The rise of technology, a highly competitive environment, and the fear of being replaced is increasingly prevalent among young professionals today. Many people just starting out in the workforce are anxious about their job security and are looking for ways to adapt to the demands of the modern workplace.
To help you navigate the stresses and uncertainties of the modern workplace, young professionals need a strategic skillset called Emotional Fitness, which refers to a person’s capacity to manage their own emotions, work well with others and excel in their role. This skillset can give you the strength and resilience to withstand tumultuous times ahead, equipping you with the techniques, energy and focus necessary for boosting your productivity.
Just like physical fitness, your emotions require ongoing training to help you stay emotionally fit. Many Australian organisations are investing heavily in physical fitness and wellbeing, and some have also identified the value of emotional wellbeing programs. However, Emotional Fitness remains an elusive and little-understand concept.
Emotional Fitness is set to become the new corporate competency for building more productive teams. It can be a really effective tool for boosting your motivation and engagement at work, helping you build a higher performing team at the same time.
So, with 2017 well and truly under way, it’s important to look at the key challenges for the year ahead and get emotionally fit using this holistic toolkit.
Your 3-step Emotional Fitness toolkit:
1. Assess your Emotional Fitness to get engaged at work. How engaged are you in your role at work? Do you feel happy, inspired and motivated to succeed? Emotions can be both an enabler and an obstacle for engagement; particularly when it comes to the stresses of the modern workplace. So ask yourself if there are any obstacles to your own engagement. While everyone has periods of feeling emotionally drained, stressed and overwhelmed, if you are feeling negative about your work all the time, it might be time to assess what the problem is and ultimately, whether this is the right role for you.
Don’t be afraid to take the steps necessary for positive change. Be assertive and take initiative, because if the situation stays the same, you will end up in a slump. For example, if you’re feeling like you don’t have enough opportunities for career development, be honest with your employer about it. This may seem like a scary concept, but most employers will bend over backwards to ensure that the needs of their employees are being met. Why? Because employees who feel valued and listened to are statistically more productive and engaged in their roles, delivering greater cultural and economic value to their employer.
In summary, investing in your own Emotional Fitness will benefit not only your own mindset, engagement at work and career trajectory, but the profitability of the business you work for. To be truly be productive, you need to be emotionally fit for the job – and no-one can identity whether this is the case better than you.
2. Develop your Emotional Fitness to improve your conflict resolution skills. Highly stressful situations at work have a significant impact not only on your own mentality, but the morale of your colleagues as well. Every role has its own set of challenges, but almost everyone will experience workplace conflict at some point during their career.
Whether it’s a disagreement with a colleague or a dealing with a customer complaint, developing your Emotional Fitness is a great way to ensure you have the techniques necessary to manage and resolve conflict. If you spend time cultivating your ability to self-regulate your emotions, you will better able to respond to the emotions of others. In this way, investing time in your own Emotional Fitness isn’t just about looking after your own wellbeing; it’s also about treating others with respect and consideration, regardless of any differences you might have.
Just like technical skills, the emotional skills required for good conflict resolution and high performance can be taught and learnt. Emotional Fitness is not inherent like your personality. Rather, it’s a strategic skillset that can be developed over time, giving you the mental and emotional agility you need to work well with others and succeed in the workplace.
3. Be a positive role model for others. Role modelling a positive mindset, displaying emotional resilience and demonstrating genuine care for others will inevitably influence the rest of your team. Not only do these Emotional Fitness skills help improve your own relationships and level of engagement, they create more cohesive and productive teams overall.
By being emotionally fit, you can deal better with frustrating or stressful situations while engaging more meaningfully with your colleagues. The knock-on effect of role-modelling emotional fitness is enhancing your own emotional wellbeing, creativity, mindset and effective decision-making. In fact, as an Emotional Fitness role model, you will help to build a collaborative culture at every level of the organisation.
Collaboration and the ability to listen to and consider the perspectives of others may seem like common sense, but many people struggle to apply these behaviours to real-life situations. When it comes to Emotional Fitness, there is no greater skillset that you can role model to your colleagues. With the right mentorship, support framework and learning environment, Emotional Fitness can also be developed throughout your team, with you at the forefront of the culture change.
Emotional Fitness ensures that you are flexible, adaptable and resilient, with the ability to bounce back from the ups and downs of modern business. Placing Emotional Fitness high on the agenda for 2017 is a smart choice for any young professional wanting to boost their productivity and add greater value to their organisation.