Most of us have been taught that there’s no room for emotion at work.
We were told “it’s not personal, it’s just business.”
Well, we’ve been taught wrong.
Work is always personal.
And as long as human beings are doing the work, it will always stay personal.
Want proof? Even when we humans are programming our droids, we’re making them personal.
But unlike machines, plants, or animals, human beings are uniquely equipped with emotions.
That’s what makes us messy—and marvelous.
Understanding and knowing how to interpret and use emotion at work effectively is one of the secret strategies for a successful career.
But because we fall back on what we’ve been taught for so long, we try with all our might to erase the emotion out of our workplace, our colleagues, and ourselves.
And when we do that tooooo long, what happens?
Our emotions back up on us like a kitchen sink disposal packed with broccoli stems and bacon grease.
And you know that’s not pretty.
Let’s change that right now.
Why You Need Emotion at Work Now
1. Emotion creates clarity.
Not sure what’s most important to your colleagues or your boss? Stop listening only to what they say, and start paying attention to how they say it and how they feel.
Notice their tone and energy level. Watch their eyes and face—what topics light them up? Which make them more animated?
The higher their energy, the more important the issue is to them.
When you have more clarity about what’s most important to others, you can make better decisions about how to align your own work for more success.
This technique is powerful when we’re seeking clarity for ourselves, too.
Rather than pretending to be without emotions at work, focus on understanding the truths of your emotions, and listen to what they’re telling you.
You’ll quickly learn what work you want to do more of, and what you may need to stop.
2. Emotion puts people in motion.
Do you ever need to influence people at work whom you’re not managing?
You’ll succeed when you use emotion to put people in motion.
Positive emotions, (like concern, excitement, and enthusiasm) always help propel us forward, much more than facts and logic ever will.
When we care more, we lean closer. We move, change, and grow.
Of course, negative emotions at work (fear, worry, and resistance) do just the opposite over the long-term. Fear can be a short-term stimulus, but creating motion through fear will always have consequences.
How can you create more positive emotions at work? Sharing success stories and offering appreciation more frequently are two ways you can start today, no matter what your role.
3. Emotion creates courage.
We’re living and working in complex, often challenging times.
The old rules aren’t working anymore.
It’s up to each of us to create new rules, and to lead in genuine, human ways.
That takes courage.
Allowing ourselves to feel and recognize emotion in our workplaces—our own and the emotions of those around us—is a heroic act.
We need more heroes.
We need you.
Start embracing your emotion, and starting bringing it to work today.