“I can see you smiling across the phone!”
I remember someone saying that during a phone conversation one time. We never met before. And yes, I happened to be smiling at that very moment as I was taking notes during our phone call. But how did she know what I was feeling when I wasn’t even saying a word?
How often does that happen to you? Someone catching what you are feeling.
Understanding our emotions are important. A few months ago, I shared about how powerful nonverbal cues are. The words we choose matter but so does our facial expression. Yet, how often do we check-in with our own emotion? How are you checking in with your team’s emotion?
People ask me how they can measure their team's happiness in the office. I ask them if they've noticed the way people show up on Monday mornings and at end of the day on Friday. What about the All-Hands Meeting? Are people more excited to come back to the office or leave? An argument may be that such emotions and patterns at work are irrelevant as long as the work gets done, but this is the very reason why you may be also failing to empower your people.
Your emotions are contagious. A negative energy gets caught as easily as does a positive one. Walking the talk with that smile and hand of support could be all it takes to remind your team that you are there to support. But to do that, you have to first start within yourself. How well do you really understand you? What motivates you? What inspires you to do more? What discourages you? Get to know yourself and create a safe space where you can share and inspire others.
P.S. Take a look at this funny fun fact video on emotion, stress and all.