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Episode 54 - Emotional Maturity 

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Welcome to Episode 54

The concept of emotional maturity has been increasingly relevant in my life, particularly as a mother raising two young children. Balancing the demands of parenting has highlighted moments when my inner child surfaces in response to my children's behaviour. Transitioning to a leadership role in business, the topic of emotional maturity takes a different form. As a leader, projecting professionalism often requires suppressing my emotional responses and maintaining a composed demeanor.  Embracing emotional maturity requires mindfulness, allowing us to respond thoughtfully instead of impulsively, thereby harnessing the strength of emotions for positive outcomes. Emotional maturity is a vital skill for navigating the complexities of relationships we experience in all areas of our lives.

In this podcast, you'll learn:
  • Parenting Lessons: Emotional Maturity Starts Early

  • Navigating Leadership Challenges: A Tale of Two Approaches

  • The Ripple Effect of Emotional Maturity: Creating Positive Environments

  • Personal Growth: An Ever-Evolving Journey

  • Empowerment through Emotional Maturity: Taking Action

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Episode Transcript:

EMOTIONAL MATURITY

EP #54

 

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 54, with Rhiannon Bush

 

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

 

Emotional maturity is something that has been coming up a lot for me lately. Mainly because as a mum, having a two and a four-year-old, there are moment… more often than there has been in the past 20 years of my life, where my inner seven-year-old comes out, because it’s reacting to the two little people that I am raising and looking after. So one of the biggest things that’s happening at the moment is my eldest, Parker, he will go and get dressed by himself in the morning, and in the beginning, he took huge amount of pride in the fact that he could do that by himself, but then one day he said “I need help”.  It was a huge help to me in the morning, him dressing himself, and so the other morning I asked him to start without me and that if he really did need my help I’d come and help.  Reluctantly he agreed, off he went to his room, and I thought all would be great. Like most families, we have set me a time to get out the door in the morning, and instead of getting dressed like he’s been asked to do multiple times, he was jumping around and playing. The beauty in it, is the lack of conscientiousness children have about time. It’s lovely actually, older people also have this because they have very few time constraints.

 

Anyway, while this was all super cute, we had to get him to school, so I can get to work and we can all start our days. So he’s been in his room for what felt like 20 minutes or so, and I said “Parker are you dressed yet?” And the response I got was. “yes”. He then walked out of his room naked. And I lose it. My 7-year-old comes out. I say quite harshly “pack up, you need to get dressed, right now”. And I’m finding that in the beginning, when there’s time, I’m patient. I’m patient, I’m patient, I’m patient. And when I’m not listened to, over and over again, and time gets tighter and tighter, I hit a point when I’m done being patient. So I’m having a lot of moments where my inner child is coming out because I’ve tried every other tool in my tool kit to get them to listen and respond in a way that helps us all out, and then I lose it.

 

On the flipside of that, I head into work, and as a leader in the business, I want to be seen as professional. And to me, that means appearing level-headed, stoic, non-reactive and in control, which in management-consultant land is so far from how I feel, the majority of the time.

 

Damien and I were recently watching a series, I think it was called Outlast, and it was about people surviving in Alaska, and they had to outlast each other. That was the game. And the amazing thing about that show was that the people that couldn’t last and asked to be released from the game and sent home were people who weren’t able to cope with the thoughts they were thinking. Not 100% of the time, but really what it boiled down to, was their ability to deal with their emotions. They could deal with everything else. They could deal with the environment, the cold, the hunger, the wet, the dark, but they couldn’t deal with their own thoughts in their minds while in that environment that lacked the every-day stimulation you and I are used to – phones, Facebook, friends, billboards, radio/music, TV, connection, energy and stimulation from the people and environment around us. And what was also amazing was that there was still this moral hierarchy. The group that won, set the standard for moral behaviour in that, not only were they great at the game itself, but they established for everybody else what types of behaviour were acceptable or not. They made the decision to send people home who asked to join their camp based on their behaviour throughout the game and whether they had done the right thing or not, by establishing what was open quote “fair” or not, throughout the whole game.

 

My natural way of being is emotional. I have openly cried on public transport; I openly cry at work and definitely at home. If I feel the need to, I’m very heart on sleave and transparent with my energy and my feelings. You can see or feel how I am feeling quite easily from what I omit, and the energy it takes for me to hide that is significant, and so I tend to lean in to being open about it. I would rather lay it out and let the consequences be what they may, and the repercussions (if any) for that matter, than try to hide or manipulate it to be something I’m not.

 

However, what I’m noticing though, is, as a true leader, if I lead with emotion, and maybe I’m panicked, or uncertain, or frustrated… that transfers to those around me, and to my surprise, even those higher on food chain me. Which I could never actually anticipate. In my mind, leadership in an organisation, I think of in accordance to hierarchy. So that should mean that the higher-ranking somebody is, the higher the level of emotional maturity, and therefore things can be talked about or mitigated in a rational, calm, pragmatic sense of “we have a problem and we need to find a solution” versus those discussions occurring in a heightened state of emotion, which looks like “oh my gosh… what are we going to do?” and that overall may not be productive and influence other people negatively.

 

So right now, my growth as an employee and a leader is actually about emotional maturity.  While I feel very emotionally mature, the way I present sometimes and express my emotions, doesn’t serve the conversation, those around me, my superiors or myself. Instead, I need to be exhibiting emotions that are calm, enable logic and pragmatic thoughts and serve those around me.

 

The problem I see with emotional maturity and the part of it I resist, is that I’m extremely passionate about what I do. I’m not an “on the fence” kind of person and I don’t see the point in doing anything that I’m not inspired, in some way or another, to be a part of. I can be fascinated with many things and find curiosity and find a way to be interested in things, but sometimes that’s more forced than what comes naturally..  No job I have ever done has been joyous 100% of the time and usually I can find a way to enjoy it, at least in the short term.  

I want to expand our understanding with real-life examples that showcase the power of emotional maturity in various contexts.

Parenting Lessons: Emotional Maturity Starts Early

Let's start with my role as a parent. The journey of raising children is a rollercoaster of emotions, and it's here that I've learned valuable lessons in emotional maturity.

Imagine this scene: It's dinner time, and my youngest, she’s two years old, is in a foul mood. I've cooked his favourite meal, but for some reason, she's in tears. Her plate is pushed away, and she's demanding popcorn instead. My instinctive response might be frustration, confusion, or even impatience.

However, through my growth in emotional maturity, I've come to realise that my child's behaviour is often a reflection of her own emotions. Instead of reacting emotionally, I've learned to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. If I can calm her down, I can talk to her. Yes, she’s only two but sometimes I can. This simple shift in my response allows her to express her emotions and helps me guide her through her feelings. Emotional maturity isn't just about managing our own emotions; it's about fostering emotional growth in others too and I especially see this in great leaders.

Navigating Leadership Challenges: A Tale of Two Approaches

Transitioning to my role as a leader in the business world, I've encountered instances where emotional maturity has played a crucial role in the outcomes achieved. Let me share two contrasting scenarios to illustrate this point.

In the first scenario, I'm facing a team that's dealing with a sudden setback. Emotions are running high, and there's a palpable sense of frustration and disappointment in the air. My initial instinct might be to match their emotional intensity – to show solidarity. However, I've learned that as a leader, my emotional response sets the tone for the team. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, I approach the situation with a calm and measured demeanor.

By acknowledging the emotions in the room and sharing my perspective in a composed manner, I'm able to channel the team's energy towards productive problem-solving. This approach, grounded in emotional maturity, fosters an environment where challenges are addressed with rationality and collaboration.

Now, let's contrast this with a different scenario. This time, I'm met with resistance from a team member who disagrees with a proposed strategy. Emotions are high, and the conversation is veering towards conflict. The old me might have responded with defensiveness or even frustration. But my journey in emotional maturity has taught me the value of active listening.

In this case, I take a deep breath and listen attentively to the team member's concerns. By demonstrating that I'm open to hearing their viewpoint, I diffuse the heightened emotions. I respond with empathy, acknowledging their perspective, and explaining the reasoning behind the strategy. Through this approach, emotional maturity becomes a bridge to understanding, and conflicts are transformed into opportunities for growth.

The Ripple Effect of Emotional Maturity: Creating Positive Environments

One of the most impactful realizations I've had about emotional maturity is its ability to shape the dynamics of an entire environment. This ripple effect is especially evident in organizational settings.

Consider a workplace where the leadership team models emotional maturity. Open communication, active listening, and empathy are not just buzzwords – they are integral to how decisions are made and conflicts are resolved. Employees are encouraged to voice their opinions without fear of backlash, knowing that their emotions will be met with understanding.

In this environment, the toxic cycle of emotional reactions is broken. Instead of knee-jerk responses leading to drama and tension, conversations are grounded in respect and emotional intelligence. This, in turn, enhances psychological safety, boosts morale, and paves the way for greater productivity.

Personal Growth: An Ever-Evolving Journey

As I reflect on my journey with emotional maturity, I'm reminded that growth is a continuous process. Emotional maturity isn't a destination but a path that we navigate with each interaction and decision.

Just the other day, my son Parker once again tested my patience during our morning routine. However, this time, my response was different. Instead of allowing my inner child to dictate the interaction, I took a deep breath and approached the situation with empathy. I calmly asked, "Is there a reason you need my help today?" It turned out he was having difficulty with a button on his shirt. By acknowledging his struggle and offering assistance, I diffused the tension and paved the way for a smoother morning.

This small victory is a testament to the growth I've experienced in emotional maturity. It's a reminder that the more we cultivate this skill, the more it becomes integrated into our responses, shaping the outcomes of both our personal and professional interactions.

So, my friends, as we continue on our journey of self-discovery and growth, let's remember that emotional maturity is a gift we can give ourselves and those around us. By navigating life's challenges with grace, empathy, and understanding, we can create a world where emotions are a source of strength rather than chaos.

Thank you for joining me in exploring the multifaceted world of emotional maturity. Your insights and reviews mean the world to me. If you've found value in this episode, please take a moment to share your thoughts in a review. And don't hesitate to visit rhiannonbush.com to suggest topics you'd like me to cover in future episodes.

Until next time, may your journey in emotional maturity be filled with growth, wisdom, and positive connections. Stay tuned for more empowering discussions on "Do I Need A Life Coach?!"

 

 

Empowerment through Emotional Maturity: Taking Action

Before we wrap up, I want to leave you with a challenge – a challenge to embrace emotional maturity in your own life. It's not always easy, but the rewards are immeasurable. Start by taking a moment to reflect on how you've responded to challenging situations recently. Have there been times when emotional reactions took over? Now, think about how those situations might have unfolded differently if you had approached them with emotional maturity.

Consider adopting a practice of mindfulness – a moment of pause before reacting. This simple act can make all the difference in your interactions, helping you respond thoughtfully rather than reactively. Remember, emotional maturity isn't about suppressing emotions; it's about harnessing their power for positive outcomes.

 

 

 

Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…

 

I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit rhiannonbush.com to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!

 

 

Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

Questions? Topic Ideas?

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