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Ask Thoughtful Questions

If we want to allow for a better expression of emotion, we need to move beyond basic questions such as, “How are you?”, “Are you ok?” or “What’s wrong?” While these are common phrases, they don’t allow people to express what they are truly feeling. Consider the following alternatives:

  • It seems you are (angry), what happened that led you to feel that way?
  • Tell me more about what is going on for you right now?
  • This project will bring up a lot of unknowns. Let’s talk about everyone’s fears if we move forward.


70 reads


Recognizing The Real, Natural Emotions

The real emotion (fear, anger, sadness, contempt) is often the very one we want to avoid. They often feel painful, and we lack the skills to proactively manage them. Holding space allows us to process and express our feelings when we are ready. When we leave room to recognize our feelings, we mig...


70 reads

Look For Small Clues And Triggers

“Should” is a trigger word. When we say that we “should” or “shouldn’t” be feeling something, it is a clue that we are not ready to move forward from our emotional state. Stay with what is. Avoid shaming someone (or yourself) for feeling a certain way or brushing things off when they really are a...


75 reads

Being Positive

Researchers acknowledge the consequences of negative emotions and the benefits of positive emotions on our physical and mental wellbeing. Studies in positive psychology prove that people who react in a positive manner in the workplace have stronger relationships, greater psychological safety, and...


170 reads

The Role Of Emotional Intelligence

When we suppress negative emotions, we fail to give ourselves or others a chance to grapple with them. The more we can improve expressing and receiving emotional responses, the more we can authentically share our positive and negative feelings in a healthy way. Managing emotions comes from buildi...


96 reads

Cultivating A Growth Mindset

Cultivating a growth mindset starts with believing that we can change and grow over time to be better. Use this strategy to acknowledge that, in this moment, you are sad, angry, or fearful, but that you will work through it and come out better for it.

It is an internal dialogue that says, ...


78 reads

Emotional Complexity

It’s difficult to divulge how we are feeling in an honest way, especially when we feel pressured to confess an unpleasant emotion to our coworkers. Maybe we view this reaction as a sign of weaknesses or vulnerability, or maybe we are in denial about our true feelings. So, we put on a happy face a...


105 reads

Toxic Positivity

Positivity was never meant to exclude the experience of negative emotions. Toxic positivity is defined as the denial, suppression or _ignoring _of negative emotions.

It’s happiness at all costs and the belief that our interactions with family, friends, and coworkers must exclude ...


309 reads

The Value Of Negative Emotions

The perspective we take is that some emotions are good, and others are bad. We convince ourselves that that if we can avoid the bad feelings and force the good feelings, everything will just fall into place. Actually, emotions are neutral. We label some of our emotions negative because they are h...


86 reads

Jumping To Conclusions

One of our previous consultants used to remind us: “You can’t tell your story while you are in it.” We often try and understand our situation too soon. Sometimes, we just need to be in the moment. Be okay with feeling sad. Be aware of our fears or recognize our anger. The lessons unfold over time...


83 reads




Working with people is hard enough, being a boos is not enough. Being a leader is what we should strive for.

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Ask Questions

Ask Questions

Someone might resort to guilt when they don’t know how to advocate for themselves in more direct ways.

If you notice signs suggestive of guilt-tripping, use open-ended questions to encourage them to express themselves directly:

  • “You seem upset. What’s going on?”
  • “It s...

Moving Beyond Emotional Rigidity

Moving Beyond Emotional Rigidity

When we go through tough situations, we cannot ignore our negative emotions with the hope that they don't matter.

Write down what you are truly feeling in a personal notebook. Move beyond the rigidity of denial.



21. Write your thoughts all down on a piece of paper, no matter how crazy, mean, sad, or terrifying they are. Tear it up, burn it, whatever you need to do to let it go.

22.Turn off and inwards. Think about your happy moments and what your big dreams are and how you can make them happen.



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