If I’m speaking to manufacturers or other “no-nonsense” groups, I sometimes worry that my EI workshops might be too “touchy feely.” An ironic concern, yes? But my fears illustrate our culture’s discomfort with emotions. I need to remind myself and my participants that emotions provide powerful information that we can’t access in any other way. Isn’t it time to look more deeply (and take more seriously) this unknown territory in ourselves?
Here’s one more irony: companies pour over financial data and shop floor statistics. Experts try to find any small area to leverage and improve performance. But we still ignore the most important element of workplace efficiency-- employees’ relationships and communication in the workplace. How much more could performance improve if we perceived, understood, and managed the emotions that underlie our everyday thoughts and actions?