Emotional growth and where to go looking

How do you find funerals?

I have spent much of my life skilfully avoiding them. I have been blessed to belong to a family that has had good longevity and my parents and siblings are all still alive. I have also been blessed with having a large extended family with many aunties and uncles, and even more cousins. I am the youngest of a generation and therefore most of my aunties and uncles are now deceased, and some cousins along the way. Until recently I had only been to 3 funerals: 1 grandparent and 2 in my wife’s family. Part of my skilful avoidance has been to live the majority of my life interstate from my family.

In the last week I attended the funeral of a much loved Aunty, who lived her life in the district I grew up in. A truly amazing woman who lived through many hardships and losses, and never failed to support and love her 7 children, 20 grandchildren, and 77 descendants last count. The love for her was overflowing at her funeral.

So what has this got to do with corporate and organisational life? 

Firstly, in my opinion, corporate and organisational life is just life. It’s not some special category that is separate from the rest. They are one in the same, and we would have stronger relationships and make better decisions if we looked at it this way.

Secondly, how much of organisational life is about avoiding the things we feel uncomfortable about. How often do we step away rather than step towards unpleasant emotions.

Dr Joan Rosenberg in a Ted Talk gives some great insights as to how we can grow our emotional capacity and learn to have more comfort and acceptance with our unpleasant feelings. Her advice is to make the choice to step into these uncomfortable emotions and truly experience them. With mindfulness and practice the control these emotions have over our lives can become less. For skilled people some of these negative emotions can be processed in less than 90 seconds. 

So what are you avoiding? What is your growth edge? Mine is stepping into unpleasant feelings.

Ross Bell
Director and Co-Founder of LTA People

 

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