Updated: Jun 24, 2019
“Find Work You Love,” says the headline on the recruitment ad in my email box. Calling to the unrelenting human desire to “follow our bliss” as Joseph Campbell proposed, it is testimony to the life-giving sense of satisfaction that comes from loving our work.
But wait, when it comes to emotion and work, who isn't operating from the paradigm that says abandon them at the door? According to research by the Gallup organization of millions of American workers, 70% are either not engaged or actively disengaged with their work. That doesn't sound like love. Finding work we love is so alluring, half of today's employees are actively searching for it. For as long as I remember, emotions in the workplace are not allowed. "Love" and "work" aren't hanging out at the water cooler.
A quick Google search confirms it: “Emotions at Work: Needless or Necessary?”, “The Fear of Feelings at Work”, “How to Keep Your Emotions Out of the Workplace”, are headlines that emerge at the top.
I get it. They’re talking about negative emotions, which tend to be gnarly, thwarting performance and production, eating away at progress and profits. Anxiety, pessimism, defensiveness, bitterness, hostility, fear… they ruffle feathers, drain us of energy, and deplete our systems.
On the positive side of the emotional spectrum, however, lies this bountiful, renewable resource. Ah yes. Good emotions, the ones that fuel dreams. Enthusiasm, purpose, commitment, satisfaction, and yes... love--these heart-based emotions recharge our batteries and keep us coming back for more.
The truth is emotion rules the workplace dynamic--whether positive or negative. There is a quarter century of research that shows how we feel at work directly and powerfully influences how we perform. The harder truth is that the emotional mood of the work environment is often a direct reflection of the leader’s ability to communicate their vision.
It is the leader’s responsibility to instill meaning and purpose. If you’re not actively tending to the emotional culture of your workplace, you are missing out on a supernatural force of nature that can propel your brand to new levels of success. The paradigm of expecting employees to leave their emotions at the door is leftover from the industrial age. The new paradigm--the one being ushered in by Millennials and Gen Z--forces authenticity into the workplace, and authenticity is heart-based. This new paradigm embraces emotion as a powerful force and channels this energy for good.
"You will never reach your full potential if you don't open your heart." -- Paulo Coelho
The new paradigm harnesses the emotional energy of your employees by infusing your vision into their meaning and purpose. This authentic heart-focused model is about your passion, your "why", your purpose, and your legacy. It is your dream after all, and if your employees have not hitched their meaning and purpose to your wagon, it’s because you have not clearly declared your "why".
To commandeer the verve that ignited the spark that got you where you are today, as a leader you must operate from your point of passion. And that means engaging your heart, which is good, because there's a whole lot of intelligence there.
If you've only made half-hearted attempts to create your brand, you're missing out. Research provided by the HeartMath Institute confirms what most intrinsically know--the heart is more than a blood-pumping organ--our hearts provide guidance and influence our emotional state of being. HeartMath created a system that is used by hospitals and health professionals, police, fire and corrections, professional athletes and Olympic teams, military and special forces, schools, universities, non-profits, business, and families. Its benefits are validated. Daily use of science-based tools that provide easy access to our heart intelligence makes this workplace transformation possible.
From the awkward weight of the long list of disadvantages, the no-emotion-in-the-workplace paradigm is crumbling. Bringing heart into the workplace reduces stress and anxiety, and boosts creativity and worker satisfaction. Finding work we love is not an unattainable dream. Aligning staff to meaning and purpose improves efficiency, productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee retention. Positive emotions offer positive ROI. It turns out, finding your bliss makes good business sense.
If you're mired in old problems, consider this, a little bit of HeartMath goes a long way. You making that heart connection is simpler than you can imagine. If you’re interested in learning science-based tools to bring heart intelligence to your brand, schedule your 4-week training with me now.