Emotions in the Workplace

tumblr_inline_n391zbbc581sup1ueQuote from Mean Girls Words by Elizabeth Pollard

In Stylist magazine a few weeks ago, Lizzie Pook addressed the taboo topic of women showing emotion in the workplace. A refreshing take on the subject suggested that these days emotional flamboyancy worked in a woman’s favour, but is that a result of a progressive attitude towards emotions, fear of being politically incorrect or simply men are just too scared of women who cry?

Much of my life I was told, culturally and socially, an emotional display is a sign of weakness and definitely not correct behaviour for the workplace. People are encouraged not to air their dirty laundry to try and convince the world they were the perfect Stepford wives or the perfectly poised business woman with a metal spine and little evidence of personal life. But let’s not shy away from the fact that we are not in the 1950s anymore. Women’s rights are increasingly equivalent to a mans, homosexuality is no longer deemed a sin, racial segregation has been abolished… With the world becoming increasingly open minded, why do we pretend that the genders are the same? Anyone with a father, brother, partner, husband, boyfriend or best friend knows (obviously) that men deal with life very differently from women. Their ego won’t even allow them a trip to the dentist, let alone showing frustration to a co worker. Whilst this steely composure seems strong and in defence of their pride, we also know that the speed of progression for a man is a lot slower than a woman’s (for the most part). How else would you explain a woman’s climb to the top of powerful boardrooms, starting up international businesses and becoming the creative brainpower across the fashion and art industries in just sixty short years?

When you are emotional, you are laying your cards on the table and saying ‘this is what I’ve got, let’s deal with it’. When men try to protect their pride, they also block channels of communication, which in turn stunts a productive environment in which to find a solution and ultimately progress the work you are all there to do.

So, the next time you feel your eyes starting to burn in front of your computer screen, wipe them away with pride, lay your cards on the table and fix whatever made you that mad in the first place. A problem that could evoke such a reaction, should never be swept under the carpet; that only hides it, it doesn’t make it go away.

 

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