Effective Communication When Emotional

Recognizing your emotional responses is self-awareness. According to Whetten and Cameron it’s okay to express your emotions and be heard. In fact, co-workers appreciate the passion or the honesty in the emotions.  If the emotions create a positive impact, then I think it’s okay. On the other hand, if it is directed at someone then it could send the incorrect message damaging relationships, which you never want to happen.  In those cases, we have to be sensitive of other people feelings.  The next time your emotions swell up and you are about to blow a gasket, express yourself with conviction or reserve your comments if you think they will cause more harm than good, e.g. never burn a bridge, damage a relationship or hurt someone’s feelings.

Encourage others around you to express their feelings freely without reprisal.  It’s best to get it on the table versus harboring the emotion and regretting not speaking up.  Conscious and clear communication expressed with the right intentions and right tone can lead to a mature relationship. In either case everyone should feel heard and understood.  Stephen Covey, Habit 5, said it best “seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

When we feel the urge to have an emotional outburst, do we fully understand the situation? In many cases, I would guess no we don’t understand the situation.  However, if we probe to find out more information we may discover rash action can be more damaging to our character and it may take a long time to repair it. If we would take more time to actively communicate, then it may be all the time we need to be an effective communicator without ever losing our cool.

Critical thinking has helped me process my thoughts before I speak out when in challenging situation.  The Critical Thinking model is RED: R=recognize the assumption, E: evaluate the argument, D: draw a conclusion.  There’s a link on the side bar for more information.

Kevin Powell, Sales Professional


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