He Speaks, She Speaks

A gender communication specialist unravels the mystery of how men and women communicate.

Women and Emotional Endurance

Emotional endurance requires resiliency.

Audrey is a long-distance altitude hiker. She has learned that the single most critical skill to her success on the trail is endurance. And so much of physical endurance has to do with emotional endurance: the ability to keep up, hold your own, understand your limits, and keep going a metaphor for our emotional behavior at work.

We all know there are ups and downs in our work life and home life. We all make mistakes at work, lose a client, or screw up an order. Successful women don’t let their emotions dictate their behavior. They are pragmatic and think about the big picture, such as “I have to work with this jerk on this project for the next year, so I’d better learn how to get along with him.” Successful women keep their emotions in check in order to enhance their career.

Tina is emotionally impulsive and struggles to separate her work and personal lives. Granted, she owns a photography business with her boyfriend, so the separation is harder to make. And being emotionally impulsive, this means their relationship is always on the rocks. Tina can’t figure out why her business struggles and why she loses so many clients. Her photo work and editing are far superior to any of her competitors, and her prices are lower. People love her work until they experience her impulsivity. Every time Tina and her co-owner boyfriend have a small fight, she calls, e-mails, or texts all of her customers, announcing, “I am sorry to announce that the business is closing due to personal problems.” Two days later, the fight is over and the couple is happily back together again. She never apologizes for her announcement, but she begins contacting customers again like nothing happened. Needless to say, the customers feel confused and put off, and they rarely come back after that. If Tina could slow down and not be so reactive before crying wolf and shutting down the whole company on a monthly basis she would appear more professional and reliable. Who wants to work with someone who throws in the towel publicly at every bump in the road?

Emotional endurance requires resiliency. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. A resilient woman knows that the best antidote to despair is action. She does not retreat in the face of adversity.

Women can rise above the “ain’t it awful?” people and the negativity that often arises when an organization is experiencing rough times. See above it and down the road.

Resiliency is most crucial in the face of failure and disappointment. Maintaining a positive attitude and putting a crisis in its place is key. This is a gift that your organization will find priceless and that, incidentally, often impacts the bottom line.

Remember, your ability to do a good job at work comes from inside. Even if the external structure where you express your work ethic and skills is struggling, it does not define you. Think about the sinking Titanic and the musicians who played until they literally could not any longer. They refused to be defined by the environment around them, and they even used their personal skills to comfort themselves and others when the environment around them was in chaos. That’s valuable. That’s resilience.


Audrey Nelson is an international corporate communication consultant, trainer, author, and keynote speaker.


Subscribe to He Speaks, She Speaks

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.