Sunday, 1 November 2020

Overcoming frustrating moments at the workplace

 Overcoming frustrating moments at the workplace

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)

One of the destructing emotions in the workplace is getting frustrated, that too frequently. Getting frustration is not an issue, but being frustrated feelings for a longer time will affect the quality of work, and eventually, it affects your well-being.
What is meant by frustration?

It is the feeling of being upset or annoyed with someone you can not change immediately. It is an outcome of helplessness in the situation or with someone.
For example,

You may be easily frustrated.

When you are not recognized for your contribution/effort, and you may think your work seems to be pointless at some point in time.

When your partner or junior colleagues are not delivering to your expectation despite your  repetitive mentoring and guidance

When you are loaded with many activities and with limited resources, you may feel that you cannot cope with others' expectations or requirements.


In all the examples, you can observe one typical pattern: a misalignment of reality vs. expectation. That is the moment you get frustrated.
What will happen when we allow frustration to continue?

When we are in frustration mode for a longer time, that will manifest into anger, outburst to someone, or sometimes when you suppress, it will affect your self-esteem.
Dealing with frustration:
  1. Realize the fact that the workplace world will not have the same alignment with your expectations. Getting disappointment sometimes is inevitable. How quickly we bounce back from frustration or channelize it to higher-level emotion is essential to learn.
  2. Express it to your trusted circle :
                When you have disappointment, and you can not do anything about it, at least in the short term, you can express your feeling of frustration to someone who can understand and listen to you. When you speak and get listened to, most of the time, you are subsidizing the pain.
However, it would help if you had someone trusted, more mature than you to look at the issues from a different perspective. The trusted person can be your spouse, colleagues, or friends, mainly external to the workplace.
         3. Look at the frustration moments in the broad realm of life.
This approach is more effective in dealing with frustration. For example, if you are not given due recognition in a particular event, how will it affect your overall life? How important is it given the privileges you have in other aspects of life.? The point is when you look at your frustration moments in the realm of a larger life, the problem becomes small.

        4.Deal directly with the source:

  The last approach is to get into the dialogue with someone who made you frustrated. Some times it works.

To sum up,

Getting frustration is normal for all of us as human beings. The smartness is quickly recognizing it and channelize it through any of the above approaches rather than dwell on it for a longer duration.
You can not change the circumstances, which makes you frustrated, but you can channelize it if you are aware of your emotions instantly. That calls for self-awareness and enhancing your perspectives.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Dealing with Fear-Taking Action

 Dealing with Fear-Taking Action 

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)

Having discussed the two steps in dealing with the fear, let us understand the 3rd step, which is more powerful in overcoming fear. That is confronting the fear through ACTION.

As discussed, being aware of your fear WITHIN and Knowing more about fear through enhancing perspectives all lead to half of the battle won. Real confidence comes when we take action against fear. We can not build confidence through external stimuli all the time. Absolute certainty will be made deeply at the subconscious level only by doing and experiencing through actions.
For example,

You may have fear about your public speaking capability. You may be aware of your inner fear and learn many public speaking techniques through various external sources like books and from others. Still, you may struggle with inner fear. You can overcome fear only when you take action by speaking in a small group.

When you speak in a small group and experience success, your subconscious mind registers the successful event. Next time, when you speak in larger groups, your mind pushes you with positive reinforcement of earlier success, and you may do well. Again, the mind registers this event as a positive reinforcement. This way only, you can overcome the fear of public speaking of any size.

The point is you are overcoming the fear only by taking action instead of stopping at the first two steps. Most of us are comfortable in the first two steps.

Similarly, in a professional environment, you may fear of new initiatives or new policies or processes in the organization. Fear is natural. The only way to manage fear is by taking action as follows.
  1. Recognize it
  2. Enhancing the perspectives through external sources
  3. Confronting it by taking ACTION in small and extend it
The choice we have is either fearful or FACE it through ACTION.
If you are fearful, the fear engulfs you. When you confront it through action, you have control over fear. It is a process that requires awareness and action!

Let us discuss other disturbing emotions next week!

Have a great week, till then!

Dealing with Fear- Rationalise it.

 Dealing with Fear- Rationalise it.

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)

Last two weeks, we discussed the intricacy of FEAR and the 3-step process of dealing with fear, either imaginary fear or fact-based fear.

2.Subsidize with rational thinking
3.Confront it through action
Having discussed step1 Recognize last week, let us understand more about step 2

Subsidize with rational thinking:

Fear is just an emotion. The emotion can be subsidized with rational thinking with datapoints s or enhancing the perspective.

For example,

you may have a fear of exposing yourself to larger audiences on public speaking. That is natural.

You can subsidize the emotions with logical input by asking yourself. 

What will happen in the worst case if I present myself?
Do i have any past experience of failure?
What was the context?
How are others doing, and what techniques are they adopting?

When you enhance your logical perspective from other's experience, books, observation, you eventually subsidize any emotional aspect, say fear. It just needs awareness and practice of looking at emotions with logical data points.
In one of the retailing organizations, the management wanted to bring a reform in its sales and cash management aspects. Still, they feared losing the existing customers even though the reform would help all in the long run.

How did they manage the fear?

First, the management team had recognized and admitted the fear of losing. That led to the second step.

 Second, they checked with few customers on a trial basis and also learned the best practices from the other industries, which helped them to enhance the perspectives on dealing with the fear of losing. 

Third, they implemented clear policies and communication processes to the dealers, and to their surprise, the market accepted the initiative.
The key learnings are that fear is emotion and natural. Eventually, it can be offset with reasoning. For which, we need to widen the perspective!

Let us discuss step 3 next week!

Till then, have a great week ahead.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Dealing with fear -Recognize it !

 Dealing with fear -Recognize it !

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)


Last week, we discussed FEAR and its dimension. Fear is unique to each individual, and through awareness and structured process, we can overcome some of the imaginary and fact-based fears.

In my personal experience, there is 3 step approach to deal with any fear.

  • Recognize
  • Subsidize with rational thinking
  • Confront through Action


First, we need to be aware of the reality that we are afraid of something. This step calls for self-introspection and honest ourselves to admit the fear.

We tend to display some of the behaviors or patterns when we have Feared of something

  1. Try to be a high perfectionist to avoid criticism or rejection
  2. Try to procrastinate the activities by citing some reasons
  3. Want to say NO but not able to do so
  4. Hiding behind excessive work or social media or other distracting activities
  5. Micromanaging the task of self and others

 Fear is an emotion; the individual only can identify the inherent pattern related to fear and acknowledge it. Once you recognize the pattern, you are in a position to address it.

For example, one of my clients struggled with micromanaging and was comfortable doing the task himself. During the probing process, he realized and admitted his fear of delegating the job to someone as they spoil his reputation. That moment is the turning point for transformation. The moment he recognized the fear, he was ready for the next step in dealing with the fear.

The key is to recognize the feeling of fear. 

The action point is to list down all the fear you have in all aspects of life and classify the fears like fear of rejection, failure, visibility, success, etc. Also, categorize them, whether imaginary or fact-based.That is the first step in dealing with fear, either imaginary or fact-based!

Let us discuss the other two steps next week.!

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Dealing with FEAR

 Dealing with FEAR

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)

One more emotion, if not handled well, that affects personal effectiveness in the workplace, is FEAR. The fear could be loss of job, employees, customers, or loss of finance or fear of rejection or failure in any effort or initiative. The list is countless, and it depends on the individual.

Dealing with fear is not an easy task for all, as the FEAR itself has many dimensions and complex.

Imaginary vs. Fact:

Imaginary fear is something we have in our thoughts and not necessarily present in reality. Some of the fears are an exaggregated version of our thought process.

For example,

what will happen if i fail in my effort or new venture?
What will my colleagues think about me if i ask this question in an open forum?.

The other type of fear is based on the fact; it is reasonable because it is based on the data or fact.

For example,

How can i pay my EMI as my bank account is zero?
How i can face the customer as i did not deliver as committed? 

Whether we have fear due to over exaggregated thoughts or facts, it certainly affects the well being and quality of work in the workplace.

Research studies show that only two fears like fear of falling and fear of loud noise are inborn with us. The other fears are developed by ourselves since childhood experience and the environment. Hence the intensity of fear will vary to everyone.

Another dimension of fear is that one person may have courage in one aspect of life, and the same person may have fear in other aspects.

For example, one person is very bold enough to start a business where most of the population looks at his/ her courage with surprise. Still, the same person may have a fear of scaling up or dealing with a difficult employee or customer.

So, the fear factor is unique to each one depending on the time, context, situation, or environment.

However, we can deal with some of the imaginary or fact-based fears with three steps approach as i experienced. 
2. Subsidize with rational thinking
3. Confront with Action 

We will discuss each step with examples next week!

Practicing Self Compassion

 Practicing Self Compassion

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)

In continuation of last week's discussion on overcoming low-level emotions, There are two situations in which we feel low, one is for unknown reasons, and another is for the known cause.
Having discussed the method of dealing with low emotions for unknown reasons, let us understand the process of dealing with low emotions due to known causes.
Sometimes, we feel low due to disappointment, failure in a task despite the effort, rejection by others, etc.
For example, you prepared a proposal to get a new customer order, and despite your best efforts, you failed to win through. You may undergo the pain of losing the opportunity. Now, you feel low due to disappointment, your lack of negotiation skills, or any other factors. You have two choices to overcome the low-level emotion.

The first choice is getting into self-criticism for the failure, labeling you as unlucky, and get into self-pity. This choice pulls down your resilence power. The other choice for overcoming the low-level emotion is through self-compassion.
What is meant by self-compassion?

Self-compassion is about being kind of yourself when you are suffering from pain or low-level emotions.

We generally compassionate with others when they undergo suffering. We give them support by looking at the problem rationally and help them to overcome. But when we suffer, most of us are not self-compassionate. Instead, we get into self-criticism or self-pity mode, which aggravates the low-level emotions further.
How to practice self-compassion? 
First, accept the failure and the fact. Second, recognize your efforts and feel good about that. Also, realize that others are also going through similar pain in the world, and it is not something new that happened to you.

Once you practice self-compassion with kindness and neutral, you are overcoming the low-level emotions. You are in a position to look at the failure in an objective way to avoid mistakes in the future. You are inclined to learn from the mistake. This self-compassionate quality will help you to improve your resilience from failure quickly.
Practicing self-compassion during a tough time is essential for our well being and look at the problems from a different perspective. The practice of self-compassionate will come through self-awareness!.

Overcoming low-level emotions

 Overcoming low-level emotions  

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)

One of the common problems most of us are experiencing in the workplace is getting into the mode of low-level feeling for an unknown reason and for the known reasons.

To get more clarity on the context, you come across the situations of feeing sudden sadness, feeling empty, not knowing what to do next despite a lot of activities are pending, doubting our capabilities despite many successes and achievements in our work. That is feeling low for no reason.

In another context, we may feel low due to the failure of our efforts, for example, failed to get the new order or customer, not able to convince the manager, not able to present our views with colleagues and stuck, etc. That is feeling low for specified reasons.

Both the context drains the emotions and not to be useful for personal and professional effectiveness. Each context calls for a different approach to deal with

How to deal when we feel low for no reason?

First, we need to be aware that at that moment we are feeling low and face it directly. We need to acknowledge and admit that being in sad emotions once in a while is normal for everyone.

But given the options of many distractions, we use to switch over to browsing, scanning through WhatsApp, social media, or getting into a conversation with others. The reality is after spending time with all the distractions, again we come to same state of feeling low. When this process repeats, eventually we turned out to be a victim of low-level emotions.

Hence instead of looking for a diversion, practice to deal with it and that makes you ease. Initially, we find it difficult to practice.

Once you give time for acknowledging and allowing the low-level emotions to settle down, it, quickly you may bounce back with new energy levels as i experienced many times.

But how to deal with the feeling of low for a specified reason? There only we need to practice more about self-compassion and let us learn next week!

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Ignoring Petty Issues

 Ignoring Petty Issues

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)
As we are discussing channelizing the negative emotions towards positive, one more negative emotion most of us get stuck at the workplace is giving too much personal attention to petty issues.

What is meant by petty issues?
Petty issues are the unimportant, insignificant moments or activities that are not adding any value to our position and our standard.

For example,

some of the petty things we come across in the workplace where we spend time on it to fix it, which can be ignored or can be attended by somebody else.
  1. When a meaningful conversation is going on, giving attention to air temperature, noise, and start adjusting or diverting all attention towards it.
  2. When two people are arguing over some issues, encouraging any one of them instead of containing it
  3. When a team member is presenting some important proposal, try to pinpoint or correct some grammatical or numerical errors which can divert the sense of urgency or interest of the presenter.
  4. Taking credit of some one's contribution and not acknowledging others 
  5. Dwelling more on gossips or assumptions or complaining or  giving an opinion on matters where we do not have any influence
  6. Holding the information and not sharing as if we created everything
The list may be added depending on the individual and context.

Impact of giving attention to petty things :

When you observe all the above examples those are all draining our energy or emotions from higher-level purpose or focus.

We need to more conscious about our attention towards petty things when we go up in the positional hierarchy as it affects personal and organizational productivity.

I observed some effective business heads are good at using their emotions on higher-level objectives by deliberately avoiding to get into petty issues.I had worked with one CEO  who was very keen on his agenda and never allowed himself or his core team to deviate when they are meeting together. Even when some of his colleagues got into arguments over unrelated topics, the CEO used to request them to settle it outside the meeting and ensured the team on the meeting's objective. That is the consciousness of ignoring petty things and keeping the emotions on a higher-level purpose.
Some of us may misinterpret "micro detailing" and "petty" things. Micro detailing is required for personal development and also for essential issues regarding your positional status. In contrast, petty things are related to trivial stuff regarding your level and do not call for your attention.
Channeling your energy from petty things to important things need your awareness and high-level purpose!

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Avoiding impulsive decisions( Contd..)

 Avoiding impulsive decisions( Contd..) 

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)

Last week we discussed one of the methods to avoid impulsive decisions-i.e Going beyond the numbers or facts with example. Let us understand other methods to avoid impulsive decision making.

Taking timeout for responding:

Except for emergencies, not all business decisions call for immediate reaction or response. We can take time out to make the decision. One of the benefits of taking timeout is that the time makes us think about the alternatives or choices for solutions. When we are making decisions impulsively, we feel as if there is no alternative.

When we give time ourselves, we are thinking about both rationally and emotionally. We are in a position to generate the options and able to evaluate the pros and cons of the options.

Typically we come across situations when dealing through emails. We used to react to mail communication immediately as impulsive and later realized that we could have taken timeout to respond with different choices. Sometime back, i have shared my experience on impulsive way of reacting to email as given in the link.

It just needs the ability to distinguish which decisions call for immediate attention and which decisions can be delayed. Not all workplace decisions need the same level of urgency!
Getting the perspectives from elders or mentors:
The next practical method is to get a perspective from others or mentors on important personal or business decisions. The obvious reason is that when we are emotionally overwhelmed with the problem, we may not see it from the other dimensions. Others could see it from a different perspective because they are not emotionally attached.

Most of us might have experienced that when we were about to make an impulsive decision due to emotions, and when we discussed with others, they provided us simple, rational solutions to the problem.

It requires that we need someone to share the concerns and get different rational perspectives than making impulsive decisions and struggling with the consequences.

How to avoid impulsive decisions?

 How to avoid impulsive decisions?

(Emotional Management for Personal & Professional Growth Series)
As we discussed the importance of avoiding impulsive reaction in the conversation and making hasty decisions on any business aspects, now let us learn some of the methods to avoid impulsive decision making.
1.Going beyond the numbers or facts
2.Taking timeout for responding
3.Getting the perspective from mentors
Going beyond the numbers or facts:

Generally, we believe that "numbers or facts" are the real proof for making the right decisions. However, not in all situations, the facts or numbers will help us to make the right decisions. Instead, the numbers or facts lead us to make impulsive decisions and as a leader, we believe that we are taking logical right choices. We need to look at the scenario from the overall perspective.

For example,

In one of the client organizations, the worker's union put a demand to increase the compensation by quoting an absolute value per annum basis. By seeing that fact, the business head was immediately got angry and reacted to reject the proposal. Eventually, that decision led to the disturbance in the operations for some time. The disruption in the operations costs more than what the people put it as a request. Later, when the business head analyzed the demand in detail, he realized the impact was minimal daily compared to the losses they incurred.

The key realization is that the business head reacted to the mere fact rather than looking at the issue holistically in terms of the overall cost to the company, business continuity, and goodwill.

We may come across many situations in the workplace when we look at only on the number or facts, and we tend to react impulsively both positively and negatively. In either way, it would affect us professionally. It just needs awareness.

Let us discuss other methods in next week!