This article will discuss having trouble opening up emotionally. An essential skill of a team is to accept another’s role and emotions, that is, to have others accept one’s role.
When you deny others their role and their emotions, you block them. This creates resistance to your ideas.
If your team members stop communicating or turn away from your ideas, it is your responsibility as a leader to invite them to talk or to work through their ideas and emotions. If you do not do this, you do not have a leadership team that can work together.
Here are a few things you can do to build emotional connections with your team.
Listen carefully to all the opinions and thoughts of your team. Listening is the foundation for emotional connection.
You can listen in all directions without saying a word. However, this does not mean that you cannot ask questions.
If you would like to learn how to be a better listener, learn the Socratic method.
I had a conversation with a group of leaders who needed coaching on listening. You can learn more about it in “Managing Groups Like Real People.”
In the book “Positive Psychology” by Martin Seligman, he outlines a powerful process to be a better listener. He calls it The Four-Step “C” model.
In this model, you imagine the other person saying the first three words. If you can imagine what they would say, you can then ask them to tell you more about their ideas.
This is known as acting with presence. It is known as empathizing.
Here are the steps:
- Question: What do you want to say? Do you really want to say it? Do you want to be heard?
- Check-in: Are you listening to the other person’s thoughts and feelings? If not, what is holding you back?
- Connect with: What does the other person need and like? How do you meet their needs?
Although this model was created for positive people in business settings, it can also be used in personal interactions with friends and family.
Teaching other people and working together is vital to leadership. Learning to teach requires you first to create a learning environment.
You need to develop a supportive and caring leadership style that rewards people for their ideas. Not only do you want them to share their ideas, but you also want them to believe in their ideas and be willing to teach others how to improve them.
In “Empathy and the Art of Sharing,” Dr. Daniel Goleman describes six core emotions that motivate people to contribute their time and efforts to a team. He recommends building six steps to elicit people’s help in sharing their ideas:
I am emotional about it: While listening, focus your emotional energy on the other person’s emotions and thoughts, not on your own. We all react emotionally to situations.
If you are a follower, then be sensitive to the emotional needs of your team members, in addition to meeting their other needs.
While listening, focus your emotional energy on the other person’s emotions and thoughts, not on your own. We all react emotionally to situations.
If you are a follower, then be sensitive to the emotional needs of your team members, in addition to meeting their other needs. I will help you with what you need: This is a big one.
We often don’t ask for help because we feel like we don’t need it. Our culture is full of contradictory messages: we are supposed to be strong, but we are supposed to ask for help.
Give people the opportunity to help others before they try to help you. If you are a manager, consider being a mentor to your team.
Being emotionally vulnerable is not easy
It is tough. It is tough for most of us to have to be emotionally open and to be vulnerable.
Being emotionally vulnerable can cause us to feel rejected, hurt, and rejected emotionally. We may feel like we are being rejected physically as well.
We feel hurt and alone. We are left with no one.
We are alone in our feelings. We feel lonely and empty.
We feel like we are drowning in our emotions. We feel like we are failing.
And even though we are making some progress, most of us still have a hard time with emotional intimacy.
Hopefully, as you go forward, you will begin to understand that being emotionally open and vulnerable is not so bad. Being emotionally open can be one of the greatest gifts you can give to another. Being emotionally open is not something to be feared; it is something to be embraced and valued.
Being emotionally open and vulnerable is a skill to be learned and developed and not avoided at all costs. When you learn the skill of emotional intimacy when you learn how to accept and open up emotionally, it will make you a better person, you will feel better about yourself, and you will be more emotionally available and accessible to other people.
Being emotionally open and vulnerable will help you experience love, joy, freedom, happiness, peace, and courage. You will have the courage to love, the joy to express love, the freedom to be yourself, the courage to be courageous, the peace to be at peace, and the courage to be courageous in tough times.