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How important is emotional control in the work place? Guest post by Kim Seeling-Smith

There was an interesting question recently posed on the sphinxx Linkedin group that got me thinking.  I’m going to paraphrase here but it was something like, “How important is emotional control in the work place?”  While this could mean controlling (not expressing) the emotions that you feel (anger, tears, etc.) I chose to interpret it as what I call Mental or Emotional Fitness. The ability to take negative things that happen to you and to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on.

In the 16 years that I’ve been a recruiter and now a Career and Executive Coach and Trainer I’ve seen more careers get derailed because they didn’t know how to rebound from set backs than any other reason.  I’ve seen the brightest and most capable talent become like a possum in headlights because they did not have the skills or discipline to rebound.  Many never recover.

So how do you develop mental fitness?  NLP or the new emMatrix system has some fantastic tools you can use.  But you don’t need to know NLP or have an emMatrix session.  There are lots of simple but very effective things you can do yourself.

The most important is physiology.  You can shift your psychology in a nano second by shifting your physiology.  Watch how you stand and breathe, what you eat and drink.  Exercise regularly, even if it’s only a 20 minute walk around the block.

Be mindful of what you focus on: it does no good to focus on things you cannot control.

Figure out what you can learn from these setbacks and how you can apply the lessons in the future.  This alone will help you develop previously illusive understandings that will not only make you feel better, but give you more empowering strategies for the future.

One of the most fun and effective tools I use with my clients is to create an “I Rock!” file.  A physical file of evidence reminding themselves that they do rock!  Cards, notes, letters, or maybe just memories.  All kept in once place and frequently referred to.

I got so excited about this that I’ve finally written up detailed instructions on how and why to create an “I Rock” file as my free “Tool of the Week” on my website.

I believe that keeping mentally fit is especially important for women as we also tend to have primary responsibility for family and care taking, in addition to our professional demands.

So, exercise those emotional muscles, along with your physical ones, to make sure you stay on track personally and professionally, instead of getting permanently derailed like so many I’ve seen.  

About our guest blogger |
Kim Seeling Smith speaks, trains and coaches in the areas of Staff Retention and Career Management: having spent 15 years as a recruiter studying the differences between those capable and talented people who successfully reached their career goals and those equally capable and talented people who plateaued or senselessly slid backwards as they neared them.  Find out more at


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