April 9, 2020
“There are myriad implications to what this crisis is doing to us,” Walker & Dunlop CEO Willy Walker said Wednesday in the latest of his firm’s webcasts. Those implications extend not only to the effects that the coronavirus pandemic may have on our ways of doing business and conducting our daily lives in the future, but also to its effects on the psyche.
Even before the novel virus now known as the catalyst for COVID-19 had been discovered, a survey of some 5,000 workers found that the words they’d most often use to describe their attitudes toward their jobs were “overwhelmed,” “stressed” and ”frustrated.” In the current crisis, “anxiety” is the word that would come up most frequently, said Dr. Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Walker’s guest on the latest webcast.
“We are a nation that is emotionally out of balance,” the “Permission to Feel” author told the webcast audience. The solution, though, isn’t to strive for happiness, a goal touted by many self-help books and one which Brackett said was “not very realistic.”
Instead, Brackett counseled “emotional regulation,” which he said didn’t mean not feeling certain emotions. Rather, the idea is to accept them and use them wisely, with the goal of improving communication.
It’s not a skill that comes naturally to many. “People haven’t had an adequate emotional education,” said Brackett.
Often without being aware of it, “How we feel inside shifts our view of the world,” Brackett said. He cited a university study in which students were divided into “positive” and “negative” mindsets; all were given the same grade-school essay to critique. The cohort that was instructed to take a negative view gave the essay lower marks than the “positive” group.
Brackett cited business-related areas that can be governed in part by emotions: attention, memory and learning; decision-making; relationship quality; physical and mental health; and performance and creativity.
Replays of Wednesday’s webcast, the fourth in a series from Walker & Dunlop, are available by clicking here.
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