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In business, leave your emotions at the door

By July 31, 2017Uncategorized

Don’t take your personal life into the office.

Don’t take your work home with you.

Achieve a work – life balance.

How many times have you heard those phrases? How often have you accepted them?

I was speaking to a client a few weeks ago who told me that emotions have no place in business, so she can’t possibly tell her team how she feels.

When they agree to take on a project and then don’t look at it for a month – she doesn’t feel respected.

If they talk over her in meetings and make no apology for it – she feels belittled.

When she walks into a meeting room and the conversation suddenly stops – she feels cheated.

Even though her team and colleagues can’t make her feel anything, her feelings are still legitimate. She feels them. They’re not going away.

Shouldn’t she be able to communicate this to them? In a way that’s constructive and moves their relationship forward? Isn’t this the very basis of trust in the workplace?

As she continued talking, she revealed that she also has a hard time getting her kids to put their shoes and jackets away when they take them off.

She and her husband barely make time to really connect, and when they do, she feels like she’s begged him to do so.

So she leaves her emotions at the door in the office, and leaves her work at the door when she comes home.

How much is this helping her?

An objective observer would be the first to point out there’s a clear link between how she behaves and reacts at home, and how she behaves and reacts in the office.

But look – she leaves her emotions at the door, OK?

Doing so helps her be a professional in the office and a human being at home.

But the irony is – she’s neither of those things in either places.

And her relationships are suffering.

Productivity in her team’s slowly declining.

She feels like she’s failing as a mother and wife.

How does this impact her team at work?

Do they get the impression that she’s in control? A leader? Does she encourage respect?

By not communicating the impact their actions have on her, is she creating an environment of openness and trust?

Are her team even happy?

They take the lead from her and say yes to projects when they’re overworked and want to say no.

A couple of them are secretly looking for a new job and discuss this in detail in between meetings. The very idea of not working there excites them more than anything they’re currently working on.

They play the political game without enjoying it or a second.


Happiness in the workplace – is this realistic?


It begins with how leaders handle conflict, change and the working environment.

But what else is needed?

Adding a pin-pong table and offering free snacks won’t cut it. So what will?

That’s exactly why we invited Alexander Kjerulf to speak with us on the Masks Off poscast.

Alexander is an author, speaker, and Denmark’s CHO (Chief Happiness Officer <– yes !).

In a conversation with Olivier Larvor, Alexander shares insights into what makes a workplace happy (that doesn’t involve – gasp! – free coffee).

He also reveals:

  • Which company recently installed a slide in the office to make it a ‘happier’ place to work (#facepalm)
  • Why your employees don’t want free coffee, ping pong tables and away days – and what they DO want
  • What happiest places work all do that you can implement today (think: Google, Zappos, Southwest Airlines)
  • The one word most leaders are scared to say but is the key to better productivity (hint: it isn’t ‘motivation’)

For leaders who know games and comfy chairs aren’t the solution to creating a happier workplace but don’t know what will – this episode is a must.

Access the podcast by clicking here