Allow me to present a simple and effective way to think about your emotions as it relates to interacting with other people.
Emotions enhance or detract from communication and connection. First, they shape your content through what you focus on vs. ignore, what you prioritize, and the words you use. Second, they affect the manner, style, and tone of communication. The influence of your emotions over these factors will either make your communication better or worse, strengthening connections or creating, possibly deepening, disconnections.
Disentangle from the confusing mess of emotions and communication by clarifying your primary mission. As I see it, the aim is to (1) understand your feelings and (2) put them into words that connect with others.
The two big mistakes during emotional communication are because someone expresses emotions they don't fully understand, making it nearly impossible for anyone else to understand. And because they express their feelings in ways that don't connect with people, or worse, disconnect from people.
Remember these two questions and let them guide you the next time you're entering an emotionally active conversation:
"How well do I understand my feelings around this?"
"How do I express my feelings through a combination of words and styles that will connect with this person/audience?"
Answer the call. Do the work.
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Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.