Stepping into Emotional Pressure: An Introduction

(c) Pedro SimaoSome time ago I was managing a team at a small company, when I faced a challenge with a talented employee. “Don” had just been assigned to my team, and we were meeting to discuss next steps for his initial project. I wasn’t prepared for what came next.             

Within a couple of minutes, Don’s anger at the company became clear. He was very frustrated about a bad experience with his previous manager.

And the more he talked, the worse it got. “This is a difficult place to work–I’ve had better experiences elsewhere,” he said. Basically I’d inherited talented, but very unhappy employee, and I now I needed to figure out what to do.

Among other things, I was thinking:

  • “What if he leaves? Will I get blamed?”
  • “What if he stays and causes trouble for the group?”
  • “Do I really want to work with such an angry person?
  • “Who will do the work if he goes?”

Perhaps it’s not surprise that I was feeling a lot of pressure. I needed a plan.

This week I’ll walk through a process called “Stepping into Emotional Pressure” that I developed with Dr. David Dahl. I’ll tell you what was going through my mind at each stage of the process, how that translated into action, and what the result was.

Along the way I encourage you to think about your own “emotional pressure” situations, at work and at home, and how this process might relate.

Paul Konasewich

© 2007 Paul Konasewich


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