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5 Ways To Rebuild Emotional Agility In The Workplace

6 min read
Last Updated on 19 June, 2024

There is no doubt that everyday stress and anxiety affect our emotional health in a lot of ways. And it became a major cause of losing our grip on emotional wellness. Thus, to become emotionally strong, we are required to overcome these difficulties, be it at home or office.

Now, lets talk about emotional agility which simply means to be emotionally flexible. It defines one's ability to experience their feelings, thoughts, and emotions in a way that encourages one to reveal their best selves.

We know that thoughts and emotions hold great potential to influence one’s life. And, being emotionally agile paves the way to productivity as well as positivity.

Defining Emotional Agility


Viktor E. Frankl, a neurologist, psychologist, and Holocaust survivor, said, in the context of emotional agility, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

Susan David, Ph.D., and Christina Congleton coined the term' emotional agility' in a Harvard Business Review article. According to Susan, emotional agility is based on four key concepts:

  1. Showing Up: Having the courage to face your true emotions, be it negative or positive.

  2. Stepping Out: Not confining yourself, emotions, or thoughts in a box full of it. But learn to make a move, step out and embrace the possibilities.

  3. Walking Your Why: Trust your intuition. Let it guide your true willpower, resilience, and effectiveness.

  4. Moving On: Find the perfect balance in life and keep moving. Make moves that are powerful enough to become a lesson.

What is Emotional Rigidity?

emotional rigidity

In psychological terms, emotional rigidity refers to the inability to accept and refuse or appreciate another person's outlook or emotions. Also, responding to an event/incident with a lack of empathy.

Emotional rigidity can be harmful to the workplace environment. As it ;

  • Can lead to workplace stress and anxiety
  • Cause a toxic work environment
  • Give rise to anger issues
  • Push employees to depression
  • Harm the positive workplace culture
  • Harmper workplace relationships

Understanding The Importance Of Emotional Agility

Emotional Agility is a process that allows us to be in the moment, changing or maintaining our behaviors to live in ways that align with our intentions and values.
– Susan David

Emotional agility is essential to create a workplace culture that:

  1. Practices work-life balance
  2. Encourages positive emotions
  3. Foster open communication
  4. Provide new learning opportunities
  5. Hire optimistic candidates
  6. Value organizational culture

A workplace culture that promotes emotional well-being, intellectual wellnessis crucial to creating a happy work environment.

Undermining toxic positivity and emotional rigidity is the key to a resilient work-life. As emotional agility initiates behavioral change, it helps employees dispose of negative thoughts and create vibrational energy to stay motivated. However, it tries to balance employees' both personal and professional lives.

Read: 5 Advantages of Digital Wellness For Employees And Workplace Wellness

5 Ways To Improve Emotional Agility At Work

Agile is more a "direction," than an "end," a philosophy and mindset at board level.
– Pearl Zhu

Here are 5 ways to improve employees' emotional agility to become better at work:

1. Develop Positive Thinking


Dwelling on negative thinking can be harmful. It can be a stumbling block in one's success. But cultivating positive thinking can work wonders as it also improves emotional agility. Optimism helps individuals to overcome even the toughest challenges by broadening perspectives.

If employees are suffering from any kind of negative emotions in a workplace, employers must encourage them to adopt positivity. Positive thinking can steer one's motivation to be productive at work.

The first step to becoming emotionally agile is to take up positive thinking mindfully. It will build a pragmatic approach towards work. Besides, it will help create an agile work environment.

2. Focus on Health Behavior


Health behavior today is vital for the wellness and well-being of the employees. With the growing number of mental and behavioral health issues, employees need to care for their health and well-being. The implementation of health and wellness programs can create an excellent organization.

Emotional agility is a behavioral health concern, and it must be promoted to redefine organizational values. And, health behavior concerns employees' emotional agility at work as it helps foster;

  • A modern work values and belief system
  • Enhance communication
  • Positive work culture
  • Eradicate social challenges in the workplace
  • Focus on overall wellness and well-being of the employees

Employees' exposure to health behavior will lead to moderate eradication of emotional rigidity at the offices.

Related: 10 Awesome Lifestyle Choices For Employees To Elevate Their Work-Life

3. Start being Mindful


Mindful employees and leaders are often more empathic, possess emotional intelligence along with psychological flexibility to rebound, reorganize and rebuild.

Mindfulness makes one aware of his emotions or feelings. It helps to remain calm and stable and also to grow an optimistic outlook. Being mindful can help employees to value and add meaning to life.

Practicing mindfulness meditation assists in nurturing emotional agility. Especially to deal with workplace stress and anxiety, mindfulness is one best way to overcome it. Besides, relaxation methods or techniques provide positive psychology along with other wellness benefits.

Read: 105 Mindfulness Quotes For Employee Health And Wellness

4. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques


Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a known technique applied by psychologists to cope with mental health conditions affecting Behavioral health. cognitive behavioral therapy techniques help individuals identify the cognitive and emotional defaults to work upon them.

The CBT techniques can be helpful in many other ways:

  • It helps to identify emotional problems or issues
  • Makes aware of negative thinking and emotions
  • Help identify unproductivity or related behavioral issues
  • Enables alter unhealthy perceptions built through dynamic rigidity
  • Adopt healthy behaviors and put them into practice
  • Encourages to behavioral growth
  • Understand the importance of staying well mentally as well as physically

An emotionally agile leaders always encourages it's employees to be one.

Read: 76 Calming Quotes For Wellness And Well-being At Work

Provide free CBT therapy or counseling to foster emotional agility at the office.

5. Being Grateful


Gratefulness is an expression that stimulates emotional wellness in individuals. Being grateful can have many health benefits, like improving one's mood or lowering stress levels and depression. The process of developing emotionally dynamic flexibility also involves accepting everyone compassionately to become more agile at work.

Here are a few benefits of practicing gratitude in the workplace:

  • It improves prosocial behaviors among co-workers
  • Strengthens professional relationships and teamwork
  • Increases the workplace happiness index
  • Enhances employee productivity
  • Improves job satisfaction
  • Helps regulate employees’ dynamic emotions
  • Reduce stress, burnout, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among employees
  • Enhances workplace resiliency

Related: The 12 Good Things about Reading That Offer Employee Well-being At Work

Workplaces can be extremely stressful at times, but appreciating and admiring each other’s work can prosper successful organizations.

Bottom Line

Developing emotional agility will help employees and leaders gain a sense of control over what persuades them and how they react. It can create a workplace driven by values rather than reactionary emotions, spreading toxicity at the workplace.

Being emotionally agile means being more confident, positive, or enthusiastic, which is also a prerequisite for a thriving workplace. Therefore, unlocking agility can help employees to grow both personally and professionally.

This article is written by Parismita Goswami who is a content writer and marketer at Vantage Circle. A feverish poet and cinephile with an intense taste for music, specifically rock, she has the heart of an explorer, learner, and is a lover of the Himalayas. To get in touch, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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