In my coaching, we work quite extensively with noticing and labelling emotions. There’s all sorts of reasons for this, including the neurobiological focus that this provides, and the information that is contained in emotions. This information can be used by the client to feed into their choices and decisions.
I’ve noticed that many business clients however have trouble articulating their emotions. They struggle – really struggle – to name the emotion or feeling. We are, after all, steeped in the tradition that business is about intellect, cognitive processing and logic. But that’s a whole other blog.
A technique for insight that coaches use is association, and one that I find particularly useful with clients is colour. So if the person cannot name the emotion, I ask them what colour the emotion would be if it had to be a colour. Its lovely to hear the different responses: for one client, the feeling of success is pink. A male client of mine had a real breakthrough and in his inarticulate excitement all he could feel was silver. One team with which I have worked labelled achieving their goal as chilli-red.
It got me thinking: what rainbows could we discern in ourselves if we spent a day feeling our internal world in colours? Would ‘bad’ days always be entirely brown? I suspect that if we spent a few moments reflecting on our day and perhaps drawing our emotional colour range in crayons, we’d notice bright patches, even in the worst of days.
So here’s a thought – what colour would your typical Board meeting be?