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Last updated on 5/26/23

Develop Your Emotional Maturity

The role of emotions is widely recognized today:

  • in the rise of conflicts that lead to a considerable financial and human cost to organizations,

  • and – good news – in creativity, innovation and collective intelligence!

Emotional intelligence has become an important performance criterion!

The Seven Levels of Emotional Maturity

Because teamwork tends to exacerbate confrontation between individuals and different ways of accomplishing tasks, it requires a significant level of emotional maturity. To work harmoniously in a team, you need to be able to:

  • Identify your emotions, be aware of their physical manifestations and recognize them accurately.

  • Understand your emotions, i.e., identify the trigger and the relationship between the emotion and a need that has to be satisfied.

  • Express your emotion accurately and appropriately, i.e., with honesty.

  • Formulate a reasonable request or propose a solution that corresponds to the need that has to be satisfied.

Here are the 7 levels of emotional maturity, from weakest to strongest:


Levels of emotional maturity



Denial of the emotion and ignoring the trigger

A team member is called upon for their expertise regarding a new mission. They were not included in the initial meeting. The team member offers their assistance. Later in the week, they feel demotivated without knowing why.


Holding back or hiding the expression of emotion

The team member is upset but internalizes their feelings and offers their assistance as usual. In the evening, having returned home, they feel particularly tired and stressed.


Expression of a substitution emotion

The team member is upset and sad. But when they first learned that the meeting was held without them, they were angry.


Inappropriate expression of the authentic emotion

The team member is upset and saddened. They criticize their teammates and blame them: “I offer so much and yet am not included. The team will just have to manage without me.”


Appropriate expression of the authentic emotion without formulation of the associated need

The team member is upset and saddened. They express regret that they were not invited to the meeting. They offer their help but are quieter than usual.


Appropriate expression of the authentic emotion and of the need

The team member is upset and saddened. They express their need to be recognized and included.


Appropriate expression of the authentic emotion, of the need and of the request

The team member is upset and saddened. They express their need to be involved and request to be included in all meetings and copied in emails every time their expertise is called upon, even if they are not a member of the assignment team.

Emotional maturity develops through awareness. Recognition of your emotions is not always easy, due to the suppression of emotions during our upbringing, our education or in the environments in which we have evolved.

Our relationship to emotions is ambiguous. We spend a lot of time distrusting them, and over time we regret not having worked on ourselves.

Between lack of enthusiasm and unbearable emotional overload, how do we find a balance?

Below is a personal development program to help you develop awareness through a “check-up” of how your emotions function.

The validation quiz for this part of the course does not take the bonus into account. But it does, however, provide a solid foundation for Part 2 of this course.

Why not take time to know your inner self better? Get comfortable in a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Give yourself one hour to complete the program. Let's get started!

Identify Your Emotional Profile

Understanding how emotions function is fundamental since they are the basis for your actions. You therefore need to be aware of:

  • what triggers your emotions: the detonators.

  • the degree of intensity of your emotions.

  • the type of emotion that you feel.

Unfilter Your Emotions

Emotions ensure vital reaction and protection mechanisms. They warn us and allow us to mobilize the energy necessary for action. Emotions are triggered by the satisfaction (joy, gratitude, admiration, enthusiasm) or non-satisfaction (fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame, envy) of a fundamental need as defined by Maslow.

Emotions need to be decoded, as we have suppressed them due to social norms, our upbringing and the environment. Certain defensive attitudes, or filters, can obscure emotions.

See if you can recognize yourself in one of these four behaviors:

  • Denial: You deny the emotion, especially if it is violent, such as anger. Physical signs are usually identifiable but are often skilfully hidden. In this case, emotions can be suppressed and don't even come to the surface.

  • Transformation: The real emotion is hidden. For example, you transform anger into sadness because anger was discouraged when you were a child.

  • Rationalization: When experiencing a powerful emotion, you deconstruct the reasons for the emotion and lose any spontaneity.

  • Displacement: You project your emotion and attribute it to someone else: "I see you are sad." You could also transfer the emotion to another situation. Unhappy that you weren't promoted, you project onto your colleague (or your spouse) which results in inappropriate blame or misunderstandings.

Whatever your degree of sensitivity, listening to your emotions and regulating them will enable you to act with greater authenticity and have a better chance of building successful human relations, especially in a professional context.

Here are the 10 main emotions with their causes and their effects:


Causes in a professional context

Effects in a professional context

Transforms into/accompanied by


  • You do not feel capable of something

  • You lose control of a situation

  • Something threatens your safety (change, merger, dismissal, restructuring, market crisis, competition, chronic stress, etc.)

  • A problem needs to be solved

  • Increased vigilance

  • Mobilization of energy to find a solution

  • Flight

  • Denial

  • Anger

  • Sadness


  • You do not like a situation, for example your opinion was not taken into account, or you were not informed

  • You do not feel acknowledged

  • You feel that you are the victim of an injustice

  • You are not being treated with respect

  • Mobilization of energy to change the situation


  • Disgust

  • Sadness

  • Envy


  • Loss of something you wanted (position, collaboration, mission, raise in salary, etc.)

  • You feel rejected, not acknowledged, not integrated into the group

  • Reduction in energy and the capacity for action

  • Need for consolation

  • Will last for the 5 phases of grieving (1-denial, 2-anger, 3-bargaining, 4-depression, 5-acceptance

  • Acceptance enables renewed energy for a change of course

  • Anger


  • The situation is contrary to your beliefs and values

  • Distancing, flight

  • Release of energy to remove the cause 

  • Anger



  • You have not acted in accordance with your values

  • Your results are not consistent with your requirements or those of your team

  • You have not upheld a promise/commitment

  • Something intimate or personal has been revealed that upsets your sense of decency

  • Withdrawal into oneself

  • Need to conceal oneself from view

  • Flight

  • Fear

  • Sadness

Envy/ Jealousy

  • You want to obtain something that someone else has or that everyone wants  

  • Development of strategies to obtain it

  • Fear

  • Anger

  • Sadness



  • You and/or your team have succeeded in achieving something very important (performance, contract, recognition, status, feelings, etc.)

  • Sense of self-fulfillment

  • Release of tremendous positive energy that motivates action

  • Flow of vitality

  • Need to share

  • Major lever in teamwork

  • Gratitude

  • Enthusiasm





  • You are acknowledged

  • You are helped

  • You are respected

  • You feel lucky

  • You think that you have a lot

  • Feeling of safety

  • Energy encouraging action

  • Lever in teamwork

  • Enthusiasm

  • Joy

  • Fear (of disappointing)




  • You are working with great, highly capable people, who share your values

  • Intellectual stimulation

  • Energy encouraging action (development, personal progress)

  • Enthusiasm

  • Envy



  • You are motivated

  • You are working on an interesting/exciting project from which you will learn a lot

  • Your goals are challenging

  • The team is great

  • Energy encouraging action and performance

  • Tremendous lever in teamwork

  • Joy

  • Gratitude

  • Admiration

Carry Out Your Emotion Check-up

Fill in the check-up table, recalling the most recent possible emotional episodes, preferably in a professional context.

The instructions for the table are included in the document. Enjoy! 😊

Know Your Profile

G. Berger defined eight emotional archetypes. See if you can find yours!

Relationship with action

Degree of emotional intensity

Primary circuit

Secondary circuit






Not very emotional



Not Active




Not Active

Not very emotional



Let's Recap!

  • Different levels of maturity result in different ways of reacting to others.

  • The strongest level of maturity results in reacting with:

  1. An appropriate expression of your authentic emotion

  2. An appropriate expression of your need

  3. An appropriate expression of your request

Identifying your emotional profile will enable you to act with greater authenticity.

You now have an in-depth awareness of how you function. In addition to helping you build better relationships with your team members, this self-awareness enables you to find your place in the team. 😊

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