s first step was to clear the reactive emotions.  She used the tools I taught her to empty her emotional basket and get clear on her need underneath the complaint.  For Julie, her hard work had not been recognized, and that was triggering her anger.
  2. She then identified her clear request.  She wanted a raise and promotion.
  3. She stated the facts (and just the facts) and asked directly for what she wanted.

When Julie put forth her case to her boss, he was surprised and very impressed.  Her business case was compelling.  She stayed calm, even in the face of an initial challenge that would have previously triggered an emotional response.  Julie’s request was granted – immediately.

It is possible to clearly and effectively ask for, and receive what we want if we prepare ourselves methodically and with clarity.

My goal as a coach is to provide executive, leadership and career coaching designed to address the skills required to overcome barriers to career advancement and develop practical skills that can be applied immediately. I do this all through individual attention in my one-on-one coaching sessions. Please visit my website for more information.

You could be the next career success story!

Photo credit: G. Suriyaraks/Shutterstock

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Susan Hodge

Susan Hodge

Susan Hodge created Women Leading Together in order to provide one-on-one executive coaching, seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling professional lives. Visit our website for upcoming programs, articles, and resources to advance your career.


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