Leadership Corner 6: Let’s talk About “Feelings”

In this 10 part series, we explore the Ten Components (ten behaviours) of The Thinking Environment® (Nancy Kline), and how understanding and practicing these behaviours has positively impacted my  relationships and interactions with others.

Principle: “Unexpressed feelings can inhibit good thinking.”

Emotion is a subjective reaction to an experience.  It is not a reality, only our perception of reality, related to the perceived impact it has on us based from our life experiences.  In this way, the same experience can evoke a different feeling in different people and of different magnitudes.  I think this variation in the human experience of feelings is what makes us so fearful of where someone’s mind-set is when they have unexpressed feelings.

I am an emotional person, reacting to situations (generally) more than others.  Knowing this, I tend to hide my true emotions which can shut me down.  This in turn results in me not being fully present in a meeting and feeling disconnected. My behaviour then then indicates to others in the meeting that something in not quite right with me, yet they don’t know what it is.  This becomes a cycle not only affecting me and my thinking, but affecting others level of being present and focused in a meeting as well.

Knowing that one can use this Component to at least enlighten others that something is amiss (keeping to a respectful amount of detail and not oversharing) does put others at ease too and for me – feels like a weight is off my shoulder and I don’t have to pretend anymore or use the “I am fine” line, so often used to hide feelings.  Then I can and do engage more fully.

I feel one needs to embrace that feelings are a reaction to an event, and we all experience these reactions differently.  Understanding this helps us to help others open up and express where they are without judgment in a calm and welcoming way.  This will also bear homage to the first six Components of:   firstly, Attention and Encouragement– by acknowledging they might have feelings that are hindering them and inviting them to express what they need to, to continue; secondly, Equality – allowing them the freedom to express themselves,  even if you don’t share the feelings or haven’t had the same experience; thirdly, Ease – being created simply by the process of them expressing their feelings and re-igniting their thinking;  and lastly, Appreciation – by re-enforcing that their experience matters, which in turn means that they matter.

As we go through all Ten Components (behaviours), you will see how they all work hand-in-hand with each other, yet each one is so powerful on its own. PocketAdvisor helps you navigate the complex world of relationships, enrol for one of our Programs today!

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