Emotional Mastery - Leadership Program - Mentora Institute

Emotional Mastery

Channel your emotions toward positive action, and approach issues through a perfect mental lens.

The Case for Emotional Mastery

“The ability to recognize, own, and shape your own emotions is the master skill for deepening intimacy with loved ones, magnifying influence in the workplace, and amplifying our ability to turn ideas into results.” Harvard Business Review 

Leaders exert a substantial influence over group moods and emotional states, and how these impact organizational performance. A wave of recent research shows that when leaders allow their people to express their full range of emotions at work, it results in better team-building, idea-generation, and problem-solving. Further, by not only allowing emotions to be exhibited at work, but also thoughtfully shaping them, leaders can positively impact motivation and performance. 

An organization’s emotional culture influences:

  • Employee satisfaction  
  • Burnout 
  • Teamwork 
  • Absenteeism
  • Organizational financial performance 

Studies also show that organizations that focus on well-being experience: 

  • Lower rates of employee turnover
  • Higher rates of innovation
  • Increased long-term stock performance

Sources: Harvard Business Review Global Study, Deloitte’s 2020 Global Human Capital Trends, CNBC, Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2021 Report, and Gallup Workplace

Emotional Mastery makes business sense: 

80% people identified well-being as being ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to the success of their organization. 

And yet, a mere 2% rate their well-being as ‘excellent’ and a whopping 80% say their workplace well-being has declined since the start of the pandemic. 

Further, only 1 in 4 employees strongly agree that their organization cares about their overall well-being. 

Employees who frequently experience workplace stress are 3 times more likely to plan to quit their jobs in the next year. 

43% employees say they experience daily stress at work. 

In fact, employees report experiencing a range of negative emotions on an everyday basis: 

  • 40% experience worry
  • 43% experience stress
  • 21% experience anger 
  • 23% experience sadness

Sources: McKinsey, Harvard Business Review, Gallup 2022 Workplace Report, Deloitte’s 2021 Global Resilience Report

Behaviors Learned

  • Understand how emotions can help you and hurt you, and learn how to tune into your emotions
  • Choose from a wide range of influencing tools based on what’s most effective in a given context Recognize and eliminate distortions in your thoughts so you can see issues in a clear, objective light
  • Help people direct their emotions to achieve high performance Direct your emotional energy to motivate actions in the service of your purpose
  • What success looks like, for a feedback conversation Intensify or dampen an emotion to bring out the best in yourself and others
  • Inner Mastery Outer Impact Shape ones personal growth Shape the emotions and thoughts people are experiencing in the room to help you create a high-performance state among your team.

Core Ideas

The Optimal State of Emotions

Emotions by themselves are seldom black or white, positive or negative. At times, seemingly ‘positive’ emotions like optimism can make us complacent and seemingly ‘negative’ emotions such as anger can give us the drive we need to right a wrong. Your instinctive, natural emotional response may not be your most effective emotional response.

Redirecting an Emotion

Emotional mastery isn’t simply about expressing certain emotions and not expressing others. It’s about knowing how to take the focus and energy an emotion brings and translate it into positive action.

Mastering Emotions by Changing Your Behaviors

A powerful path to emotional mastery is through your behavior. Learn a set of different actions you can practice to take control over how you are feeling.

Mastering Emotions by Changing Your Thoughts

We typically believe that our emotions are triggered by our circumstances. Something good or bad happens, and we consequently feel happy or upset. In actuality, what our circumstances trigger are certain thoughts in us. There are typically distortions in these thoughts that are triggered by disruptive emotions. By eliminating these distortions, we untwist our thinking, and our emotions come back into balance.

Having the Inner Conversation

Exemplary leaders have not just outer conversations with their people, but inner conversations. The inner conversation is the silent emotions and thoughts that you shape among people in the room. But sensing and shifting the emotional energy in the room, executives can rapidly activate a high-performance state in their team.

Case Study

How Cultivating Emotional Mastery Can Foster Well-Being at Work


In response to a fast-changing and volatile business environment, Ericsson started to change its way of operating. Cross-function and cross-project collaboration were on a rise — and erstwhile individual contributors had to now participate in and lead cross-functional teams. It was a critical point in their history, and Ericsson wanted to ensure their people had the support they needed to thrive through this period of tumult and change. They thus partnered with Mentora to help upskill and prepare a global group of individual contributors and managers so they were able to drive leadership in the network & telecommunications industry, and maximize their growth and impact. This necessitated a focus on emotional mastery so that participants could respond to the rapidly evolving business landscape at the organization from a place of calmness and equanimity.


Ericsson invited Mentora to design and deliver a learning journey with the objective of lifting this group’s:

  1. Performance
  2. Ability to collaborate
  3. Ability to lead change — first in their own selves, and then in others

We designed a program on Mastering Emotions, which has been offered 8 times at Ericsson. This program focused on helping participants:

  • Become actively aware of how their emotions influence their performance, relationships, health, and happiness.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of their emotions and how they are shaped by their own thoughts and behaviors.
  • Acquire tools to take immediate practical steps to shape their own and others’ emotions and thoughts to create a high-peformance state in their teams.


Mentora delivered this program via a three-month blended learning experience, which included:

  • Live webinars with the faculty
  • A self-paced digital program with practical tools and research-backed frameworks
  • Practice exercises with peer-to-peer feedback
  • Opportunities to transfer their learnings to real life professional and personal scenarios


  • This program was offered to multiple cohorts within Ericsson.
  • Between 92 and 100 percent of participants in each cohort rated this program as being very or extremely valuable to their growth.

Further, participants experienced significant shifts in their ability to practice behaviors critical to emotional mastery. The average percentage shifts across all cohorts are represented below:

Change in Behavior % likely to practice this
before the program
% likely to practice this
after the program
Focus and be present, without letting the (negative) emotions interfere with my performance. 2 52
Strive to express my emotional reactions to situations in the most optimal way. 10 63
Consciously practice, in situations where my emotions are interfering with my performance, behaviors that help me change or manage my emotions. 21 77
Seek to recognize the negative thoughts that may be causing me to experience strong emotions that interfere with my performance. 29 69
Untwist my thinking when I am experiencing strong emotions that interfere with my performance. 14 69
Participant Voices

This is a great and unconventional leadership program. It not only enhances measurable outcomes but also equips you with inside-outside tools to train your brain such that effective leadership becomes an instinctive habit.

Researcher | Ericsson

Participant Voices

I was very impressed with Mentora. They explained the complexity of human behavior, psychology, and neural systems in a very intuitive manner. I watched every single video, including the bonus videos, and participated in every single practice exercise, despite being extremely pressed for time.

Researcher | Ericsson

Participant Voices

The techniques I learned in this program helped me completely remove the anger I felt in a situation and also helped me create a stronger bond with my peers.

Researcher | Ericsson

Participant Voices

This program has led to a more solution-oriented behavior at work. I have started to observe my feelings and identify the links between a triggering event, my thoughts, and my emotions. I have also started taking deep breaths and short pauses when I feel my emotions surge in meetings and discussions, which has helped me stay centered.

Researcher | Ericsson

Participant Voices

This program has made me more confident as a person, which in turn has led me to take on more difficult assignments that I was afraid of handling before.

Researcher | Ericsson