How much do you think your emotions are involved in driving your performance? More perhaps than you think. Here we discuss working with your emotions.

Some people are very emotional – always shouting or getting angry at the slightest provocation. Others get upset and cry. Other people keep the way they feel checked while focussing on doing a job in a reliable yet dispassionate manner.

Emotions, however, are a fundamental part of everything that we do. As you read this article you will be experiencing an emotional response. How (and what) you’re feeling and experiencing will be due to many factors and will drive how you behave.


The way you feel is influenced by what is happening in your life, what is happening around you, the influences that other people are having on you, your interest in the article and the subject matter, your experiences, etc., etc.

If this article resonates with you in a particular way, it may be life-changing prompting you to think about your emotions more deeply.

Your emotional response may include elements of boredom, frustration, guilt, interest, fascination, excitement, curiosity, happiness, satisfaction, etc. Whatever you are experiencing,  this may change over the next few seconds in tiny, unrecognisable ways or they may lurch into a completely recognisable emotion.

These changes in emotions are ongoingly influenced by:

  • Your personality
  • Your psychological state
  • Your physiology and many other factors affect the internal mechanisms of your body.

If you are feeling unwell, if you are thirsty or if you need the toilet there will be an emotional component in how you choose to respond.

The way you feel can be influenced by how you are responding through your senses to your immediate environment, to other people – what they say and do, and to many other external factors that affect you. For example, you will experience an emotional response if it is too cold or too hot or if people are interrupting you or making too much noise.

So your internal state of mind is being influenced all the time. Your brain does an extremely good job of working to make sense of everything, filtering out most of the information, so that you only become consciously aware of anything that is relevant.

Navigation System

Your emotions are able to help you to make better, more informed choices. They signal to you that you need to take action and can provide the motivation and impulse for you, and others around you, to take this action. Emotions are also involved in controlling your learning.

There is no general taxonomy of emotions. Due to their subjective nature, they are difficult to describe and define as we have different responses to situations. Sometimes these emotions cannot be rationalised – you may feel emotion just because you do!

Your emotions blend together and are in constant flux. Concentrating for too long on one particular emotion and how it makes you feel will change into something different.

Your behaviour is a direct response to your emotional state although if the emotion can be felt without the corresponding behaviour then that behaviour is not essential to the emotion.

To try to work better with your emotions reflect on them, monitor them and blend them in with your thinking. Stay open to feelings identifying how you feel and how others are feeling.

Real or Fake?

Detecting real emotions as opposed to those that are fake is a good start. Actors and actresses are very good at portraying emotions masking their true emotional state. They’re also very good at projecting their emotions in a way that can have an emotional impact on the observer. Look how your emotions are affected by good drama, music and by art and what these changes mean for you.

Recognise what events are likely to trigger emotional responses and how they combine into complex blends progressing over time and changing from one to another. Your understanding of emotions can be improved by providing a rich emotional vocabulary for greater precision in describing feelings and blends of feelings.

Working with emotions is not easy. Understanding yourself and how you work with your emotions is the key to better self-management. Then, you’re in a better position to understand how other people are affected and how to work with their emotions.

  • About the Author
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I am an emotional intelligence coach, trainer, and facilitator with over 35 years’ business and commercial experience. I am the author of “The Authority Guide to Emotional Resilience in Business” and “The Authority Guide to Behaviour in Business” part of The Authority Guides series. I have the most comprehensive range of emotional intelligence courses available on the internet taken by over 250,000 learners in 175+ countries. If you would like to discuss how online learning can develop resilience, emotional intelligence, or leadership across your organisation, give me a call on 07947 137654 or email me at [email protected]