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I Get So Emotional, Baby | Reimagination at Work

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We're talking about emotions in the workplace. How can you manage them? Should you manage them? Can emotions be useful at work? Are we celebrating the wrong emotions? And who really is more emotional - men or women? Mo and Allegra dive into the debate, and Allegra lets her emotions fly in this month's Raging Rant. 

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Welcome to less of the imagination atwork podcast. This is the podcast where we help you to think about new ideasabout the world of work that include everyone, and I am your host. I Mow Candela oneof the CO creators of watched this space and I'm here today with AllegraChapman, hello, Allegra, Hello Mo. How are you doing I'm good? How are youtoday yeah, not a not bad, it's sunny outside it is sunny outside and we'reat the lovely plus x pace. Again we love it here and so today we're goingto talk about a subject that we've been talking about for quite a while.Actually and then we've seen some news articles about it, which made us thinkthat it would be a good subject for a podcast and that is showing emotionsand whether we should show emotions at work and whether we think people do ordo we think people do that in a secret and what about differences betweendifferent types of people, men, women, other types of people? How do they showemotions or not, show emotions at work yeah? So there was a report that cameout last week that said that men are actually more emotional work than women.Yes discuss my. What do we think about this, or we surprised? I actuallywasn't surprised to see that because I think it depends how you definingemotions of work, so I have been in many a boardroom where men have bannedbooks on tables. Shouted at people got emotional angry upset, no, notbursting into tears, but definitely showing emotions, which then has had animpact and all of the other people in the room. So I wasn't surprised to seethat, and I think a lot of decisions that are made by men are surprisinglyruled by emotions too. I think it's just the the way people think aboutthat is women bursting into tears, and so it's talked about differently andthat's the connotation of showing emotions at work, but actually thereare lots of motions that play at work. Yet I think I wasn't surprised in theslightest I kind of I think actually exactly you say. I think it'sdefinitely man, the emotional was it's in every workplace that I've been. It'salways been the men who shout and yell, and you know, get skep sort of yeah. Youknow angry and I too things I think, the problem that we have is we prioritize and or except the wrongtypes of emotion. So we talked a lot about men being angry as beingassertive and, having kind of you know, strong opinions and everything, whereasif women, you know, I think, a lot of- and Idon't think it's Cessari the you know- women don't shout, I know for myself,I'm definitely capable of Yeaes, but just as my kids but women, Ithink feel we dad yeah get aggressive in a work price because will be labeldesert a show to aggressive woman. Where is man feel much more able to dothe at and as a society? We have SOT said that those types of formations-the angry aggressive ones, are good at work, whereas more softer quate on quite softer empatheticemotions are bad and you know that's, I think that's thewrong way round, because actually the aggression and shouting and yelling andintimidating people is not very like his to build a good workingrelationship. It's not very likely to get the best out of people. It's notlikely to reach a healthy concerns, a sort of decision where is showingempathy in the workplace and being now...

...the quite and quite softer approach ismuch more likely to have positive impact on the workplace as awhole, but we've got things the wrong way round with what emotions that weyeah celebrate yeah. I agree- and I think you know I've been in many a office where the emotions are feelingupset and feeling like you're, going to burst into tears. You take away todifferent spaces that somewhere, I used to work where we used to say you knowthat mirror in the lady's toilets had had many conversations with the peoplehave had with it, where you've had to take that emotion away, and it'sbecause of how we perceived so a woman showing emotion like that is perceivedas weak, whereas a man banging you know, books on a table is perceived as strongand that's he that's the reason that women feel like they have to controlthose emotions and I've had it said to me when I was in sosen leadership roles.Don't be so emotional. Don't show your emotion so much because you won't betaken as seriously you know they. This is in so of coaching conversations whenpeople would say you know take a deep breath before you speak, don't be tooemotional because you'll be judged differently and I don't think that'sthe same for everyone and it's not just a male female thing, but it does seemto be largely that that's the division that people have judged differently,but I also think there's there's other kinds of emotions that we have to be socareful of if we're in a minority in the workplace. So, for example, peoplewho maybe English isn't their first language have to be consider how theybehave in the workplace because they're judged differently. There are MiragesIons that people experience every day at work and they have to learn tocontrol emotions around it and they can be really simple things like somebodydeliberately mispronouncing your name or they can be things like being called.You know racial slurs and things like that in the workplace and how you reactto them could impact the rest of your career. So people have to think reallycarefully what they're going to do about that, and you know I know I knowmyself, but I alto know other people who've been in situations where they'vehad to decide whether they're going to act on that and do anything about it,whether it's something that they feel they tolerate and get on with, oractually usually what people do is end up. Leaving places like that, becauseit's not a welcoming place to be where you can't show your true self and showyour emotions yeah. That's a really important point, actual's being able tobe be yourself and yeah how you feel aboutthings and also you know in terms of in with the cat that kind of micro Gressonissue. I know I've seen people say things inmeetings that are a white man has taken effect that and he's felt totallycomfortable to either in front of the person directly to them or to you, amanager afterwards to get really angry about it, and so I'mreally upset about that. I, like you, know, don't appreciate it, whereas,like you say for other, you know for people from you know, that's Toni groups, it's moreof an issue to go and raise that, because the people go oh you're, makinga fast or you're being difficult or you know, and it's and you also feel likeyou. You can feel like you're single yourself out more yeah and then I ranon in my career. I felt like if I said anything when someone was being sexist,then that would could have almost draw more attention to the fact that I wasthe only woman and and singled me out for the different treatment where, asactually I was kind of trying to just to be like yeah, I know in taking oneof the blakes. It's all fine and you need have more inity with it. I thinkyou know a lot of it is you know the kind of the way thatpeople respond to to difference to different people's complaints, and Ithink if you are in a business that is predominantly run by one group, you're,probably more likely to you, listen to people who look like you in a similarto you, because you can relate more to their. You know the issue that they'reraising, whereas if somebody who's totally different from you comes andsays, I you know really upset about...

...this thing that someone said, and youdon't personally kind of understand why it's offensive L, you haven't, got thatexperience of it being offensive, you're more likely to sort of just gomy on re about it's fine, you know, like Oh didn't mean it it wasn't. Theydidn't mean it like that yeah and then it's also. I think it's also to do withall kinds of emotion, so happy emotions too. You know I've had severalcolleagues, several friends who have really agonized over how to tell theircolleagues or their workplace that they're pregnant, for example, becauseyou know that's, it is obviously a happy thing to tell people about, butit's the emotions that go with telling. There's not a simple piece of news totell someone about, and I think people have to really think carefully aboutthat too about how they talk to people about it and really sort of think abouthow they control their emotions. And I say that not necessary thinking. It's agood thing that people feel they have to control their emotions, but they dobecause I think, for lots of women at that moment whenthey're telling their work players that they're pregnant is the time where theyabsolutely want to be re. You know be taken seriously as well. It's like youknow, a lesser person because of it and there's so much emotion caught up in itthat I think it makes it difficult and I think it's down to the people thatare dominant in workplaces. I think that's really. The cracks of this is that there arecertain behaviors and certain types of people that are dominant in workplaces,where those types of emotions are kind of not accepted or no acceptable. Sowhat do you think in terms of kind of given it with Wendy live in a worldwhere you do have to control your emotions to a certain extent, or atleast you know, y present, the the acceptable side? What you kind of thinkpeople can do, can work of advice? Can we offer for controlling your Mason,because I don't think limner the best person to advise on this, because Idon't think I've nailed it. So, let's speak, let's have fulldisclosure here. I think I'm the better person, I think, O I learnt some waysyou know I had coaching when I was in corporate life, learned some ways to to some extent control. So the kind ofthings that I was advised to do is you know, take a deep breath count to tenbefore you react to things. You Know Lowin your tone of voice, justkind of think carefully about how you react instead of that natural reaction,but that you know that's really tough to do in that moment when you'refeeling like that to go on now, I'm going to count to ten and control. Theemotion is quite a hard thing to do so. I don't think I have the answer foranybody. Those things are worth trying. They might work for you. So like I saythat those are the kinds of things I was advised to try a I mean. Idefinitely I have no advice because I'm I'm not get it to, and I've been toldoff repeatedly for being to emotional work and showing showing my emotionstoo much, but you know I think for me. I I kind of if something is an issue I needto deal with it and I'm not very good at parking it, but I'm not sure theparking it is healthy either. I think you know it is sometimes these thingsare better so without in the open yeah I mean I'm definitely similar to you,I'm not somebody that can just forget those things. I have to have theconversation and have that you know that difficult conversation. I have todo that because it's worth for me to not do that it all kind of ye up. If Idon't do, I have to have a discussion about it. Yeah and I all say I m areally bad habit of. If something happens in a meeting somebody sayssomething offensive or upsetting. I have really bad habit of not noticingstraight away, and then I will realize what they meant kind of three hourslater. I'd be really angry about it and really want to deal with it, but bythen the maimers part. So it's really hard an then you're really angry.Really. What is talk about something that you then a go sething that yousaid yes and really upset hot? We e have a conversation, because I knowwhat an he's any I forgotten, yeah, yeah, yeah and okay. Well, at thatmoment, I think it's probably time for...

...a short break and we're going to handover to you allegra for this month's rent. Yes, this is a new feature wherewe am basically let rip for a few minutes to tell you about our latestthoughts and Ma's going to sound the airborne. If I go over time, but myrent I for this month is about this, I have a theory and I be interested toknot. How many people agree with me that everybody was certainly everywoman. I think that I I I would actually has a guesser that most peoplehave had a cry in the toilets at work. I think that's sort of a universalthing, because the more people I talk to youabout you know their experience in the work pace and how they feel about work.More people allude to this moment of Oh yeah. Well, you know I haven't it,offer the toilet for a cry, or you know that thing where you guys to the toesfor crit and it just actually really funny nough bit talking about Matinsupset me because I was like this is really bad, that this is an acceptedthing, that there is a set. You know things for going and having a quietwork, that this is how upset people are getting in their jobs, that people arebeing reduced to tears on this regular basis and and we're not doing anythingabout it. We're just sort of accepting that the toilet to where people go tocry and not not kind of thinking about. You knowhow people are feeling at work. How happy are they and you know doingthings to protect people's mental health, but also it made me think youknow. Is it a bad thing that people are getting emotional work that they'refeeling that strongly about their workplace? Obviously, as of the reasonthey're crowing? But you know if you care that passionately about your work,you're getting that emotional about it, isn't that something that we shouldmaybe be harnessing of those are the people that we should be celebratingrather than the angry people who are making them corret. Maybe we should betalking more to the people who are getting really upset about their jobsbecause they're not just going or all Soyo, then I'll leave they're going.This is really upset me because I care about this job. I care about thisworkplace. I want things to be better, and so I think we need to startthinking more about how we look at our response to people who get emotional,how we feel about that and how what space we're making for people toexpress their emotions and be themselves and yeah. You know if you're,a boss and you're not worried that your stuff or running off, to have a cry inthe toilet. You need to have word with yourself: that's not a God. Situationto fain become out time for going to stop yeah very good, Ranera, very goodyeah. I'd agree with you on all that. I think that if we have a culture where it'saccepted, that people go off somewhere in secret and have a cry and then comeback to the office and everything you know pretend everything's normal, thenthere's some something wrong there and we need to have a look at that. But as often with these podcast were Iget agreeing with each other. What do we think of the solution todoing something about it? You know, for example, when I think about mostworkplaces- and I say we talking about offices. I say that we people workingremotely too. I think a lot of Peoplei kind of hide their emotions, highthings that are going on in their lives to what their work, because, because ofthat, because of those emotions- and you know I ve- I know I've had thingsgo on in my life, where you don't necessarily want everybody in your workto know about it, because that moment they ask you. If you're, okay in ameeting might be the wrong moment for you and you you know, so maybe you wantto kind of like hide some of those things, and it's a bit it's about howmuch of yourself you want to take to work, whether that's you knowphysically to work or to your work space, and I think it's just thinkingabout those things. You also make a really good point ofthe difference now that we're well. So many of us are working from home, it'smuch easier to higher emotions of yeah, because people are seeing you time,you're. Looking on for the odd se meeting and then you're disappearing, whereas if you're seeing somebody youknow three hours a day, you can romany tell if something's up, whereas you know if you're yeah, if you're athome, it's so much easy to hide all that away. So it's more important formanagers to be aware of checking in...

...with their stuff and checking it on thetheir mental health and the well being and how engaged they with their work.And how do you know how things are going and I I personally would really love tosee a worther people feel able to bring their whole selves to work and ifyou're going through some difficult things, then you know you're able totalk your colics about that and then tell them about that. But equally, asyou said, he not everybody wants to. I mean I'm me, then you know half Italian and I talkabout absolutely everything to anyone, because that's just how it bill, but alot of people aren't like that. Don't want to share all of that. You KnowYeah Dat, Yo Dinin, a meeting opposite that boss. So it's a difficult balance.I think between encouraging people to feel able to talk, but also respectingpeople's boundaries if they don't want to. But I do I think it's really importantfor manages to make that space for people to say you know actually havinga really tough time at the moment. You know things or things are a bitdifficult. You know whether or not they want totalk about. Well, that is or not, but just to be able to say that and flakeit up. I work some one place where we used to have little. You know we ayhave baseball teams. So with our little teams we would have ornament a warning,a check in on what how you know how our projects were going, whether we'regetting up to you but also dil check it on just how everybody was. You know howhe eat, how you feeling- and you are having a you- know a really Shit Weekand you know your grandma died over the weekend or something you could. Youcould talk to people about that and you now have a cry and say: Yeah. You knowif I really crap this has happened. I remember going into work one Monday boording and I I kind of thought I had it war strand. Ithought it was okay. What was up to my desk and one of my colles pen you'reright? She have a nice weekend. I would just best and say she was like, Oh God,what I was like my cat tied and, and she felt terrible that bit like I cavinsat out with me and had a Catia, a OCRA and my fault. I felt much better ofthat and then somebody knew and someone undersea yeah. I got out of my systemand I think, having that space to be to talk about stuff is really importantbecause we spent such a huge amount of yeah work. It's you know it's such abig part of our lives and to have to block out all of the rest of your lifefor that period of time that your work is impossible and it's going to impacton your work. If you want to get the best out of people, because a lot of peoplewould say all that checking on a Monday morning seeing how people are as awaste of time and if you have somebody who cries part an our talking abouttheir dead grandma. Is that wasted time? But actually it's not because in thelong run, that person is going to be more productive and more able to.Actually, you know be in the room and be at work because they've got it outand people are being supportive, others than have them just for the next weekbeing not really there, because they're feeling really upset but they'rekeeping me all it time. Yeah and I think the something I touched anearlier. I think the difference as well in when people are working remotely kind of ECCENTRIES. That even morebecause I know there are lots of people that have the much roles of instantmessaging. That kind of thing to keep in touch with people and that's great.It's a great way, keep in touch with people, but you can misunderstandthings and not really understand how people lived feeling. And you knowpeople have been through a lot over the last year, and you know it's the factthat you can have those video check in video meetings. But you know you're notnecessarily getting to know exactly what's going on with people and howthey're doing- and this is a controversial one. I know there arecompanies- There are teams that don't turn their videos on either and for me,I'm quite a you know. I kind of I need to seepeople to see how they're doing and actually look at them. So I find thatvery difficult when people don't put the videos on because then then it'sjust this voice that you're hearing, which I know you would hear if you wereon a phone call, but even so I feel like you're missing out and seeing howthat person is and how they are a. So I...

...think, as we go forward into whateverthe new world of work is those are the kind of things. I think that managersneed to think about like how they're going to operate, how they're going tomake sure they know people are okay. Yeah, I think, having your video honestis really important. I know there are circumstances and which people I wantto do it, and I know there might be certain. You know specific reason whyour it want you, but I think, if you're able to happy making that connection withsomeone as a human involves, looking yeah, not them and seeing them andbeing able to read the body, language and their keys, and that I think,that's really important. I think it's quite alienating to just have thisdisembodied you can usually get the person's name or their initials areyeah. You know it. It just feels very impersonal and and difficult. So Ithink yeah. I think, the more that you can try if you are maybe so moreflexible working model where people are in the same room as offered, and Ithink if you can try and fying ways like video to reports that personalconnection keep that link going. I think that's really really importantand just one thing I want to talk about really quickly, because we've talked alot and I think it's a common thing when you say emotions, people automatic,think negative. Well, yeah talked essor about negative emotions, but also possecelebrating positive emotions in the workplace. I think is really important.You know giving people space, you know if something really good as happen tothem out so I were can be able to bring that in, but all say celebrating goodthings that happen at work, and you know those moments of joy and be ableto celebrate together as a unit is really important for that team. CASIONas well yeah. I like yeah, that's a great point to bring up, but it's notall negative when its emotions, it can be happy, it can be funny. It can beall of those things to, and it's about bringing all of those things to work,and the reason that I think we thought this was a good subject is. I thinkthis is about redefining what leaderships about. I think that's wherewe're moving to. Finally, where leadership isn't about kind of, cancommand control, hydro, emotions, you have to be a certain way. I thinkleadership is actually about getting to know your team getting to otherindividual strength that you know what they need, help with inspiring them,leading them working at how you can help them in all of the different waysthat people are working. I think that's what leadership is about now and in thefuture, not about this sort of rigid system where everything's the same yeah.I ultimately for me being a leader, is about lifting people up to be the bestthat yeah they mafa them, inspiring them, helping them on their journey,but ultimately getting the best from that person. And if you are enablingyour team to bring the whole self to work, then they've got more of theirself to give to work yeah. I think it's. That simple, isthat you now, if you, if you enable them to bring that with them, and theycan give much more and they'll, be more motivated, they'll be more dedicated totheir jobs. They'll be know, they're more connected, more engaged, and youknow what they're doing matters to them more if they feel that they yeahthey're part of it. I collected to it they can be themselves so yeah and withthat comes at you know, accepting understanding that everyone's differenteveryone came for different perspective. Different Life experiences differentways: They live their life and applying a one size fits all way of managingyour team isn't going to work because everybody's so different. It's aboutappreciating and understanding those things and working at how you can getthe best from all of those different kinds of people yeah. I think that'swhere, where leadership is moving towards- and I think you do see it inlots of things that are written now and lots of kind of coaching programs- andyou know things that are talked about- there is a sense. The definitions ofleadership are changing towards more of that storied ship and also when you'redealing with emotions. It's about a subject that not everybody has the samereaction to things. So different...

...emotions look different from differentpeople, so some people go. You know very quiet when they're upset somethingbecause yeah you know and some people you know if so I've seen to ejers, who were big, big huggers andthey like to like hug everybody for being upset, but not everyone wants tohave. No, I she that, for she want now lies at work. You don't for weirdcomplices for that, but some people might love it, and you know if you're,both cot with it. You know that might be a thing, but you know not everybody,not everyone else to talk about it. Not Everybody wants to kind of open up, andyou might think that your job is. You have to get them toopen up by how they're feeling that and that isn't necessarily that doesn'twork for everybody. It's about making space, I think forpeople to express the emotions that they need to express in a healthy wayand- and you know celebrating the people who do do really. You know getan emotion about the job. You care enough to feel passionateenough toactually really feel emotion around their work. You know creating space forthem to do that and express that in whatever way is comfortable for thatyeah, rather than pacing a paper of how do you think it should look yeah and,as you know, I'm a public fan of LP near linguistic programming, and Ithink those kind of things are going to come much more into leadership,coaching and leadership, training where it is about understanding, differentpeople and how they work and the kind of way their brain and receivesinformation and transmit information and understanding those kinds ofbehaviors and patterns and people, and how we can help people to be to be their best selves through thatkind of coaching. I think there's going to be much more of that than there isgoing to be. You know very process type of leadership where it's about you know.You know well, when I used to run a big team, you'd have like a gross systemand a grath- and you know we do. You know- were talking to someone aboutthis. The other day we used to do like an annual view. Time have all of thenames up on the board of the whole division and you'd have to move peoplearound because it was like force distribution. You couldn't haveeverybody in the the sort of a star box, you have tomeet people around that's very kind of what's the word very kind of dry andnot appreciating different kinds of people and different styles of doingthings, I think, with those things hopefully gone, and we're going to movemuch more towards these different styles of coaching and leadership andand also different ways of assessing people. You know the thing of you knowis what is working hard sitting at a desk for eight hours a day or he isworking hard, achieving the result, and actually it doesn't matter how long ittook her. You achieve the output, yeah and probably a good point to finish onit. Actually, a good attribute for a really strong eater tohave is empathy yeah, I form of emotion, because then you can read your stuffbetter. You can understand, you know how what they all need, howyou can best help them and pull them. What you know where they got theire outand Ogadayn having that, but you know that let that ability to Tan intopeople's emotions and understand them he's going to be a really important. I think, or put Nedes of the future toTony Yeah for sure, fascinating subject, as always lotsmore. We could have talked about, but we'll leave it there for today. Sothank you so much a Legree, a brilliant conversation as usual, and this hasbeen the re imagination at work. PODCAST run by watch this space and ifyou want to find us, you can find a watch this space top to UK and onsocial media where at Watch this SP CE. And if you find us on face book, wehave a group called the space which you can join to and we post informationabout things like podcast and other information about what we're doing to asix time.

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