Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.

If you own a business and one of your staff makes a mistake, in effect that costs you, personally, money. And when that happens, in extreme cases, the thought (and verbal?) process can be explosive. Productivity drops. People leave their positions. etc etc.

But why? And what can you do about it?

My wife sent me an incredibly insightful TED talk by Dr Alan Watkins; “Why you feel what you feel?”

Just over half way his wonderful delivery, Dr Watkins asks his audience if they can ‘feel their emotions’. When you think about it, most of us separate out these two words, and thus we minimise their importance. As Watkins goes on to stress, nobody “makes us” feel this way or that way.

I am often asked by clients in my role as a business mentor what they should reply when by somebody says that ‘you made me feel this way’. On the basis of this talk, the answer is that the person is talking rubbish!

Apparently, there are over 34,000 different emotions. Watkins says we can master them. We have the option to choose what we do with our emotions!

What does that mean for the workplace? If a boss erupts or if a worker responds with similar anger or frustration, they have taken the negative route. In his “Universe of Emotions“, Watkins encourages us to prefer those planets that have positive connotations.

Will it always be that simple? Are psychologists about to become redundant? I doubt it. However, this line of thought does offer all of us in the work place and elsewhere so many more pleasant possibilities.


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