Control Your Feelings – Don’t Express Them

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Emotions are responses to information; believe wrong information and you’ll experience wrong feelings.

For example, you think someone neglected their responsibilities causing deliverables to fall through the cracks. Based on that, you feel concerned, frustrated, or even angry.

  • Don’t trust those feelings.
  • Don’t express those feelings.
  • Push those feelings aside.
At best, let those feelings motivate calm, systematic investigation.


Feelings are responders to perceived reality. They aren’t reality. Think of the last movie you enjoyed, a thriller, action adventure, or better yet, a horror flick. Was it real? No. Did you experience strong emotions? Yes. If you didn’t the movie was a flop.


Feelings are responses to our imagination. For example, when you imagine someone wronged you, even if they didn’t, you feel defensive, aggressive, sad, or any number of other emotional responses.


Always confirm imagination and perception by investigating reality. Do you know what happened or are you imagining something?

How many times have you been concerned, frustrated, or angry only to find your feelings were based on misinformation?


People admire and respect leaders who control their feelings. In addition, others feel it’s safe to trust us when we’re stable and predictable.

This post is not about comments Mark left on yesterday’s Leadership Freak article. I’m motivated to think on this topic because I’m co-hosting #Leadershipchat on twitter next Tuesday evening. Our topic for that chat concerns leading with feeling.

This topic usually inspires feelings. I’m interested in what you think or feel. I won’t be online much of today so please understand if I don’t respond till later.

When should leaders express their feelings? When should they control them?

Do you lead with feeling? What does that mean to you?