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Why Feelings Belong in the Workplace

By Lindsay MacKenzie | May 31, 2020

There is a common thought floating around that the workplace is no place for feelings. It’s a place of business. It’s serious. Hard work happens here.

There is a common thought floating around that the workplace is no place for feelings. It’s a place of business. It’s serious. Hard work happens here. Does this sound familiar to you?

I’m here to prove that feelings DO belong in the workplace. And now more than ever!

“But showing feelings is weak!” “People will know you’re human!” “How can you lead if you’re not a robot?!?!” (Kidding on that last one, but in all seriousness, these phrases are a common misconception employed by so many leaders and managers).

Here are a few drawbacks that employing that misconception will get you:

  • Disengaged employee (“My boss doesn’t care about me.”)
  • Resentful employee (“My boss always takes and never gives.”)
  • A lack of community (“Work is for my paycheck, but my real life happens away from work.”
  • Employees looking for an exit strategy (“Why work here when I’ll be valued by the competitor?”)

When we start treating employees like the valuable assets they are, you no longer have to motivate them. They motivate themselves.

When you understand the “why” behind the behaviour, the behaviour is so much easier to address (and course-correct, if need be). And, because you’re invested in your team, you’ll find that your team cares about you, too.

Do you have an employee on your team that you think is lazy and tries to get others to do their work? What if you knew that behind that laziness, the employee wasn’t confident in how to perform their job and is too afraid to share that with you or ask for help and instead tries to see if others can do it for him?

Or, what about an employee who seems like they just don’t care about their work? Would your opinion of them be different if you knew they had a terminally ill spouse? Or just had their nanny quit and as a single parent, they’re stressed about managing childcare and fulfilling their work responsibilities?

What would it look like if we treated our employees with empathy and compassion rather than judgment?

When you encourage feelings in the workplace, suddenly your employees feel seen, heard, and understood. They feel valued, respected, and cared about. It enables them to show up as their best self even when they are undergoing personal or professional challenges.

Sharing feelings doesn’t mean work gets delayed or professionalism goes out the window. It means understanding that we all have fears, hardships, wins, and losses. It’s all part of the human experience. Imagine if we shared in that experience and celebrated as a team?

Showing empathy to others and encouraging feelings helps you create a winning workplace with motivated and engaged employees who show up wanting to do their best.

A true win/win.

Do you need help showing empathy in the workplace or motivating your team members? Book a discovery call with me today.

Learn how we can help reach your goals.

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