What is an emotion coach?
The job of an emotion coach is to promote higher functioning by helping their clients move towards ‘emotional fitness’ (Greenberg, 2009).
Why do I need one?
Whether you agree or not, emotions are crucial to your decision making at work. The challenge is that generally we’re trained to think a problem out. We’re just not encouraged to come from a place of feeling. Gut-feeling is possibly the exception here but even then it’s advised to be used with caution, and viewed by many with scepticism.
So why is this, when we have known for so long that emotions provide the very first evaluation of the events around us (Frijda, 1986)? The fact is, if you’re a mammal and still breathing, your emotions will guide all the decisions in your life.
Of course, there are times when you’ll be more aware of using your conscious brain (Jung 1933). And occasionally your emotions and conscious brain will join forces to make a formidable team. But even the act of telling yourself to “take the emotion out” of the decision making process is driven by some sort of emotional experience. The question is whether that experience is helping you to be productive or perform at your best at work.
How can an emotion coach help me?
Emotion coaching can help you:
- develop strategies to gain control over your automatic responses.
- learn to accept your feelings as useful information (remember: information = power).
- distinguish healthy emotions from unhealthy ones.
- accurately name difficult feelings and work out what you need to turn them into more friendly ones.
- learn how to manage your overwhelming emotions and reactions.
With all this under your belt, you can hope to make better decisions, improve your working relationships, and see an improvement in work satisfaction.
If you do decide to seek out an emotion coach, remember that not all emotion coaches are born equal. Sound practitioners have a developed awareness of their own emotional processes. This may have involved extensive emotion-focused training and therapy. Don’t be afraid to ask candidates about their credentials and be wary of anyone who hasn’t worked on their own stuff first.