Do feelings belong on the business playing field?

by Christine Unterthiner

I say, "Yes" and, "Why not?".

In Michael Devenney's article last week, "How the F Word Could Save Your Business", he thoughtfully unfolds the "everything is great" facade we often wear as entrepreneurs. Sharing from his own difficulty to acknowledge feelings vs always coming from logic or thought, Michael, as always, generously offers some great tools to help us bring the "F" word to work.

I believe when we allow emotions and feelings to have a voice, they can give us access to a variety of things including: a new level of understanding – of others and ourselves, uncovering a belief that may not be valid, or connecting with people in a whole new way.

It's not about just letting everything spill out (although sometimes that is exactly what we need) but rather to acknowledge our feelings and talk things through. Suppressing our emotions and trying to hide them can lead to stress. Plus it's not fun. Not only that, pretty much everyone has a sense something's going anyway which, depending on how it seeps out, can also have people be on edge around the person who's doing the suppressing.

I've been thinking a lot the past while about how living as a whole person includes bringing all of ourselves to every aspect of our lives, work or play. When did it become the norm to separate ourselves, to be one person at work and someone else at home and/or another person somewhere else? Has that always been a thing?

What if we could bring all of ourselves everywhere, to everything and everyone? Would we choose different career paths, different ways of playing, would work even occur as work?

In our branding discovery sessions with clients, we've noticed it's easy for them to talk about, and relate to, the numbers, metrics, and facts. However, when we ask them questions about brand personality or emotions, we notice a subtle difference in how they answer. And, having gone through our own personal and brand journey, we get it. We make sure they know there are no wrong answers and that they really can say anything. What I especially love is when they connect to something they hadn't seen before, or get moved by what they're doing and who they are.

I encourage you to keep looking at your emotions, acknowledge them, embrace them, be curious about them. What are they telling you? It could be something new, it could be a pattern, whatever it is, enjoy the journey!

Please let me know in the comments how you've successfully integrated your emotional well being into your life and if not, what you've been encountering on your journey or. let me know what you thought of Michael's article and if it made a difference for you.