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Many things are unpredictable about working with people, but one thing you can bank on is encountering emotion at some point. Sometimes the emotion will belong to you, and other times it will belong to people you work with.  Below is a list of strategies, hints and tips developed by our course participants based on their lived experience. 



  • Naming it lightly can help externalise the conversation you are having with yourself. Once it's named and externalised usually it is easier to go back to being present for the person. 

  • Avoid delving into your own feelings and emotions. 

  • Create space and time for the 'dust to settle' and create clear water.


How do I handle being overwhelmed by other's emotions - in the moment?

  • Remind yourself what role you need to play, e.g. I need to be a manager in this situation. 

  • Take a breath, breathe and buy yourself time to gather your thoughts. 

  • Check are you in flight, freeze or fight mode, then ask yourself what is a more useful mode. 

  • Be clear about the boundaries and ask yourself whether you are taking responsibility for their stuff. 


How do I practice good self-care when coaching or leading others?

  • Supervision or mentor coaching can help you debrief to understand. 

  • Meditation can help create calm and ease in challenging situations. 

  • Make sure you are well rested and able to think clearly about a situation. 

  • Radical acceptance of your own emotions - even if it makes others uncomfortable.


What does accompanying someone well with their emotions look like?

  • Don't assume because someone displays difficult emotions they don't want to move forward. 

  • Acknowledge the emotion and ask them what they would like to do. They are in the drivers seat.

  • Share what you are noticing about emotion - lightly and without judgement.

  • If it is not a coaching topic, name it and work out together where they might take it.

In Columbia we have a saying - consult with the pillow. It means rest and in the rest clarity will emerge. 
Isabella - Transforming Conversations