hello, everyone. Welcome to episode number 14 of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer. I'm really thrilled to be here with you again. Tonight, actually, I have had to switch my podcast recording studio and schedule [laughter] to at home and in the middle of the night while the children are sleeping. I'm sure you know what that's like. I feel like this time in the world is testing our flexibility as human beings, and so I commend you for making it work.
That is basically the time that we are in right now is having flexibility and making things work. I hope that you're healthy. I hope that you're strong. And I hope that you are doing as well as possible during this time in your life.
In today's episode, I'm going to be talking to you about managing your emotions at work. And I'm calling this the Working From Home edition.
But first, I want to start off with what might be coming up for you right now when I say the word emotions. I'm sure you're having daily meetings with your boss. It seems to be the standard now. And the number one question that people are getting asked by their boss is, "Are you okay?" They're also being asked, "Is your team okay? Make sure you keep us up to date if people aren't doing okay." And so this seems to be the number one question. And what I'm hearing from all of the corporate managers that I'm speaking to each week is that they're basically saying, "Yes, I am okay. Our team is okay."
And basically, they're saying, "We're healthy. We're making it work. We're managing things, and we're getting by." Yeah, they don't want to talk about the fact that their insides are screaming and they're not sleeping at night and their child is just outside the door because that would be TMI.
But I just want to-- I just want to recognize that there's lots of emotions that are happening for you right now, and that is not exactly what I'm going to be talking about today. I'm not going to be talking about how you're managing your stress levels or how you're staying healthy or are you getting enough sleep, are you able to negotiate childcare with your spouse, are you keeping yourself out of the weeds because there's a lot of information out there right now to manage your stress levels, to meditate, mindfulness practices. And this is what I'm doing on a daily basis to keep myself in check. And I just suggest to you there, just do whatever it takes, whatever it takes to help you get through this time. That is the most important thing.
But what I am going to talk to you about today is about those emotional challenges that have been there for you all along. You know what I mean. Long before this virus ever happened, long before you ever had to work from home, long before there were layoffs at your organization, you had that annoying co-worker. You had that difficult boss. You had stress from having to work 60 hours a week. You had an inability to delegate. You were constantly surrounded by verbose people trying to take credit for everything and droning on and on at team meetings with no value add.
This is the stuff that has been there all along. And as you're probably noticing, it doesn't get any easier now that you are working remotely. It's not only still there, but some of it has even gotten worse. So the the types of emotions that I'm going to be talking about managing today are those emotions. That sense that boils up inside you when you get annoyed at a coworker. Where your mind starts spinning, and you know you should be working on a particular project, but you can't focus because you're so mad at Jim for taking credit for your best idea. Or you can't believe that one of your teammates is still not delivering on what they promised your boss or maybe your boss keeps blocking you and saying things to you like, "Just get back to work."
They don't have any real investment in your professional growth. These are the things that are going to be coming up for you on a regular basis, and that's what I want to help you with today. And I'm also going to shine some light on what you can actually do, now that you have the added benefit of working remotely and having a little space away from this person.
Let me give you an example. So I have a client who is often told that he is too cold at work. He's too task-oriented . He needs to be more vulnerable. He needs to listen more. He needs to be more compassionate. And he thinks that he's really right to be task-oriented . He came from an engineering background. They have certain deliverables. Things need to get done. And so, he's always looking at the bottom line. He's looking at what needs to be done.
So he has this-- He's been given feedback over and over and over again, and it's something he definitely wants to work on. He feels like it would be a value to him as a leader. But the problem is, is that you get a book like EQ 2.0, and it gives you something like "develop your listening skills". And so, he needs to listen more. And so, he decides he's going to take the action of listening, which the first step of listening is "stop talking" [laughter]. And so, he decides he's going to stop talking, and let the other person listen, and just listen to them and let them speak.
And so, I asked him a question when we were specifically talking about a very specific person, and I said, "Do you like that person?"
And he's like, "No [laughter]."
And I said, "Okay." And I said, "Do you respect that person? Do they do good work?"
"Does that person annoy you?"
"Do you have judgment towards that person?"
"Yes. But I'm going to be a good listener. I'm going to try and listen more."
And the problem with this outside-in approach is that people can see right through it. They can still tell that you don't actually care about them. So I'm going to give you a little trick today, and it's actually kind of simple. It's so simple that it feels magical [laughter].
And so, but it's amazing how quickly it actually turns people around and actually allows them to be able to better manage their emotions at work. As you know, my focus as a coach and a leadership expert is getting managers promoted into senior leadership roles. And one of the things I see so often is that when my clients get better at managing their emotions at work, their probability of getting promoted in the very near future skyrockets exponentially. So let me explain to you a little bit about what I mean, is that you are bad at managing your emotions, and you think that you're hiding it well.
So, like now that you're working remotely, you think, "Oh, people can't tell that I'm annoyed at this person. That's just me. It's just affecting me, and my brain's spinning out," and things like that. I'm not actually blowing up at that person at work. But the thing is is that people do notice. They notice that you get frustrated, and sometimes that frustration looks like-- that you disconnect. You stop talking. You don't engage as much in the conversation as you usually would. Or let's say you're constantly spinning out about this person and thinking about this person, and it's distracting you from the work that actually needs to get done.
Your boss is noticing this. People around you are noticing this, and the way that I know that that's true is because when my clients have shifted their behavior, almost instantly, someone comments about how well they handled that situation or how they've noticed a big change in their behavior. So let me give you an example. Go back to that client that I have that is frustrated about this coworker, and he decides that he's going to listen more to him.
So instead, we got to the root of the problem, and I'm going to tell you in a minute about how to actually get to the root of that problem. But he realized, "Oh, I don't like this person, and that's actually okay. I don't have to like this person in order to listen to him. I don't have to actually engage with this person as a friend, but I do need to respect him and give him the time and place to actually present his ideas." And then, if you can layer on top of that a level of curiosity so that you might actually be surprised by one of their ideas, that it might actually be a good idea, then that's when the magic really starts to happen. That's when you can actually see that person for who they really are. They might not be exactly like you, but they could have something to bring to the table. And then, here's the thing-- if they don't-- let's say they're not great.
Let's say they're not that smart, but they don't actually work for you. So there's nothing you can really do about it. If you can disengage and stop making it all about you, then you can also listen. So with this client-- he started to do that. And the way that he did it-- because at first, he still didn't like this person, but he thought, "Oh, whatever. Let me just let the person talk." And he let the person talk a little bit longer. And then, he asked that person questions to try and really understand what he was getting at. And the funny thing is is that [Peter?] actually came around to his ideas. He actually liked my client's ideas better.
And then, my client's boss noticed that the two of them seemed to be collaborating better, and she actually said something to him about how he's actually improving at work. And it seems like he's less task-oriented, less task-focused-- it seems like he's listening more.
So you see how this plays out? So that's the big test. If you think that you're managing your emotions well, but yet, inside, you're still annoyed and have anxiety, but you think that other people aren't seeing it, try something different and see if people notice that. It'll be really interesting because I almost guarantee you're going to get feedback right away that you're doing something quote, unquote, "different," or, quote, unquote, "better," and that's going to tell you that you weren't hiding your emotions all along as well as you thought.
And so if you're somebody who wants to get a promotion over the next six months or a year, this is an excellent place to start. So it it has a double benefit. Not only do you feel better at work, but also you'll actually get the recognition that you deserve. So what is this magic trick that I've been talking about and referring to all along? Values. I'm going to say that again. It's your values. The reason that you are not getting along with somebody or the reasons that you are annoyed at somebody or the reason that you think that they're not doing something that you'd wish that they would do. I alluded to this that, "They are different than you." but essentially what it is is they share a different set of core values than you do.
Now, this may feel insane because let's say one of your top values is responsibility and you think everybody should be responsible, but I'll tell you right now that a lot of peoples' core values is not responsibility. And so if you are constantly annoyed at somebody because they're not delivering on their promises or they boast about their achievements but they don't back it up with anything, that's because responsibility is not one of their core values.
And so if you can just sort of see it as that like, "I have this deep-rooted core value of responsibility and it's being triggered by this other person because they don't have that same value system. They don't care about the same things that I do." It detaches you from them. It makes it not always about you all the time. Do you see how this works? So the first thing that you need to do is get super, super clear on your own core values.
I recommend various different exercises. I actually have a PDF download for all my podcast listeners. You can go to stacymeyer.com/values and download this PDF and when you get this PDF it's going to walk you through a series of exercises so that you can unlock your five core values.
And then the next step is, next time that you get annoyed, I want you to ask yourself, "What is the value that is being triggered right now? Why am I annoyed at this person?" Not the story of it. Not because, "Oh, because they always do this or they always do that and it's so frustrating and so this or that." But really just ask yourself, "What Is being triggered right now?"
Now, I have a ton of clients that are getting triggered by their organizations, so they feel obligated to their employees And they don't feel like the CEO has the same value system as they do. So they can be really, really frustrated about it every single day or like I coached one of my clients, I told her what was happening. I said, "Oh, the reason that you're so frustrated is because you're trying to fight-- you're trying to fight the organization. They clearly have a different set of values right now that are running the game and you're trying to fight them. So let's look at what you can control. Let's actually control how you show up for your team. Let's work on your core values, which we had already identified, and magnify them for your team so that you can really know that you're making a difference at least in the little area of the world that you actually can control."
That's the beauty of leadership is that in a situation like this you have so much power and so much control to be a role model for others. To be an influence and to actually make an impact at your organization. You can make a difference right now for people.
But just get super clear on what's going on for you inside. How are you managing your emotions? What is being triggered and how can you first find a level of detachment by creating this awareness and then approach that situation from a place of curiosity, from a place of listening to the other person and just being open to something different. I wish you all the best.
I hope you stay safe and healthy and I'll see you next week. Bye.