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Feeling Tactics

Individuals who use feeling tactics are able to learn because they are able to manage the anxiety and uncertainty that is associated with undertaking new challenges. They can acknowledge the impact of their feelings on what they do, trust what their gut is telling them, and confront themselves when they recognize that their worry is causing them to avoid the challenge.

An example of an effective use of feeling tactics: Brad, a human resources manager, is now in the middle of his sixth month of managing a large-scale corporate layoff. He has had many ups and downs emotionally because this is a painful project to manage, both for him and for the people who are being let go. This is the first time he has had to oversee a layoff of this scale and at first he panicked, fearful that he couldn’t handle the challenge. The task looked enormous to him. But Brad has always been able to access his emotions, and once he acknowledged his anxiety, he was able to accept the task and begin to take small steps that buoyed his confidence. He created outplacement options for released employees and ensured that medical claims would be paid for six months after they left. From these actions he learned about the importance of treating the displaced workers fairly. He also felt acutely his own and his staff’s pain at having to engineer so much devastation in people’s lives. It took a while, but once he confronted these feelings Brad began to set up weekly staff meetings to vent some of the highly charged emotions that abounded, which helped him learn about the importance of communication in times of turmoil.


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