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Management and Our Emotional Lives

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Living in the same neighborhood, the upper west side of Manhattan, for several decades, I've witnessed many restaurants and businesses come and go. Many endeavors begin with energy, verve and excitement. Then some businesses seem to lose their initial burst of enthusiasm. This observation motivated me to ask what factors/qualities distinguish success from failure; the term "management" emerged from the morass.

A modicum of research turned up the name John Spence and his six simple principles of good management. Although he applies the principles to businesses, they can be modified to serve individuals. These include mission, vision, values, communication, focus, and disciplined execution or action.

Then I asked myself how good management relates to psychology and realized that our ability (or inability) to manage emotions and feelings determines our successes and failures.

Emotions and feelings are like the foundation of a house upon which the entire edifice/structure depends and requires maintenance. Failure to manage our feelings and emotions -- anger, fear, sadness, disgust and joy -- endangers the structure of our lives.

Emotions constitute our personality structure. If we neglect them, they can affect our health. On the other hand, feelings embody reactions to external events and frequently need modulation before they are expressed. Please refer to my blog of August 24, 2015 for further detail on emotions and feelings.

The news is filled/rampant with stories of politicians and public figures who wreck their careers by engaging in illegal activities-like sex scandals and illicit money schemes. Presumably these people fail to synchronize their (private) feelings with their (public) goals, and embody examples of emotional mismanagement.

When we indulge in self-hate we create obstacles to good enough management. For example, Ms. V. grappled with poor self-esteem that blocked access to managing her considerable artistic gifts. She lacked a clear mission and vision and failed to act even when she received positive feedback.

In brief, when issues of self esteem interfere, the individual needs to become aware of feelings of self- hate (and perhaps their origins) to muster courage and take risks.

Conclusion: Each of us juggles the complex tasks of living. But if we fail to manage our emotions and feelings, they can derail any endeavor.