When you chose to work with a coach, please be sure he or she is comfortable with your emotions and encourages you to share them. They are critical in doing successful work.

The coach or therapist needs to be human. Needs to put him or herself personally into the work with you.

It’s tempting to think of emotions as vague, ephemeral, insubstantial.

Many of us think of emotions as the opposite of logic or The Rational. How many times have we heard, “Don’t get emotional,” or “Make a decision with your mind, not your heart”?

Many judges have instructed juries to be “factual, brutally logical and adhere to the law.”

Mercy in this case would be an emotion, I guess, perceived as being in conflict with logic.

Coaching tend to  stay clear of emotional entanglements, leaving them to the purview of therapists. Often coaches consider them messy, or interfering with the work at hand, the goal setting and achieving.

You don’t want that.

In his daunting but extraordinary book, “Dante’s Error,” neuroscientist and neurobiologist Antonio Damasio (watch his TED talk) explores the biology and chemistry of reason and how profoundly it’s dependent on emotions.

In fact, Damasio suggests that the brain and body system of emotions are as concrete as those of vision and speech.

In an IOC-sponsored webinar (International Organization of Coaches) on Emotions in Coaching,  Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener, a leading researcher in Emotional Intelligence and a practicing coach. made these observations about Emotions and Coaching:

• Your coach’s (or therapist’s) emotions are critical to helping you move forward. If what the coach or therapist hears from you makes her sad or happy or angry, they should tell you. Often it will help them see you in ways they hadn’t.

• While the distinction between therapy and coaching is real, it should never paralyze the coach from dealing with your emotions.

• Don’t let the therapist or coach get away with just about repeating what you  said (“ I think I heard you say,”). Be sure they “hear” what you’re feeling.

• Be careful when you hear the terms, “Positive Psychology.”  It’s important to  respect and see the value in so-called “negative” emotions.” They can be very helpful. Anger for example can help set boundaries, and envy, say, can motivate. If I’m “envious of my neighbor’s new car,” for example, might it not motivate me to take the courses I need to make more money or get a promotion or a better paying job? Fear, of course, can save our lives and also protect what we love
Emotions are our thermometers. They take the temperature of what’s going on around us and in us. They are critical in coaching for you and the coach.

Good luck! And let me know how I can help. Also, consider signing up for our TOMC NEWSLETTER