An illustration shows close up of a hand holding a bunch of balloons in the shape of different facial expressions.

EmotionsThe paradoxical logic of getting emotional

Perhaps the most confusing, wonderful, infuriating, exciting, maddening, humorous, occasionally downright depressing part of being human is our emotions. Yes, each day it’s all aboard a rollercoaster of feels for a thrillingly unpredictable ride through the highs and lows of life.

For a solid chunk of the 20th century, we were strongly encouraged to leave our emotions at home. Work was an eight-hour amnesty, an emotional Switzerland of sorts. Dammit, you go to work to do the business! How was anyone meant to make smart decisions if emotions turned up all illogical and irrational and ruined the day.

Fortunately, these beliefs have changed in most workplaces, or are in the process of changing in slower moving organisations. Studies have proven what the more emotionally savvy among us already knew intuitively: emotions are healthy in the workplace, provided they’re well managed. More than healthy, actually. When woven into our working life, they’re powerful intrinsic motivators of learning and behaviour.

Emotions are lenses for our messaging

The strongest messages always appeal to emotions — seizing our hearts before seducing our minds. Our communication should consider how we want people to feel, as well as providing them with what they need to know. Let’s leave bland, emotionless language behind and embrace all them feels. ...

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