A wheel for how you feel
Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.
Do you ever struggle to pinpoint exactly what emotion you’re feeling at work? Maybe something that’s happened in a meeting has you feeling a little off, but you can’t put your finger on why. Or maybe a comment in your online community has provoked a reaction in others that you can’t quite explain.
Plutchik’s wheel of emotions describes eight primary emotions, which are grouped into opposites: sadness and joy, trust and disgust, fear and anger and surprise and anticipation. Each arm of the wheel goes from the low intensity form of the emotion at the outside edge of the wheel into the high intensity form in the centre – so acceptance becomes trust and then admiration.
Primary emotions can also be combined to create additional emotional combinations e.g. joy and trust result in love.
In addition to visualising the wheel in 2D, it can also be folded up into a 3D cone, which can help with visualising the inter-relationship and intensities of the emotions.