3 Lessons to Build Emotional Agility at Work

Tuesday 28 December 2022

How we manage our emotions in the workplace has an impact on individual, team and organisational success. Celebrated Harvard psychologist, Dr Susan David, defines emotional agility as “the ability to experience thoughts and emotions in a way that encourages us to reveal the best of ourselves.” Here are three tips to sharpen your skills today.

 

2:00 min
Lesson #1: Reframe failure

In particular work cultures, such as Netflix, leaders see added value when employees take risks, fail and “sunshine” their errors. This reduces the likelihood of subsequent defeats, allowing the organisation to thrive. Scientific evidence suggests that when we recognise our mistakes as something not to be ashamed of, failure becomes a learning opportunity to build resilience. This reframing process helps us “absorb the results of the experience more gracefully and with less angst,” explains Susan Peppercorn, an executive coach. Here are 4 tips to making failure work for you.

Lesson #2: Mind our perceptions

We can practice emotional agility by candidly addressing our thoughts and behaviours instead of insistently reacting with emotions. “When your team is able to bounce back from mistakes and maintain positivity,” explains John Hall, author of Top of Mind, “your entire company will benefit.” Experts recommend detaching from emotions to observe the situation from a broader, less sentimental angle and realign yourself with your core values. Here are 3 ways to help us reset with a new work attitude.

Lesson #3: Engaging in honest dialogue

Avoid dwelling on frustrations alone and seek out genuine and unbiased discussions with the people you trust. Consider and tackle issues together, leveraging the power of thought diversity to glean valuable insights and move on to the next task with renewed energy and focus. Here are 3 essentials to growing your inner circle in a hybrid workplace today.