The result is that we create habits that block our ability to use emotional information when we make decisions and communicate with others. Ask most people how they feel and they say, “Fine.” Some say it with no emotion. Others reveal their true state in the inflection and volume of their voice. Yet few people actually stop to assess their condition. Of those who would, most would think twice before telling the truth unless they were feeling absolutely marvelous. Even those who would love to express how upset they are in the moment choose to remain tight-lipped, secretly hoping the asker will psychically sense their pain and show remorse.
In short, we weren’t taught in school how to access and use the wisdom of our emotions. Then when our emotions affect our work, we are sent to classes that focus on emotional control, such as the standard courses in conflict resolution, change management and handling stress. These classes are generally limited to one-day “fix-it” programs that teach communication skills which are quickly forgotten when under pressure back on the job. And, if you are a manager, you probably don’t even show up for class unless some-one higher than you insists that you attend.
I rarely find a company interested in the investment needed to train its employees to recognize and constructively talk about their emotions on the job. Even fewer are concerned about altering emotions so that people are happy at work.
Most people don’t even have the literacy to define how they feel when asked. We understand the meaning of the words academically, but have difficulty defining what we are experiencing in ourselves at any given moment.
Our cognitive brains have lost touch with our bodies except in extreme cases of excitement or pain.
We miss important data and, even worse, have learned
to numb ourselves to our senses.
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