.. and enable us to stretch, grow and lift ourselves in ways we cannot have imaged. For the longest time, ‘touchy-feely’ has been a derogatory term that is frowned upon in the business environment. It’s been career-limiting for many to be ‘emotional’ and ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’. Often the individual expressing emotional behaviour has been pegged with ‘not being a good fit’ for the corporate world.
In one of my engagements, a brilliant, very respected executive said to me in a meeting, ‘We’re not very good at the ‘touchy-feely’ side of the work in our organisation as we were discussing ‘change management’. He said, ‘This is something we should do more of’ and it was clear to me that he wanted to know more about the value of the discipline of change management.
This executive recognised at a gut level that there is value in paying attention to the ‘human side’, whether it be customers or employees, peers and leadership, but not sure exactly what that value is. My ‘spider-sense’ was telling me that he needed to see this information in his language. We did have that conversation on a 1:1 basis. In summary there is formal and informal data available, direct and indirect information that points to this.
On March 2019, Emma Jacobs from the Financial Times, wrote an article, ‘Touchy feely’ courses are as valuable for MBAs as number crunching’. This is a radical shift in how emotions are being portrayed in the workplace. Shortly after, on May 2019, Kelsey Gee, of the Wall Street Journal, reported, that Stanford University, has mandated course to enhance and further develop the emotional intelligence of their MBA students, called, ‘Organisational Behaviour 374: Interpersonal Dynamics’.
Clearly there is need to have this discussion more and more with the executives. Many of us have this conversation in many ways. I invite you to share your experiences.