“I’m not worried about people’s FEELINGS!” Have you ever heard an executive say this? There’s an unwritten rule in the Corporate World that we don’t take feelings in the equation when we’re making business decisions. Well, in fact, business runs on feelings so we'd better figure it out.
Performance runs on Feelings. Even the most traditional business people know that if you want people to perform you have to keep them feeling good. In industries where good people are hard to find, companies have pampered their staff. Even this pampering is often a proxy for truly caring. Companies have been known to provide conveniences on-site in order to increase the time people spend at work. Competitive industries have historically treated people poorly. You may have heard the phrase “if you don’t like it, there are a line of people who would love your job.” <cringe>
How do you perform when you feel taken advantage of or mistreated? Try this one...you just found out that your coworker makes 10% more than you, and they are a lower performer than you are. How do you perform when you come to work the next day? Oh I know, you’re thinking “I’m a professional and I’ll always perform as best I can.” But will you really? You might still perform your job at 100% but I’m going to bet you’re not proactively pushing a new idea as hard, and you're not as likely to go above and beyond.
Collaboration runs on Feelings. If you’re a one-person shop, great, you don’t need to collaborate. But if you have to work with other people...may I see a show of hands?...then you need to collaborate. Collaboration requires people to have relationships, and relationships involve feelings. Complex work simply can’t get done using transactive interactions. You’re going to need to build relationships and this includes feelings.
Creativity and Innovation run on Feelings. Did you ever have a nagging feeling that there was a better way to do something? And then like a lightbulb, you figured it out! New ideas are borne out of feelings. If we stop having feelings, we stop having innovation. So let those feelings flourish!
How have feelings played a part in your workplace? Let us know!