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And, How Do You Feel About That?

In Gemma Garcia Godall’s 2019 Ted Talk, she defined the idea of emotional intelligence as “the skill to recognise and manage your own emotions and those from others”.

Having emotional intelligence is not as straightforward as it may initially appear. To develop an understanding and subsequent empathy toward your own and other people's emotional states at any one point in time can prove to be complicated, especially if you are leading a significant number of people.

Garcia Godall explained, through an anecdote in her talk that in order to identify the root of any underlying problem, you have to peel back each of the layers of the walls that you may have put up to appear in control and professional.

It's 9:03am and Kevin has just gotten into work. He was splashed by a bus on his way out of the tube station and he's uncomfortable in his chair. His lunch is soaked, and his Heather grey trousers are charcoal up to his knees. He has a meeting in ten minutes. He's uncomfortable, embarrassed, and wants to go home.

In the meeting, Mr Martin tells Kevin he has been tasked with upping revenue by 10% on the previous month. He accepts the challenge.

But how does he feel? He's excited to prove himself in the corporate world. Beneath that, though, he is frustrated that the responsibility has laid upon his shoulders. He's the newest member of the team and is afraid that any shortcomings could cost him his job.

He's irate in the office, tearing at his hair and knocking back americanos from the machine like they're tap water. He's tense. It's rubbing off on Gabriella.

Gabriella is in the next cubicle over and hasn't slept well in a week because her dog is terrified of the fireworks that have been going off to celebrate the 5th of November.

She stays up with her old schnauzer and cuddles him until they stop but has to be up at 5am to make it to work on time.

Usually Kevin is chatty. But he hasn't spoken to her. She's worried she's done something wrong and upset him. She's trying to keep a brave face on in the office, but, whenever she opens up a conversation with Kevin, he's snappy and shuts her down.

After telling her to back off, Gabriella has to excuse herself to the restroom, where Kanai hears her crying. She doesn't know who's crying, but she feels terrible, and spends the rest of her day wondering if she should have said something.

Tipping the emotional balance in the office is like setting dominoes into motion. It is easy in the workplace to forget that outside of the 9-5 everyone has their own lives, their own struggles. Although having an awareness of this, being empathetic and communicating with your employees, will not necessarily spare Kevin, Gabriella and Kanai their respective grief from the day's fallout, it would have meant that there would have been room to maybe address problems.

Say Kevin and Gabriella's supervisor, Tan sees them both acting tense, he could pull each of them and ask them if something is wrong, open the channels of communication. If he asked Kevin how he was feeling, Tan would have known he was nervous about the heightened responsibility, and could have informed him that Gabriella was simply worried about him.

Communication is an essential part of establishing and maintaining rapport within an organisation. It’s like a beautiful stained glass window, hard to mould and construct, but easy to shatter. After all, as Garcia Godall said, “your feelings may be an energiser and may help you to find and get your goal, or may be slowing you down.”

Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (, is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.

He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.

The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.

To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address:

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