gestion emocional trabajo

What do we mean by emotional management at work? How is emotional intelligence developed in the workplace?

In March 2020, we were immersed in an unprecedented global crisis situation that forced us to face moments of adversity, change, loss and adaptation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it intense learning and questioning of many kinds.

In today’s post I would like to share with you some ideas that we were discussing in the Café con Talento debate that we held about emotional management in crisis situations.

I had the opportunity to enjoy that debate with my colleague Juan Martinez de Salinas and
with Laura Chica
, (psychologist, coach, writer and talent development consultant) and
José Luis Risco,
(Director of Human Resources at Ernst & Young in Spain).

Emotional Management at Work

How important is it to have a corporate strategy to manage crises in organizations?

Laura stresses the importance of focusing on people and also on emotions, we have experienced it even more in this pandemic, taking into account the experiences of the people who are part of the organization is something that cannot be ignored.

Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate a strategy to manage emotions and in this experience we have seen that many HR departments have worn themselves out a lot to emotionally support their employees.

We have to be prepared for it in organizations, so that we are not overwhelmed by this.

The key elements for this emotional management strategy are, on the one hand, to encourage listening, as well as empathy (how people feel in the face of uncertainty), and on the other hand, hope, as a horizon or possibility of change or development. This has to do with values and corporate culture, that people feel heard and that they matter in the organization.

José Luis comments that it has been a situation that was not easy to foresee, we have had to face a situation of peaks and valleys, and in HR we have had to be like in a “3-ring circus”, sustaining the organization and paying attention to the “heart” of the people.

Paying Attention to the Heart

This reality and this “paying attention to the heart” is here to stay. Especially the idea of “how is my company listening to me”.

The areas of Occupational Risk Prevention and Internal Communication are areas that have gained special relevance and from now on I believe that it will continue to be so, to focus on employees, listen to them, know what they need and how they feel in order to be able to do things to make them feel better.

It is important to think about how we are going to be cohesive as a group and as an organization, we have an important challenge and that is how to get the people who have joined the organization during the pandemic, what that integration is going to be like later, when we “return to the office”.

How have listening spaces been created in organizations?

José Luis comments that it has been important to adapt the message for each person, since emotional states are different and have been changing. You have to listen to the people and what they need.

José Luis comments that they have gone through different phases, on the one hand transmitting tranquility about continuity, involving other people in the family, launching challenges so that they feel involved, etc.

The important thing is to understand that co-responsibility has been essential. Managers have to show that they care about people, that they want to listen and adapt to every situation.


Laura believes that it is also important to accept our own vulnerability, and to realize that the times of acceptance of crisis situations are different for each person.

You have to be natural when it comes to acknowledging that vulnerability with your team, we start from the fact that no one knew what was happening, how the situation was going to develop, what was going to happen, etc. Sometimes we confuse leading with having answers and security about what is going to happen at all times, but it is important to accept that we do not know everything and recognizing that emotion of vulnerability makes us more human and credible with people.

That sincerity is more appreciated than false security

That way it makes us more human leaders, it brings us closer to the people on the team, even if we don’t know what’s going to happen, but we count on the people and we take them into account.

How can a culture of change be promoted in companies?

José Luis believes that it will be difficult for us to return to the situation we had before the pandemic.

Organizations have already had to learn from everything we have experienced, because it is difficult for us not to incorporate many of the things we have developed during these months.

Surely the work models of the future, after the pandemic, will include teleworking as something more natural.

The differentiating organizations will be the ones that keep the best of everything experienced in this pandemic and know how to adapt it to the work model.

Laura says we’ve come to realize the mistaken expectation that “everything will go back to normal.”

There is no longer that previous “normality”, but we have to incorporate innovative ways of working, and from now on we will have a mix, surely hybrid models of work management.

The challenge is to know how to bring teams together again, how to integrate and cohere the team, prioritize the relationships of the people who are part of the organization. To leave the individuality that we have had to live in these months to bring the teams together again.

The challenge is to strike a balance.

The leader must activate his conscience, and work first on his best version, get to be better in order to be able to better accompany his team, Laura Chica.

Emotional Management at Work: Self-Management and Tools

How can leaders accompany teams in times of uncertainty?

Laura believes that the leader’s work begins with self-management, in order to help the team manage its fears, the leader needs a previous personal internal work.

On the other hand, also the use of tools, knowing how to do it better and better managing relationships with people.

It is important for organizations to provide knowledge and people management tools to the organization’s leaders.

José Luis adds that this responsibility is shared, and companies must focus on people and people must also be committed and willing to get involved and also want to improve.

Everyone in the organization must be aware and want to take a step forward to move forward.

How to enhance resilience in organizations?

Resilience is the ability to overcome difficulties, problems and learn how to incorporate that learning.

Resilient teams need to know their strengths and competencies, as that is the “toolbox” that allows them to face whatever comes and feel capable of facing whatever comes.

The problem arises when I don’t know myself well and I don’t have that information, which makes me feel more helpless in those situations because I don’t know what tools I have to face the situation and be able to solve it.

In addition to that, we need communication spaces and spaces to get to know people in organizations, and also to be clear about the purpose in the organization, which is a very big impulse to have that attitude of resilience.

When you need to manage the team, you need to know what they need first, put yourself in their shoes and know their expectations and emotions, José Luis Risco.

What would you like to comment on the topics discussed in the debate on emotional management at work?

What experience would you like to share?



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