Emotion in the workplace can take many forms from elation to anger. Managing those emotions at work can be very difficult for some.
Is crying okay? Should leaders frown upon it?
Also see: If a Leader Tears Up or Cries Is He or She More Effective?
The ‘expert” in the video below believes that work is about facts, not feelings, and that we should work to ensure the two are separate. So, in imagining a workplace void of feelings and focused just on the facts, I have come up with three great benefits in separating the two:
1. The number one benefit would have to be the opportunity to work with cold, non-feeling and possibly thoughtless people. Sign me up! Sounds like a place I want to work.
2. Creativity, passion and true engagement would be replaced with just getting the job done. I love the focus, that could be, well… focused!
3. Honesty about everything. “Julie, I just wanted to tell you, that dress you are wearing is hideous. It’s really quite ugly. I am just telling you the facts, so please don’t take it personally. But if I were you I wouldn’t wear it to work any more if you want to get places in this company.” Hey, you can’t argue that the feedback wasn’t honest and timely.
The reality is we all have emotion. Leaders should be okay with it. Trying to act like we aren’t feeling something is not only bad for our health, but also potentially bad for relationships.
While we shouldn’t go around work as emotional wrecks, leaders shouldn’t prevent others from not feeling. They should focus on building relationships of trust in which those they lead feel comfortable in coming to them and expressing emotion as needed.
Leaders have to learn how to effectively deal with the emotions of others, even crying. The best thing a leader can do is realize that crying and other types of visible feelings and emotions are only reactions, not the issue itself. And maybe this is what the “guru” being interviewed meant? Doubt it though.
Also see: Can Kindness and Toughness Co-Exist in Leadership?
Jumping to the conclusion that crying and other visible emotions are a sign of weakness would be an error on the leaders part. We all deal with things differently. Patient and caring leaders understand that.
How have you handled crying in the office? Do you think it is okay? Comment below.
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