7 Ways to Deal with Emotional Issues

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Emotional turmoil makes simple tasks complicated, easy tasks hard, and quick tasks slow. High emotion, boiling frustration, and hurt feelings inspire blame. Blame invites defensiveness. Defensiveness causes us to pile on other, perhaps unrelated, problems to prove our point.

Never introduce emotional issues unless you’re prepared to deal with emotion. Once emotions rise, deal with them. Address performance issues after.

Boiling emotions motivate but
make finding solutions complex.

The useful side of anger, for example, is it motivates me to address pressing issues and concerns I’ve buried. But, addressing issues in angry ways complicates the process. Diffuse anger then address issues.

Address emotions separate from issues.

Danger:

Searching to solve issues while emotions are raw often becomes an excuse to fix people. Emotionally frustrated leaders point fingers. They start telling people why they acted the way they did or what’s wrong with them. Accusation invites defensiveness. Issues, otherwise solved simply, grow dark, personal, and complex.

7 Ways to deal with emotional issues:

  1. Always address emotions that boil over.
  2. Affirm emotion; solve issues.
  3. Self-validation never validates; accusation never motivates.
  4. Move quickly then slow down. Today’s appointment focuses on feelings, tomorrow’s on issues, for example.
  5. Stay focused on immediate issues. Past issues never clarify emotional situations. One issue is simpler than two. Stop shooting the process in the foot by making it a global rather than an individual event.
  6. Never determine solutions before conversations. Leaders who enter conversations with predetermined solutions don’t listen, they explain. Have you noticed how people love your explanations?
  7. Avoid, “That’s because,” and “You should.”

Bonus: Go with not against. When it feels like you’re pushing against someone during emotional conversations back down, listen and affirm. Ask, “How can we get where you want to go?”

How do you deal with emotional issues?

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