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5 tips to help control your emotions at work

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The legal profession isn’t known for nurturing, but Kim Simmonds is working to change that, leading by example. She not only provides the best IT and flexible working, but also offers all employees the opportunity to work with Executive Coach, Louise Otton, to ensure they have all the tools they need to succeed.

Kim takes employee physical and mental health seriously and, in addition to the monthly 1-2-1 executive coaching and the weekly team meetings led by Louise, she provides weekly PT, yoga and meditation sessions for staff.

We want our clients to succeed too, so Kim has asked Louise to share some of the work we do with her here in this series of blogs. We find these tools help us to achieve our full potential and to provide the best service to our clients. We hope you find it useful too.

Our resident coach, Louise Otton, has been teaching us how we can stay in control of our emotions — a vital skill in order to maintain clarity of thought, clear decision making, good communication, while remaining empathetic to others.   This is becoming even more important as we live through the challenges that come with building a high performing culture during a global pandemic.

Emotional awareness and emotional intelligence are key leadership qualities that our team has been exploring.  Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and those of others around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they are feeling, what their emotions mean and what impact their emotions can have on others. It has been shown through the use of Emotional Intelligence measurement tools, such as the EQi.2, that individuals and organisations that invest in developing their people’s emotional intelligence achieve:

  • Higher sales and profits
  • Increased performance
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Decreased attrition rates
  • Reduction in training cost

Here are 5 tips that can help you control your emotions

1. Be compassionate with yourself about your emotions

Thinking that there is something wrong with how you are feeling can actually increase your anxiety. Instead, acknowledge and lean into how you are feeling, e.g. “You are going through a crisis, and you are reacting in a normal way to an abnormal situation.”

2. Put your phone down and focus on your breathing instead

We often use our phones to distract us from challenging moments, but this often leaves us more stressed and more disconnected from what matters most. Instead of busying yourself with your phone, look inward, focus on your breathing, and try to connect with what you are feeling, or what you might need in that moment.

3. Limit your news and social media consumption

It is important to be informed, but limiting how much and when you absorb the news or social media is vital to restorative rest.  Become aware of what impact absorbing this information has on your state of mind.  The majority of news is negative and this causes our brains to anticipate a threat therefore switching on our stress response.

4. Build you own internal resilience stockpiles

How can you nourish your internal resources and avoid unhelpful coping strategies? Notice what your triggers are and what might drain you of energy, or situations that are not aligned with what you value and believe in.

5. Focus on what you can control

More often than not, we cannot control what is going on in the wider world and we cannot control other people’s behaviour or reactions to things.  What we can control is how we choose to react to something and we can choose how we want to feel and behave towards others and situations beyond our control.   Getting really clear on what you can control reduces stress and increases focus, clarity of thought and performance.

Here is a popular coaching tool that Louise uses with clients to help them clarify what’s within their control.

  • Draw two concentric circles, one inside the other.
  • In the inner circle, write down everything that is within your control today – this is your Circle of Influence
  • In the outer circle write down everything that you have no control over – this is called your Circle of Concern
  • Write down what emotions come up when you look at your outer circle, and then note down how can you let go of the emotions that you hold about the things that are outside of your control?
  • Then think about how you can spend more time focusing on your inner circle and what you have some influence or control over?
  • Write down what you can do today using this insight to help you stay focused on your inner circle?
  • Notice how you feel when you put this practice into action?
  • By staying really focused and clear on what you can do, you will be more productive and feel less emotionally stressed by the outer circle.

This is a great visual tool to do when emotions are getting in the way of your ability to perform and be at your best.  The key here is self-awareness again.  Noticing that you feel overwhelmed and need to take a step back, evaluate what is going on, decide what you can do to help yourself and then reflect on how it makes you feel, will help you to stay on top of your emotions.

Self-awareness takes time and is a lifelong journey. Kim Simmonds, Founder and CEO of Law 365 is committed to providing coaching for all employees in order to increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence. She knows that by developing these skills it will improve the team’s ability to collaborate and create a high performing culture.

About Louise Otton

Louise Otton

Executive and Personal Coach

Bsc (Hons) PG CERT (Coaching) ICF ACC, MNCP

As a post graduate qualified Executive Coach, Louise is energised by helping ambitious professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners and teams to optimise their performance, impact and wellbeing.

By raising their self-awareness, leadership capabilities and getting clear on their goals, she helps them become more conscious, purpose-led and emotionally intelligent leaders.

Louise is a post graduate qualified, ICF accredited coach and a psychometric practitioner in Myers Briggs Personality Type Index (MBTI) and Emotional Intelligence EQi-2 and EQi-360. She also holds a degree with a psychology background and draws on psychological theories that are vital in understanding how and why people think, feel and act, in order to become more aware of the impact they can have in their lives.

Louise Otton Coaching
Mobile: +44 (0) 7786858291


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  • We’re your  'in-house’ legal team, but we won’t bog you down in legal jargon.
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