I recently watched Pixar’s “Inside Out” on a flight back from New York. For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to watch this movie, here is a quick synopsis: We witness the journey of an 11-year-old girl, Riley, as she and her family move from a small town in Minnesota to the Bay Area, in pursuit of her father’s new venture. Throughout her journey, Riley is accompanied by the personifications of her emotions, Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger. These supporting characters are an integral part of Riley’s daily functioning, including her actions, thoughts, and memory formation and recall.
I won’t ruin the movie by revealing the details of the plot but here’s the point: there is still a lot to learn about our emotions and how they impact our behaviors at work. Let’s discuss some of the reasons why it’s important for companies to be more aware of their employees’ feelings.
They help us communicate
Many experts agree that the majority of our communication is conveyed through nonverbal cues, including body language and tone of voice. Although what we say matters, it’s equally important to pay attention to other forms of expression as well. It may often be the case that we cannot control certain behaviors, such as furrowing our brows or pursing our lips, but these actions are noticeable to others. At the workplace, they inform our co-workers and managers that we are sad, excited, or disappointed.
They allow us to create social bonds
While it may be essential to filter your emotions at times, it’s also beneficial to develop a work environment where employees can be their authentic selves. When people feel comfortable expressing their feelings at their jobs, it often leads to stronger relationships between one another. As a result, teams will collaborate better and be more helpful towards each other.
They are contagious
Have you ever noticed how quickly the mood changes when something negative or positive happens at work? It usually starts with a small group of people and spreads like wildfire. That’s because our emotions are highly contagious. As a leader, it’s important to be positive even when unexpected things happen. Keeping your team morale high may sometimes be challenging but will lead to great results.
Most of us are aware of how emotional behaviors can speak louder than words in social settings, but they are easy to misunderstand, or miss altogether in the workplace.
About the Author
Nana Dooreck, founder of Rubicore, has worked to improve people management through recruitment, learning and development and performance feedback. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.Tags: communication, Inside Out, work emotions