“Hey, how are you?” “I’m good, how are you?” “I’m good!”
How often do we have this exchange with a colleague or acquaintance in passing? And how frequently do we respond that we’re not actually “good”? In all honestly, we’re rarely 100% “good.” And while you may not want to dive into the details of your current struggle during hallway pleasantries, there is a way to acknowledge that both good and bad can peacefully co-exist.
Below are a few steps to take when you’re assessing a situation and trying to find a balance between the feelings of joy and sadness.
- Acknowledge the feelings
High emotional intelligence is a quality that sets leaders apart. Emotional intelligence (EI/EQ) is frequently discussed in relation to others around you, rather than how aware you are of yourself. However, a large component of EQ is knowing how to recognize and manage your own emotions.
Growing in EQ requires us to slow down and take inventory of how we’re feeling. In our fast-paced world, reflection can feel like a lost art, but setting aside the time to do so will make you a better leader and individual.
Even if you’re not the one experiencing the victory or struggle, acknowledging and validating others’ feelings prior to moving forward is essential. This shows care for your employees, friends, or family and will provide a solid foundation for you to both to move forward.
Trevero tip: Don’t try to tell yourself or others that you’re only allowed to “feel” one way. Culture may say that happiness is the epitome of success, but a life well-lived is full of a variety of emotions. Frustration can lead to solving a problem in the business. Feeling disappointed can move you to empathize with a co-worker in need of support. Pure happiness, all day, every day, is not the goal of a well-rounded leader.
- Make a plan to move forward
Feelings, both pleasant and unpleasant, can inspire action. When you’re feeling good and bad, it can be difficult to decide what path to act on. As mentioned earlier, acknowledging and discussing both feelings can provide clarity, which will help you know what action needs to be taken.
To make it less overwhelming, try to plan one area at a time. A coach can be a great resource to support you in your planning. At Trevero, our coaches can help you by prioritizing which challenge needs to be addressed first and assist you in determining next steps.
Trevero tip: Celebrate your wins! In business, we can quickly move past our successes and immediately go after the next accomplishment. In conversation with your team, acknowledge what went well before jumping into what needs to be improved.
- Re-Assess and Address Pain Points
Making a plan is great, but it’s important to not create it and forget it. At Trevero, our coaches help you update your plan with progress and address new challenges that may pop up along the way.
You could be pursuing a goal and everything is going well, then you encounter a difficult personal circumstance in the midst of your success. Before adjusting your plan, go back to step one and acknowledge both feelings, and know that they can peacefully co-exist. Work with your coach to prioritize what’s most important and adjust your plan as needed.
- Continue to find joy in the journey
Whether you’re working through a challenge or experiencing great success, remember that your feelings of discouragement or joy will come and go. Understanding that neither feeling is forever helps you appreciate and learn from each moment even more.
Trevero tip: Gratitude is a great practice to remind yourself of the good that you experience on a daily basis, even through a difficult season. What are three simple joys that you’re thankful for today?
Although it may be counter-cultural, embracing that both good and bad can co-exist will set you apart in work and in life. So next time someone asks you “how are you?”, hopefully, you can respond that you’re well, and still recognize the struggle, while being genuine about both.
Looking for some assistance with balancing the good and the bad? Trevero can help.