Feelings. In the moment they can be annoying, but it is actually a really interesting subject to think about. Researching this post, I found that there are two opposite ways to think about feelings. On one hand there is the “Total Control” theory: you are in control of your feelings and you are able to direct them in any way you like. In the other corner stands “No Control”. Following this theory we are not able to influence our feelings in any way, they just overcome us. We can suppress them, but that is the only thing we can do.

The next question is: where do feelings come from? Do you get mad by someone else or is getting mad a reaction on something someone else said? A couple of thoughts:

  • Learn which feelings make you productive. Some people know that a little stress makes them finish their projects. If you’re angry, creative work will probably be difficult. Adjusting your schedule based on how you feel might be really helpful in some situations.
  • I believe there are more emotions you can control than you think, and I also believe that I’m the one making myself angry or making myself feel uncertain. Not what someone says. This is powerful and hard at the same time, because I can never say “he or she made me really mad”. I’m the one that did that (and I can change it, too).
  • Most people tend to think their feelings are caused by others. Even though I think that’s not true, as a leader you should be conscious of this. What you say and especially how you say it does affect them in a big way. Without being manipulative, taking time to tailor your message based on someones personality will save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Believing you’re the one in charge of your own feelings is really powerful and I think it can help you deliver better work.

At the same time, knowing that most people are influenced by what you say and do to them gives you a lot of responsibility to take better care. The fact that you know you are in control of your own feelings should not mean that you should just ignore the way someone else is going to let them feel themselves based on what you do.