Thoughts and tips for talking about feelings

 Andrea Kelemen | customer relations manager, consultant, coach

 Andrea Kelemen | customer relations manager, consultant, coach

Many of us experience teleworking with higher emotional amplitudes, which is why conversations about wellbeing are essential.

Dear team, how are you feeling? Bálint, how are you? And Kriszta?

Bálint: Fine, thanks.

Kriszta: Nothing has changed since last week. I’m waiting for it to end.

Even if we react indifferently, a conversation about well-being can often become much deeper and more meaningful. People generally make unconscious choices about how they feel. But how we feel determines how we behave later.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and wait patiently for answers.

Needs and expectations

What do we need to feel good or at least better?

When talking about well-being, we often vent. While talking about our feelings, directly and or hidden between the lines, we also express our needs. We may also bring up professional issues, such as wanting more information about what is happening in the organisation, or coming up with an idea that is dependent on a managerial decision.

Many people find it difficult or do not want to talk openly about their feelings in front of others. Be aware of when it is worth having a one-to-one conversation with someone.

Deepen the conversation with different perspectives, build on what has been expressed!

In a joint (virtual or live) session, it is worth asking what you’ve heard from others that resonates with you. What would you take away that could be useful for you?

Sometimes it’s enough to just say: tell me more.

Don’t try to change the way they feel!

And while we want to help, you can’t change other people’s reactions to things by forcing or commanding. Your best chance is to tell who and what inspired you and that will be enough of an incentive for you to act. Moderate the process and don’t interfere rudely.

Don’t underestimate the subject, but don’t try to evaluate it!

People are not always able to choose and control how they feel, especially in circumstances like nowadays. However, judging another person’s wellbeing or refusing to accept however they feel deprives them of the opportunity to speak openly. People don’t want to be judged on their feelings.

Your task is simple – don’t judge these people, but encourage them to share their feelings and ask them to find ways to help themselves. This role is very important!



Share your feelings

You don’t have to pretend that everything is fine with you. Don’t think that sharing your feelings will scare the team. Allow yourself to be human, it opens the door for others to do the same.

If you’ve never talked about how you feel with your colleagues, the following opening might help: I’m not usually the emotional type, but I’d like to talk now…

Overall, never underestimate the well-being of others. As a leader, it’s your job to regularly create safe and comfortable opportunities to talk about well-being. Don’t try to change people’s feelings because they are responsible for working on them.


Adapted from an article by Tomas Misiukonis, a consultant at @OVC Consulting.