Bigger than the Trigger

Dealing with Feelings at Work


Feelings at work are plentiful. We like to think that at work we only use our minds. But the human factor is real, and it influences everything that we do at work and beyond. In fact, there are some feelings typically associated with work. Humans have feelings, and so do employees. Question is not if. Question is, how to deal with them. The 3 typical feelings and the possible solutions discussed below.


1. Feeling left out and the power of asking yourself one question

Here’s the rule: the bigger the company, the bigger the chances of employees feeling left out. It’s important to stress that this feeling has nothing to do with the objective reality, and therefore objective means and measures cannot fix it. Feeling left out leads to disengagement at work, which inevitably impacts productivity. One of the best strategies to eradicate the feeling of being left out is by asking oneself one question: What can I do in the next 5 minutes to serve my client? It can be something as simple as a check-in call, but it will move the needle in the right direction. Answering this one question every day for 2 weeks eliminates the feeling at around 90% rate.


2. Fear of feedback and the psychology of reverse question

Around 80% of employees fear feedback from their superiors, their peers, and their inferiors. Put it simply, everyone. That’s some awful news bearing in mind that feedback is something that happens to all employees on a continuous basis. The psychological trick to get over it is to reverse it into a question. For example, if a colleague says “too slow”, the reverse question would be “what it would take to speed up?” A matter of angle? Yes, but it makes a difference in terms of feedback tolerance. And also makes the feedback much more targeted and much more applicable.


3. Lack of control and managing of the self

Feeling lack of control is spread among CxO much as among lower-level managers. It is not the objective position that makes employees feel “powerless”. It is rather a feeling that stems from lack of self management. We are used to managing others and the processes. But when was the last time we managed ourselves, consciously? Since one cannot control the others, it is always a better option to take full control of the corporate self. Prioritizing the functions in terms of self preference is a good place to start. If employees start doing the things that are aligned with what they believe matter most, they will feel good at work. And studies show that people are 87% more likely to perform just because they “feel good” at work. Genius.


So, employees can’t avoid feelings at work, and ignoring them only puts off the problem. It is therefore a much better idea to deal with the feelings at work. If employees consciously take control of their feelings, the by-product is increased satisfaction and the output. Win-win.