Don’t bring your emotional baggage to work? You must have heard several times.  If you can agree with me that it’s not a good idea to do so, is it really realistic to think you can actually park your emotions outside the door when you show up at work? Emotions play a really important role on how you perform at work.  But if you are in the people business and let’s say your work in the hospitality industry aren’t emotions playing a key role in the customer experience? So what about the role emotions play in your employee experience?

Let’s agree emotions do play an important role. That’s said, based on your level of self-awareness, emotions can do more harm than good in your work environment. That is what “self-limiting” or “self-destructive” behavior is all about.  You can certainly learn a lot dealing with your own issues however, putting your emotions in a box should be the last thing you want to do before coming to work.

We all had stressful situation to deal with. Let me give you a concrete example. I was 37 when I became a mum, same year I decided it was time for me to return to Europe after spending most of my working life in Mexico. I got a job opportunity in Switzerland with my employer at that time and my Mexican husband accepted to leave his job and follow me with our 4 months old girl. So to be honest I was passionate about what I was doing and I was determined to meet the challenge head on and overcome any obstacles on the way. However, I must say I felt a lot of emotions during the 1st two and a half year period and I tried to deny some in order to focus on my new job challenge and because it is what you are supposed to do in a Business environment. Not to leave you hanging, eventually things get better and it has been an amazing personal growth for me.

However, if you try to deny your emotions and feeling and try to park them, chances are you will take it out at some point and problems will arise at work.

With that in mind and based on my experience I believe the best thing to do is to use what you feel as a motivation and to do so below some tips how to make it work:

  • Acknowledge and be aware of your emotions. Before walking in a meeting or at work deal with those feelings. Are you in a better or worse mood as usual? Sounds really simple however we are really good at “burying in the subconscious what the conscious mind may not want to deal with”.
  • Try to understand. As soon as you have identified that something with your behavior is out of the ordinary, don’t ignore it. Emotions are critical signs of what’s going on inside you. If you can, find some alone time and get to the bottom of what’s really going on.
  • Use it as a motivation. Emotions can drive you to do great things, often to prove to yourself what you are capable of doing in spite of the obstacles. And this is valuable. Don’t become your own enemy and see emotions only as a negative consequence.
  • When it comes to unusual emotions try to be aware of your behavior. You might be more excited or short-tempered than usual, so give others a heads up and pay attention to feedback. If your colleagues see and tell you what you are not aware of, it is worth listening.

Whatever you decide to do with your emotions, don’t just put them in a box as you will be making a huge mistake.  You can have those emotions work for you rather than against you. A great approach to success is an openness to feedback and willingness to see yourself from an external view, especially your emotions laden behavior.  It takes a lot of courage to drop masks.

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Catherine Rey Sales & Marketing Manager

Catherine joined LHC as Sales & Marketing Manager in December 2015. Her role involves developing and implementing the LHC’s Sales & Marketing plan and promote the Executive Education career development programmes around the globe.

Prior to LHC, she worked in the International Education industry for over 5 years both in Mexico and Switzerland, where she moved with her family in 2013. She represented in Latin America prestigious wine and spirit brands within the Hospitality industry for over 10 years. She worked closely with International Hotels, government institutions and corporate executives and multinationals and had to support them in the international implementation of their educational projects.

She is a graduate in International Business from the University of Blaise-Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand France and spent her last year of study in the University of Oklahoma Price College of Business USA. She followed several wine and spirit training both in France and Mexico. She lived in 5 different countries and enjoy multicultural environments where relationships, new ideas, innovation and original concepts are valued. She appreciates being challenged and strongly believe in enhancing the customer experience to growing the business.

While not at work, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband and go for long walks by the lake. She is passionate about wine and like to organize tastings of wines from different regions and countries for her family and friends.