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Head & Heart: Emotions Belong in the Workplace

Fierce Ideas (purple lightbulb)

We humans behave for emotional reasons first, then for rational reasons. It is a fact. Psychology professor, Daniel Kahneman, was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics after his studies proved this.

With common phrases like “check your emotions at the door”, it is no surprise that people stray away from talking about them.

The thing is – people crave sharing their emotions – establishing that deep connection. After over a decade of doing this work, Fierce has been opening the dialogue and including emotions with all different people – engineers, retailers, male, female, executives, front line.

So how can you incorporate emotions in your workplace? You must ask.

When someone brings you an issue, you must ask about their emotions. In our coaching model we understand the critical role emotions play in building relationships and changing behavior. In our 7-step mineral rights model, we pose the question in multiple steps, “What do you feel?” as the coachee identifies what is at stake for him or her if nothing changes. And again, ask when they are picturing themselves on the other side of the issue. Getting to the person’s emotion provides impetus for action. You miss that, you’ve wasted a key part of the process.

Stop the conversation from only happening in our heads. Engage the head AND heart.

What keeps you from asking about emotions? Where can you start?


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