How do you feel right now? Are you happy, sad, glad, anxious, mad, or any number of other feelings? Feelings come in many forms, and no matter what you’re doing they are always present.

The other week I was driving home and feeling a little overwhelmed. The overwhelm had nothing to do with the customer. The overwhelming feeling was the result of all the things I want to do.

I was feeling a little frustrated with myself wondering why this was such a problem or me. I teach people how to manage this overwhelm so why am I stuck with it. Wow … I suck.

At one point, I asked myself “how do I want to feel right now?” The answer was quick and simple: “Grateful and appreciative for a life so full of opportunities.”

I then asked what was needed to switch the feelings I have. The answer also simple: “A glass of wine, and relaxing in the hot tub tonight.” A simple shift in perspective to remind me of what’s important.

Leaders don’t ignore feelings

When you’re leading a team, there will be times the team is feeling down. Too much negativity can feed on itself and cause a downward spiral within a team. Here’s how I sometimes handle this with teams:

  1. Empathy – Help them feel seen and acknowledged with a simple statement like: “I can see how frustrated you are by things.”
  2. Ask – “How would you like to feel?”
  3. Design – Ask powerful questions like “What will help you get to the new feeling?” Or, “What needs to be different for you to feel that way?” Or, “What support do you need from me to help you get to that feeling?”

Be sure not to dismiss how they’re feeling, or go into agreement with them. If you do one of these, you will struggle to get the team to shift from how they are feeling.

How do you want to feel?