Emotions are an intrinsic part of our daily life, personal as well as professional. Various emotions serve functional roles for us, helping us prioritize and regulate behaviour to adapt to a given situation. Emotional Diversity, also called Emodiversity, draws from research in the natural sciences on the benefits of biodiversity. Our emotional landscape can be compared to an ecosystem. An ecosystem is healthier when various species are in harmony, serving their own functional roles, and suffers when any one species is depleted or becomes overabundant, throwing off the balance.
In a study published in the journal of Emotion, researchers have found that better health could be linked to “emotional diversity” rather than just having positive emotions. Jordi Quoidback, in another related study report, says that biodiversity increases resilience to negative events because a single predator cannot wipe out an entire ecosystem; similarly emodiversity can prevent specific emotions becoming overwhelming and enhances the emotional resilience of a person.
Intimately connected with the theory of Emodiversity is the concept of ‘constructive expression’ of emotions. Constructive Expression is expressing the negative emotions with problem-solution approach.
Most people typically avoid expressing the negative emotions like anger or disappointment to avoid conflict of any kind, while a few may choose to vent them out instantly, which may be destructive in many ways. Both are not desirable in any workplace.
The time of ‘the workplace is no place for expressing emotions’ philosophy is gone, replaced with the understanding that ‘suppressing emotions does not lessen the problem, rather leaving it fester until it eventually comes out in ways that will negatively affect relationships, performance, and productivity.’
Understandably, the ability to effectively express emotions is a desirable skill in today’s workplace. The benefits of upskilling your ability to constructively express emotions are multifold:
- Nips it at the bud: Having an emotionally expressive conversation with an employee or a manager is far preferable to letting it fester and brew into a negative-emotionally charged conflict.
- Enhances empathy: One can raise the amount of empathy that your co-workers feel for you by making it easier for them to understand why you feel that way.
- Accentuates understanding: Employees who understand why decisions are being made are much more likely to agree with and respect those decisions.
It is also important to understand how to be mindful of triggers that generate the spectrum of emotions, and how to constructively channelize and articulate those emotions, for better relationships at work and at home.
We at Marching Sheep believe in diversity & inclusion with constructive expression, both at physical & emotional levels, to make a workplace progressive with an environment that makes the employees comfortable to communicate their concerns, self-doubts and actions without fear of judgment or biases, enabling them to overcome personal obstacles and maximize their potential.