Sunday, June 25th, 2017


Top leaders need optimism to meet challenges with hope and to encourage ‘can do’ energy in their organizations. Many leaders come by optimism naturally. Many others learn to fake it which others smell fast and becomes seen as false. I want to raise the blind spot of ignoring negative feelings
for fear they will spread. Not realizing them can cause all kinds of surprise and disaster.
I read the following about how to know and identify what you are feeling and how to
acknowledge it (so you don’t get stuck in denial) but also how to move on quickly so you don’t grow the negative.

I did not write the following and when and if I find out where it came from, I will let you know.
(It was in my notebook)

In our current feel-good self-improvement culture, we’re encouraged to only acknowledge positive emotions and feelings. Shove down the negative stuff and pretend it doesn’t exist. All that is fine until you have a negative emotion that won’t be silenced, and I’m betting all of you have been there before.

It’s stupid to pretend everything is fine and that you don’t experience negative, even humiliating, emotions. What is smart is to use neuroscience to figure out what to do with them so they don’t sabotage your best efforts to move forward.

How to make it work for you

—Nip negative thoughts and emotions in the bud when they first appear and are at their weakest.

—Label each emotion for what it truly is, not just what sounds good to you.

—Call out the emotion by name: shame, envy, anger, jealousy, lust, etc

—Describe the emotion in a word or two; be succinct and to the point.Do not enter a dialogue about the emotion; anything more than one or two words will only give it legs with which to run wild.

—Resist attempts to justify the emotion. Notice it and move on

It’s a tricky balance to face reality head-on and to model and maintain the optimism needed for you organization to move forward with confidence.  Start by knowing what you are feeling because the organization will reflect it back to you. The company is your mirror of its emotional tone which, ironically, is set by you. So choose what you want to perpetuate.


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