Practice Becoming More Aware of Your Body
Work on expanding your sensitivity to emotion by paying attention to the sensations in your body when you experience particular emotional states. Our nervous system extends through our entire bodies, and we need to become familiar with all of it in order to use it as a receptor to others’ emotions Does the temperature in areas of your body change as your emotions change? Is the quality of energy different, sometimes tingling and sometimes throbbing? Is there a particular heaviness or lightness in your body?
It’s important to realize that the way emotions feel is particular to an individual. For example, when I feel frustrated or overwhelmed, my arms throb and feel tired and heavy, as if I’m carrying a big load. Other people will not feel frustration and angst in the same manner. But when you feel into another person, the sensations you perceive will be the way your body feels that person’s emotions. So if I feel into someone who is overwhelmed, I will feel the heaviness in my arms, even though that may not be the way they feel it.
Specific Focus Areas
To use this ability in a business setting, there are particular emotions that are useful to know in ourselves.
It can be extremely useful to determine if people are feeling valued and appreciated. How does your body feel when you believe you’re a valued member of a team? Perhaps your body feels light and you feel warmness in your upper torso. In contrast, what sensations do you get in your body when you feel ignored or disrespected by your co-workers or boss? Become aware of these feelings in your teams.
You want employees and co-workers to feel compelled and inspired to achieve the goals of the company. How does your body feel when you’re working towards a mission that is meaningful to you? Perhaps you get a strong expansion of energy around your heart and head. In contrast, what sensations do you get when you’re apathetic about achieving the goals of your company or feel that there is no compelling vision? Knowing how these emotions feel in your body gives you a baseline for determining how much passion your employees and coworkers feel.
Sometimes teams need an injection of optimism or help solving a problem. What sensations do you get when you feel that failure is imminent or you’re facing a serious problem? Perhaps your energy drops and your feet feel leaden or there’s a burning in the pit of your stomach. Determine if these emotions are present in your employees, so you know who needs help.
Your own experiences in everyday business life likely give you the opportunity to feel some of these emotions and become familiar with them in your body. In addition, you can learn to feel them by thinking about a time in the past when you were faced with conditions that caused these emotions. Recall the details of scenarios, conjuring up all the emotion. And of course, pay attention to the details of how your body feels.Share