Is There Power in Emotionally Detaching at Work?

dude with headphonesLook, I understand the mention of emotional detachment may conjure up images of highly drugged individuals living in a perpetual zombie state with saliva slowly dribbling from their mouths. Or perhaps it is this fine young man, staring at a calm ocean while listening to Kenny G on his headphones.

But these states are not what I am referring to. Instead, let’s think for a moment about the potential power of emotionally detaching oneself from negative external ‘vibes.’ Note that I am not necessarily referring to physically removing yourself from people or situations. While I don’t subscribe to cutting off from the rest of the planet, I am continually solving for more inner peace.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about you in your daily work world. Wouldn’t you be able to kick even more ass if you were able to maintain an even greater sense of balance and centeredness more consistently each and every freakin’ day? Don’t you admire those folks who possess this quality?

Here are five typical workday scenarios. What if:

ONE: During your many meetings where there is any level of conflict transpiring, you became less emotionally charged? How much would your impact or effectiveness as a participant be compromised, if at all?

TWO: You were able to assertively convey your own points of view in those same meetings and at other times during the day without investing any negative emotional equity? Sure, you can be as positively passionate as you’d like, allowing for the cultural norms in your company.

THREE: You received the predictable daily barrage of emails from that one perpetual shit disturbing colleague, but you simply breathed deeply and responded on your timetable without your heart rate going up even a smidgen?

FOUR: You got reprimanded “wrongly” by your boss and then respectfully stood up for yourself while maintaining your composure and ‘cool?’

FIVE: A colleague somewhat mercilessly and non-constructively crapped on a draft deliverable you just produced, and after taking in whatever meaningful feedback you could glean, you then simply moved on with no agita or thirsting desire to down a fifth of Smirnoff during lunch.

This sounds simple, right? Just chill the F out! Easy peasy. But alas what is simple is often not easy peasy. In my case, where I can still get triggered somewhat easily, this utopian ideal is going to require more INNER WORK. This is why it is called WORK.

But why bother? I mean we are who we are and cannot change because “it is what it is.” Isn’t that right, bunky?

WRONG! In my book, we are who we consciously choose to become and how we direct ourselves, with intention, to think and behave. I for one don’t like freezing myself behind negative and limiting labels.

What is the upside of the possibilities here? I can pretty much guarantee you that turning down that toxic external emotional bass line by fifty percent or more will dramatically increase your effectiveness during the workday while helping you generate more calm and positive contributions in every aspect of your life.

Gobs of money and a sweet Maui vacation cannot buy that. It all starts and ends with that noggin of yours.

HINT: Getting in ‘the now’ for at least 10 minutes every day, a.k.a. meditating, is arguably the best way to start or continue on this journey. I hear and read about more people recommending the Headspace app. But in my typical old school ways, let me also point you to this classic book, written by the godfather of western mindfulness who doesn’t lather on any dollops of woo.


NOTE: Next week I am probably giving the keyboard a rest. That said, I have penned an essay nearly every week since the Summer of 2015. I hope you have enjoyed my take on ways to achieve a more positive mindset in all aspects of your life. My request: If you like what you’ve been reading, please consider subscribing to my WordPress blog. All you need to do is click on the menu icon on the top right and then click on FOLLOW. Or you can subscribe via RSS by clicking on “Subscribe via RSS.”And please tell a friend. Thank you!

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